Back bulge can seem like a pesky area to get rid of extra weight, and unfortunately we can’t spot reduce for fat loss. If you want to lose weight in your back, following steps for general weight loss with exercise and eating right can be an easy place to start.
Toning your back muscles with specific exercises will help strengthen back muscles. Varying your cardio workouts between moderate and vigorous intensities can help your body increase fat loss and boost metabolism.
How to get rid of back fat
Strengthening exercises for back muscles
There are many layers of muscles in the back, and back muscles are considered part of your central core area.
Strengthening core muscles in your mid-section have benefits for everyday acts from standing tall or bending down to pick something up.
People can focus on only strengthening stomach muscles only, but having a strong back can also lower risk for injuries and help with athletic performance (1).
Speaking with a trained exercise specialist can further help you put together a program designed to strengthen back muscles and weight loss. There are many exercises you can do to strengthen your back muscles.
Exercises to reduce back fat
Here are some general back exercises that can help give muscle definition in your back.
For proper technique, speak with an exercise specialist. These exercises from Men’s Fitness (2) can be done with varying weight depending on your fitness.
- Pull ups: If you are working out at a gym, they should have a strap or assisted weight machine that can help you do a pull up with less weight.
- Romanian dead lift: Keep hips back and bent, knees bent and chest up with arms hanging long. Slowly stand up keeping arms straight. This can also be done with one arm at a time instead of both.
- Incline dumbbell row: Lay face down on an incline bench that is on a 30-45 degree angle. While keeping shoulders down and arms bent at the elbow, hold a weight in each hand and row back until your fist is by your side.
- Push-ups: Don’t under-estimate this humble exercise. Not only will it strengthen your triceps, it can help strengthen your whole core.
- Planks: Hold for anywhere to 20-60+ seconds. Make sure your hips are level while holding this stance.
Yoga, Pilates, Cross Fit or other group fitness classes
If you prefer doing exercises in group settings, there are many other ways to strengthen your back.
Doing back and core exercises will not only strengthen those muscles, but a 2008 study concluded resistance exercise helps preserve muscle mass and can help keep energy expenditure high (3).
Variety of cardio exercise
Aerobic exercise can increase calorie burn, and specifically moderate intensity exercise can increase using fat as a fuel.
Moderate intensity means doing an exercise where you are working hard, but you could carry on a conversation with someone. Examples include brisk walking, jogging, dancing, playing sports with your kids, etc.
Vigorous intensity means you are working harder and can’t carry on a conversation. Vigorous exercise can also be referred to as high intensity or interval workouts.
Moderate exercise can be done for a continuous time, but higher intensity exercises usually require breaks or rest periods between cycles.
High intensity exercise or interval type workouts have a higher calorie burn and can increase calorie burn after exercise.
Adding in some interval training could help you lose weight in your back. A 2008 study (4) found high intensity interval workouts helped overweight women lose weight in the core area, legs and improved insulin sensitivity more than the exercise group who just did moderate exercise. Participants exercised 3 times a week for 15 weeks.
Having an exercise program that includes high and moderate intensity workouts along with strength training can be an optimal plan for losing back fat.
How to get rid of back fat without weights
Clean up your diet
Lastly, as with any weight loss program, focusing on what you put in your mouth will help you with your goal for losing back fat.
Cutting back on sugar and eating balanced meals with fiber, protein and healthy fats can help stabilize blood sugar levels. Preventing large swings in blood sugar can help lower the release of insulin which promotes fat storage.
Fill up on nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy fat sources, lean proteins, legumes, nuts, etc. instead of relying on pre-packaged foods.
While where we lose weight is mostly determined by genetics, you can do certain things to promote fat loss in the back. First of all, strengthening the back muscles with the proper exercises can help with muscle definition as fat loss happens.
Doing a mix of high and moderate intensity cardio exercise can give you the advantage of increasing fat loss.
Lastly, pay attention to your diet and cut out empty calorie sources to replace with nutrient dense foods.