Spot reduction is a fable, coupled the tooth fairy and Santa Claus. No magic exercises will perfectly slim your underarms and back. However, exercise can sculpt underlying muscle. But unless you live a healthy lifestyle, your hard work will not show. Eat a diet rich in lean protein, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and get regular cardio exercise to burn stored fat, and those exercises will pay off.
Plank It Up
You get two for one when doing a traditional plank. This handy exercise targets both your back and abs. Begin on all-fours and come down to your elbows, balancing your weight on your forearms. Then stretch your legs behind you. Bring your legs together and point your feet down, coming up on your tip-toes. Tighten your abs and straighten your body. Your spine and legs should resemble a tabletop -- flat and stable. Breathe as you stay in this position for five seconds. Lower your body to the floor; do 10 planks in all.
These no-equipment-needed moves are ideal for toning underarm flab while on the run. Whether you're on a lunch break or waiting on your son's soccer practice, arm circles are quick and effective for toning the underarms. Stand with your arms out to the sides. Spread your feet to a comfortable shoulder-width distance apart. Cause tension in the arms by holding them at shoulder-width height, but relax your shoulders. Rotate your arms backward and do 20 small circles. Then switch directions and do 20 small forward circles.
The pushup is a go-to exercise when toning the shoulder, chest and underarm areas. The exercise will tighten your delts and pecs, along with your back and abs. Start on your hands and knees, and tighten your abs. Place your weight on your arms, making sure they are straight. Then extend your legs back, keeping them together. Once you're in a plank position, lower your upper body by bending at the elbows. Keep going until your chin meets the floor. Do not bend your neck or lower your buttocks. Your spine should stay straight throughout the pushup. Start with 10 pushups a day, and increase the number every other day or as the exercise becomes easy.
Chair dips target the back of your arms. Tightening this area will clinch the underarm area, leading to a slimmer underarm look. You will need a sturdy chair for this move. To begin, rest your buttocks on the edge of the chair's seat. You should be hanging off the chair. With your knees and elbows at 90-degree angles, grasp the chair's side and lower your bottom toward the floor. Rise up; straightening your arms as you do until your bottom is level with the chair. Do one set of six to eight dips, working up to three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions daily.
Having studied at two top Midwestern universities, Catherine Field holds degrees in professional writing and patient safety. Writing since 2000, Field has worked with regional newspapers while publishing fiction online. She conducts medical communication research at a Midwestern medical institution and is slated to write a book based on her research findings.