I've recently developed a back fat problem. I seem to have more loose skin around the back of my bra band. Got to admit that some of it has to do with the inevitable loss of firmness of my older skin. (Aging's a bitch, but it beats the alternative.)
But I'd also ignored weight training this past year. I stopped going to the gym, having tired of the indoor athletic routine. I switched to running outside and training with a neighbor friend who did sessions from her home. When she moved away, my muscle tone left, too.
That's when I noticed the back fat. I'd blow dry my hair and check out a rear view of my head in the mirror. It was hard to miss how my bra cut into my flesh, creating little rolls over either side of the band. It wasn't just the style of the bra. I knew the only way to get more firmness in that area was to get back into a regular weight routine.
Lucky for me I live within walking distance of a gym. And my trainer, Allison, knows a thing or two about aging bodies and their trouble spots. Push-ups targeting muscles beneath your breasts (pectorals) are good to do. But Allison has me balance out chest exercises by conditioning muscles in my arms, back, and shoulders, too.
We've been tackling my back fat problem by toning my arms (biceps and triceps), shoulders (deltoids), and back (rhomboids and lats).
Not everyone has the time or money to work out with a personal trainer. (I'm learning correct technique so I can continue exercises on my own.) But you don't need a gym membership to lessen your bat wings. "Most exercises can be done at home," says Allison, "and all you need is a few pieces of equipment. You can use either dumbbells or rubber bands to provide resistance, and attention should be given to correct technique for both safely and best results."
It's been pretty easy to see the difference with consistent (3X per week) work-outs over a short period of time (2 to 3 months). If you're worried about "bulking up," Allison says, "The answer is NO! If you are using light to moderate weight, and you perform high repetition sets (12 - 20 reps), you will NOT bulk up and will achieve the firm feminine look you want."
One final note from Allison:
Take into consideration that resistance training is most effective when part of a comprehensive program that includes cardiovascular exercise and healthy nutrition. Upper body resistance exercises will firm and shape the muscles, while nutrition and cardiovascular exercise will promote a lean healthy look.
There's no way I'll ever look like Allison, but I've already seen a huge improvement in my posture, greater definition in my shoulders, and better fit in my bras and clothes. I feel more confident, too. Friends comment that I look more toned and ask if I've lost weight. I haven't. Muscle may not weigh more than fat, but at least it burns up more calories.
I still see some of that dreaded back fat when I catch a rear view image of myself, but it's less prominent than before. And peeking out from underneath my skin are the ripples of a stronger woman.
What about you? Ever tried to eliminate your back fat problems with exercise? Do you have a weight resistance program you'd recommend?
Images courtesy of Allison the Trainer