Does Running Burn Fat Under the Arm?

Running burns calories for total fat loss.
i Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Running is as good as any other exercise at burning fat under the arm -- that is, it doesn't. There's simply no way to target fat burning to specific body parts. However, when you pair running with a sensible eating plan, you burn fat all over your body, and your arms will shrink proportionately. To build more lean muscle mass under your arms for toning, perform resistance exercises that engage your triceps such as pushups, bench presses and triceps extensions.

Running and Fat

Fat loss boils down to burning calories -- specifically, burning 3,500 more calories than you eat removes 1 pound of fat. Running is highly efficient at torching calories, and the faster you run, the more you burn. At a 5 mph jog, a 155-pound person burns roughly 600 calories per hour. At 6 mph, the same person burns nearly 750 calories per hour, and at 8.6 mph, she can burn nearly 1,100 calories in the same time span.

Building a Routine

Most people can't run for an hour straight, so it's important to build a routine that suits your fitness level. If you're new to running, see a doctor before taking the plunge. Start with walking for 60 minutes, three days per week, and slowly incorporate 30- to 60-second spurts of jogging or running. If you're already a runner and wish to escalate your routine, make small changes to avoid overuse injury. Follow the 10-percent rule, adding no more than 10 percent to your distance per week.

Fat Under Arms

No matter how diligently you run or how many pushups you do, you may never be able to achieve perfectly toned arms. Those "wings" that hang down from your triceps might result from sagging skin, which occurs as your epidermis loses elasticity with age. Shedding weight rapidly may also contribute to loose skin. In these cases, the only way to remove the flab is with cosmetic surgery or laser treatments.


Diet plays an even larger role than exercise in fat loss. To slim down safely, take in 500 fewer calories than you use each day. This will cause a pound of fat loss each week. The healthiest way to cut calories is to trade the fast food and other high-calorie fare for plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are packed with filling fiber and water. Also opt for whole grains such as whole-wheat bread, popcorn and quinoa, as well as lean proteins such as low-fat cheese, beans and egg whites.

the nest