We all have that one part of our body that we’re less than satisfied with – mine just so happens to be my underarm flab (aka bat wings), which usually sag due to aging or physical inactivity. Although there isn’t one magical routine that can specifically target fat loss in one spot of the body, here are some exercises that may definitely help in this area (in addition to a regular workout and a balanced diet).
As with any exercise, make sure to listen to your body and avoid overexerting yourself. If you sense any unusual pain or discomfort, please consult a medical professional.
This is one of my favorite exercises because it doesn’t require any equipment, is simply straightforward and is overall quite effective when done regularly. It works to tone your biceps, triceps and shoulders – so if you feel a bit of soreness in these areas initially, it’s a good sign.
To do this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms out to your sides at a 90-degree angle to your body. Create small, fast circles with your arms in a forward motion. Do as many rotations as you can, take a short break and then do the same amount of rotations in the opposite direction. Repeat for two more sets.
Come to form a ‘table’ shape with your hands and knees on a mat that has some good cushion. For proper form, make sure your wrists are directly in line underneath your shoulders and lift your knees up to come into the full extension. Your back should now look like a straight line parallel to the mat. Hold this pose for 30 seconds or longer. If you need more of a challenge, practice lowering your forearms and palms flat onto the mat to further work your arm muscles. You can also incorporate plank on the left and right sides of your body (side plank) if you feel OK to proceed further
Hold one dumbbell (5 lbs or less since we are trying to tone rather than bulk) with both hands over your head. Keep a slight bend in your knees to avoid locking your joints. Relax your shoulders down and away from your ears. Point the elbows forward and bend them, allowing the weight to lower behind your head. Extend your arms with the weight back over head while keeping your core and glutes (butt muscles) engaged. That’s one rep. Repeat for as many as you can.
Find a sturdy chair that won’t tip over or break easily. Turn your back to the chair with your hands placed on the top opposite corners of the seat. Your knees will be bent with your arms positioned straight down. Set your feet about hip-width distance apart. Slowly bend your elbows while lowering your hips down until your arms are parallel to the floor, only going so far down as is comfortable for your shoulders. Squeeze your triceps while slowly raising yourself back up. Repeat for as many as you can.
Now that you’re already familiar with the plank, you may want to try this exercise that’s a hybrid of a plank and a push-up. Come to a plank position with your knees on the floor and your feet lifted upwards. Place your hands directly underneath your chest, forming a triangle shape with your fingers. Slowly lower yourself to the floor while keeping your core engaged and your body in a straight line. Push back up into a plank position, using your arm and mid-back muscles. Repeat for as many as you can.