7 Exercises to Reduce Bra Bulge or Bra Fat
Forget about shapewear! Strong, toned muscles and a lower body fat level are essential if you want to reduce bra bulge. Toning the muscles in the rear portion of your upper body will go a long way toward helping you eliminate that pesky bulge and replace it with toned muscle instead.
7 Best Exercises to Reduce Bra Bulge
Reducing the appearance of bra bulge is going to require some strengthening and toning in addition to a reduction of overall body fat. For toning, the best place to start is with some well-designed exercises that specifically target the muscles in the upper back and rear shoulder regions.
These are typically done on a pullup bar or using a stationary bar located several feet off the ground. If using a regular pullup bar, grasp the bar with your palms facing forward. Squeezing your back muscles together, bend your arms at the elbow to pull your body up until your head and chin clear the bar. Slowly lower your body back to the starting position by fully extending your arms until you are hanging straight from the bar again.
Note: there are many variations of this exercise. If you are not yet strong enough to complete a full pullup on your own (you’re not alone!), try using a step to start at the top of the movement and focus on part two of the exercise: controlling the descent of your body as you lower yourself back to the starting position.
Many fitness facilities also have “assisted pullup machines.” This equipment provides weighted assistance by allowing you to kneel on a platform and adjust the amount of weight you need to complete a full pullup repetition. You can also use a sturdy exercise band to help assist the movement.
2. Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows
You will do these one side at a time. Start by standing next to a flat bench and place your left knee and left hand on the bench, palm down. Next, grasp a dumbbell in your right hand and allow your arm to straighten fully. Then, using your back muscles, bend at the elbow and pull your elbow back to lift the weight until the end of the dumbbell is near your hip. Hold for a moment and slowly lower to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.
Alternatively, you can also perform these while standing, using either dumbbells or a resistance band. If you decide to go with the resistance band, simply loop it under your feet, and grasp one end in each hand, bend over slightly at the waist (keeping your back straight), and use the same movement to pull your arms up and back at the same time.
3. Seated Rows
These can be done at the gym on equipment or at home with a band:
Seated rows on a cable machine—start by choosing your handle(s). Grasp the handles, place your feet on the platform in front of you, keeping a slight bend in your legs, and pull your elbows back behind you, effectively bringing the weight to your lap area. Pretend like you’re trying to “touch your elbows behind your back” (not possible, but this will help you move correctly).
Seated rows with a band—wrap the band around a sturdy anchor point (like a column or pole). Or, if you don’t have something to wrap the bar around, try looping the band over a doorknob to anchor it, wrapping it around the door, and then shutting it on the band to secure it.
4. Lat Pulldowns
These are typically done on gym equipment as well. However, if you do have a high-level spot where you can anchor your band, as above, you can also do these at home.
Lat pulldown on gym machine—sit on the seat and reach up to grasp the bar. Slightly arch your back and pull your elbows down and back until the bar touches the top portion of your chest. Squeeze your back in this position and then return to the start and repeat.
Lat pulldown with a resistance band—after hooking your resistance band securely overhead, grasp one end in each hand and perform the same movement as above.
5. Side Forearm Plank
This will work not only your core but also the sides of your body all the way from your hips to your shoulders, including that ever-elusive bra area. Start in a standard plank position: legs straight but up on your toes, body off the ground, and balanced on your forearms with your elbows under your shoulders, palms face down in front of you.
Next, roll to your right so that your left side is in the air and your body rests on the side of your right foot and on your right forearm. Next, place your left hand on your hip and hold this position as long as you can. Then, return to a regular plank position and roll to your opposite side, repeating the process.
6. Plank with Lateral Dumbbell Raises
Try this double whammy if you’re up for it. This will require quite a bit of core strength and copious balancing prowess. Start in a plank position and raise your body up onto your hands. Lift your right hand and grab a light dumbbell. Next, while balancing on your left hand, lift your right arm directly out to your side, keeping a very slight bend in your elbow as you progress through the movement. Once your arm is parallel with the floor, hold this position for ten seconds before returning the weight to the ground. Repeat five times on one side before switching to the opposite side and repeating.
7. Pull-a-parts with a Resistance Band
This exercise will help work your upper back and the back area of your shoulders. Start by sitting or standing with your feet about hip-width apart. Grasp one end of the band in each hand so that there is tension on the band. With straight arms, raise your arms up in front of your chest until they are parallel with the ground. Pull the band apart as your move your arms in opposite directions out toward your sides and then back toward the center again. Do 20 repetitions.
And, last but certainly not least, it’s critical that you also clean up your diet if you want to battle the back bra bulge. A diet rich in healthy fats, leafy greens and fibrous veggies, lean sources of protein and whole natural foods, coupled with the above resistance training, is your secret recipe for success.