If you’ve ever worked with a personal trainer or tried to spot reduce on your own, you are probably aware that it seems impossible to lose weight in a specific area. For those who wonder how to get rid of lower back fat, the solution is to build muscle and tone the area, while also burning fat all over your body. Follow the exercises recommended in these ten steps, and you will begin to see changes in your lower back within a few weeks.
First, get your heart rate up regularly with cardio exercise. The first step in losing back fat is to burn fat. Since spot reduction isn’t possible, any cardio exercise that elevates your heart rate is a good choice to burn fat throughout your body. You should strive to work out three to five times a week, and include at least 45 minutes of cardio each time. This can include activities like running, biking or swimming, classes like Zumba, and using gym machines, such as ellipticals and rowing trainers.
Then, it’s time to focus on exercises that build and strengthen the muscles in your lower back and core. By toning these muscles, they will appear smaller and sleeker. This will make your lower back look better, even before you’ve lost all of the fat. Stronger muscles also use more energy and burn faster, so you will lose fat by building your muscle strength as well. Consider adding these ten exercises to your routine to make lower back fat disappear:
1. Leg Extensions: Begin by getting on your knees and hands on the floor. A yoga or exercise mat is a good investment for these exercises. Once you are on your hands and knees, lift one leg and lengthen it behind your body. Hold it for ten seconds, and then slowly lower the leg. Repeat with the other leg. Do at least ten repetitions for each leg.
2. Wall Slides: Wall slides build the muscles of your legs and hips, in addition to you back. Begin by standing against a wall with your feet no further apart than your shoulders. Slide down the wall until your knees are parallel with the floor. Hold for five to ten seconds, and gently lift yourself back to standing. Repeat for a maximum of ten reps.
3. Side Planks: Lie on one side, with your upper body propped on your forearm. Keeping your elbow and your shoulder in a line, slowly lift your hip from the floor. This will make a straight line from your legs through your spine and to your neck. Hold this for ten seconds, then lower your body to the mat. Repeat three times, and switch sides.
4. Back Extensions: For this exercise, you’ll need to begin by lying on your stomach with your hands by your side. Carefully lift your chest off of the floor using your core and lower back muscles. Be careful to only lift yourself as far as is comfortable. Hold this position for ten seconds. Slowly lower yourself to the mat, and repeat for ten reps.
5. Hyperextensions: Some people call hyperextensions leg or arm raises. No matter what you call them, though, they are great for strengthening the lower back. To begin, lie on your stomach on a mat with your arms out in front of you. Lift your head and one arm, while also lifting the opposite leg off of the floor. Hold your arm and leg in the air for ten seconds. Slowly lower them, then repeat on the other side. Do 10 to 15 reps of this exercise on each side.
6. Bridges: A bridge is a simple exercise that is much more difficult than it seems like it would be. Begin on your back on a mat, with knees bent. Hold your arms at your sides. Using your core muscles and your thighs, lift your bottom off the floor. Hold your body in as straight a line as possible from your knees to your shoulders for ten seconds. Slowly lower your bottom to the floor, and repeat. Beginners should shoot for ten reps, and add as many as ten more as they progress.
7 Rows: For rows, you’ll need a set of dumbbells. Start with between two and five pounds, and move up as you gain strength. To do this exercise, bend forward at the waist until the top half of your body is parallel with the floor. Hold the dumbbells in each hand, with your arms hanging down. Slowly lift your elbows up until they are even with your back. Your lower arm should still be pointing toward the floor. Lower your arm, and repeat. Do two sets, with 10 to 15 repetitions each set.
8. The Bird Dog: While this exercise isn’t exactly the traditional exercise known as a Bird Dog, it is commonly called by that name in gyms and group exercise classes today. You can use a light dumbbell if you’d like, but it isn’t necessary. To do this move, you begin on your hands and knees on the floor. Hold one arm extended in front of you, and lift the opposite leg. Lower them slowly, then lift them again. Do two sets of 12 to 15 repetitions on each side.
9. The Cat: In this exercise, you will take a shape that looks similar to a cat who has been frightened. On a yoga mat or other padded surface, get on your hands and knees. Arch your back by pulling in your stomach and tucking your tailbone. Keep your head up. Hold for five seconds. Then, slowly move your back into a dip. This is done by pushing your tailbone out and pushing your midsection toward the floor. Hold this for five seconds. Repeat until you’ve completed ten reps.
10. The Vertical Cat: This exercise is similar to The Cat, only it is done while standing. Begin by standing with your feet at least shoulder length apart. With your arms extended shoulder height, lace your fingers together with your palms facing outward. Round your spine by pushing outward against your hands, pulling your stomach in, and tucking your tailbone. Hold for five seconds, and remember to breathe. Release and repeat for ten reps.
By doing these ten exercises, you can get rid of lower back fat in the most effective way possible. It requires dedication, and the workouts aren’t easy, but you will begin to see changes after only a few weeks. As always, it’s also a good idea to eat a balanced diet. A nutritionist, dietitian or other healthcare professional should be able to recommend a proper diet for your lifestyle and individual needs. If you have any health concerns, are significantly overweight or have experienced a back injury or back pain in the past, you should talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program.