When you look at the mirror what is the first thing you notice? More often than not, the first thing that you notice is that your face seems blemish-free, your hair looks okay, it’s not one of those bad hair days and so you suck in your belly in to make it look as flat as possible. Well, you may not be as successful as you’d like, but then you sigh and go on to take on the world with enthusiasm and vigor. But how often do you look at your back and check whether it is looking alright? Even if you are not very concerned about the back fat, your back is noticed by everyone, and a smooth and fat-free back is indeed your passport to compliments galore and also a step towards perfect fitness. So for a change, let our backs do the talking. So let’s try and answer the question of how to reduce back fat.
Your Back in Focus
If you have a trouble area and have identified it as your back, you have to find out why you are unable to get a toned back a la’ the models you see smiling on fashion mags, or those on the runway sashaying down the ramp with so much chutzpah.
You seem to do it all, right? Eating right and exercising, yet that stubborn back just doesn’t seem to go away and peeps from under your clothes. What could be the roadblock to getting perfect shoulders and a back be? Check out the following list and find out what’s stopping you from flaunting a toned and ripped back.
- Atrophy of the back muscles- What is atrophy of the back muscles? It means that both muscle tone and strength is lost, resulting in a flabby back. The flab around your lower back and sides greatly contribute to the appearance of ‘muffin top’.
The best part is you can get rid of the back fat with a little effort. Are you doing resistance –training? If not, then it’s time you started. Also, eating right is another thing that you must do, there’s no getting away from good nutrition. So train hard and eat right, it will help you drop the excess fat.
- Burn body fat- Too much of body fat can sit on your back and make wearing skimpy clothes a problem. You have perfect arms, legs and waist, but a flabby back. Not a very nice sight is it?
Amp your cardio, an intense cardio routine can burn tons of calories. Choosing what cardio routine works for you is a tricky one, most of us lose interest and we quit halfway. So choose something which will keep your focus and interest on point.
- Eating unhealthy foods- Succumbing to temptation is fairly easy. What isn’t easy is suffering the consequences of it. You may be foodie, but giving leeway to your hunger pangs all the time is undoing all your good work. Next time you check your back in the mirror and grimace about the fact that your jiggling back is still jiggling away merrily, you know whom to blame.
You can blame that big tub of French fries you had in the restaurant or that mammoth slice of gooey chocolate cake you couldn’t resist at the party. So eat a little less than you can and exercise a little more than you can, and watch yourself becoming lean and mean! Top advice: don’t sabotage your gym efforts by eating unhealthy.
- Drinking your calories- Yes, you might not be controlling your calories; but you sure don’t mind chugging away. An after dinner wine, a fizzy drink at the movies, or a beer to chill with your friends, they all add up and pile on the places where they shouldn’t pile up. With seven calories per gram, wine may be healthy in some ways, but remember that you have to control your portions even when it comes to drinks, actually more so because we do not pay any attention to liquid calories, which come in insidiously and add on the kilos!
- No spot reducing- Your back is made up of four main muscles, the upper muscles are the rhomboids and trapezius, the middle is known as the lattissimus dorsi, and the lower is the erector spinae. As spot-reducing is not possible even with back fat exercise, it’s essential to focus on muscles that also surround your back so you are proportionate.
- You are too stressed- Stress causes havoc, and it also makes you fat. Stress hormones slow down your body’s ability to burn fat. Take one or two breaks in a week to reduce stress and burn fat.
- Sleeping right- All work and no rest makes Jack a fat boy! There is no such saying, isn’t it? But it is true. If you work hard at the gym, you need to sleep right and it should be a good six-eight hours of sleep. You will then be able to work at your optimal level mentally and physically.
- Variations are the key- Don’t get to the point that you will be so bored you won’t be able to continue with your exercises to get rid of back fat. Try mixing it up, targeting different muscle groups each day and you will get impeccable results.
- Drink more water– Yes, you have heard about this a million times already, but do you follow it? Eight to ten glasses of water help you shed even the most stubborn fat. So drink up your glass of elixir and your body will thank you for it later.
- Patience is the key- You cannot achieve the shredded look in a day, you need to be patient and work at it. A few people can get results faster than others, you may not be one of them but that is no excuse for hanging up your sneakers. All you have to do is keep at it and results may be just around the corner.
- The right nutrition- Even if you avoid harmful foods you must also fuel your body right, the right nutrition helps fuel your body and helps you work at the optimal level.
Exercises for Getting Rid Of Back Fat
If you are unhappy with your back, focus on strengthening that area and it will help to get rid of the fat on your back. Strengthening muscles on your back can help improve your posture as well, and if the posture is right and you don’t slouch, your back appears toned and trimmed. So let us explore some back fat workouts.
