Fight Back Bulge With These 9 Yoga Poses

Fight Back Bulge With These 9 Yoga Poses

While there’s no miracle move to diminish back bulge u2014 it’s a matter of doing calorie-burning cardio to decrease your overall percentage of body fat u2014 it’s still important to strengthen and tone the muscles in that area of the body. As you begin to lose weight from all the running and Zumba classes you’re doing, you’ll reveal slim, chiseled muscles waiting underneath. Here are nine yoga poses that will target all the areas of your back.

| Side Fierce

What it works: glutes, quads, and upper back

  • Stand with your feet together. Inhale to bend your knees and lower your hips as you raise your arms overhead, coming into Fierce Pose. Exhale to cross your right elbow over to your outer left knee. Press your palms together and actively push your bottom elbow against your thigh to lift and rotate your chest up, increasing the twist. Pull your right hip back slightly, making sure both knees are parallel.
  • Stay for five breaths in Side Fierce, then inhale as you press into your feet and lift your torso, rising back into Fierce pose. Exhale to cross your left elbow over your right outer knee, holding for another five breaths on this side.

| Warrior 3

What it works: back and shoulders

  • Stand at the front of your mat with both feet together. Shift your weight onto your left leg and kick your right leg behind you, balancing with your torso parallel to the floor. Extend your arms straight in front of you or do Eagle arms, as shown in the photo.
  • Draw your navel toward your spine and hold Warrior 3 for five breaths.

| Half Moon

What it works: back and sides of the torso

  • Begin in Downward Facing Dog. Step your right foot forward between your hands, and rise up into Warrior 1. Then open your hips, arms, and chest into Warrior 2 Pose.
  • Place your left hand on your left hip and stretch your right arm straight out, creating length through the right side of your body. Shift weight into your right foot, and lift your left foot up. Plant your right palm flat on the ground under your shoulder. Bend your right knee or use a block if your hamstring is tight.
  • Try to distribute your weight evenly between your right hand and foot. Look down at the ground and bring your left arm straight up. When you’re ready, look up toward your left hand.
  • Hold for five breaths, then try Half Moon on the left side.

| Triangle

What it works: legs, core, and upper body

  • From Down Dog, step your right foot forward, rising into Warrior 1. Straighten the right leg, and extend the right arm out as far as you can past the right toes. Lower the right hand to the floor in front of the right shin (rest it on a block if you need to).
  • Shift weight back onto the heels, stacking the shoulders, extending your upper arm straight up.
  • Try to extend through both sides of the ribs equally, drawing the navel toward the spine.
  • Hold like this for five deep breaths. Then extend your upper arm over your ear so it’s parallel with the floor, coming into Straight-Arm Triangle.
  • After five breaths, rise up and repeat on the left side.

| Side Plank

What it works: back, abs, sides of the torso, and arms

  • Begin in Downward Facing Dog. Step both feet together so your big toes are touching. Move your right hand over to the left so it’s at the top center of your mat.
  • Roll over to your right side and plant your right heel down, balancing on the outside edge of your right flexed foot. Reach your left arm straight above you or extend it over your ear.
  • Stay here in Side Plank for five deep breaths, trying to keep your core strong and the pose steady. Repeat this pose on the left side.

| Dolphin Plank

What it works: abs, back, arms, and shoulders

  • From Down Dog, lower onto your forearms and walk your feet out. Your body should be in one straight line with your shoulders directly above your elbows.
  • Hold Dolphin Plank for five breaths.

| Bow

What it works: back

  • Lie flat on your stomach, pressing your belly button into the floor. Bend your knees and reach for the outside edge of your right ankle and then your left.
  • Once you have a firm hold of each ankle, try to keep your toes together, either pointing or flexing your feet. Inhale to lift your feet and thighs up as high as you can, and shift your weight forward so that you’re resting on your navel instead of on your pubic bone.
  • Hold Bow Pose for five deep breaths.

| Locust

What it works: back

  • Lie on your belly with your legs together. Place your arms by your sides so your palms are facing up. As you inhale, lift your legs, head, and upper body off the floor. Your hands remain on the floor for support.
  • As you breathe, try to relax your shoulders and the muscles in your booty. Extend the crown of your head away from your toes, lengthening as much as you can through your spine.
  • Stay in Locust Pose for five breaths, and then release back to the mat.

| Wheel

What it works: back and upper body

  • Lie on your back, bend your knees, and place your feet flat on the ground (heels as close as possible to your booty). Bend your elbows and place your palms flat on the ground above your shoulders, fingertips facing your feet.
  • Inhale, press into your palms, and lift your head, shoulders, and hips off the ground, holding Wheel Pose for five deep breaths.

