Underarm fat can be so unflattering!
If you’re like most women you cringe at the thought of your underarm jiggling as you wave goodbye and you’re willing to do whatever it takes to make it stop!
Here I’m going to show you 5 of the best exercises to help tone up your underarm muscles: the triceps.
It will be important for you to use these in conjunction with a total body fat loss plan to see the best results.
To be clear: We can’t spot reduce fat, so in a sense there are no exercises that specifically burn fat off the underarms, but we can target and tone these specific muscles to help tighten up the appearance of this area.
To lose fat you MUST address your nutrition and overall calorie intake and expenditure as well as train your entire body in a way that supports a fat loss goal.
That being said, toning up your triceps is a must to achieving a lean arm look, so these exercises are essential for you to get the best results from your fat loss plan.
You are welcome to do all these exercises in one workout but keep in mind that they all target the same muscle group so allow plenty of rest between your sets.
I recommend you use just 2-3 of these exercises per workout and mix them with exercises that work other muscle groups.
Here are the 5 best exercises to tone your underarms:
Narrow Push ups on Dumbbells
I recommend you start with the modified version, then if you feel strong and ready, progress to the advanced version.
You do not have to hold the dumbbells in your hands for this move. You could place your hands directly on the ground, but holding the dumbbells in this way makes it easier on the wrist and rotates the arms in just the right position to maximize tricep engagement.
Here’s the Modified Version of Narrow Push ups on Dumbbells
Start in a modified plank position on your knees with your ankles crossed.
Hold the dumbbells on the ground about shoulder width apart.
Keep your core and hips tight and locked in position as you lower your chest towards the ground. Stop when you reach about 2 inches from the ground.
Keep your elbows as tight to your body as possible.
Press back up to the top flexing your triceps as hard as you can. Exhale with each press up and inhale as you lower.
Here’s the Advanced Version of Narrow Grip Push Ups
Start in a full plank position and do the same move as in the modified version, making sure that you keep your whole body in a straight line from shoulders to feet. Your arms should be the only moving part as you keep your body stiff as a board.
Make sure to keep the elbows close to your body to get the most tricep engagement.
Do: 3 sets of 10 reps, or as many as you can with full range of motion and good form. If your hips or core sag or move as you lower and lift then take a rest pause and resume when you can.
Do not advance to the full plank version if you’re struggling with getting 10 reps of the modified version.
Kneeling Single Arm Tricep Dumbbell Kickbacks
Start in a kneeling all-fours position.
Pull one dumbbell up towards your rib cage lifting your elbow up past your back.
Extend the dumbbell back behind you flexing your tricep of that arm. Make sure that your standing arm is active and flexed instead of just resting on or hyperextending that joint.
Slowly bend your elbow to return to the starting bent position.
Instead of allowing the weight to fall back down to the start position aim to control it slowly, this is the “eccentric” portion of the movement and it’s the most important to building that strength and really seeing results from this movement.
Exhale as you extend your arm and inhale as you bend it.
Do: 3 sets of 10 reps on the right, then 10 reps on the left, or as many as you can with good form using the size of dumbbells that you have. If you have a variety of dumbbell size choices, then choose the ones that make it challenging to reach 10 reps.
Kneeling Rear Arm Dumbbell Raise
Start in the same kneeling position as before. The difference with this movement is that you’ll be sweeping your straight arm back behind you.
The finishing position is the same as in the tricep kickback, but the starting position is down to the floor.
Sweep one arm up and past the height of your hips. Keep it close to your body instead of out to the side.
Pause for a moment at the top, then slowly lower it back down to the ground. Tap the ground instead of resting on it then repeat.
Exhale as you lift and inhale as you lower.
Do: 3 sets of 10 reps on the right, then 10 reps on the left, or as many as you can with good form. If you have a variety of dumbbell size choices, then choose the ones that make it challenging to reach 10 reps.
Kneeling Overhead Dumbbell Tricep Extensions
Start in a kneeling position, making sure your spine is straight and you can maintain the natural curve in your back.
Hold the dumbbells all the way close together so they are touching and lift them directly over your head. Lean your arms back slightly so that your biceps are lined up with your ears.
Lower the weights toward your upper back keeping your elbows precisely where they are.
The key to working your triceps is to keep your elbows stable as you move only your forearms.
Lift the dumbbells back up to the high position and flex your arms.
Do: 3 sets of 10 reps or as many as you can with good form. If you prefer to do these standing or seated that is fine as well. Be careful not to allow your ribs to stick out forward or your lower back to curve excessively. Stabilize your core especially during the last few reps as you struggle to finish reps.
Side Plank Tricep Dumbbell Extension
Start in a side plank position holding onto both dumbbells.
Make sure that your supporting arm is straight and the dumbbell is stable. If you are using round dumbbells on a hard floor surface and you do not feel stable then place your hand on the ground instead of holding on to the dumbbell.
Raise the top arm up all the way straight to the ceiling.
Bend the top elbow so that the dumbbell comes down towards your shoulder, keeping your elbow in it’s place. Lift the dumbbell back up to the top and flex both arms. Continue to bend and straighten that top arm while holding the plank nice and steady.
Your supporting arm will be getting a good workout at the same time as you work the top arm.
If this is too much challenge you can modify by dropping down to your knees but maintaining the straight hip position.
Exhale as you lift your arm and inhale as you lower. Maintain a strong plank the hold time by stabilizing your core muscles.
Do: 3 sets of 10 reps on each side or as many as you can with the weight that you’ve selected. If you can do more than 10 reps with good form then try a heavier weight.
Remember that the key to achieving lean and toned arms is to follow a full body fat loss plan in conjunction with these tricep toning moves.
I don’t recommend using all of these moves in one workout, but rather using 2 or 3 of them per day as part of your training plan.
Your triceps are on their way to getting stronger which is the first step to achieving a lean and toned look. And…