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Aging Well
Beauty & Style
Exercise

The Secrets to Banishing Back Fat

When it comes to anti-aging fitness, the back area can sometimes be one of the hardest areas to tone. According to anti-aging fitness gurus, a lot of women forget to include the muscles in their upper and middle back in their total body workouts, resulting in poor posture and the visible appearance of back fat. Poor lifestyle habits and ill-fitting clothing often contribute further to the problem.

For a more toned and shapely back, start adapting your anti-aging fitness routine to include the muscles in your back, specifically your upper and middle back. Here are some key anti-aging fitness exercises to consider including in your anti-aging fitness routine:

Anti-Aging Fitness Trick#1:Chin-Ups

This is a great exercise for your anti-aging fitness plan because it targets your whole upper body as well as your back. Start by holding on to a bar above your head and pull yourself up so that your shoulders are at the same level as your hands. As you lift yourself up, try to open up your chest by bringing your shoulder blades together. Then, slowly lower yourself back down. If you’re not strong enough to lift yourself up, use a bench and jump up, and then lower your feet back down onto the bench.

Anti-Aging Fitness Trick #2:Inverted Row

Lie underneath a lowered bar and grip the bar. Pull your body up so that your back, hips, and knees are raised off the ground and form a straight line. You can either keep your knees bent at a 90-degree angle or straighten your legs so that only the backs of your heels are resting on the ground. Slowly lift yourself up and lower yourself back down—think of this as a modified reverse push-up. By including this exercise to your anti-aging fitness routine, you’ll also be toning your biceps and building upper body strength.

Anti-Aging Fitness Trick #3:Reverse Lateral Raises

To add this exercise to your anti-aging fitness plan, you’ll need light weights. Hold a small dumbbell (two to five pounds) in each hand. With your knees slightly bent, lean forward at the waist so that your torso is nearly parallel to the floor (about a 45-degree bend) and your arms are hanging down in front of you with your palms facing each other. Slowly raise your arms straight out at your sides, opening up your chest, and then lower them back down to the starting position. As your anti-aging fitness level increases, you can increase the weight.

Anti-Aging Fitness Trick #4:Plank-to-Row

You’ll also need weights for this anti-aging fitness trick. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, get into a plank formation—your body should be straight. Keeping your core engaged and hips squared to the ground, shift your weight to one arm and lift the dumbbell in the other arm up to your waist, almost like you’re pulling a lever. Shift between sides and make sure to engage your back muscles by pulling your shoulder blade back as you lift the weight.

Keep in mind that everyone has a different level of fitness,so you may want to work with a professional fitness instructor to find a level of difficulty that suits you, and to avoid injury or incorrect posture.

On top of your anti-aging fitness plan, getting rid of back fat can sometimes be as simple as switching bras. With age, skin tends to lose firmness, which means it can become soft and spongy. If you’re wearing a poorly fitted bra, the band tends to press into your skin, creating the appearance of lumpy back fat. Also, slimmer bands can cause the appearance of ripples or indentations. To eliminate the problem, look for a bra with a slightly thicker band, which will create a smoother look. And always have a professional fit you for the right bra size.

Of course for many women, choosing a different bra is just a way to mask the problem. It’s important to understand that while fat may appear more pronounced on your back, it’s likely that your body is storing fat in other areas as well, meaning a broader anti-aging fitness and nutrition approach is key.

An anti-aging fitness diet for getting rid of back fat is just like any other healthy fat loss diet, because back fat, after all, is part of your total stored body fat. And the key to weight loss is reducing the amount of that stored fat in the whole body.

Instead of filling up on prepackaged or fast foods, opt for vegetables, lean meats, and high-protein foods which are low in calories but high in fiber. Not only that, but because high-protein foods require a greater amount of energy to digest, your body will actually burn 30% more calories simply by eating lean protein such as turkey or chicken. Two other good anti-aging fitness foods to consider are apples, which limit your appetite and assist digestion when eaten 30 minutes before each meal, and green tea, which contains antioxidants that increase metabolism.

This article originally appeared on Agein.com.