We’ve all been there, sneaking a glance in the mirror only to notice those uninvited rolls of fat trying to steal the limelight — yes, we’re talking about the notorious “bra bulge.”
It might seem like a minor annoyance, but for many, it’s a source of discomfort and a dent in confidence. The silver lining is that this isn’t a battle that you’re destined to lose.
With the right mix of targeted exercise and mindful nutrition, you can reclaim the upper hand (or, should we say, upper back) in this duel.
What Causes Bra Bulge?
The first step to addressing bra bulge is to figure out what’s causing it in the first place. Unfortunately, there is a mixture of factors at play that can contribute to bra bulge. Some of them are fairly straightforward fixes, but others require a bit more finesse.
Wearing the Wrong Size Bra
It’s astounding how many of us are unaware of our true bra size. A tightly clasped bra acts almost like a vice, squeezing and pushing fat outwards. Meanwhile, an oversized bra lacks the structure to hold tissues in place, allowing them to sag. It’s important to get measured regularly to make sure that you’re wearing the correct size.
Weight fluctuations are a part of life, but an increase, especially in body fat percentage, can lead to fat being stored in unwanted places. The back, unfortunately, is a favorite storage spot for those extra calories.
In our digital age, where many of us are hunched over screens, poor posture has become a widespread issue. When we slouch, the muscles and tissues around our upper back and chest aren’t engaged. Over time, this can contribute to the dreaded bra bulge.
Lack of Muscle Tone
It’s not just about the fat; it’s also about the muscle — or the lack thereof. Without consistent upper body strength training, the muscles in the back area can lose their firmness and definition. A loss in this muscle tone can make the overlying fat more noticeable.
Time waits for none, and as it marches on, our skin gradually loses its elasticity. This natural aging process means our skin doesn’t snap back as it once did, leading to sagging in various regions, including the bothersome upper back.
Lastly, our genes play a pivotal role in our body composition narrative. For some, no matter how much they exercise or watch their diet, the upper back remains a stubborn area of fat, all thanks to their DNA.
8 Best Exercises To Combat Bra Bulge
Exercise is a powerful tool that can help tone muscles and combat the bra bulge. By focusing on strengthening the upper body, you cannot only enhance muscle definition but also support better posture.
Here are eight highly effective exercises you can incorporate to beat the bulge.
Push-ups are a timeless, full-body exercise that primarily targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps. This exercise is a staple in many fitness routines because of its efficiency and the fact that it doesn’t require any equipment.
How to do it:
- Start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your feet together and body in a straight line from head to heels. Engage your core.
- Lower your body towards the ground by bending your elbows, keeping them angled slightly backward at about a 45-degree angle.
- Go down until your chest nearly touches the ground, keeping your body rigid and avoiding any sagging or arching of the lower back.
- Press upwards, extending your elbows and returning to the starting position.
- Ensure your core remains engaged and your body stays aligned throughout the movement.
2. Chest Press
The chest press is a popular weight training exercise targeting the chest muscles. It’s typically performed on a bench using a barbell or two dumbbells.
How to do it:
- Lie flat on a bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
- Hold a barbell or two dumbbells with hands just wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Start with the weights positioned above your chest, arms extended.
- Slowly lower the weights down to your chest level.
- Once the barbell or dumbbells reach just above the chest, push them back up, extending your arms fully.
- Ensure your movements are controlled, feeling the contraction in your chest muscles.
3. Dumbbell Pullovers
Dumbbell pullovers are a versatile exercise that targets the chest and back. This movement is unique in its ability to stretch and work both muscle groups.
How to do it:
- Lie perpendicular to a bench with your upper back and shoulders resting on it. Your hips should be below the bench, and your feet planted firmly on the ground.
- Hold a dumbbell with both hands above your chest, keeping your arms extended.
- Slowly lower the dumbbell backward over your head, allowing a stretch in your chest and lats.
- Pull the dumbbell back to the starting position, contracting the chest and lats.
- Maintain a slight bend in your elbows throughout the movement and ensure your hips remain low.
4. Bent Over Rows
This compound exercise focuses on the muscles of the upper back using dumbbells or a barbell.
How to do it:
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand or a barbell.
- Bend forward at your waist, keeping a slight bend in your knees.
- Keep your back straight, nearly parallel to the floor.
- With palms facing down, pull the weights towards your lower rib cage.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.
- Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position, maintaining the bend in your body and ensuring your back remains straight.
