Beat The Bra Bulge: 5 Ways To Eliminate Back Fat

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Back goals! [Photo: Scott Webb via Pexels]

Breathing a sigh of relief that summer’s nearly over and you can stop stressing about flashing your fleshy bits on the beach? But while the arrival of autumn means we can more easily cover our wobbly tums, there’s another hang-up waiting in the wings to bust the body confidence…the dreaded bra bulge.

Forget muffin tops and bingo wings, there’s another body woe on the block and it’s equally as troublesome. According to recent research by Sainsbury’s, back fat has become one of our biggest body hang-ups.

“Back fat is notoriously hard to banish and it often appears seemingly without notice on otherwise slim bodies,” explains Karen Cummings Palmer, health and nutrition coach and STRIPPD Lean Protein ambassador.

But while beating the bra bulge can be tricky, it’s certainly not impossible. “Back fat is stubborn so if you are going to get rid of it you need to be patient and take a layered approach to tackling the issue,” Karen continues.

With a combination of exercise, diet and darned good boulder holder, it is possible to wave bye bye to the bra bulge. Back fat be gone…

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Upping your cardio can help bust back fat [Photo: picography.co via Pexels]

HIIT up your cardio

Waging war on the wobble means upping the ante on your workouts. “Spend 15-20 minutes hitting your cardio routine HARD,” advises personal trainer and nutritionist, Carly Tierney of DW Fitness Clubs. “This could be sprints on the treadmill, a Plyometric routine or a small circuit. You work as hard as you can for 30 seconds and then have 30 seconds rest. This fires your body in to fat burning mode and is much more effective than steady cardio.”

Resistance training is also key to busting the back fat. “Research shows that metabolic resistance training (MTR) is one of the best types of exercise for eliminating fat, essentially MTR is weight training done at a faster tempo with active or little to no rest time,” explains body transformation coach Tanya N from TanyaNFitness.

Gary Bunker, Personal Trainer for Everyone Active suggests combining two exercises back to back. “This is often referred to as a ‘superset’ which is a great way to tone a muscle whilst elevating your heart rate to burn fat. My top tip superset would be a narrow bent over row (underhand grip) for 15 repetitions combined with a wide grip bent over row for 15 repetitions with no rest in between. This exercise will work your upper and lower back muscles and is a great core stability exercise!”

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Toning exercises can help in the battle of the back bulge [Photo: energepic energepic via Pexels]

Focus on Toning

“Although the human body isn’t capable of spot reducing body fat, we can strengthen and focus on specific areas to make them stronger and improve the way they look. The back is no exception,” explains Zoe Martin, Nutritionist at Discount Supplements. Mix in moves to your workout that sculpt your back, shoulders, and obliques as this will strengthen the muscles underneath. Zoe suggests “Lat Pulldowns”, “Dumb Bell Rows” and “Assisted Pullups” to strengthen the upper back.

Shop Your Shape

Okay, this won’t technically get rid of back fat, but it’ll certainly help you feel more body confident. "Back Fat can be accentuated by badly fitting bras that are not sitting in the right place around the wearers body,” explains Jemma Barnes MD Anita UK.

“A bra should run in a perfectly straight line around the body from the front to the back, if it is not properly aligned it can accentuate the unsightly back fat as it sits on a wider part of the torso rather than the smaller tapered band that is naturally created under our breasts.”

And bras with thinner straps and shallower sides can also be guilty of accentuating back fat. “Just like big Bridget Jones style knickers, more structured comfort bras with wings that come up higher in the underarm area and smooth out our lines actually contour us better. While more delicate, lacey bras can create unflattering lines.”

In fact your knickers can also help smooth out back fat. Try the Shape Away Hi-waist brief from Miraclesuit with new design ‘Back Magic’ £49.95

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Yoga has a role to play in strengthening back muscles [Photo: mali maeder via Pexels]

Pull a pose

Quality strength training and cardio are key for busting the bra bulge, but yoga can help you trim back fat, too. “Back fat issues normally come from two sources: atrophy/underuse of the muscles on the back, and poor diet leading to all over fat accumulation over the body, which can lead to lack of definition of the back muscles and back of the waist,” explains Jessica Stewart, Yoga Instructor at Centric:3Tribes. “There are several amazing yoga poses that refine the back muscles, defining and shaping a gorgeous back but crucial in maintaining good posture and preventing bad back pain.” Jessica has put together three yoga poses to help sculpt your back.

- Shalabasana: Lie on stomach, legs hip distance, arms alongside:

a) With elbows out to the side, fingertips to the floor, lift your chest off the ground using your back muscles rather than clenching the buttock muscles. Inhale to lift, exhale to lower x 5 and then lift and hold for 5 breaths

b) Bring your hands beside your thighs, palms face down, Peel your chest then stomach off the floor using your back muscles, pressing into your pubic bone and thighs and front of feet for stability (dont puff out your stomach to cheat!) hold for 5 breaths, lifting more with each inhale. Ensure neck os relaxed as you lift

- Vashistasana / Side plank: Body to the side, Hand under shoulder, straighten arm, stack one foot on top of the other. Opetin to keep lower knee on the ground

a) Lift top arm to ceiling

b) Lift top leg higher to engage more core and leg muscles

c) Reach top arm over head and lift hips higher making sure they stack on top of one another still.

- Purvottonasana: Sitting, legs outstretched in front, hands behind bum pointing to sit bones. Lift hips up by straightening arms, squeeze between shoulder blades, draw stomach in to s[ine and hug inner thighs together.

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A healthy diet is also key in waging war on a wobbly back [Photo: pixabay.com via Pexels]

Eat Smarter

Switching up your diet is equally as vital as exercise in the battle against the back bulge. “Some people hold their fat around the bum and thigh area, some more around the tummy and lower back,” explains James Collier, Nutritionist and Co-Founder of Huel.com. “This type of fat deposition - known as android fat - is typically more readily mobilised by a combination of dietary manipulation and exercise.”

James has some dietary switch-ups to help beat the bra bulge including eating small regular meals - three or four times per day, including fibrous starchy carbohydrate foods at each meal, eating plenty of fruit and veg, incorporating high protein foods 2-3 times per day like meat, poultry, fish, pulses, nuts or seeds. He also recommends reducing your sugar intake, cutting down on heavily processed foods and cutting down on alcohol.

Share your top tips for battling the bra bulge @YahooStyleUK

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