Posted by: cback | 2004/10/15

Fat on lower back


I have a lot of excess fat on my lower back. I know it's somehow related to the fat around the waist - hence abdominals. I have lost quite a bit on my abdominals but no luck on my lower back. What excercises can I do to work on this area?

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Our expert says:
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Hi Cback

there are not too many exercise that you can do to target the fat on the lower back or on any other area for that matter. You see, you can't "spot reduce". That is, you can't really try and reduce the fat around your stomach, thighs and abdominals by just doing exercises for those areas. This kind of exercise, using specific muscles only, actually burns fewer calories than exercising large muscles groups in dynamic cardiovascular exercise such as walking, jogging, running, swimming or cycling. In order to burn the fat, you need to do these types of cardiovascular exercises as least 4 - 5 times a week for at least 30 - 45 minutes. This will help to increase the amount of calories that you use and help to decrease your body fat. I suspect that a good deal of your success to this point has been achieved by doing this type of cardio, combined with some toning (which is still important, as I'll mention) and also making sure that your diet is optimal. If you keep doing this then you should gradually see results.

Having said that, it is still important to do some strengthening and toning exercise and obviously to include exercises that make use of the muscle groups in your abdominal area. The exercises that you do will depend on whether you have access to a gym or you do body weight exercises at home. As I aid the lower back can be really tricky, because in the abs, there is quite a substantial muscle mass which you can focus on, the back less so, but if you do the circuit, which will include the ab exercise and also the back extenstions you will see progress. Again, though, remember that the cardio is the key and the diet is second.

Lastly, keep in mind that this is a very common problem, and changes in certain areas can happen very slowly, because some people do just have a specific distribution of fat, and it can be hard to fight against this.

However, be patient and keep at it!

Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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