So, you had a “mirror moment.” It’s totally fine. Take a breath. It’s happened to all of us.
You looked in the mirror. Saw some back fat that maybe didn’t used to be there. Or perhaps it’s been hanging out there a long time, and you’re just over it. Either way, you panicked a bit, typed a jumbled search on Google, and now you’re here.
First, welcome. Glad to have you here.
Second, I promise I will tell you the best back fat exercises to add to your routine for slimming down that back fat, but before we begin, I’d like to bust a few myths:
1) First, our culture loves to tell us that looking skinny is better, and the truth is: that’s just not always the healthiest mindset. It’s okay to want to work on aesthetics, appearance, or overall health, but we just need to establish that ground rule before we continue. Pairing back fat exercises with a healthy mindset is essential!
2) Next, targeting a specific “fat group” on the body is actually just not possible. Fat is a bit of a rebel, and it has a mind of its own, going wherever it pleases. So today, we will learn about how to use back fat exercises to lose overall body fat and to build muscle on the back specifically, but it would be inaccurate to say that you can lose fat just on your back and not anywhere else.
Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let’s dive in.
How to Tell if Back Fat Exercises are Right for You
Having back fat is a totally normal human experience, and it isn’t inherently unhealthy to have it. Body fat helps with a ton of stuff, such as:
So, you’re probably saying, “Wait a sec. We’ve all been lied to about fat?”
And it’s not that simple. While body fat is essential, excess body fat, especially when it leads to obesity, can result in some serious health concerns, such as:
So, how can you tell if you have excess body fat? Well, if you go with what the American Council on Exercise says about people of average fitness levels, women should have 21-31% body fat, and men should have 14-24% body fat.  If you want a fast and easy way to measure your body composition, there are tons of BMI calculators online, or you can purchase BMI Machines on Amazon.
Go ahead. Pause…take the BMI test. You know you want to. Just don’t forget to come back here when you’re done, so you can read about all the best back fat exercises.
Okay, so you took the BMI test. You’re still here, which probably means that you found that your body composition might need a bit of tweaking. You’re in the right place to find all the best exercises for back fat!
What Causes Back Fat?
You might be raising your fist in the air, saying: “Why, back fat? Why?!!” And the truth is, there are lots of “whys” when it comes to back fat.
Chips & Soda: We love our high-calorie, processed foods–full of sat fat. Until it comes to bite us–literally on the back. One reason you may have some excess back fat is simply because you’re eating too many calories–or just food that is not healthy and unprocessed. If you’re nodding you’re head at this description, adding back fat exercises into your daily routine might be for you!
Couch Potato Lifestyles: When we sit at an office chair all day and then go home to the couch and then to our bed, we’re not exactly burning a ton of calories. So, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to a build-up of fat on your back. By adding in some exercises to get rid of back fat, you can help prevent this from happening.
Stressin’ Out: This one's weird, right? Who would think that stress would give you love handles? But it’s all connected, and believe it or not, the stress hormone, cortisol, can throw a few extra pounds on ya. Back fat exercises can directly help contend with the toll stress takes on our bodies.
Who You’re From: Remember how fat is a rebel and goes where it will? Well, genetics plays a big part in this. Sometimes, it’s just your DNA or how you’re physically built that tends to attract fat in certain areas. But the good news is, even with the propensity to gain weight on your back, these back fat exercises will battle those tendencies.
Getting “Over the Hill”: Age can definitely decrease your body’s metabolism and slow down its ability to burn off the fat it used to. Adding in exercises to get rid of back fat can help your form look a bit younger.
Defeating Back Fat
The good news is, there are some tried and true methods to help you say “no thank you” to your back fat.
Tracking Food Intake (In Addition to Back Fat Exercises)
If you have a specific body composition goal in mind, I recommend using a calorie counter app, such as My Fitness Pal. There are plenty of others out there, too, and it’s worth doing some research to find one that fits your needs.
By adding a food tracker app, you gain back control over your diet, and you can track your daily calorie intake–as well as the ratio of how many carbs you’re getting in a day vs. fats and protein. This is the perfect partner for a back fat exercise routine! You don’t have to get obsessive about it, but having a guide on what you eat can be a great way to get results!
Working with a nutritionist or a personal trainer can also help get you educated on a healthy calorie intake based on your own personal goals. I highly recommend this rather than just spitballing numbers you think might work for you.
Eating Good Food (In Addition to Back Fat Exercises)
In addition to tracking, let’s also make sure the food you’re eating is doing some of the work for you. Chicken breast, fish, legumes, nuts, eggs, vegetables, and greens are all great options to add some fiber into your diet, which will help you take in less fat.
You’ll also want to keep an eye on amounts of sodium, which can cause your stomach and back areas to bloat. Pair all this with drinking a good amount of water, and your diet will set you up for success as you set out to learn some new back fat exercises!