How to Win in the Battle Against Back Fat

How to Win in the Battle Against Back Fat

Back bulge around the bra area and that pesky muffin top plague plenty of women| and there are lots of ways to feel more confident in your own skin with a little extra effort. Spot-reducing doesn’t work u2014 but these healthy tips can help you achieve the results you’re after!

| Bump Up Your Cardio

If you’re serious about getting rid of fat| you’ve got to start getting serious about cardio. According to the USDA| you should perform interval training that alternates between periods of pushing your body and recovery| since it offers the afterburn effect. This means that after you exercise| your body can burn more calories u2014 an extra 200 calories throughout the day| even at rest or sleep u2014 than you would after completing a steadily paced workout.

| Tone It Up

Add moves that sculpt your back| shoulders| and obliques to reveal the strong muscles that lie beneath. Posture-improving exercises can also do wonders! Here are some workouts to add to your routine:

  • Back exercises with a medicine ball
  • Five-minute back workout
  • Body-balancing back exercises

| Go For Yoga

Quality strength training and cardio are key| but yoga can help you take off back fat too. Check out these five yoga poses recommended by Fight Back Bulge With These 9 Yoga Poses

| Eat Right

According to celebrity trainer Anna Kaiser| increasing the intensity of your cardio and strength-training program is a great start when you’re looking to take off fat| but Anna’s other piece of advice is to “put down the fork.”” Choosing healthier foods and cooking up cleaner recipes is essential in your battle against the back bulge. Check out the best fat-burning recipes for breakfast| lunch| dinner| and even snacks.

| Make Sure You’re Wearing the Right Sizes

If you’re concerned about the bulge around your bra or a muffin top| it simply might be time to go up a size in your bra or jeans. Flattering clothes will help you feel more confident and let go of unnecessary tension or stress that comes with getting dressed. Instead of getting caught up in the size you’re wearing| always focus on how you feel in the clothes you’re in.

Related: How Bracelets and a Belt Can Help You Drop Pounds

9 Relaxing Stretches You Can Do in Bed

9 Relaxing Stretches You Can Do in Bed

Stretching has a way of melting away stress and worry, but there’s no need to unroll your yoga mat. Here are nine stretches you can do in your pajamas and your bed u2014 either before you go to sleep or once your alarm goes off u2014 or both! Do all nine if you have time, or just pick a few. Either way, you’ll feel more relaxed, whether you’re heading to the land of nod or waking with the sun.

| Spinal Twist

Here’s a stretch that seems like it was made to do in bed. It will target your lower back.

  • Lie on your back in the middle of your bed. Bend both knees into the chest, and then cross them over to the left side of your body. You can even let your knees hang slightly over the edge of the bed for a deeper stretch.
  • Extend your arms in T position, and gaze to the right.
  • Stay like this for 30 seconds or more, feeling your spine lengthen and twist. You may even hear some cracks.
  • Use your abs to lift your knees back to center, and repeat on the other side.

| Knee to Chest Back Stretch

You’ll love this simple lower back stretch.

  • Lie on your back with your legs extended.
  • Gently bend your left knee into your chest. Clasp your hands in front of your shin and gently pull down to increase the stretch. Release any tension in your shoulders and neck.
  • Keep your right leg relaxed in a comfortable position.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat with the right knee bent.

| Reclining Hamstring Stretch

Here’s a relaxing way to stretch one hamstring at a time.

