How To Get Rid Of Back Fat: Exercises, Diet + 15-Minute Workout!

Fitness, Training Advice, Training Tips

By: Chris Freytag, CPT // January 15, 2023

Eliminating back fat isn’t as simple as doing a few push-ups and calling it a day. In this ultimate guide to getting rid of back fat, we give you practical, science-backed information, what causes back fat, back fat exercises and a 15-minute back fat workout.

 Jump to back fat workout

Ready to say buh-bye to back fat? Then read on!

What Causes Back Fat?

We’re all predisposed to carry more fat in specific places, but there are also several things that can cause back fat to accumulate or worsen:

  • Lack Of Use

    One reason for back fat is that the back muscles are worked far less than the muscles on the front of the body. When muscles go unused, they atrophy or lose strength. Losing strength encourages a loss of tone and definition which is why back fat exercises are so important.

  • Trying To “Spot Reduce”

    Science says you can’t spot reduce body fat. You can, however, spot “tone” an area by working a specific muscle group (like muscles in your back). But for that to make a difference, you need to tackle the whole picture, including proper nutrition, good strength training, back fat exercises, and cardio. Translation: you need to reduce overall body fat.

  • Extra Pounds

    If you want to get rid of back fat, the truth is you have to get rid of fat in general. While that is happening, you can work on toning and tightening the parts of your body you want to see changed.

  • Poor Posture

    It may not actually “create” back fat, but it can emphasize the fat that you have. Proper posture helps your physical appearance, in addition to helping keep your bones and joints healthy, lessen arthritis pain, and decrease spinal stress. Standing up tall and strong will make you look longer and leaner.

How to Get Rid of Back Fat

Follow these four tips (+workout!) to eliminate body fat overall, including from your back:

1. A Healthy Diet

This food is protein-rich, super-healthy and clean! Eating this type of food will help you lose weight and build muscle when combined with a consistent workout routine!

While you might just want to dive into back fat exercises, the truth is: it starts with your diet.

In an editorial by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers noted that excess sugar and carbs—not physical inactivity—are primarily to blame for the growing obesity epidemic. No matter how much you move, eating poorly is working against you and it will win every time.

Excess calories, especially those in the form of sugar and unhealthy fats end up as fat on your body, and that includes your back. A healthy diet doesn’t mean starving yourself. The key is to choose healthy, whole foods.

Clean eating includes lots of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. The choices are wide open!

Walk the perimeter of your local grocer or visit a farmers market just to see your options. If you’re not sure how to start, try our Ultimate Guide to Healthy Eating ebook for a little guidance—we’ve got TONS of tips on how to make clean eating a natural part of your daily life.

2. Get Moving With Cardio

Burn off belly fat with jump rope

Cardio exercise burns calories and helps blast body fat. And for fat loss, you need to burn off more calories than you take in.  Cardio exercise helps with that in addition to the below-back fat exercises.

The CDC recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a week. Walk, bike, dance, and just get movin’! And if you really want to dig in and get serious, mix in two days of interval training like HIIT workouts or Tabata intervals.

Varying your workouts to include both lower intensity and higher intensity activities helps shake up your stubborn metabolism and get things moving in the right direction toward fat loss.

3. Strength Train Your Entire Body, Not Just One Area

Strong woman holding up a barbell from behind

We learned earlier about losing muscle and the effects of muscle atrophy. So what can you do to get it back? Work the muscles, of course! “Without question, exercise is the most powerful intervention to address muscle loss”, explains Nathan K.LeBrasseur, Ph.D. from the Mayo Clinic. 

The best weapon against body fat and for a better shape is to strength train your entire body with a special focus on your back. You don’t just want to focus on back fat exercises.

  1. Muscle tissue is active. The more muscle you have, the more efficient your body is at burning calories.
  2. You want muscle on your whole body to be working for you all day long. Be sure to get to those larger muscles, especially legs, since those are going to be more efficient muscles in your body.
  3. Target those back muscles in order to see change. While spot-reducing fat doesn’t work, it is still true that as you lose fat all over your body, you want to firm up the muscle below the skin in order to create the tighter shape you are truly looking for instead of the jiggle you so dread.

Related: The Beginner’s Guide To Strength Training

4. Stand Up Tall

Woman standing in sports bra and leggings looking out into water

Standing tall with your shoulders back and lower abs pulled in tight will make you look both taller and leaner all over.

And if posture is really a problem for you, try Pilates! Pilates teaches you to engage your core, strengthen your lower back, practice good posture and keep your back and shoulders stable and strong. Professional athletes everywhere have learned the wonders of Pilates.

Try This 15-Minute Back Fat Workout

Woman from behind in sports bra and leggings lifting dumbbells

Now it’s time to work on some back fat exercises! You’ve already learned that you need a combination of both cardio exercise and strength training to burn off fat and tone your back. 

During this 15-minute back fat workout, you will alternate back and forth between a strength move and a cardio move, giving you just the balance you need to make it truly work. If you have 30 minutes, go through the routine twice to elevate your heart rate and start to torch that body fat. 

