If your underarms are starting to resemble bat wings and "pointing over there" triggers insecurity, maybe it's time to burn that excess fat. Before doing so, understand that reducing this area of your body is possible only if you adopt a plan that focuses on losing fat from your entire body. In other words, reducing that jiggle from just one area of your body isn't possible. When your total body fat starts decreasing, that undesired underarm fat will also shrink.
Determine how much weight you want to lose every week. Experts at Clemson University suggest losing weight safely at a rate of 1/2 pound to 2 pounds per week. Since 1 pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, you can achieve this gradual weight loss by creating a daily deficiency of 250 to 1,000 calories through diet and exercise.
Burn calories by performing 60 to 90 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise on most days of the week. Although 30 minutes of cardio on most days is beneficial, most adults need to increase this to see a change in their weight. If more convenient, split your workout in two or three sessions over the day. Exercise on an elliptical machine with moving handles, use a rowing machine, or walk briskly or jog while pumping your arms back and forth.
Make strength training part of your workout routine on at least two days of the week. Resistance training keeps your body from losing lean muscle tissue instead of fat, and muscle tissue really kicks your metabolism into gear -- even when you're at rest -- so you burn more calories. Avoid focusing solely on your arms. Target your legs, stomach, back, shoulders and hips with resistance exercises for optimal results.
Strengthen your arms with targeted exercises, such as dumbbell kickbacks, triangle push-ups and bench dips, which -- according to the American Council on Exercise -- are some of the most effective triceps exercises. To prevent a muscle imbalance, also work your biceps with exercises such as biceps and hammer curls. Complete two or three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise and use weight that's heavy enough that your muscles are fatigued at the end of each set.
Tailor your diet to contribute to your caloric deficiency and to optimize your weight-loss results. The American Heart Association suggests cutting calories and curbing hunger by eating smaller portions about four to five times three to four hours apart and by controlling cravings by eating fiber-rich, filling, low-calorie foods, such as veggies and fruits -- instead of chips and cookies. The association also suggests keeping track of your caloric intake by keeping a log of everything you eat.
- Your Personal Trainer; Douglas Brooks
- Clemson University Cooperative Extension: Losing Weight Is More Than Counting Calories
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
- American Council on Exercise: ACE-Sponsored Research: Best Triceps Exercises
- American Heart Association: 5 Goals to Losing Weight