Bra bulge, back boob, back fat, whatever you want to call it, it’s not cute. Nothing ruins a strapless dress quite like some flesh overflow! The first step is to make sure you’re wearing the right size bra, and the second is to tone up your upper back area. Sometimes women neglect the upper back area because they’re afraid of bulking up and getting “man shoulders,” but nothing could be further from the truth. Just add a few of these exercises to your current workout routine to banish bra bulge for good!
1. Rocking Plank: Get into a regular pushup plank position and rise onto your toes, then rock back to starting position. The rocking motion will help to tone your back! For the full description, click here.
2. Dumbbell Front + Lateral Raise: This is a great move to work your arms and back! Make sure to keep your legs shoulder-width apart and not to bend your elbows. To get the full instructions for this move, click here.
3. Single-Arm Clean and Press: Squat to grab your weight (kettlebell or dumbbell). Come out of the squat and throw the hips forward to help your lift the weight. Bring into a “high pull” position so your elbow is above the shoulder and the weight is touching your chest. “Catch” the weight by bending your knees while simultaneously dropping the elbow underneath the weight. Using the bend in your knees, drive through the heels and press the weight overhead. Reverse the movement by bringing the elbow back into the body. Then raise the elbow up again and drop the weight straight down to the ground to begin again. For more specific instructions and safety advice, click here.
4. Standing Rear Delt Raises: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hinge at the hips and lean forward so your hips go behind your heels and the back is flat. Hold the weights under the chest and look at the floor, about 5 feet in front of you. Keeping your arms straight (without locking the elbows) and lift your dumbbells. Avoid putting the work in your lower back. Bring the shoulder blades together, then release the weights back under the chest with control. Click here for more instructions!
5. Side Forearm Plank: Planks are a great back sculptor! For full instructions on this move, click here.
6. Assisted Pull-ups: On the pull-up machine, set a weight that you can handle (the higher the weight the more assistance you’re going to get). Grab the bar with an overhand grip about shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up so your chin is at or over the bar. Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position. Click here for more info!
7. Side Fly Extension: Your shoulders will start to BURN after a few reps of this move! Click here to learn more.
8. Dumbbell Up and Backs: Begin standing with feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees, with your palms facing down on the tops of your thighs, grasping a dumbbell in each hand. Lift the dumbbells to the front with a slight bend on the elbow and your palms always facing down. Continue to go up until your arm is slightly above parallel to the floor. Now lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position. That’s one rep. Check it out here.
9. Dumbbell Shrugs: Grab a set of dumbbells and hold them down by your sides, palms facing in. Raise your shoulders as high as possible (the shrug) and lower. Try not to roll your shoulders at all. Check it out here.
10. Seated Cable Row: Use the seated row machine at the gym and attach a V-bar. Sit at the machine and place your feet on the front platform with a slight bend in your knees. Lean over slightly to grab the V-bar, pull the bar in towards your stomach and release to starting position.
11. Hip Twister Plank: In plank position, twist at the waist to drop your right hip to ground and twist again to bring it back up. Repeat with your left hip. For complete instructions, click here.
12. Pushup with Hand Raise: Perform a standard pushup. As you return to the starting position, raise one hand so it’s in line with your body, extended straight out from your shoulder. Hold for 2 seconds, and then return your hand to the starting position. Do another pushup and then repeat with other hand. Continue alternating sides each rep. Check out more details here.
The beauty of these exercises is the variety. Whether you have access to free weights, machines, or nothing but your own floor, you can sculpt your upper back and make bra bulge a thing of the past, so what are you waiting for? Drop and give me 20 pushup reaches!