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In addition to diet, cardio and strength training can whittle away underarm fat.
If underarm fat has you resorting to wearing long-sleeved tops even during the hot summer months, maybe it's time for action. While men sometimes experience this problem, women tend to store more fat in the back of their upper arms. This fat covers up and hides the three-headed triceps muscles. Solely working your triceps with targeted exercises isn't enough to reduce underarm fat. To achieve this, a workout routine that reduces total body fat is required.
Blast Away Calories
Arm-engaging cardio, such as pedaling on an elliptical machine with moving handles, using a rowing machine, swimming or walking briskly while pumping your arms back and forth, can effectively burn calories and help reduce body fat including underarm fat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests doing this type of exercise for 150 to 300 minutes per week. Gauge your intensity during cardio to ensure it's moderate; you should be able to talk, but not sing.
Maintain Lean Muscle Tissue
Lifting weights on two or three days of the week can promote weight loss, because it preserves lean muscle tissue, which uses up more calories than fat even when you're resting. For optimal results, target all major muscles including your arms, legs, hips, back, chest, shoulders and abs. Perform exercises, such as biceps curls, lunges, squats, overhead presses, bench presses and bent-over rows. The CDC recommends doing two or three sets and eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise with enough weight so you can't do another repetition after finishing a set.
Shape Your Arms
Although just doing triceps exercises won't reduce underarm fat, you should include them in your strength-training routine, because they do shape and strengthen the muscle hidden underneath the fat. This means that you'll have toned underarms when your body fat reduces. Some exercise you can do include bench dips, cable triceps extensions and kickbacks, close-grip pushups on the floor or on a medicine ball and skull crushers.
Things to Consider
Eating a healthy, reduced-calorie diet that includes fruits, whole grains, low-fat protein, reduced-fat dairy and vegetables, is essential to successfully lose weight. Foods that are high in sugar and fat are best eaten in a limited fashion, and according to Helpguide.org, weight is best lost at a rate of 1 or 2 pounds per week. Also, always warm-up for five to 10 minutes before exercising, and if you have health complications or injuries, consult your doctor before committing to a weight-loss regimen.