Some people are trying to put on muscle, many of trying to lose fat, others are trying to add muscle and lose fat at the same time. Building up the oblique muscles, the abdominals, and even the gluteus medius can lower the body fat percentage of the “side handle” and ab area without losing any fat. If your fat levels stay exactly the same as you are gaining muscle you are lowering your percentage of body fat. We can discuss the gluteus medius in another article but I would like to discuss the lower lat and lower back muscles in relation to lowering body fat percentage levels. Regarding the photo of Arnold, if you look at what muscles would cover up fat, ie dilute the body fat percentage, in the “side handle” area you could say that the obliques definitely do, the abs are in the area and their development can’t hurt, the upper/side butt or gluteus medius muscles are definitely in the “side handle” area and their development would dilute the body fat percentage in that area…..but what else? Notice that Arnold’s lower lats flow right into the obliques. The lower lats are an area that you should not neglect if you are trying to improve the look the core or midsection ie the muscle/fat ratio.
Lower lat exercises? The solution can be as simple as keeping an under hand crib when doing lat pulldown exercises(or do chin ups as they are palms up). Keep your hands closer together on the bar and hold the contraction longer at the bottom of the movement-when your elbows are near your oblique are. You can think of that as a “core” exercise as the lats are considered a “minor” core muscles.
“Major muscles included are the pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectusabdominis, erector spinae (sacrospinalis) especially the longissimus thoracis, and the diaphragm. Minor core muscles include thelatissimus dorsi, gluteus maximus, and trapezius.”
For lower back, hyperextensions and/or deadlifts as well as twisting exercises, which affect the obliques as well.