Blog Weight Loss What Causes Armpit Fat And How To Get Rid Of It?

What Causes Armpit Fat And How To Get Rid Of It?

Summer is a beautiful season of hot days and warm nights. This is the time when some ladies wear tank tops, bikinis, or sports bras while others hide under hoodies and T-shirts. Why does it happen? Unfortunately, most of the females who don these clothes feel uncomfortable because of armpit fat or underarm bulge – the unnecessary folds of fat that gather under arms or on the side of the breasts. This problem is mostly related to females rather than males. Such women desperately search for videos and articles to understand what causes armpit fat and how to banish it as fast as possible. Even though the causes of this might be various and some of them do not even depend on your lifestyle, it doesn’t mean you can’t get rid of them. The secret is simple: healthy food + intensive exercises. This article is going to be dedicated to the explanations of the main reasons for underarm fat and good ways to eliminate it.


What Are The Causes Of Armpit Fat?

In order to understand the causes of armpit fat we need to analyze its anatomy a little bit. The chest wall, muscles, shoulder bones, and the upper arm play a role in the creation of the armpit which is also called the axilla (6).

As was mentioned above, sometimes a fat armpit doesn’t depend on our lifestyle. On top of that, not only overweight people face this issue. Everybody, including both slim males and females, can get extra fat and it leads to inconveniences when they try to hide it. 

We might get embarrassed by our armpit fat when we notice someone else having ideally sportive arms. Interestingly though, even sportive ladies with fit arms end up getting side breast fat. Here are a few most common underarm fat causes:

  • Clothing Choice

Women  put on very tight bras or tank tops which causes the skin to spill out. When you wear a bra with very small cups, your breast tissue “escapes” to the underarm area

  • Posture

Even though poor posture will not create armpit fat, it can make it more visible. When you stand straight and pull up your chest, your side breast fat is less apparent. 

  • Swollen Lymph Nodes

You can find lymph nodes in your neck, groin, or armpits (10). Lymphedema appears when the glands in the armpit get swollen. This is an indicator of health issues like cold, strep throat, or measles (10).

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Lymphedema can be caused by a hand injury or some infection. 

  • Hormones

The point is that hormonal changes in our body like menstruation, menopause, or pregnancy affect our breast tissue, especially during pregnancy when breasts become bigger and therefore swell.


  • Overweight

This is the case when extra weight leads to an underarm bulge. Slim people who eventually gain weight also can face this problem. In this case, you need to switch to a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, whole grains, and a moderate amount of unsaturated fats (3).

  • Genetics

This is the case where you can’t control your fat distribution because it depends on your genes. Our fat is scattered around our bodies due to genetics and heredity. Pay attention to your relatives. If your mother or your grandmother has underarm fat then you are most likely to “inherit” it.

Overall, the reasons for armpit fat vary and mostly depend on health conditions or genetics. Both slim and overweight people can face axillary fat. It is important to acknowledge that mostly women encounter this issue. Further, we are going to delve into the healthy ways to get rid of the underarm bulge.

Read More: How To Tighten Loose Skin On Arms Naturally: 12 Options To Try

what causes armpit fat

How Do I Get Rid Of The Fat Under My Armpits?

Females who get sick and tired of wearing T-shirts and long-sleeved sweatshirts in summer desire to make efforts to change the looks of their arms. But is it possible to fully get rid of fat under the armpits?

