HOW TO GET RID OF YOUR BRA FAT
Can you reach around to your back and squeeze a little pudge under your bra band? That’s back fat. It’s not only annoying, but also shows up as bulgy back fat when you’re wearing a tight sweater, shirt, or dress, and your bra is tightly clasped. You can stand up straight with shoulders back and suck in your belly, but unfortunately, that won’t hide the back fat.
Fortunately, you can blast this back area (and bra fat) by doing a mix of cardio workouts—we recommend HIIT (high-intensity interval workouts)—and strength-training exercises that will define your back muscles. Bringing sexy back is possible! Start with these back exercises from trainers designed to target bra back fat. Pair it with a clean eating plan, HIIT, and plenty of water and sleep, and you’ll be on your way to looking sexy in backless dresses and shirts by spring.
“Rowing is the perfect warmup for back exercises, which is the primary muscle group you’ll be hitting to zap the bra fat bulge,” says Michele Sotak, a Chicago-based trainer. “It also burns calories and warms up other muscle groups as well. You can’t spot-reduce fat, but this high-intensity exercise hits the back while burning calories, which makes you lose fat overall.”
“This exercise hits the bra line big time!” says Sotak.
Sit on the seat and adjust the thigh pads so that your quads sit comfortably under for support and there isn’t much space for movement, advises Sotak. This prevents the knees from rising up as you exert effort pulling the bar down. Grasp the bar with a wide overhand grip. Keeping the back straight, pull the bar down to about chin level or a little lower toward the chest while squeezing the shoulder blades together. Keep your wrists neutral the entire time without swaying your body, suggests Sotak. Slowly return the bar to full height and repeat the exercise.
This is an abs exercise, but it also targets your back muscles, so it’s an efficient exercise, says Sotak. (Keep clicking through for another plank row variation that targets your back.)
Set up one side of the cable machine at a low height setting near the bottom. Place your elbows on the ground in forearm plank position, keeping your body in a straight line and feet wider apart than you usually would in a plank. You should be positioned about 2′ away from the cable machine, so that when you grab the handle and your arm is outstretched, the weight stack doesn’t rest—that way, there’s resistance through the entire movement. As you row your arm back toward your waist, concentrate on keeping your elbow tucked in close to your body and maintaining your spinal alignment by keeping your core engaged.
Aim for 12 to 15 reps on each side. Rest, and then do two to three sets.
The smaller muscles of your rear delts are important for strong, healthy shoulders, but they’ll also make sure you look amazing in backless dresses and halter tops. Target your rear delts with this flye exercise from Sotak.
Grab the TRX straps and take a few steps backward.
You can keep your feet slightly staggered for support. Lean back, so your arms are extended in front of you. Squeeze the muscles between your shoulder blades, keeping your arms slightly bent and not locked out. Spread your arms out to the side while pulling your body to an upright position. It’s challenging to pull your body up at this angle. Slowly return to the leaning-back position. That’s one rep.
Aim for 15 reps and two to three sets.
This exercise hits the back and chest, targeting the back bulge as well as the front chest area where the flab sits near the underarms, says Sotak.
Stand and face an adjustable cable machine with a straight-bar attachment positioned on a high setting. Grab the bar with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart.
Keeping your arms straight, pull the bar down to thighs while squeezing your shoulder blades together and keeping your core tight. Dig the bar into your quads. This forces you to pause and engage, then return to the start position.
“Your lats will be burning after 12-15 reps of a challenging weight!” says Sotak. Aim for two to three sets.
“The assisted pullup machine at your gym is perfect for beginners,” says Sotak. “Machines can help ensure safety and good form, which is a great way to learn the body mechanics of this exercise.”
You might want to set the weight to 20lbs less than your weight and complete a few reps to see if it’s challenging enough. If you complete those too easily, reduce the assistance weight. (The higher the weight on the machine, the easier the exercise is.)
Set your knees on the pads and grab the widest handles on the pullup bar with an overhand grip. “The wider you go with your hands, the more you hit the lats, which is the problem zone for bra bulge,” says Sotak.
Keep your torso as vertical and possible with core tight and engaged. Slowly straighten your arms and come down until your arms are at a full extension at the bottom. Pull yourself all the way up until your chin clears the bar and you can look over the machine. Pause briefly and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
Aim for 12 to 15 reps and two to three sets. Pull yourself all the way up to the top before getting off the machine one foot at a time.
Beachbody supertrainer Jericho McMatthews recommends these intermediate exercises for blasting back fat and targeting the area above and below your bra. This HIIT exercise will get your heart rate up.
With a dumbbell in each hand, come down to the ground in a plank position (wrists under shoulders, back flat, abs tight, feet shoulder-width apart). While engaging your core, jump both feet in, knees toward elbows, into a “bear stance”.
Quickly jump out again back to a full plank, focusing on good posture. Next, draw one dumbbell up toward your waist; keep your elbow close to your side and chest square to the floor (avoid excessive rotation of the torso). Place dumbbell back down and repeat the on other side. Then, go back to the jumping plank. Repeat the full sequence.
Perform for 45 seconds followed by a 15-second rest. Aim to do 2-3 sets of 45-second work sessions.
This total-body, rotational wood chop exercise from McMatthews works the core and oblique muscles, and will help build strength in the lower back.
Stand straight with feet shoulder-width apart, and hold a dumbbell with both hands. Next, rotate your torso to the right and raise the dumbbell until it’s over the right shoulder. Squat as you rotate your torso to the left and bring the dumbbell diagonally across the body until it’s close to your left hip. Repeat on one side for 45 seconds, and then switch sides. Rest for 15 seconds after completing both sides.
BY DIANA KELLY