If you're dealing with that annoying roll right next to your bra strap, you're not alone: Many women struggle with side boob fat. While you can't do side boob exercises to target extra tissue in that area, you can focus on losing overall body fat to help combat this pesky problem.
No, there are no exercises targeting side boob fat. Rather, focus on trimming overall body fat through diet and exercise and be sure you're wearing the right bra for your body.
Why Spot Reduction Doesn't Work
Everyone stores fat a little differently; however, spot reduction, trying to lose fat in a certain part of your body through targeted exercise, is a myth. In other words, it's simply not possible to solely do armpit exercises or a back-fat workout and expect to burn fat around your breasts. Focusing on the whole body (through regular, intense workouts and eating right) is the only way to truly shed pounds and reduce fat.
In a recent article published in the Washington Post, Todd Miller, professor of nutrition and exercise sciences at George Washington University, noted that "Fat ... is stored energy. It gets recruited equally from all over your body and is sent to the muscles to be burned." To successfully burn fat, then, total body movements (exercises that use more large muscle groups, like squats and lunges) are much more effective than, for example, situps or crunches.
In short, spot reduction won't work, but what you eat and how you exercise can help reduce side boob fat.
Eliminating Side Boob Fat
To successfully burn overall body fat (therefore reducing armpit or side boob fat), it's time to take in fewer calories than you're expending. Making the right food choices and increasing your muscle mass (thereby burning more calories) through regular strength training are crucial endeavors.
In a study cited in 2018 by Harvard Health Publishing, the study's authors found that severe dietary restrictions and obsessively counting calories are not necessarily the best approaches to weight loss. Rather, if you want to lose weight, you should focus on avoiding sugars, trans fats and processed foods; eating mostly plants; and buying only quality, nutritious whole foods (no frozen pizzas or TV dinners allowed). In addition, eating five small, healthy meals throughout the day as opposed to three big meals can help reduce your caloric intake.
Exercise-wise, strength training is important when it comes to burning fat. Interval training and boot camp classes offer wonderful ways to burn fat since these involve high-intensity workouts that work your major muscle groups. Try to aim for at least three workouts per week to see results.
Ensure Your Bra Fits
Finally, if you're bothered by the sight of side boob fat, it's important to ensure that you're wearing the right bra. Don't be afraid to consult with a professional bra fitter wherever you buy your lingerie to determine your correct size.
According to a 2019 article on the Real Simple website, there are several ways you can make sure your bra size is correct: The back of your bra should align with the front, the band should fit snugly around your torso (though you should also be able to slide a finger underneath it) and you shouldn't feel the wire digging into your skin. Wearing a well-fitted bra can help minimize the appearance of side boob fat once and for all.