Bra bulge. Muffin top. Love handles. Whatever you call it, that puffy extra layer of fat cushioning your upper and lower back can be maddening. Like belly fat, back fat can be hard for women to lose. But just as doing a gazillion sit ups won’t magically melt away the mound on your midsection, there’s no single exercise or diet secret that’s going to zap the flab on your back. So how can you reshape your rear side and finally rid yourself of those t-shirt ripples?
There are four components to a back-fat blasting plan: strength training, cardio, diet and consistency. Above all, consistency is key. You can work out and eat well for a few weeks, and you may see some results. But to really wow the crowd as you walk away, you’ll need to stick with the routine for some time.
Here are the best exercises and diet tips to help you win your battle against back fat:
(Note: When trying to lose fat, it’s best to keep repetitions high, in the 15-20 range. Aim for three to four sets and do three to four sets of each exercise.)
Front lateral pulldown ““ Using a wide grip, pull down the bar with your elbows, squeezing your lats as you bring the bar down to your chest.
Seated row machine ““ Use the triangle handle. Be sure to get a good stretch when reaching forward. Pull back, keeping your back straight and pulling the handle in under your chest while squeezing your back
Bent over dumbbell rows ““ Leaning over on a flat bench, extend your arm down while gripping the dumbbell. Bring it up, keeping it close to your body and contracting the muscle while raising. Repeat with your other arm.
Assisted weight pullups ““ find a weight that is manageable to do at least 15 reps. Use a wide grip, keep chest up, look straight ahead and pull yourself up concentrating on your back muscles.
While trying to burn fat, it’s important to keep your heart rate the fat burning zone. Shoot for at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise four to five times per week to really see results.
At least two of your cardio sessions should be done using the high intensity interval training (HIIT) method.
Warm up for 5 minutes. For the next 10 minutes, do intervals. For example, at minute five, work as fast as you can for 15 seconds, then back down to decent pace for 45 seconds. At minute six, work as fast as you can for 15 seconds, back down to a decent pace for 45 seconds. Repeat until you reach 15 minutes, then work at a regular pace for five minutes. This is your 20 minute session. Cool down for 10 minutes.
Next to consistency, diet is the most important factor when trying to lose fat. A low-carb diet is an effective solution for fat loss, just be sure to choose lean protein for each meal and increase your intake of healthy fats.
Good carb choices include whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice or sweet potatoes. Eat small amounts and try to keep consumption limited in the evening. Veggies are unlimited (try to stay away from carrots, peas and corn because they’re higher in sugar).
You might also try taking an all-natural supplement such as Vitacost Carb Blocker, which contains an extract of non-GMO white kidney beans that may help delay the digestion and absorption of carbs.*