  • Lie on your back. Raise your left leg as high as you can, keeping your pelvis flat on the ground. Hold your lower thigh and encourage the leg to move toward your head. Flex your bottom foot to stretch your calf too.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

| Lying Side Quad Stretch

This relaxing stretch will target your quads, hip flexors, and shoulders.

  • Lie on your left side. Bend your left elbow and prop your head up with your left hand.
  • Bend your right knee and hold on to the top of your foot with your right hand. Pull your heel toward your bum. If you find it tough to balance, bend your bottom knee as well.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, pressing your hips slightly forward to increase the stretch in the front of your thigh.
  • Release the stretch, roll over onto your right side and stretch your left quad.

| Half Happy Baby

This variation on the yoga pose Happy Baby lengthens the lower back and opens up always-tight hips.

  • Lie on your back with your legs extended.
  • Gently bend your left knee and hold on to the sole of your foot with both hands. Gently press your knee toward the bed so it’s next to your torso and just below your shoulder. Your back and head should remain resting on the bed.
  • Keep your right leg relaxed in a comfortable position.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat with the right leg.

| Happy Baby

Here’s more hip and lower back love!

  • Lie on your back, bend both knees and hold on to the outside edges of your feet.
  • Gently use your arm muscles to pull your knees toward the floor beside your chest. Relax your shoulders and your head, staying here for 30 seconds.

| Cobra

This gentle stretch lengthens the muscles in your abs, chest, and neck; it also increases flexibility in your spine.

  • Roll over onto your belly and extend your arms out in front of you. If you’re tall, you can hang your feet over the end of the bed.
  • Keeping your legs and pelvis grounded, slowly begin to walk your hands toward your chest. As your torso lifts off the bed, keep a slight bend in your elbows. Walk your hands in until you feel a nice stretch in your abs. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and lengthen your neck. If it feels OK, lower your head back between your shoulder blades, and you’ll feel a nice stretch in your chest and neck.
  • Stay here for 30 seconds and then lower your torso back to the bed.

| Fish

You’ll not only stretch the muscles in your torso and feel your spine elongate, but you’ll also feel this position bring length to your neck, chest, and shoulders.

  • Lie on your back with your legs extended.
  • Lift the head and upper back off the bed and prop your torso up with your elbows.
  • Relax your head back, opening through the throat.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.

    | Butterfly

    Here’s a great pose to end with that will stretch out the hips and lower back.

    • Sit with both knees bent, soles of the feet touching.
    • Fold forward as far as you want, resting the hands on your ankles or on the bed in front of your feet.
    • Enjoy this stretch for 30 seconds.

    9 Relaxing Stretches You Can Do in Bed

    9 Relaxing Stretches You Can Do in Bed

    Stretching has a way of melting away stress and worry| but there’s no need to unroll your yoga mat. Here are nine stretches you can do in your pajamas and your bed u2014 either before you go to sleep or once your alarm goes off u2014 or both! Do all nine if you have time| or just pick a few. Either way| you’ll feel more relaxed| whether you’re heading to the land of nod or waking with the sun.

    | Spinal Twist

    Here’s a stretch that seems like it was made to do in bed. It will target your lower back.

    • Lie on your back in the middle of your bed. Bend both knees into the chest| and then cross them over to the left side of your body. You can even let your knees hang slightly over the edge of the bed for a deeper stretch.
    • Extend your arms in T position| and gaze to the right.
    • Stay like this for 30 seconds or more| feeling your spine lengthen and twist. You may even hear some cracks.
    • Use your abs to lift your knees back to center| and repeat on the other side.

    | Knee to Chest Back Stretch

    You’ll love this simple lower back stretch.

    • Lie on your back with your legs extended.
    • Gently bend your left knee into your chest. Clasp your hands in front of your shin and gently pull down to increase the stretch. Release any tension in your shoulders and neck.
    • Keep your right leg relaxed in a comfortable position.
    • Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat with the right knee bent.

    | Reclining Hamstring Stretch

    Here’s a relaxing way to stretch one hamstring at a time.

