You can’t “melt away” back fat but you can make it look better …

June 14, 2016 • By

So, you’re at the grocery store scanning over the magazines and I’m sure one of them has a headline that reads “melt away stubborn back fat” or “beat the bra bulge,” or something to that effect.  I had a friend recently ask me about moves that could help eliminate the annoying problem area for a lot of women, and this friend weighs about 105 lbs soaking wet.  She’s either delusional or gasp, normal and just doesn’t realize the strategy necessary to combat the stubborn areas on the back around the waistband and bra. (I’m betting delusional).  😛 

So let me preface this by saying, you can work your core and work your back and get beautiful muscle.  Muscle looks better than fat.  But can you whittle away fat from specific lower back targeted moves or lat focused moves?  No.  Just the same as you can’t shrink your thighs from lunges.  Sad to say, if you didn’t already know, you can’t spot reduce.  You have got to intake less than you outtake to lose overall weight to begin seeing a difference in your waistline and skin consistency.

Does this mean you should just lose 5 lbs via diet and assume you’ll be happy with everything then?  Probably not.  We are all different.  Our body compositions are unique to each one of us.  Your friend may drop a few pounds and all the gym work she’s been doing might shine through her newly thinner self.  Her abs may show more, her back may look leaner and her legs more defined from just a few pounds of diet focused weight loss.  But you may lose 5 lbs and have either a) little muscle tone or b) stubborn fat still sticking around.  That has to do with your specific body makeup.  That’s why I always encourage people to continue to lift weights through their weight loss journey. (They’ll like what they see as they drop pounds more because their body composition will be comprised of more muscle.) But the KEY to this “back fat” concept, like all things “toning” related, is diet. I know – I’m like a broken record right?  I’ll stop preaching now.

Because I do have good news.  Aside from making the decision to make good eating decisions here are some tried and true great back and core exercises that you can incorporate into your routine to help build the muscle, that might be hiding underneath your supposed back fat (I recommend 2x a week).

1. Supermans 3 sets of 15 repssuperman startsuperman finish

2. Stability Ball Back Extensions 3 sets of 15 repsback extension startback extension finish

3. Stability Ball Reverse back Extensions 3 sets of 15 reps reverse back extension startreverse back extension finish4. Plank with rows (5-10 lb dumbbells) 3 sets of 15 reps (right arm, left arm is 1 rep), legs shoulder with apart  plank row start plank row left plank row right

5. Reverse fly (with 5-10 lb weights) 3 sets of 15 reps, concentrating on pinching muscles in back beside vertebrae reverse fly startreverse fly

6. Decline Pushups 3 sets of 15 reps decline push up startdecline push up finish

On another note, strictly aesthetically, make sure your “back fat” is not merely a function of ill fitting clothes.  Now I’m not talking about if you are overweight (diet and workout will be your focus), but if you are of average size and athletic build and think you have back fat, perhaps check your workout wear.  I often see people in the gym wearing sports bras and shorts just a smidge too small.  You know what I’m talking about.  I tried to demonstrate but I don’t have any too small sports bras.  If I did, I’d have spillage, guaranteed!  The people you see like this (perhaps you reading this?), if they’d switch sports bras or size up the back fat problem might be eliminated.  And capris and shorts with elastic waist bands are notorious for creating that little bit of lovin’. back fat

Check out my back fat in my favorite shorts (Lululemon speed shorts).  It’s there and I do not beat myself up about this.  Nor do I necessarily think my shorts are too small.  The waist band just squeezes.  When I’m naked or in a swimsuit, I don’t have it.  So consider that, as well!

And above all else, know you aren’t alone!  Even the fittest people have rolls, extra skin, and fat!  They have to in order to live.  So this post isn’t about pursuing perfection but about what to do to improve what you’ve got (if you want) and learning how to live with what you have.

I hope this was helpful.  Would love to hear your thoughts or feedback.