It doesn’t matter whether you’re an A-cup or a D-cup, or a size XS or XL—women of every shape and size experience bra bulge. Sometimes, it might just be a matter of getting a bra that actually fits. But for many, this area between the armpits and chest just tends to be under toned and therefore, a bit flabby.
To get you started, Gallo built a great workout circuit staggering cardio and resistance exercises that target all of the muscles intersecting at the armpit. For each, he recommends performing as many reps as you are able to within a certain time while still maintaining correct form. “What you ask your muscles to do is how they form,” he says, so focusing on the accuracy and quality of your movements is what will give you the toned results you’re after.
Start your full body workout with a set of dynamic warm up exercises.
Incline Chest Fly/Press
1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand (5-7 pounds each) and place arms straight out in front of you, elbows locked and hands in a hammer grip position (palms facing each other).
2. Slowly open arms out to your sides, keeping them straight, palms facing up. Extend until you feel a gentle stretch across the chest, shoulders and biceps, arms perpendicular to your body. This is the fly.
3. Pull arms back up to starting position.
4. Bring arms back down to the sides of the body, but this time bend at the elbows to create a 90-degree angle. Then press the arms back up to start position, squeezing the weights together as if you’re crushing something between them. This is the press.
1. Start in plank position, hands directly underneath your shoulders, elbows locked, abs tight and engaged, glutes squeezed, knees and feet together.
2. Raise one knee up, bent in towards your chest with the ball of the foot planted on the ground.
3. Jump and switch the position of the legs while you’re still in the air. Focus on keeping the body straight and in that tight plank position throughout.
Straight Tricep Kickbacks
1. Stand with feed shoulder width apart, arms relaxed at your sides and holding a 2-5-pound weight in each. Weights should be held far enough away so that they don’t hit your thighs. If they do, narrow your stance. Bend forward at the hips, keeping a completely straight spine, until you are about halfway to 90 degrees. (Congrats! You’re in a hinge.)
2. Next, extend both arms as far back behind you as you can, with arms straight and elbows locked. Hold for a beat, then return arms to base position.
3. Repeat this movement for one minute.
1. Stand with feet and knees together, elbows relaxed at sides, holding the handles in each hand and rope placed behind you at your heels. Chin should be tucked and relaxed. Train your gaze at the ground roughly 4 feet in front of you.
2. Begin jumping rope while still maintaining your form (starting position of knees and feet touching, chin tucked). Squeeze shoulder blades as well to add some extra back work.
3. Jump for 1-3 minutes, going as fast as you can without getting sloppy.
Hammer Grip Row
1. Lay flat down on your stomach on a bench, arms straight out down towards the floor, knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Hold 8-10-pound weights in your hands.
2. Perform a row by pulling the weights up to your ribs, forearms remaining perpendicular to the ground, squeezing your shoulder blades as hard as you can and actively opening the chest at the top of the movement. Return to base position.
3. Repeat this movement, slowly and controlled, for one minute. (Note: If you’d rather do it without a bench, you can also perform the row movement when standing in a hinge position.)
Compass Jumping Jacks
1. Stand with feet together, arms in front of your face, closed fists, tops of your hands facing forward, forearms together and elbows pointed toward the ground.
2. Jump feet out, and instead of swinging arms up to meet above your head like a traditional jumping jack, punch arms out in front of you, rotating your arms as you punch so that you end with the palm-side of your hands facing out.
3. Jump back to starting position, rotating arms and fists again so that palms are facing each other and fists are touching.
4. Continue for 1-2 minutes.
Hanging Arm Curl
1. Rest one foot, knee and hand all on the same side of a flat bench, and stand with the other foot flat on the ground. The arm that isn’t resting on the bench should be hanging towards the ground, holding a 2-5-pound weight. Make sure your spine is flat and parallel to the ground, chin tucked in, with your eyes trained on the weight.
2. Perform a standard bicep curl, bending the arm at the elbow and bringing the weight up towards your face. (Note: “Because your elbow isn’t placed on any surface, and is acting as the fulcrum, it is absolutely vital you avoid swinging the elbow,” says Gallo.) Pause for a second at the top of the movement, and then bring your arm back to starting position.
3. Do for 30-60 seconds on each arm.