As we continue on with common trouble areas, we often forget the areas we can’t readily see or view in a family picture. It’s easy to recognize our arm flab when waving goodbye or our blubber butt when buttoning our pants but one area that often eludes most is an area that can make our last impression, a memorable one… The kind of memory we wish we could forget!
I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again, the larger the muscle, the more calories we burn when using it. Just as our quadriceps and glutes, the muscles that make up the bulk of our legs,*see “Bye Bye Blubber Butt!”*, our back muscles make up of some of the largest muscles in the body. The muscles in our back are made up of the rhomboids, (the muscles located between the shoulder blades), the lats, the posterior deltoids or rear shoulders and our erectors or the lower back. Working these muscles force the body to use a massive amount of energy which equates to maximum calories burned. With the breakdown of muscle tissue, not only will you be burning calories while you work, but you’ll be burning calories for days while these muscles repair themselves! Let’s get into the nitty gritty of how these muscles are worked and how they relate to our daily lives!
The way our bodies hold onto body fat differ with men and women so different focus points should be kept in mind when capitalizing on your time spent in the gym. For my female clients, I find that insecurities exist with the upper back fat. Where slinky tops and bras no longer fit right or make for an eye sore when checking out our image from a rear point of view. The posterior deltoids (rear shoulder muscles) and rhomboids, the muscles located between the shoulder blades, are responsible for holding the skin and excess fatty tissue in place. With my male clients, we find that more body fat is stored in the obliques or “love handles” and the erectors or lower back. Strengthening the core and oblique specific training movements can tighten and firm these trouble areas. Always remember in both cases that it’s the fat layering the muscles that cause this undesirable look. Strengthening the muscles alone will only help to tighten and tone these areas but will not directly target the fat. Proper cardio and diet is essential if you truly want to say “Bye Bye Back Fat!” once and for all!
Alternating Single Leg Jump Box Squats (warm-up)
• Begin with leg on floor and the other on box
• Squat down and spring up over box to opposite side
• Feet should be in opposite starting position
• Continue back and forth at a fast pace for 1 to 3 minutes
• *Hold out a medicine ball with straight arms to challenge balance and core*
Straight Leg Dead Lift followed by Bent-Over Straight Bar Row (Maximum Muscle Breakdown)
• Standing with feet just inside shoulder width grasp bar just outside hips, palms down
• Keeping back straight and knees slightly bent, bend at waist till bar reaches knees
• With elbows high, pull bar to belly button being sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together
• Release bar back to knees, stand up straight placing emphasis on a straight back
• Repeat for 12 to 16 repetitions resting 1 to 2 minutes between sets
• Complete 3 to 5 total sets
Oblique Plank with Pulse (Core)
• Begin on mat, elbow down and on your side
• Stagger feet one in front of another or stack on top of each other
• With upper hand on waist, hold for time or for more of a challenge, lower your hip to the floor and repeat
• Hold for 1 to 2 minutes or pulse for 8 to 16 repetitions
• Complete 3 to 5 sets
• *Elevate feet for added resistance*