Fit Tip: Trouble Areas | The Back
Back Fat. Bra Bulge. Back Boobs. As a trainer, I’ve heard it all when it comes to this particular trouble spot. It’s another area that our bodies sometimes accumulate and store extra fat, even if we aren’t overweight and lead an active lifestyle, it can be annoying to say that least.
As we discussed in my last post about Love Handles, we know you can’t “spot train” or “spot reduce.” But you can use targeted exercises for certain muscle groups, and, along with a healthy diet and cardio, strengthen, tighten and tone those areas.
If you’re already working those areas but aren’t seeing results, my best advice is to check your form. Training the back can be especially challenging as often we can’t feel the muscles working in the same way we feel the burn of our quadriceps or biceps, and can be easy to cheat on range of motion or perform an exercise with poor posture. Perform exercises in front of a mirror if you can, and really focus on scapular retraction, or pulling your shoulder blades together.
Besides the aesthetic benefits of a toned, lean back, training your back muscles has many functional benefits as well. In our daily lives outside the gym, our backs are some of the most overstressed, yet under-strengthened areas of our bodies. Picking up our kids, sitting at our desks, driving in our cars, leaning over our laptops and phones: all of these things pull us forward and can lead to upper and lower back pain, neck tightness, and core weakness. Putting extra emphasis on training these muscles can help alleviate and prevent all of these.
Looking to step up your back training game? Check out these tips below.
Get Sporty! There are many different sports that fire up those back muscles. All your swinging sports—tennis, golf, hockey---are great ways to strengthen and tone your entire back in different ways, and you might just have fun (or get competitive) in the process!
Punch it out. Speaking of sports, boxing and kickboxing are also amazing for back muscles! Punching a bag or sparring with a coach will not only burn serious fat and calories (there’s a reason boxing rounds are only three minutes!), but your back and shoulders do much of the work, resulting in lots of muscle burn. If you don’t have access to real boxing, a kickboxing class works well, too! Pro Tip: Focus on the retraction of the punch (as you pull back after punching forward) for best results.
Lift heavy. Our lats and traps are some of the biggest, strongest muscles in our bodies, so those lighter weights that burn out our shoulders will feel easy to our backs! Aim for a weight you can comfortably do 10-15 repetitions.
Back Burner Dumbbell Workout
- Three Way Row
- Alternating High Pull
- Superman circle
- Plank low row
Do each move for 15 repetitions both sides, then repeat.
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