    • Lie on your back. Raise your left leg as high as you can| keeping your pelvis flat on the ground. Hold your lower thigh and encourage the leg to move toward your head. Flex your bottom foot to stretch your calf too.
    • Hold for 30 seconds| then switch sides.

    | Lying Side Quad Stretch

    This relaxing stretch will target your quads| hip flexors| and shoulders.

    • Lie on your left side. Bend your left elbow and prop your head up with your left hand.
    • Bend your right knee and hold on to the top of your foot with your right hand. Pull your heel toward your bum. If you find it tough to balance| bend your bottom knee as well.
    • Hold for 30 seconds| pressing your hips slightly forward to increase the stretch in the front of your thigh.
    • Release the stretch| roll over onto your right side and stretch your left quad.

    | Half Happy Baby

    This variation on the yoga pose Happy Baby lengthens the lower back and opens up always-tight hips.

    • Lie on your back with your legs extended.
    • Gently bend your left knee and hold on to the sole of your foot with both hands. Gently press your knee toward the bed so it’s next to your torso and just below your shoulder. Your back and head should remain resting on the bed.
    • Keep your right leg relaxed in a comfortable position.
    • Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat with the right leg.

    | Happy Baby

    Here’s more hip and lower back love!

    • Lie on your back| bend both knees and hold on to the outside edges of your feet.
    • Gently use your arm muscles to pull your knees toward the floor beside your chest. Relax your shoulders and your head| staying here for 30 seconds.

    | Cobra

    This gentle stretch lengthens the muscles in your abs| chest| and neck; it also increases flexibility in your spine.

    • Roll over onto your belly and extend your arms out in front of you. If you’re tall| you can hang your feet over the end of the bed.
    • Keeping your legs and pelvis grounded| slowly begin to walk your hands toward your chest. As your torso lifts off the bed| keep a slight bend in your elbows. Walk your hands in until you feel a nice stretch in your abs. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and lengthen your neck. If it feels OK| lower your head back between your shoulder blades| and you’ll feel a nice stretch in your chest and neck.
    • Stay here for 30 seconds and then lower your torso back to the bed.

    | Fish

    You’ll not only stretch the muscles in your torso and feel your spine elongate| but you’ll also feel this position bring length to your neck| chest| and shoulders.

    • Lie on your back with your legs extended.
    • Lift the head and upper back off the bed and prop your torso up with your elbows.
    • Relax your head back| opening through the throat.
    • Hold this position for 30 seconds.

      | Butterfly

      Here’s a great pose to end with that will stretch out the hips and lower back.

      • Sit with both knees bent| soles of the feet touching.
      • Fold forward as far as you want| resting the hands on your ankles or on the bed in front of your feet.
      • Enjoy this stretch for 30 seconds.

      We Dare You to Make Your Plank Even Harder

      When you’re at the gym, there is no need to work on only one body part. Multitasking moves not only save time, they also challenge the body in new ways. Add some rowing action to your plank to target not only your arms and back, but your core and glutes, too. Talk about a full-body exercise!

      Start in a plank position with your legs wider than hip-width distance; the wider stance makes you more stable. Hold onto your dumbbells, keeping your wrist locked to protect the joint. With your core tight and your glutes engaged, exhale, stabilizing your torso as you lift your right elbow to row; feel your right scapula sliding toward your spine as you bend your elbow up toward the ceiling.Keeping your neck long and energized, return the weight to the ground and repeat the movement on your left side.Do 10 reps per arm, and repeat for three sets.

      Try this exercise first without dumbbells, and focus on your torso staying level as you alternate your arms in the reverse row. Then choose appropriate weight for your strength level, between five and 10 pounds.

      Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

      We Dare You to Make Your Plank Even Harder

      When you’re at the gym| there is no need to work on only one body part. Multitasking moves not only save time| they also challenge the body in new ways. Add some rowing action to your plank to target not only your arms and back| but your core and glutes| too. Talk about a full-body exercise!

      Start in a plank position with your legs wider than hip-width distance; the wider stance makes you more stable. Hold onto your dumbbells| keeping your wrist locked to protect the joint. With your core tight and your glutes engaged| exhale| stabilizing your torso as you lift your right elbow to row; feel your right scapula sliding toward your spine as you bend your elbow up toward the ceiling.Keeping your neck long and energized| return the weight to the ground and repeat the movement on your left side.Do 10 reps per arm| and repeat for three sets.