HIIT Back Fat Exercises
For back fat exercises, I recommend a combo of HIIT exercises along with strength training.
High-intensity interval (HIIT) workouts are one of the best exercises to get rid of back fat you can go with! HIIT workouts alternate between short, intense bursts of activity and brief periods of low-level activity or rest. These cardio moves burn calories and help with endurance and stamina, and they’ll help you lose a good amount of fat.
Strength Training Back Fat Exercises
These moves are where you can actually target the back itself. By pairing some HIIT cardio with muscle-toning back fat exercises, you’ll start to see a real difference in your back–turning that flab into rock-hard muscle!
6 Back Fat Exercises to Scrub the Flub
How to Row:
- You’ll need access to a row machine–either at your local gym or by purchasing one. As always, I recommend getting tips from a physical fitness professional on how to use a row machine with proper form.
- Sit down on the machine, bending your knees and keeping your feet flat.
- Grasp the handles.
- Keeping your core braced, chest out, and arms straight, use your legs to explosively push your entire body back, straightening your legs as you do so.
- Once your legs are straight, use your arms to pull the handle toward your chest, bending your elbows as you do so.
- Release your arms. Then, allow your legs to bend again, bringing you back to the starting position.
Benefits of Adding Rowing Into Your Back Fat Exercise Routine:
This is a HIIT move with some strength involved as well. Not only is using a row machine a full-body workout, it’s also a fun machine to utilize as an exercise to get rid of back fat! The pulling motion of this exercise will work your upper back muscles while simultaneously getting you into a calorie-devouring sweat!
2. Reverse Flies
How to Perform a Reverse Fly:
- Use two dumbbells for this workout. Hold one in each hand, standing with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hinge at your hips, pushing your butt and pelvis back and bringing your chest parallel to the ground.
- Keeping your core tight, back straight, and chin tucked, raise your arms out the sides and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Slowly lower back to the starting position, and repeat.
Benefits of Adding Reverse Flies Into Your Back Fat Exercise Routine:
This move targets the deltoid muscles, rhomboids, and upper back. You’ll literally feel these muscles working as you squeeze your shoulder blades together with this move. By defining these muscles with this back fat exercise, you’ll lose that extra layer of fat, giving your back a ripped appearance!
How to Perform a Superman:
- Lie on your stomach, stretching your hands forward and feet back.
- Lift your hands and feet around 6 inches off the ground at the same time.
- Try to lift up enough, so that your bellybutton is off of the floor.
- Hold the position for several seconds.
- Slowly release back to the starting position.
Benefits of Adding a Superman Into Your Back Fat Exercise Routine:
Get in touch with your inner Clark Kent when you perform a Superman! This back fat exercise targets the muscles of the lower back, but you’ll basically be working your entire posterior chain here including the erector spinae, glutes, traps, deltoids, and hamstrings.
4. Lat Pulldowns
How to Perform a Lat Pulldown:
- Sit on a bench or on a built-in seat at a cable station.
- Attach a long bar to the overhead pulley at its highest position.
- Grasp the bar with a wide, overhand grip.
- Pull the bar down to chin level, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Keep your torso still and feet flat on the floor as you perform this motion.
- Slowly release the bar to its original position.
Benefits of Adding a Lat Pulldown Into Your Back Fat Exercise Routine:
This back fat exercise will activate your upper back muscles, which will improve the overall muscle tone in your back, reducing the appearance of excess fat and replacing it with solid muscle. (Also read more about exercises for Lats such as T Bar Row Muscles Worked.)
5. Dumbbell/Kettlebell Swings
How to Perform a Dumbbell/Kettlebell Swing
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold a dumbbell or a kettlebell with both hands.
- Bend your knees slightly, pushing your hips back.
- Swing the weight between your legs and behind your body.
- Then, using your hips and glutes to perform the motion, swing the dumbbell or kettlebell up and toward your chest.
- The weight will naturally return to its starting position.
Benefits of Adding a Dumbbell/Kettlebell Swing Into Your Back Fat Exercise Routine:
This is a great cardio HIIT back fat exercise that also focuses on adding strength. You’ll boost your heart rate while burning up your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back–making this a great exercise to get rid of back fat (check out more on compound back exercises too).
6. Wood Chop With Dumbbell
How to Perform a Wood Chop With Dumbbell:
- Hold a dumbbell with both hands, standing straight with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Raise the dumbbell above your right shoulder, rotating your torso as you do so.
- Now bring the dumbbell down and across your body to the left hip, squatting as you perform this motion.
- Repeat. Then, switch sides.
Benefits of Adding a Wood Chop With Dumbbell to Your Back Fat Exercise Routine:
Similar to the kettlebell swing, this back fat exercise will get your heart rate up while strengthening your back. Wood chops work your core, shoulders, and back–improving your stability, posture, and coordination.
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Now that you've read about amazing back fat exercises, read about how to get Shoulders of Steel With the Face Pull: Muscles Worked and Variations!