Whether it’s the love handles, muffin tops, or bra bulges, women across all age groups complain about having excess fat in their back and are always in search of answers that will help them get rid of it. Having a toned and strong back has a host of benefits other than health reasons. As your back muscles are involved in any movement from sitting down to carrying heavy items, and maintaining a good posture, targeting your back with the right exercises will also result in lesser backache and pain.

6 Causes For Excess Back Fat

There are many reasons for having back fat and it becomes more noticeable as you age. Some of the most common causes include:

  1. Poor dietary choices with excess junk food and sugar
  2. Sedentary lifestyle
  3. No cardio or resistance training workouts
  4. Poor posture 
  5. Excess alcohol consumption
  6. Chronic stress and no rest

10 Back Fat Reduction Exercises

These 10 workouts are the best ways to approach fat loss in your back and will give you great results if done properly and regularly.

1. Superman

If you are looking for a beginner exercise that can be performed without weights at home, this is the best in class.

How To Do It:

  1. Lie flat on your stomach with your arms above your head.
  2. Slowly lift your hands and feet off the ground. Go as high as comfortable.
  3. Continue till most of your body is off the ground except your belly.
  4. Hold your stretched posture for 2-3 seconds.
  5. Return to neutral and relax your muscles. Repeat this stretch 10 to 12 times.

2. Reverse Fly

The reverse fly targets both the back muscles and shoulders which can result in good posture and strengthens the back muscles.

How To Do It:

  1. Holding a dumbbell of appropriate weight in each hand, bend forward at the waist until you’re parallel with the ground, with the dumbbells in front of you, palms facing each other and elbows slightly bent.
  2. Staying steady, lift your arms up and out, squeezing your shoulder blades at the top.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position, without swinging your arms. 
  4. Complete 3 sets of 12 reps.

3. Kettlebell Swing

This exercise can be performed with either a kettlebell or dumbbell and is a good toning exercise for the entire back of the body.

How To Do It:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width and hold the kettlebell with both hands.
  2. Keeping your back straight, bend your knees slightly, and swing the weight in between your legs.
  3. Start from below and swing it with your hands moving upwards until chest level.
  4. Snap your hips through, contracting your core while squeezing your glutes to achieve the finishing position.
  5. As the kettlebell begins to descend, let the weight do the work as you ready your body for the next rep. 
  6. Shift your weight back into your heels while hinging at your hips and loading both your hamstrings and glutes.
  7. Receive the weight of the kettlebell, allowing it to ride back between your legs.
  8. As the kettlebell makes the transition from backwards to forward, drive through your heels and hips to repeat a set of 10 thrice.

4. Side Plank

There are many variations to the side plank that can help in losing back fat and can target love handles. Begin with a simple side plank and advance to different variations as you progress. 

How To Do It:

  1. Begin with lying on your side with the elbow under the shoulder, and feet and knees straight.
  2. Lift your hips up into a side plank, stretching your free arm towards the ceiling.
  3. Then bring the free arm down and thread it through the space underneath the body while you rotate the shoulder and hips to the floor.
  4. Repeat 10-12 times on each side.

5. Dumbbell Side Raises

This easy weight exercise works the shoulder muscles and directly improves definition around the shoulders and upper back.

How To Do It:

  1. Stand with a dumbbell that is comfortable in each hand. 
  2. Slowly raise the weights out to sides away from your body until your arms are parallel with the floor. 
  3. Slowly return your arms to your body. 
  4. Repeat 10 to 12 times for one set.

6. Resistance Band Rowing

Using a simple resistance band in your home workouts can add variation to your workouts and help in toning the back.

How To Do It:

  1. Sit down on a mat with your legs stretched and knees together.
  2. Loop the resistance band around your feet with the hands holding the ends.
  3. Bring your hands closer to the chest and then back towards the knees, in a rowing manner.
  4. Repeat 20 times for each set.

7. Bent-Over Row

These target your rear delts and are extremely effective in reducing fat in the upper back areas.

How To Do It:

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand straight with your feet close together.
  2. Bend forward with your spine straight, and look straight ahead.
  3. Extend your arms downwards and then pull your upper arms back until your elbows reach just behind your shoulders.
  4. Bring your arms back to the starting position and repeat 12 times in each set.

8. Pullover

This exercise is an upper body workout that targets the core, shoulders and engages the back.

How To Do It:

  1. Lie down on a bench or on the mat. Hold a dumbbell with both your hands directly above your chest. 
  2. Keep your arms extended, your elbows slightly bent, and palms pressed against the underside of the upper plates.
  3. Lower your hands behind your head without bending your elbows.
  4. Lift the dumbbell back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 2 sets of 15 reps.

9. High Planks

While planks are considered as a core strengthening exercise it is also a useful tool for losing excess back fat.

How To Do It:

  1. Start with your arms straight towards the floor and legs outstretched. 
  2. Lift and hold your body as straight as possible.
  3. Hold this position for 15-60 seconds then rest.
  4. Perform this hold 3 times in total.

10. Cat-Cow Pose

This exercise will help you cool down after performing the above exercises and help prevent any injuries to your back.

How To Do It:

  1. Position yourself on a mat with your hands and knees on the floor.
  2. Lift your head up while inhaling slowly. At the same time, arch your back in a concave shape.
  3. Exhale slowly, contract your abs, bring your head down, and round your back.
  4. Perform one set of 15 reps.

5 Tips To Reduce Back Fat

Find out below the additional tips you should keep in mind for a successful journey towards losing back fat.

  • Spot reduction is a myth, so focus on losing overall body weight and focus on your back by adding more exercises that target those areas
  • Follow a healthy diet with importance given to proteins, and essential vitamins and minerals
  • Use a combination of exercises and workout routines that will keep you motivated and activate all the different back muscles
  • Staying hydrated is important if you are looking to shed body fat. Aim to drink 2-3 litres of water daily
  • Consistency is key. Stay patient and have a holistic approach towards healthy fat loss

Whether you choose to work out at home or go to a gym, being regular in your workouts and eating healthy will help you get rid of that stubborn back fat. Keeping your posterior chain muscles strong and toned will give you a good posture and avoid backache too. Hire a personal trainer or coach if you need a little extra push.

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