      Try this exercise first without dumbbells| and focus on your torso staying level as you alternate your arms in the reverse row. Then choose appropriate weight for your strength level| between five and 10 pounds.

      Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

      This Move Is Guaranteed to Tone Your Entire Backside

      Your backside. Chances are, if you don’t look at it regularly in the mirror, you forget to work it. Having a strong back helps reduce aches and pains from living a sedentary life. A strong butt not only looks good, but it also keeps your lower back, hips, and knees healthy. To keep your entire backside strong while challenging your balance and core, try this multitasking move: single-leg deadlift with row.

      Stand up straight, and hold two dumbbells with palms facing each other.

      Lift your left foot up a bit, and balance on your right leg. Keeping your back neutral, lean your entire torso forward while raising your left leg, which should stay in line with your body.Holding this position, perform a row by bending your elbows back so that the dumbbells meet the sides of your chest while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower weights back toward the floor.With your back straight, return upright, coming to your starting position, to complete one rep.Do 10 to 12 reps on each side to complete a set.

      Make sure you are adequately warmed up before doing this exercise ¡ª you don’t want to pull a hamstring. Here’s a short warmup that will definitely do the trick.

      Related: The Moves You Should Be Doing For a Perkier Butt

      Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

      This Move Is Guaranteed to Tone Your Entire Backside

      Your backside. Chances are| if you don’t look at it regularly in the mirror| you forget to work it. Having a strong back helps reduce aches and pains from living a sedentary life. A strong butt not only looks good| but it also keeps your lower back| hips| and knees healthy. To keep your entire backside strong while challenging your balance and core| try this multitasking move: single-leg deadlift with row.

      Stand up straight| and hold two dumbbells with palms facing each other.

      Lift your left foot up a bit| and balance on your right leg. Keeping your back neutral| lean your entire torso forward while raising your left leg| which should stay in line with your body.Holding this position| perform a row by bending your elbows back so that the dumbbells meet the sides of your chest while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower weights back toward the floor.With your back straight| return upright| coming to your starting position| to complete one rep.Do 10 to 12 reps on each side to complete a set.

      Make sure you are adequately warmed up before doing this exercise ¡ª you don’t want to pull a hamstring. Here’s a short warmup that will definitely do the trick.

      Related: The Moves You Should Be Doing For a Perkier Butt

      Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

      No Equipment Required: 7 Moves to Tone Your Back

      No Equipment Required: 7 Moves to Tone Your Back

      Toning and strengthening your back muscles may not be in the forefront of your mind| but this often-overlooked area can do so much for your shape. Celebrity trainer Jennifer Cohen says that strengthening your upper body| back| and shoulders helps you achieve a long and lean “V-shaped”” back that makes you appear “”10 to 15 pounds thinner.”” Using bands| weights| or equipment can definitely help your cause| but working your back at home is possible with these easy-to-follow no-equipment moves.

      | Rotating Deadlift

      • Stand on your left leg with your right leg behind and right toes resting on the floor. Bend both knees slightly and place your hands behind your head allowing your elbows to open wide.
      • Pull your abs toward your spine and keep your back straight as you hinge forward from your hips until your torso is almost parallel to floor.
      • With a flat back| press through your left heel and return to standing. As you do this| twist your torso (shoulders included!) to the left over your front left. Be sure to keep your pelvis and hips still and facing forward. This completes one rep.

      Related: The 25 Best Bodyweight Exercises

      | Single-Leg Deadlift

      • Stand with all your weight in your right foot| abs engaged and chest lifted.
      • Reach your torso forward as you lift your left leg behind you. Reach your arms out to the sides for balance as your torso and leg come parallel to the floor.
      • Hold this position for a moment| and reach through your left heel to engage the back of the left leg.
      • Moving in one piece| lower your right leg toward the floor as you return to standing upright| resting the left foot lightly on the ground. This completes one rep.