5. T-Bar Rows
The T-bar row is a compound weightlifting exercise that predominantly targets the muscles of the back. By using a T-bar row machine or landmine attachment, this exercise allows for a unique pulling angle, promoting strength and growth in the upper body.
How to do it:
- Stand over the end of a barbell anchored in a landmine attachment with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend at the hips and knees, keeping your back straight.
- Grasp the barbell or handles with both hands.
- Pull the bar towards your upper abdomen, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Slowly lower the bar back to the starting position, maintaining a neutral spine throughout.
- Ensure your head remains in a neutral position in line with your spine.
Pull-ups are a classic upper-body exercise that requires a pull-up bar. This exercise emphasizes the use of body weight to pull oneself upwards, challenging several muscle groups.
How to do it:
- Grasp the pull-up bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Begin in a dead hang with arms fully extended and feet off the ground.
- Engage your shoulder blades, then pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar.
- Slowly lower yourself back to the dead-hang position.
- Ensure your movements are controlled, refraining from using momentum to swing yourself upwards.
7. Side Plank With Arm Extension
This exercise is a variation of the traditional side plank, incorporating arm movement to further challenge stability and core strength.
How to do it:
- Begin in a side plank position, with one elbow on the ground and feet stacked.
- Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels.
- Extend your top arm straight up towards the ceiling.
- Slowly bring the extended arm down and underneath your body, rotating slightly.
- Return to the extended position and repeat.
- Ensure you maintain the side plank position throughout, resisting the urge to let your hips drop.
8. Standing Oblique Crunch
An effective move to target the obliques, this exercise incorporates a standing position and lateral movement for a functional workout.
How to do it:
- Stand with feet hip-width apart.
- Place one hand behind your head with the elbow flared out.
- Lift the same-side knee while simultaneously bringing your elbow towards that knee in a side crunch motion.
- Return to the starting position and repeat.
- Ensure the movement is controlled and isolated to the side, avoiding any forward bending.
Can You Target Fat Loss?
Spot reduction has been a captivating idea for many, suggesting that you can choose where to shed fat by focusing on specific exercises for that area. However, the science paints a different picture.
As we briefly touched on earlier, our bodies determine where to store and release fat based on a complex interplay of genetics, hormones, and other factors. So, while exercises like push-ups and T-bar rows can help firm up the muscles in specific areas, they won’t directly lead to fat loss in those spots.
Think of it like trying to drain a section of a pool — the water level decreases uniformly, not just where you wish it would. With that being said, a consistent, whole-body exercise regimen can promote overall fat loss, which will inevitably lead to reductions in your areas of concern over time.
How Can Diet Help With Weight Loss?
If exercise is the spark, then diet is the fuel in the weight loss journey. The foods we consume daily play a significant role in how our bodies store or burn fat.
It’s fairly simple: consuming foods high in refined sugars and unhealthy fats can cause our bodies to store more fat, while a balanced diet rich in proteins, fibers, and healthy fats can optimize metabolism and encourage fat burning.
Combining such a diet with a consistent exercise routine that features several of the exercises listed above is an excellent way to directly address bra bulge. With a little bit of hard work and a lot of patience, you can finally rid yourself of the bra bulge.
If you’re looking to take your new diet to another level, then consider adding Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth to the mix. Bone broth, with its variety of essential nutrients, is a nutritional powerhouse.
Not only that, but the additional benefits of bone broth can support your overall health and well-being. Bone broth can support digestion, support sleep, encourage detoxification, help keep you hydrated, and help you feel full.
Oh, and it’s extremely low in calories, so all of these benefits come guilt-free and won’t disrupt your diet!
The Bottom Line
Eradicating bra bulge or any specific area of concern requires more than targeted exercises. It’s about adopting a holistic approach that harmoniously combines regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and a mindful lifestyle.
Consider this journey as a tapestry of different threads — exercise, nutrition, posture, and emotional well-being — all interwoven to create the bigger picture of health. Dr. Kellyann’s programs are designed with this holistic approach in mind, ensuring that each aspect of well-being is addressed.
Remember that your transformation is not just about shedding pounds or toning muscles; it’s about rediscovering yourself, understanding your body, and nurturing your spirit. With the right guidance and tools, you can beat the bulge and feel good in your bikinis.
Are 8 Out of 10 Women Really Wearing the Wrong Bra Size? | The New York Times
The Most Common Places for the Body to Store Excess Fat | Livestrong
3 Surprising Risks of Poor Posture | Harvard Health
Our Genes Affect Where Fat Is Stored in Our Bodies | ScienceDaily
The Sweet Danger of Sugar | Harvard Health