Best Exercise Methods To Lose Upper Body Fat

While spot-reducing body fat may not be possible through exercise alone, there are still ways to help you lose upper body fat.
Exercises to burn upper body fat; woman lifting dumbbells; exercising outside

A handful of years ago, I performed an experiment. When looking in the mirror, I noticed that I had more fat collecting around my armpits, so when I was wearing tank tops or sundresses, there was more of a bulge between the edge of my chest and my armpits. To me, it was unsightly as I had become used to enjoying lean, toned arms and frequently dressed to show those off. I was also aware that over the years, I had slowly gained a few pounds, which obviously had to distribute across my body and land somewhere, but was there a way to spot-reduce the fat that had collected around my armpits?

Is It Possible to Achieve Targeted Fat Loss?

I then started on a 6-week journey where I concluded that there is no way to spot-reduce fat through exercise. It’s not a thing, and it doesn’t exist. However, there’s no need for discouragement because there IS a method that works. If you’re interested in losing weight from a particular area in your body, it’s necessary to lose weight. That means you’re losing weight from all over, and every person may gain or lose weight either more or less evenly.

For my physique, I tend to have slightly more fat distribution in my legs, butt, and thighs, so it’s necessary for me to maintain a lean weight for the appearance of a more balanced physique. However, when I lost weight all over through nutritional changes, I found through my “armpit fat” experiment that I could reduce that armpit bulge by taking off about 8 pounds. It made a noticeable difference! When it comes to losing upper body fat, the principle is the same. If you have upper body fat that you find troublesome, whether it’s bra bulge, armpit fat, or that pesky muffin top, the first thing you’ll want to address is your nutrition.

METHOD #1: Tighten Up Your Nutrition To Lose Upper Body Fat

Women cooking a healthy meal

If you are not practicing good nutrition and you’ve noticed that you’ve started to gain extra pounds, the most important thing you’ll want to do is address your diet. Are you consuming too many carbs, calories, and fats, which could all contribute to weight gain that will create those extra lumps, bumps, and rolls? If you need help with a structured diet plan, check out some of these methods:

METHOD #2: Exercises To Lose Upper Body Fat

Woman lifting dumbbells

Body resistance and weight training are the number one way to transform your body. When you have a nutrition plan that works for you to maintain a lean physique, resistance training will build muscle and create tight definition. The firm, fullness of built-up muscle eliminates the bumps and bulges created by excess body fat. Training and growing muscles can also help firm and plump up the skin where fat once used to be. While there are plenty of resistance and weightlifting exercises that you can do to help tighten and tone your upper body, I am going to share with you some of my favorites. These can be combined to create one supercharged, fat-burning workout to help you conquer that upper body fat.

Equipment needed: A set of dumbbells
Workout Length: 27-minutes

List of Exercises
Performing these one-time through equals one set. You’ll perform this set a total of three times.

  • Jump Squats (engage leg muscles and torch calories) 60-seconds
  • Bent Over Rows 60-seconds
  • Push-ups 60-seconds
  • Plank Dumbbell Pull-Through (can be done with or without a dumbbell) 60-seconds
  • Renegade Row 60-seconds
  • Dumbbell Side Raises (lateral raises) 60-seconds
  • Standing Overhead Dumbbell Press 60-seconds
  • Dumbbell Curls 60-seconds
  • Jump Squats (engage leg muscles and torch calories) 60-seconds

Jump Squat Benefits

Jump squats not only provide a cardio challenge to this workout which helps torch calories and burn fat, they also build muscle and strength. Additional benefits of the jump squat include improved balance and mobility and toning your butt, legs, and abs.

Bent Over Row Benefits

The bent-over row isolates the muscles in the back, lats, shoulders, and glutes. This exercise also engages the hamstrings, which helps to strengthen the shoulders and core.

Push-Up Benefits

Not only do push-ups burn calories, but they also improve balance, posture, and flexibility and, of course, build plenty of upper-body strength.

Plank Pull-Through Benefits

Plank pull-throughs primarily work your core, biceps, shoulders, and back. They also engage your glutes and hamstrings, making it an excellent total body exercise.

Renegade Row Benefits

Renegade rows are another full-body exercise that activates core muscles like the obliques, back muscles, and arm muscles like the triceps.

Dumbbell Side Raise Benefits 

Lateral raises help define shoulders and upper arms. They also help increase shoulder mobility, range of motion, and stability, which are all important as we age.

Overhead Dumbbell Press Benefits

The overhead dumbbell press strengthens the upper body, including the arms, shoulders, chest, core, and abs muscles. This exercise targets many upper body muscles and helps them to grow.

Dumbbell Curl Benefits

Dumbbell curls can help you build bigger biceps, which is necessary to create definition in your arms by accentuating the difference in muscle between the shoulders and biceps. It’s important to work both the shoulders and biceps to have those classic tank-top arms.

Fat Burning Upper Body Workout That You Can Do From Anywhere

Important Reminder! Take breaks between exercises and sets. Modify the exercises as necessary and drink water when needed. This will extend the total length of your workout, so do what you can and focus on making small progressions over the course of 6 to 8 weeks.

Read Next:

The Fastest Way to Reduce Belly Fat

Prevent Muscle Loss With 5-Minutes of Strength Training

Cortisol Levels During Menopause


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