      Related: Fight Back Bulge With These 9 Yoga Poses

      | Twisted Bird Dog

      • Get on all fours| with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Remember to keep abs engaged and keep your back flat.
      • As you extend your right leg out straight| open up your left shoulder for an oblique and back twist.
      • Round your back and head to connect your left elbow with your right leg under your body. Extend right hand and left leg back out for one complete rep.

      | Marching Bridge

      • Lie on your back with your hands by your side| with your heels about 12 inches from your pelvis. Press your heels into the floor to come into a bridge position with a neutral spine.
      • Press your right heel into the floor| and keeping your knee bent| raise your left leg until your hip is a 90 degrees. Lower your left leg down| pressing through your glutes so your pelvis doesn’t drift to the floor along with the leg. This completes one rep.

      Related: A Bodyweight Workout That Challenges Your Backside

      | Seated Trunk Twist

      • Begin sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you; lengthen your spine to keep your back straight.
      • Pulling your navel in tight| twist from right to left| lightly touching both hands from side to side to complete one rep.

      | Superwoman Locust

      • Lie on your belly with your legs together. Lace your fingers behind your back with straight arms.
      • As you inhale| lift your legs| head| upper body| and arms up and off the floor.
      • As you breathe| extend the crown of your head away from your toes| lengthening as much as you can through your spine.

      • Stay for five breaths| and then release back down to the starting position. This completes one rep.

      Related: The Do-Anywhere Bodyweight Workouts You Need to Know

      | Pilates Mat Swimming

      • Begin on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you.
      • Keeping your neck neutral and in line with your spine| lift your feet| arms| and chest from the floor.
      • Begin to “”swim”” by lifting your opposite arm and leg a little higher| then alternate sides| making a fluttering motion.
      • Continue this movement for one minute.

      The Pull-Up Guide ¡ª?It’s Not as Scary as You Think!

      Despite what you might think, pull-ups are not impossible and can be adjusted for any fitness level. This infamous exercise offers a great upper-body workout that quickly tones the back, arms, and chest. Not only will it make you stronger, but conquering this move will also give an extra boost of confidence and help you feel like you can tackle anything ¡ª?because, let’s face it, you can.

      Beginner Pull-UpsAssisted Pull-Up Machine: The pull-up machine is a great way to try your first go at pull-ups. The machine uses counterbalance weights, which means the higher the weight you set the machine, the easier the exercise becomes. Start by setting the weight to 20 pounds less than your weight, complete three to five reps, and then adjust the weight accordingly. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to use the assisted pull-up machine at your gym.Band Pull-Up: With the help of a superband ¡ª a giant, two-inch-thick rubber band ¡ª you can tackle consecutive pull-ups. All you have to do is wrap the rubber band securely around the pull-up bar, put it under one knee (or one foot for even more assistance), grab onto the bar (stepping off a stool if needed to reach), and begin your pull-up. Superbands are the same length, but the wider the band, the more assistance. Eventually, you will no longer be a “groupie” to the band and will be able to use your body weight!

      Intermediate Pull-UpsJump Pull-Ups: Consider jump pull-ups (pull-ups with a jump start) the next level after the assisted pull-up machine. Standing under the bar, jump up to grab the bar, harnessing the momentum of the jump to pull your body and chin to the bar. If your chin doesn’t come close to the bar, don’t give up ¡ª this move often takes practice.

      Advanced Pull-UpsTraditional Body Weight Pull-Ups: Using your body weight is the most traditional, but often the most challenging, way to complete a pull-up. With palms facing away from you, grip a pull-up bar with arms extended. Keeping your core tight while engaging your back and lats, bring yourself up until your chin passes above the bar, then lower yourself down into the starting position. The trick (and challenge) to any pull-up is to avoid swinging your entire body or using your neck for added momentum.Weighted Pull-Up: When you’re ready, let your inner gymnast shine. Following the movements for a traditional pull-up, add a weighted plate for an extra challenge. Using a weight belt or simply holding a weight between your knees, you will be the star of the gym and any workout.Image Source: Thinkstock