Last week after teaching a Barre Burn class, I had a member come up to me and ask me what could be done to get rid of the extra fat she carries in her armpit area. She was referring to the fat on both the chest and back next to her armpits. Most women tend to store fat in their hips, thighs and upper armpits.
Unfortunately, our hormones and genes determine where fat is stored in our bodies. We cannot spot reduce, but the good news is that we can decrease the total amount of fat in our body, (including armpit fat) by doing whole body workouts, resistance training and sticking to a healthy eating lifestyle with portion control. Though you can’t isolate fat loss in this area, it is possible to tone and tighten the area by working all the muscles that insert into the shoulder joint.
Muscles are more metabolic than fat, meaning that the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest. According to the Mayo Clinic, resistance training not only helps you build muscle, but also increases your metabolism, burns calories and accelerates fat loss. Set a goal to train with weights four times per week.
Whole body workouts, such as walking, tabata, kickboxing, step class, high intensity interval training and even Zumba activate our larger muscles-chest, back, legs and glutes. When you exercise the larger muscle groups, your body will spend more energy during the workout and for several hours after. Combine whole body exercises with reduced caloric intake then your body will start to lose fat.
I explained to my member that her body will decide which areas she will lose fat from. She seemed discouraged at first, until I told her the good news. She would definitely benefit from specific resistance exercises that target the small muscle groups underlying the armpit area. If she followed my armpit series of exercises 4 times a week along with whole body workouts, her armpits would tone, tighten up and appear much smaller. With a little faith, dedication and self-discipline you too can develop strong, attractive upper arms.