Well, it is rather difficult to eliminate it completely but still possible, which could allow you to don tank tops more confidently. The main keys that help you reduce armpit fat are:

  • Intensive workouts. You need to burn more calories than you consume by doing armpit fat workouts. We are going to delve into a couple of energetic exercises for underarm flab that will burn your fat. On top of an intensive workout routine don’t forget about simple walks around the city or any other area. The more you stroll the more calories you lose. Start with 30-minute walks daily and you will be surprised to notice great results (7).  
  • Wear your breast-fitting clothing properly. Choose the right size of bra that offers side support. Make sure your cups cover most of the breast tissue. Try not to focus on underwire bras since they squeeze the skin and give you unpleasant feelings. It is recommended to buy sports bras that are perfect for everyday life. 
  • Eat healthy food. The truth is that even if you perform all the intense armpit fat workouts properly, walk daily, but indulge in junk food you won’t get the necessary results. Food high in fiber, protein, and fat is essential for muscle strength which is obligatory during workouts. 
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And now we are going to jump right into the best exercises to lose armpit fat and the food you need to eat after your workout

It is advisable to start your workout with a simple warm-up for 10-20 minutes:

  • walk in place
  • roll the arms and shoulders in circles
  • lift the knees
  • stretch the arms above the head
  • bend gently from one side to the other (8).

what causes armpit fat

Exercises For Underarm Flab

  • Push-Ups

This activity targets a lot of muscle groups, especially the underarms. To do the right push-up you need to stand in the plank position by keeping your back straight and lower down with your arms until they barely touch the floor. Then lift and repeat it. Start with 3 sets of 10 reps. 

  • Tricep Dips

 This workout helps you build tricep muscles and reduce unnecessary fat under the arms. In order to perform it correctly, you need to prepare a bench or a chair. Then sit on a chair or a bench and bring your arms down along your sides. Rest your palms on your chair and straighten your legs out and place your heels firmly on the ground. Scoot the buttocks off the chair and lower yourself by bending the elbows to 90 degrees angle. Then pull back up and repeat it 10 times.

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  • Superman Stretch

This exercise is perfect for your arms and legs. Just lie on the floor in the flying position like a superman and stretch out your hands and legs horizontally upward while having your chest on the ground. 

  • Arm Circles

Sounds easy but don’t choose to ignore this underarm exercise because it is going to burn your arms. All you need to do is to rotate your arms in full circles 25 times in a clockwise direction first and then another 25 times in an anti-clockwise direction. Do it daily and you will notice amazing results in a couple of weeks.

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what causes armpit fat

  • Do Exercises With Weights

Buy 2-2.5 k. dumbbells and use them in your workouts. Extra weight brings more tension to your arms and you might feel exhausted faster. This will mean that your arms work 100 percent. Try to lower and raise your dumbbells slowly. Resistance benefits well-shaped arms. Therefore, your arms are going to feel more tension and become much stronger (5).

The food that you consume after the workout plays a big role in the reduction of armpit fat. Your body needs to recover after the workout and for this, it needs such products:

  • Dairy protein. In 2017 research showed that 9 gr. of milk protein might be enough to aid recovery after exercise by stimulating protein synthesis. If milk is not something you enjoy then you can switch to ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt, kefir, and cottage cheese (9).
  • Healthy carbohydrates. These are sweet potatoes, foods, and grains. They promote glycogen storage and a healthy immune system. 
  • Eggs. According to research in 2017, consuming whole eggs after resistance workouts ends up with protein synthesis more than eating only egg whites. Therefore, a plate with scrambled eggs or a boiled egg will be perfect after the intensive armpit fat workout. 
  • Water. Sounds simple, right? But people often forget about water before or after the workout. During the workout, our body loses a lot of water and electrolytes, and to recover we need to provide it with hydration (2). Check whether you consume enough water before, during, and after the workout. 

Clearly, underarm fat removal is possible when you combine healthy eating with a set of armpit workouts. Plus, choose the breast clothing wisely. The size of the cups should not be smaller than your breasts.

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Read More: Medicine Ball Workouts For Arms: 15 Exercises To Try


Is It Normal To Have Underarm Fat?

Underarm fat causes can touch everyone, never mind the age, sex, or weight. However, adult females mostly encounter this problem because they either inherit it from their mothers or may have other health conditions they need to improve. Therefore, it is completely normal to have underarm fat. 

