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8 Best Exercises To Get Rid Of Back Fat

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Best Exercises To Get Rid Of Back Fat

To reduce back fat and sport a toned look, you need to work on the two prominent back muscles responsible for the chiseled appearance of the back--Latissimus dorsi or Lats and Trapezius muscles, also called Traps. There are exercises targeting them like rowing, pull ups, push ups which, when done in the right way, offer great results.

If only spot reduction was a reality, we could’ve worked on our love handles, bat wings, and double chin in isolation to achieve the body of our dreams. Now that it has been proven beyond doubt that spot reduction is a myth1 losing fat demands a strategy that needs to be executed with precision. While an overall body workout is required to shed weight, a toned look needs working on individual muscles to give them definition.

In workouts, it’s natural for us to focus on the body parts that we can see, which is the anterior body. That explains why there is so much emphasis on planks and crunches in our daily gym schedules. Yes, washboard abs and biceps are what dreams are made of but how about your back fat ruining it for you? If you have a bra bulge or a love handle, then you might probably want to work on your back muscles. As for men, those folds of fat on the back are quite an eyesore, too. Let’s see how back fat can be removed. Also the right workouts for a chiseled back.

How To Reduce Back Fat

The anatomy of the back includes some of the most massive and functionally important muscles in the human body. These muscles protect the spine and help it do its job and also reach, pull and extend the arms and torso. From a cosmetic point of view, however, there are two major muscles that give definition to your body–Latissimus dorsi or Lats and Trapezius or Traps.2

Latissimus dorsi / Lats

Lats is a large muscle on either side of the spine and is the one that, when toned, gives the coveted inverted triangle shape to the men’s backs. Studies have shown that Lats is made of type II fibers which make training at higher speeds and lifting heavier loads best exercises to tone it.3 Pull down exercises are good for Lats–both horizontal pull down like rowing or vertical ones like pull ups and pull downs. A study found that inverted row is the most effective exercise for medial lats while exercises that involve lateral bending, as well as body lifting exercises, are good for lateral lats.4

Trapezius Muscles/ Traps

A flat triangular muscle that extends over the back of the neck and upper thorax, trapezius muscles form a diamond shape. Their actions include extending the head and elevating, depressing, and stabilizing the scapula.5

Some of the best exercises for the upper back, especially trapezius muscles, are seated lateral, double-arm upright row,6 push-up plus,7 and bhujangasana or cobra pose in yoga.

Exercises To Tone The Lats

1. Inverted Row

inverted row to get rid of back fat

Lie down on your back under a fixed horizontal bar placed one arm distance away from you. Grasp the bar with wide overhand grip. Keeping the body straight, pull it up to the bar. Return until arms are extended and shoulders are stretched forward. Repeat.

2. Cable Row

seated row to get rid of back fat

Sit at a seated cable row station with your back straight, feet planted firmly against the pads, and your knees only slightly bent. Pull cable attachment toward your waist while keeping the lower back straight. Pull shoulders back and push chest forward during contraction. Return until arms are extended, your shoulders are stretched forward, and lower back is flexed forward. Repeat.

3. Pull Ups

do pull ups to reduce back fat

Step up and grasp the bar with a wide overhand grip. Pull the body up until the neck reaches the hands. Lower the body until arms and shoulders are fully extended. Repeat.

4. Pull Downs

pull downs reduces back fat

Stand in front of a lat pulldown bar, place your palms flat on the bar and pull it down to shoulder level. Keeping your elbows slightly bent and your wrists locked, pull the bar down toward your body in an arcing motion. The bar should touch or come close to your thighs. Slowly allow the bar to come back up to the starting position. Keep your back straight. Repeat.

Exercises To Tone The Traps

5. Seated Lateral

seated lateral to reduce back fat

Sit at the edge of a chair, holding a dumbbell in each hand and lean forward until your chest is a few inches away from your thighs. Palms toward the rear, hold the dumbbells behind your legs, letting one end of each dumbbell to touch each other. Keeping the dumbbells close to your body, raise the dumbbells up and back toward the hip. Rotate the dumbbells 90 degrees as you go so that when you reach hip level, the dumbbells are angled to the front and your palms are facing front. Do the movement feeling the stretch on your back. Return to the start position. Repeat.

6. Double Arm Upright Row

double arm upright row reduces back fat

Stand with your feet one foot apart holding a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your arms downward, positioning each dumbbell in the center of your thighs. Extend your elbows outward and keeping the dumbbells close to your body, raise the dumbbells chin level, all the while flexing the trapezius muscles as you do it. Return to the start position in full control. Repeat.

7. Push Up Plus

push ups to reduce back fat

Get down on all fours and place your hands on the floor so that they’re slightly wider than but in line with your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from your ankles to your head. Keep your abdominals tucked in through the duration of the exercise. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause, then push yourself back to the starting position as quickly as possible. Once your arms are straight again, round your upper back and push it toward the ceiling. Pause for one count, then do another pushup. Repeat.

8. Cobra Pose

cobra pose

Lie face down, with the top of the feet flat on the ground and toes extended. Place the palms on either side of your chest. As you inhale, lift your upper body up with your stomach and hips on the floor. As you come up, make sure your elbows are bent and facing the wall behind you and shoulders moving away from your ears. As you exhale, lower down. Repeat.

These are some of the exercises that work on your upper body. Include them in your daily workout to get rid of back fat.

References   [ + ]

1. Gwinup, Grant, Reg Chelvam, and Terry Steinberg. “Thickness of subcutaneous fat and activity of underlying muscles.” Annals of Internal Medicine 74, no. 3 (1971): 408-411.
2. Superficial muscles of the back, intermediate muscles of the back, deep muscles of the back. UAMS.
3. Johnson, M_A, J. Polgar, D. Weightman, and D. Appleton. “Data on the distribution of fibre types in thirty-six human muscles: an autopsy study.” Journal of the neurological sciences 18, no. 1 (1973): 111-129.
4. Park, Se-yeon, Won-gyu Yoo, Duk-hyun An, Jae-seop Oh, Jung-hoon Lee, and Bo-ram Choi. “Comparison of isometric exercises for activating latissimus dorsi against the upper body weight.” Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 25, no. 1 (2015): 47-52.
5. Muscle Anatomy. MJC.
6. Vedral, Joyce L. Toning for teens: The 20 minute workout that makes you look good and feel great. Hachette UK, 2008.
7. Ludewig, Paula M., Molly S. Hoff, Erin E. Osowski, Shane A. Meschke, and Peter J. Rundquist. “Relative balance of serratus anterior and upper trapezius muscle activity during push-up exercises.” The American journal of sports medicine 32, no. 2 (2004): 484-493.