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5 Standing Exercises To Shrink Your 'Armpit Pooch' For Good

Sculpt your upper body with these trainer-recommended standing moves.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

In the vast realm of fitness goals, one area of your body often remains tucked away from the limelight: "armpit pooch." You know, that pesky pocket of fat between your upper arm and chest that makes you cringe when summer calls for sleeveless dresses and tank tops. Fortunately, we have some uplifting news: There's no need to resort to a life of sleeved outfits or feel self-conscious raising your arms. That's why we asked Nadia Murdock, CPT, a certified fitness instructor at Garage Gym Reviews, to share her fitness wisdom and provide her top five standing exercises to melt your armpit pooch for good.

This stubborn spot might seem challenging to tackle, but with the right exercises, it's definitely doable. The key is standing exercises that strengthen your shoulders, chest, and upper arms. Plus, the following moves target the armpit pooch area while improving upper body strength. However, your diet also plays a role in promoting fat loss. "Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand when trying to lose weight, and you can't spot-train specific areas of the body," explains Murdock. "However, you can do these exercises to help reduce body fat, including armpit fat."

Keep reading for a practical guide to these effective standing exercises to melt your armpit pooch for good. And when you're done, check out these 7 Strength Exercises for Women To Melt Hanging Belly Fat After 30.

Standing Pushups

illustration of a wall pushup
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Standing pushups, performed against a wall or a sturdy surface, are a fantastic way to target that pesky armpit pooch. That's because pushups target your chest, shoulders, and triceps to help tone and tighten your upper body.

"Using a wall, make sure your elbows form a 90-degree angle when bringing your chest toward the wall. Step farther away from the wall to make them more challenging, and readjust your hands." Do four sets of 15 to 20 reps.

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Single-Arm Overhead Presses

single-arm overhead dumbbell press
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Wave goodbye to unwanted flab with single-arm overhead presses. This ultra-effective move will work your chest, triceps, and shoulders. Using a dumbbell or any weight substitute you have at home, this move doesn't just challenge your arm but the area where the arm and chest meet, helping to melt away that stubborn armpit fat.

"This move can be performed with your back against a stability ball pressed against a wall to increase the difficulty," says Murdock. "With a dumbbell in one hand, push upward, bringing your shoulder blades down and together." Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

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Rear Lateral Raises

rear lateral raise exercise
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Rear lateral raises focus on the back of your shoulders, which indirectly helps in tightening up the front.

"While standing hip-width apart, bend at the waist until you're parallel to the floor. Grab a challenging weight with a slight bend in your knees. Keeping your spine aligned and core engaged, slowly raise both weights to shoulder height," says Murdock. Aim for four sets of 12 to 15 reps.

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Standing Pull-ups with Kettlebell

kettlebell pull-ups exercise
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While traditional pull-ups might be out of reach for some, the standing variation with a kettlebell is accessible and equally effective. This move targets your arms, shoulders, and stubborn armpit area for a full upper-body blast.

"Standing with your feet hip-width apart, hold the kettlebell with both hands. Slowly raise the kettlebell toward your chest, keeping your elbows pointed outward. Lower the weight to the starting position." Do four sets of eight to 12 reps.

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Medicine Ball Chest Passes

medicine ball chest pass
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Flashback to high school gym class: Medicine ball chest passes are dynamic exercises requiring power and precision to target your chest, shoulders, and upper arms.

"Grab a medicine ball and get to work," says Murdock. "While standing, throw a six to eight-pound medicine ball against a wall with force, catching it each time at chest level. This is a great exercise to work your chest, shoulders, and triceps." Perform four rounds of 25 reps.

Adam Meyer
Adam is a health writer, certified holistic nutritionist, and 100% plant-based athlete. Read more about Adam