There is no need to stay passive and come to terms with it because you inherited this little issue. There are a lot of things you can do to make your armpits and arms look better:

  • Create a bodyweight workout plan (if you are not a gym fan) and stick to it. Keep your body toned and active throughout the day. 
  • Switch to healthier meals. Enjoy food rich in fiber, fat, healthy carbohydrates, and protein. Avoid the number of trans fats and saturated fats, and give the privilege to unsaturated fats. 
  • Always wear comfortable bras with suitable-size cups. 
  • Stay hydrated enough during the day. 

The last one is essential: understand that there is nothing abnormal or terrible about side breast fat. Even if you feel comfortable having it you should follow these simple instructions just to maintain a healthy body.

Please note that if you feel pain in your armpits for a certain time and it doesn’t go away then, in this case, it is recommended to see a specialist since armpit fat mixed with pain can be an indication of a health problem.

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what causes armpit fat

How Long Does It Take To Get Rid Of Armpit Fat?

Getting rid of side breasts fat entirely depends on two things: your nutrition and the intensity of your workouts. In general, people reduce fat between 3 to 7 months. This body area is quite challenging, especially for beginners

The fastest way to eliminate armpit fat is to change your lifestyle by:

  • Building lean muscles with resistance and strength exercises. Full-body workouts work pretty well here. Do not always stick to only arms workouts and focus on the whole body instead. Try to include weights into your upper body routine. If you don’t have weights or cannot use them for some reason then do no-equipment arms workouts. 
  • Eating healthier food. 80% of the results depend on the food you consume. It is hard for some people to stick to super healthy diets. The good news is that you don’t need to do it. The secret to healthy eating lies in avoiding some types of food: junk food (fat burgers, salty french fries), processed food (cakes, cookies, chips), and fried meals. Substitute burgers with healthy tacos, cakes with fresh smoothies, and instead of fried meat, for example, consume steamed, baked, or boiled meat. 
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It is better to create a workout and nutrition schedule to keep tabs on your progress. Use special apps to count your calories. Remember to burn more calories during the day than you get with your meals. Don’t get frustrated when the results are not apparent at the beginning. It is all about patience and a healthy routine that is going to invigorate your body and mood.

The Bottom Line

Underarm fat is a common problem for a lot of people. These unnecessary folds of fat gather under arms or on the side of the breasts and create inconvenience for females mostly.

People who wonder what causes armpit fat and how to get rid of it are surprised to discover that the reasons for this problem lie in genetics most of the time. 

Another cause of underarm fat can be an incorrect choice of bra. Usually, women choose uncomfortable bras which make the skin folds stick out. That said, it is recommended to opt for a comfortable bra with suitable-size cups that won’t be too small for your breasts.

The posture is also essential when it comes to armpit fat. If you keep your back straight the fat becomes less visible. 

Unfortunately, side breast fat can be an indicator of a health issue as well. In this case, a person must consult a specialist and get special treatment. 

It is normal to have armpit fat and the good news is that you can get rid of it with the help of nutritious food and intensive armpit workouts. The process of reducing fat can last from 3 to 7 months. It is individual for everyone.




This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Consumption of whole eggs promotes greater stimulation of postexercise muscle protein synthesis than consumption of isonitrogenous amounts of egg whites in young men (2017,
  2. Fluid replacement modulates oxidative stress- but not nitric oxide-mediated cutaneous vasodilation and sweating during prolonged exercise in the heat (2017,
  3. Health benefits of eating well (2020,
  4. Minimal dose of milk protein concentrate to enhance the anabolic signalling response to a single bout of resistance exercise; a randomised controlled trial (2017,
  5. Muscle time under tension during resistance exercise stimulates differential muscle protein sub-fractional synthetic responses in men (2011,
  6.     Picture of the Armpit (2021,
  7. Short Walk: Enough to Battle the Bulge? (2004,
  8. What are the best exercises for bat wings? (2018,
  9. What should you eat after working out? (2021,
  10. Why Does My Armpit Hurt? (2021,
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