Whether you call it a muffin top, love handle, or spare tire, there's nothing funny about excess fat in your lower back. It jiggles and hangs over your waistline and negatively affects your appearance. In order to burn off lower back fat, you'll have to integrate a regular exercise routine and a healthy diet. This will reduce your total body fat including that excess fat in your problem area.
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Work Up a Sweat
Cardiovascular exercise must become a big part of your fat-reducing journey. It burns calories, which is essential to overall weight loss. Research scientist, author, and exercise physiologist and nutritionist, Nina Cherie Franklin, Ph.D., recommends cardio-kickboxing, rowing, dancing, jogging and running while swinging your arms to engage your back muscles. Perform at least 30 minutes of cardio five days of the week. Incorporate high-intensity interval training, HIIT, into your cardio routine. An effective HIIT session will have you working back and forth between moderate and vigorous intensities for one to two minutes, resulting in optimal fat-burning.
Strengthen Your Muscles
Strength training can help you maintain and build muscle tissue. It optimizes your weight loss, because muscle tissue boosts metabolism. Although your lower back is the problem, the most efficient way to burn calories with resistance is by working all major muscle groups evenly. In addition to your back, this includes arms, legs, chest, abs, hips and shoulders. Performing squats and lunges while doing overhead dumbbell presses or dumbbell curls, for example, works your upper and lower body simultaneously for optimal results. For your lower back you can do low back extensions, torso rotations and stiff-legged deadlift. Perform strength training at least two days of the week, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Adjust Your Diet
Although burning fat is associated with exercise, your diet is an important part of the equation. If it consists mainly of processed, fatty, sugary, high-calorie foods, all the exercises in the world won't eliminate your lower back fat. By adjusting your diet, it's easier to reach the caloric deficit that's required to lose weight. Focus on healthy fare, including whole grains, veggies, fruits, lean protein and low-fat or non-fat dairy. Swap out high-calorie foods for low-calorie foods and track your caloric intake by writing down what you eat and by reading food labels.
Things to Consider
Before starting a diet or exercise routine, see your doctor, particularly if you're plagued with health conditions or injuries. Understand that you have to create a deficiency of 3,500 calories to lose one pound of fat in a week. By reducing calories from food and burning calories through exercise and daily activities you can achieve this. Also, to continue to see results, keep challenging yourself; slowly increase the weights you lift as you get stronger, or extend the duration and intensity of your cardio routine.
- Ask the Trainer: Getting Rid of Back Fat
- Nina Cherie, Ph.D.: 3 Ways To Rid Your Body of Stubborn Back Fat
- Shape.com: 8 Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- Helpguide.org: Healthy Weight Loss & Dieting Tips