J.Law gets real. {Image via Pinterest.}
J.Law gets real. {Image via Pinterest.}

Armpit fat is a lot like cellulite: {Almost} everyone has it. Kim Kardashian. Gwenyth Paltrow. Tyra Banks. Jennifer Lawrence. Me. You? Many, many women have armpit issues, and it doesn’t seem to discriminate based on size, shape, or fitness level. WOMP. Sometimes referred to as “pit cleavage” or “corset overflow”, armpit fat is a curious combination of that skin, muscle, and fat that peeks out through skimpy bras, tanks, and bikinis…much to the dismay of women everywhere.

Technically speaking, the underarm area is called the axilla. The axilla contains muscles, blood vessels, lymph nodes, and sweat glands, and it is also responsible for arm mobility. The area most prone to developing the “bra bulge” phenomenon is the axillary fold. This particular trouble spot can increase in visibility with age and with weight gain, due to lost elasticity and/or fat gain. It’s annoying, it’s unsightly, and it’s almost a uniquely female issue. OMG help?! While spot reduction isn’t an option {without surgery…} there are a few ways you can improve the appearance of your underarm area:

  • Buy a new bra. Wearing a correctly-sized bra is of paramount importance when it comes to avoiding armpit fat! In fact, some people believe that almost all armpit fat is actually migrated breast tissue, which is caused by wearing a bra that is too small. Don’t be afraid to go up a size in either your band or cup! Head to a department store {my favorite for this purpose is Nordstrom} and have a proper bra fitting. You want support, of course, but you don’t want SQUEEZE. Cup sizes that are too small and straps that are too tight can majorly contribute to the unsightly phenomenon. Ditch demi and balconet-cut styles and opt for fuller cups and wider bands for optimal coverage. A bra that actually FITS can actually help that underarm/breast tissue re-migrate and move back into the correct place. If you’re looking for something sexy, a plunge bra is an excellent bet–though they dip lower in the center, they typically make up for that area’s skimpy coverage with additional fabric on the outside of the cup. Need something specifically designed to hide your armpit fat? You’re in luck! Wacol makes a bra that’s supposed to do just that.
  • Seek out workouts to tone up and target the area. Though you can’t make armpit fat disappear with workouts alone, general, full-body weight loss can improve its appearance. This can be done with a solid meal plan and a healthy exercise routine. Additionally, doing exercises like push-ups, bicep curls, flies, and presses can add additional muscle to the underarm area, thus better filling it out and camouflaging flab. Focus on your chest, shoulders, arms, and back. This video from Sarah Fit highlights a few specific exercises that can help to work that area.
  • Lay off tight tanks, dresses, and bras with straps that cut into that area. Don’t be afraid to size up! This works both instantly and over time; you’ll immediately reduce the area’s unsightly appearance by wearing clothing that doesn’t press, squeeze, and draw attention. In my experience, wearing this kind of clothing can cause your skin to almost settle, which creates the dreaded armpit fat to appear both dressed and undressed. Yuck. Opt for strapless bras, loose tanks, and forgiving straps whenever possible. If you don’t need {or want} to wear these styles, don’t. This has made a MAJOR difference for me!

Bonus Tip: Accept it. Aaand here’s the tough love. In my experience, though you can definitely improve the appearance and visibility of armpit fat/flab, there isn’t anything you can do {outside of liposuction} to get it to go away completely. Shitty but true. That doesn’t mean you should feel badly about it, though! Like I mentioned above, almost EVERY woman has armpit fat. Even celebrities. Even models. Even athletes. There’s a reason that the area is one of the most retouched regions on the female body. You don’t have to love it, of course, but self-acceptance is a healthy way to go.

Is armpit fat something you deal with?



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