When summer gets closer and the weather heats up, bikinis and tank tops are all the rage. You might feel pressured to get rid of the excess fat spilling over and under your bra line. In addition to doing regular cardio and eating a healthy diet, targeted strength-training exercises can help reduce body fat including that annoying bra bulge. Include the following exercises in your workout routine, and before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to bikini-season.
The Bent-Over Row
The bent-over row works your back right where that annoying bra bulge is located. To do this exercise, grasp a dumbbell in your right hand and turn your wrist so your palm faces your body. Step forward with your left foot and bend forward from your waist so you can place your left hand on your left knee for support. Your upper body should be parallel to the floor and the dumbbell in your right hand should hang down toward the floor, directly below your shoulder. Brace your core to stabilize your body, and then bend your right elbow next to your side and pull up the dumbbell toward your rib cage. Squeeze your back at the top of the motion, and slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting point. Perform eight to 12 reps before switching sides. Complete a total of two or three sets.
The Lat Pull-down
As the names states, lat pull-downs work the latissimus dorsi, the largest muscle in your back. To do this exercise, attach a straight bar to the lat pull-down cable machine and select the desired resistance. Sit on the seat of the machine, positioning your thighs underneath the designated, supportive pads. Reach up and grasp the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width overhand grip so four fingers go over the bar and your thumbs wrap under the bar. Keep your shoulders down, your chest slightly forward and your back straight. Then pull the bar down toward your chest as you count to three. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and focus on the contraction in your back as you exhale. Then reverse the motion, slowly extending your elbows and bringing the bar back to the starting point. Inhale as you sense the stretch in your upper back. Two to three sets of eight to 12 reps should do the trick.
The Dumbbell Fly
In addition to working your back, you should also work your chest to create an even balance. This is where dumbbell flyes come in handy. This exercise is done while lying face up on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Brace your core to stabilize your body, and then extend your arms straight up above your chest. Rotate your wrists so your palms face each other. From this starting position, slowly separate the weights by lowering your arms out to your sides as if trying to form a T-shape with your body. Keep your elbows slightly bent the entire time. Pause one second as you inhale and focus on the stretch in your chest. Then raise the dumbbells back to the starting point as you exhale and contract your chest during the upward, hugging motion. Two to three sets of eight to 12 reps should have your chest burning.