What exercises get rid of back fat?


While belly fat is the number one weight-loss problem for some, others struggle with another type of stubborn fat—the back fat. It is that stubborn layer of fat that clings to the back muscles, creating a fold of skin above the waistline.

While we'd love to answer the age-old question of how to get rid of back fat, it's actually impossible to spot-reduce flab. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. If you're serious about firming up your back, you'll need to decrease your overall body fat, which means you'll look slimmer everywhere.

Adding some targeted strength training exercises to your workouts, fat-burning foods to your diet, and tweaking your lifestyle, are the most effective strategies for a lean back.

We've put together the best tips for how to get rid of back fat so you can firm up and feel confident in your own skin.

Exercises that get rid of back fat

Target your backside and core (the muscles in your midsection that wrap around your abs and into your sides and back) with these effective—yet simple—fitness tips and exercises to reduce back fat.

1. Weight training

Women straining and struggling to lift weights at the gym because of lost muscle mass

The USDA recommends an hour of cardio five times a week for optimal heart health, but jogging alone won't help you lose your back fat.

You need a combination of both weight training and cardio to get fat off your body," says personal trainer Mike Duffy. Cardio alone will only train one type of muscle fiber and you'll only be building one part of your fat-burning furnace. I see many people doing tons of cardio every day and not lifting weights. They never change the way they look."

Adding HIIT and weight training sessions to your workout a few times a week will also put "you in oxygen debt, so your body will have to play 'catch up' after the workout is done. This increases the rate of metabolism to tap into more fat loss during and after the workout," Duffy explains.

2. Planks

To work your core muscles and stabilize your back to get rid of fat, try this home-friendly workout:

  • Place two dumbbells on the floor and assume a push-up position, with your hands on the dumbbells about shoulder-width apart.
  • Your body should be as stiff and straight as a plank, forming a straight line from head to toe. There's an added degree of difficulty as you work to prevent the dumbbells from rolling out from under you.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  • If you want to further target the back area, lift one arm at a time to shoulder height and hold it for a few seconds.

3. Push-ups

What exercises get rid of back fat?

While most people think of a pushup as a chest exercise, it's so much more than that.
 Push-ups help to increase lumbar stability with a focus on the spinal erectors," says Jay Cardiello, celebrity personal trainer and star of ABC's My Diet Is Better Than Yours. 

That basically means that the exercise helps strengthen the back muscles to support the spine, preventing back pain and giving you a lean physique—which is exactly what you want when your goal is to get rid of back fat.

To do push-ups as an exercise to get rid of back fat:

  • Lie on the floor face down with your hands at your sides, just outside your shoulders, and your feet hip-width apart.
  • Raise your hips, thighs, and chest off the floor so your weight is supported by your toes and palms. This is the starting position.
  • Exhale as you straighten your arms and push your body up until your arms are straight. Try to keep your head, hips, and ankles aligned as though your body is a straight plank.
  • After a brief pause at the top, inhale as you lower yourself down.
  • Repeat for ten repetitions.

4. Yoga

Stress tends to increase levels of cortisol, a hormone that leads to a buildup of excess fat all over the body. De-stressing can be as simple as taking up a weekly yoga class and relishing every second of savasana. Plus, holding and breathing through poses such as warrior 3 and half-moon can help strengthen and tone your back and core muscles.

5. Side Crunches

Doing side crunches a few times a week can tuck in your abs and sculpt your obliques. Here's what to do:

  • Place a Swiss ball a couple of feet from a wall.
  • Rest one hip against the ball while bracing your splayed feet in the crux of the wall and floor.
  • Clasp your fingers behind your head and push the higher elbow toward the wall until your torso is nearly upright.
  • Reverse the motion, getting a good stretch in your rib cage before pulling your torso back toward the wall.
  • For optimal results, avoid these 20 foods you should never eat after a workout.

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