Armpit Fat & Back Fat: Can You SPOT Reduce Body Fat?

Understanding and Addressing Stubborn Armpit and Back Fat

Armpit fat refers to the accumulation of excess adipose tissue in the area around the side of the chest wall, typically between the side of the breast and the armpit. This can lead to discomfort when your bra presses into your upper torso.

To address stubborn armpit and back fat, you should initially explore non-surgical approaches like dieting, exercise, and muscle building. However, genetic factors can influence how and where your body stores fat, leading to different outcomes for individuals. While exercise and weight loss are the primary steps, some may still struggle with persistent fat, which could prompt them to consider liposuction, breast reduction, or an upper back “body lift” as potential solutions.

It’s important to note that spot-reducing fat through exercise alone isn’t typically effective. Engaging in a healthier diet and lifestyle, watching caloric intake, and making long-term lifestyle changes are essential steps. Trying lymphatic drainage may be beneficial for those with a sluggish system, in addition to losing weight and building muscle, as this can improve your metabolism by increasing your muscle-to-fat ratio. However, fat may persist in areas where you are genetically prone to store adipose cells.

Can Exercise Help Reduce Armpit and Back Fat?

A common question that arises is whether exercise can effectively spot reduce target areas like the armpit or back. The short answer is no; you can’t spot-reduce through exercises. Fat distribution in these areas often relates to genetic factors and, in some cases, being overweight.

While exercise alone might not specifically spot reduce, there are upper body strengthening exercises that can contribute to overall fat reduction and body toning.

Understanding Variations in Body Fat Distribution

The distribution of excess body fat during weight gain varies from person to person. Weight gain is a highly individualised process influenced by various factors.

Factors such as genetics, lifestyle, exercise habits, and hormonal changes play a role in determining how and where your body stores fat. Some people may store excess fat predominantly in their thighs, abdomen, or other areas, while others distribute it more evenly or concentrate it in specific body parts like the hips or legs.

To address these concerns, consider the following steps:

  • Weight Loss: Losing excess weight can help reduce fat in trouble areas. Consider consulting a dietitian or weight loss specialist for guidance.
  • Muscle Strengthening: Engaging in strength training exercises can boost metabolism, firm up your overall body and increase overall muscle-to-fat ratio.
  • Physical Activity: Regular exercise offers a host of benefits. Consult your doctor if you’re overweight or have medical conditions that may affect your exercise routine.
  • Balanced Nutrition: Adopting a healthier diet and incorporating specific exercises can enhance overall fitness levels and contribute to fat reduction.

Remember that the journey to a healthier you is unique, and a combination of these steps can help you achieve your goals.

Surgical Solutions for Stubborn Fat Areas

In situations where exercise and non-surgical methods don’t produce the desired results, surgical options such as liposuction or body lift surgery may potentially offer a solution. These procedures may help alleviate concerns related to stubborn armpit and back fat.

Liposuction for Arms

Liposuction is a surgical technique designed to remove excess fat from specific areas of the body. In this case, liposuction can target the arms to reduce armpit fat and contour the upper arm region. It’s a potential option for individuals with mild to moderate fat accumulation in these areas. While it can result in a more contoured appearance, it’s important to note that any surgical procedure, including liposuction, leaves scars.

Upper Arm Reduction (Brachioplasty)

Upper arm reduction, or Brachioplasty, is a procedure tailored to address both excess fat and skin in the upper arm region.

Body Lift Surgery (Body Contouring)

Body lift surgery is a more extensive procedure that aims to address fat and excess skin concerns in various body areas, including the back. It may help achieve a firmer, more contoured upper torso.

It’s crucial to consult with a qualified surgeon to determine the most suitable approach for your individual needs and goals.

Surgeons can provide you with a no-obligation consultation, or phone our office for some FREE downloadable Guides to surgery. Phone 1300 599 990 and ask for skin reduction or liposuction surgery guides. Or visit our Guides to Cosmetic Surgery page.


Download or Liposuction and Arm Reduction Guide

Download the 2023 Liposuction Guide

This complete guide to Liposuction covers everything you need to know about this procedure, including:

  • Your surgery explained
  • How to assess if you are a good candidate.
  • Planning for your surgery
  • Answers to most frequently asked questions.
  • Before and after gallery
  • Learn more about Liposuction
Liposuction Download

Download the 2023 Arm Lift Surgery Guide

This complete guide to Arm Lift surgery covers everything you need to know about this procedure, including:

  • Your surgery explained
  • How to assess if you are a good candidate.
  • Planning for your surgery
  • Answers to most frequently asked questions.
  • Before and after gallery
  • Read about Brachioplasty Surgery
Arm Lift Guide Download

Visit our Downloadable Guides pages

For more information about Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery options and research in Australia.

Download our free guides or phone 1300 599 990 today – and ask for a no-obligation consultation.


Last updated: 27/11/2023
Author profile image
Dr Patrick Briggs
Dr Patrick Briggs is an experienced Specialist Plastic Surgeon Now based in Melbourne, Australia. He is an expert in Breast, Body and Blepharoplasty Surgery with a special interest in Gender Surgery - Top Surgery. Dr Briggs has been published widely in surgical literature; he is trained and experienced in all aspects of Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery. Dr Briggs’ extensive experience across multiple surgical fields has allowed him to refine his skills to produce optimum results for his patients. Combined with his experience, Dr Briggs continually attends conferences and seminars to extend his knowledge and training surrounding the latest and best surgical techniques and equipment. By doing so he is able to provide his patients with the highest level of care and skill ensuring quality results.

Specialist Plastic Surgeons and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeons are dedicated to best-practice patient care and education, customising Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Phone 1300 599 990, Email us: enquiries@cocoruby.com.au or Book a FREE 15-minute Phone Chat with our Patient Liaison Manager or a Consultation with a Surgeon.


Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.