I am satisfied with my overall figure but I’ve started getting a little flabby and loose in the area where my armpit meets my chest. It’s starting to get very annoying and I want to find out how to tone everything up. I have been doing push ups but nothing seems to help. Do you have any advice for toning this area?
The region where the chest comes in contact with the arms and forms the armpit is a complex anatomical structure that contains the shoulder joint and large muscles attached to it, such as the chest muscle (pectoralis), the deltoid muscle and the biceps. The back of the arm also contains the triceps. The described area where toning and development is desired is actually located at the separation between the chest muscle and the anterior portion (front) deltoid muscle. The biceps prominence is also located in the armpit region when you hold your arm closer to your body.
Exercises To Activate the Muscles in the Chest and Armpit Area
Doing push-ups is a good way to stimulate your chest, but most people forget that it’s actually predominantly a triceps exercise when performed with your elbows in towards your body. The tricep muscle is located on the back of the arm. It handles arm extension and has no contribution to the front of the armpit area, which is where you seem to need muscle toning.
You should start a program that incorporates exercises targeting both the chest and the deltoid muscles, especially the front portion of the deltoid. The classical exercise for this area is inclined dumbbell bench press. The inclined barbell press may seem more comfortable for some, but it’s not nearly as effective because the hand placement is stationary during the movement. The inclined dumbbell bench allows you to achieve a much deeper stretch of the muscles during the first phase of the exercise, followed by an effective contraction of the pectoralis (chest) and front deltoid muscles when you push and lift the dumbbells above your chest, bringing the arms closer together.
Position yourself comfortably on an inclined bench, place the dumbbells at chest level with your elbows out and then push them directly upwards while bringing the dumbbells together at the top. Remember to keep a slight bend in your elbows at the top in order to keep all of the tension on your chest muscles. The flat bench may not work for this particular muscle region because it takes the deltoids out of the movement when compared to the inclined version.
Along with the inclined dumbbell bench press, here are a few other great exercises to include in your workout. Focus on doing between 12-15 repetitions per set and about 6 total sets per workout. These will really help for toning and shaping up the area where your armpits meet your chest:
Other Muscle Groups To Focus On
Although the inclined dumbbell bench press is probably the best exercise for this area, you may get additional benefits by trying to isolate each muscle in this region. You can also use the chest fly machine instead of dumbbell flyes to stretch and stimulate your pecs for more fullness and overall increased tone.
Traditional bicep curls with dumbbells along with cable curls can help you achieve more development and fullness in your biceps, especially in the upper portion of the arm where your armpit begins. Focusing on tightening up your arms is important along with all of the other muscle groups mentioned in order to cover all the key areas and help tone multiple spots that intersect with your troubled area.
Front and lateral dumbbell raises are designed to develop the front and the middle areas of the deltoid muscle, which are located near the armpit area. Don’t use heavy weights, and control the dumbbells through the entire range of the movement. If you are unable to control the dumbbells and you need to bend and twist during the active phase of the exercise, it is the best indication that you most likely need to decrease the amount of weight you’re using.
You will achieve muscle development in these areas when you follow correct technique at all times. By always being aware of your form and technique, it will help to place all of the emphasis on the muscle group being targeted and avoid injury. Stretch your muscles between sets of each exercise and always warm-up for 10-15 minutes with some light cardio before moving into your weight training workout.
Diet is Crucial For Toning Up
Make sure to watch your diet and try to follow a nutrient dense whole food nutrition plan. This is probably the most important part of your program since it doesn’t matter how many workouts you do if your diet is totally messed up and you’re taking in too many calories from high calorie food sources (fast food, chips, junk food, soda). Make sure you get enough lean protein, clean carbs and healthy fats. Focus on more natural, balanced meals with a minimum of processed foods.
Cardio To Burn Calories and Fat
You also want to focus on your cardio training and make sure to do 30-45 minutes of cardio 5-6 days per week for the best results in decreasing body fat. This way you will burn any excess calories with cardio and build lean muscle with weight training which is the perfect plan to help tighten and tone up the area of your armpit and chest.