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5 Lightweight Dumbbell Exercises to Firm Your Underarms

Tighten, tone, and strengthen this area of your body.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Addressing underarm flab—aka "chicken wings" or "bat wings"—just got a whole lot easier with a set of lightweight dumbbells on deck. Adding weights to arm day doesn't have to be a chore, and you don't have to choose a heavy set in order to see a noticeable difference. The dumbbell is a stellar tool to help sculpt lean muscle mass, in addition to boosting both your endurance and strength. So grab a set, and gear up for five trainer-approved lightweight dumbbell exercises to firm your underarms. Although you may not get rid of all of the arm flab, these moves will certainly help tighten and tone that area of your body.

Tyler Read, the founder of and a personal trainer who has been involved in health and fitness for the past 15 years, tells us, "Light dumbbell exercises can tone up your arms by activating the muscles in your biceps, triceps, and shoulders, giving more definition and burning a modest amount of calories that can contribute to your fat loss."

So keep reading to learn more about Read's five best lightweight dumbbell exercises to firm your underarms. And next, be sure to check out 7 Exercise Habits That Are Destroying Your Arms After 50.

Overhead Triceps Extensions

woman doing overhead tricep extensions

The overhead triceps extension starts by assuming a staggered stance, Beachbody instructs. Hold a dumbbell with both hands over your head. Your palms should face in. Using control, bring the dumbbells behind your head, ensuring the weights remain touching. Then, push the dumbbells up to the position you started in until both arms are completely straight but not locked out.

Triceps Kickbacks

mature woman performing tricep kickback to get rid of flabby arms

The tricep kickback can be performed while standing or situated on a workout bench. To begin the standing variation, you'll hinge your hips back and lean forward, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Straighten both arms and squeeze your triceps as you bring the weights back. Finally, return your arms to the starting position.

If you opt to perform this exercise on a bench, you'll hold a weight in your left hand, and plant your right hand and knee on the surface. Your left upper arm should be aligned with your torso, PureGym explains. Activate your core in order to bring the dumbbell behind you and straighten out your arm. Gradually return the weight to the position you started in. Repeat on the opposite side.

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Hammer Curls

dumbbell hammer curls

Begin dumbbell hammer curls by holding the weights at your sides with a neutral grip. The heads of the dumbbells should face forward. Curl the left dumbbell up toward your left shoulder before lowering it back down. Repeat the motion on your right side, and continue to alternate. Keep in mind that you can also curl both weights up at the same time.

Lateral Raise

mature woman doing dumbbell lateral raise, lightweight dumbbell exercises

Start the lateral raise by planting your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Hold a dumbbell in both hands using a neutral grip. Your palms should face toward your body. Next, activate your core, and lift the dumbbells to each side of your body until your arms reach a parallel position to the ground, PureGym instructs. Both elbows should be slightly bent. Hold this position for a moment before lowering the weights.

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Overhead Press

illustration of overhead press lightweight dumbbell exercises

To get started with this last of our lightweight dumbbell exercises, MasterClass instructs you to plant your feet hip-width distance apart, have a small bend in both knees, and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bring the weights up so they're right over your shoulders; your palms should be facing ahead of you. Then, begin the motion by pressing the weights up to the sky until your arms are extended but not locked out. Bend both elbows in order to lower the weights back down to the start position.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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