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”dj59Brer” upload-date=”2021-12-08T06:01:19.000Z” name=”How To Get Rid of Back Fat” description=”Learn what causes back fat and why you need a multi-step approach to getting rid of it. Then try this 15-minute back blaster workout! ” player-type=”static”]

How To Perform These Back Fat Exercises:

  • For each strength move below, perform the listed amount of reps, then go right into the cardio move and perform for 2 minutes.
  • For best results, try interval-style training in the cardio section by performing the first minute at a moderate pace and the second minute going hard enough to breathe heavy through your mouth—you should be almost breathless by the end.
  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and get started on your back fat workout! (You can also download and print off this workout by clicking the button below!)

Back Fat Exercise: Reverse Grip Row Double Arm Row

> 12 reps

How to perform:

  1. Start with legs together and sit back into a slight squat engaging the abdominals. Arms are in front of the upper body holding dumbbells at hip height with palms facing the ceiling.
  2. Draw elbows back past hips gently hugging the side body so you feel lats and triceps engage in your upper back and return forward with control.

Cardio Move: Jumping Jacks

> 1 Minute Moderate/1 Minute Hard

How to perform:

  1. Start standing up with your legs together, a slight bend in knees, and hands resting on thighs.
  2. Keeping the knees bent, open the arms and legs out to the sides. Arms come above the head and legs wider than shoulders.
  3. Close your arms and legs back to your sides, returning to your start. Do moderate reps for one minute and hard reps for one minute!

Back Fat Exercise: Side Plank With Arm Extension

> 12 reps on the right, 12 reps on the left

How to perform:

  1. Bring your body into one straight line on the floor stacking legs, hips, and your shoulder directly over your elbow into a forearm plank. Lift hips with dumbbell resting hovering over the floor. (You can modify this plank by bending your lower knee if necessary)
  2. Raise the dumbbell directly over your shoulder keeping abdominals engaged and lower with control working your arms, and entire core. 12 reps on the right, 12 reps on the left

Cardio Move; Jogging In Place

> 1 Minute Moderate. 1 Minute Hard!

How to perform:

  1. Start standing with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Lift one foot then the other to jog in place working your legs and increasing your heart rate. Do moderate reps for one minute and hard reps for one minute!

Back Fat Exercises: Renegade Rows

> 20 total reps, alternating right and left

How to perform:

  1. Begin in a full plank with dumbbells in hands, arms extended, and on toes. (kneeling variation is fine if you are not able to do a full plank) Engage your abdominals drawing the belly inward towards your spine.
  2. Pull the right dumbbell up toward the right hip bone keeping the weight close to your side. Slowly return it to the floor and repeat with the left dumbbell. 20 total reps.

Cardio Move: Jumprope

> 1 Minute Moderate. 1 Minute Go Hard!

How to perform:

  1. Start with feet hip-distance apart, and arms stretched to the sides like your holding a jump rope with your hands.
  2. Circle your hands like you’re swinging a jump rope and hop over it to jump rope in place. Do moderate reps for one minute and hard reps for one minute!

Back Fat Exercise: Straight Arm Press Back

12 reps

How to perform:

  1. Start with feet hip-distance apart. Engage your abdominals and sit back into a slight squat. Dumbbells start at the sides of the knees.
  2. Keeping the core engaged press the dumbbells past your hips and return with control. Avoid swinging the arms or bending the elbows. 12 reps total.

Cardio Move: Skaters

> 1 Minute Moderate. 1 Minute Hard!

How to perform:

  1. Start with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart and arms at the sides.
  2. Bring one leg behind at a slight angle into a reverse lunge. The front knee will come to a 90-degree angle.
  3. Swing the arms in front of that bent knee and leap the back leg forward to switch sides in a skating motion. Arms alternate as you switch sides like a speed skater. Do moderate reps for one minute and hard reps for one minute!

Back Fat Exercises: Single Arm Rows

> 12 reps on the right, 12 reps on the left

How to perform:

  1. Stand in a split stance with your right foot forward and the dumbbell in your left arm. Slightly hinge over from your hip flexors keeping your abdominals engaged to protect your low back.
  2. Pull the elbow straight back past your hip (keep arms close to the body- don’t let your elbow wing out.) Engage and squeeze your back muscles then lower the dumbbell back to start position with control. Perform desired of reps and repeat on the other side. 12 reps on the right, 12 reps on the left. 

Cardio Move: Power Skips

> 1 Minute Moderate: 1 Minute Hard!

How to perform:

  1. Start standing with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Lift right knee and spring up off your left foot, hopping into the air. Switch. Continue in a “skipping” motion in place for the desired amount of time. Do moderate reps for one minute and hard reps for one minute!

Whether it’s something that’s always bothered you or a new frustration that has appeared with age, doing everything to get rid of back fat can be a serious pain.

If you follow our tips to tone your back, you’ll feel more confident, lose weight, and most importantly, gain strength for more flexibility and mobility to do the things you love to do!

Pin These Back Fat Exercises For Later!

A pin image of Chris Freytag performing back fat exerciess

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