- Pull ups– They are a great way to build your upper body strength. Pull ups are great options to sculpt your back for both men and women.
Grip a pull-up bar with your palms facing out. When you pull yourself up with your hands facing this way, you give your biceps and lats a great workout. Pulling yourself up with your palms out is considered the most difficult way to pull up your bodyweight. Start with your arms almost fully extended.
Pull your body weight up until your chin is slightly above the bar. You may have to strain, but keep pulling until you’ve lifted yourself up using your back and biceps.
In order to keep your bodyweight centered, you can cross your feet beneath you as you lift yourself up.
Lower yourself until your arms are almost fully extended. Lower yourself in a controlled way to work the muscles harder and prepare yourself for the next pull.
Do another pull-up. Once your arms are almost extended, start pulling up again. Repeat for as many reps as you can. If possible, do 3 sets of 10 reps. This is a very effective exercise to reduce back fat.
- Push-ups- This basic move basically works your chest, but it can prove to be a great exercise for your back too. Get into a standard push-up position with hands on the ground wider than shoulder-width apart. Lowering your back towards the ground also works the back muscles. So lower yourself slowly and feel the burn doing the downward movement. Hold at the bottom for 3 seconds and push yourself up, contracting the chest.
- T-Raises– Grab a pair of 2- to 3-pound dumbbells and stand with feet hip-width apart. Take a slight bend in knees as you shift hips back and lower torso until it’s parallel to the floor. Bring weights together and turn palms to face forward. Keeping arms straight, lift weights up to shoulder height then lower back down. Make sure to keep the core and glutes engaged the entire time. Do 15 reps.
- Single arm Dumbbell rows– Take a 15- to 25-pound dumbbell in one hand. Stand with feet hip-width apart, bend your knees, and shift hips back, lowering the upper portion of the body until nearly parallel with the ground. Place right hand on a wall in front of you for balance.
Draw the weight up towards your chest by bending left elbow straight up toward the ceiling. Make sure to keep shoulder blades down and together and core engaged the entire time. Do 10 reps on each side.
- Plank with lateral arm raises- Come into a straight-arm plank with hands below and in line with shoulders, your feet should be slightly wider than hip-width apart. Keeping hips as still as possible, lift one arm up to shoulder height. Return to center, and then raise the other arm to shoulder height. Draw belly button up and in and keep your body centered. Do 10 reps each side.
- Standing Rear Delt Raises: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hinge at the hips and lean forward so your hips go behind your heels and the back is flat. Hold the weights under the chest and look at the floor, about 5 feet in front of you. Keeping your arms straight (without locking the elbows) and lift your dumbbells. Avoid putting the work in your lower back. Bring the shoulder blades together, and then release the weights back under the chest with control.
- Dumbbell Shrugs: Grab a set of dumbbells and hold them down by your sides, palms facing in. Raise your shoulders as high as possible (the shrug) and lower. Try not to roll your shoulders at all.
- Hip Twister Plank: In plank position, twist at the waist to drop your right hip to ground and twist again to bring it back up. Repeat with your left hip.
- Jumping rope: It not only works your shoulders but targets your entire body fat. To achieve a trim and toned look, you need to include jumping rope for effective fat loss.
- Pull and push– Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, take a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand, arms down by your sides with palms facing forward. Lift your arms forward and up to shoulder height so the backs of your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Pause, then in one smooth movement raise your arms overhead and tap the ends of the weights together. Slowly return arms to shoulder height, pause, then lower to starting position. Do 3 sets of 6–8 reps. you can grab weighted bottles if you want. This will also help you getting rid of lower back fat.
- Crisscross reverse fly- This exercise hits the shoulders and upper back. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a 5- to 8-pound weight in each hand. Bend your knees slightly and tip your torso forward to a 45-degree angle. Cross your arms at the wrists in front of your knees, then lift arms to shoulder height, with the weights out to the sides. Slowly lower your arms to the starting position, crossing weights in the opposite direction. Do 3 sets of 10–12 reps.
Yoga Poses to Lose Back Fat
If you are not a fan of resistance training, try these yoga poses to banish back fat effectively. Remember that these poses have to be done with diligence and patience to get results. These are great exercises to lose side and back fat.
1. Side Twist
This is an effective exercise which targets the glutes, upper back and quads.
- Stand with your feet together. Inhale to bend your knees and lower your hips as you raise your arms overhead, coming into the fierce pose. Exhale to cross your right elbow over to your outer left knee. Press your palms together and actively push your bottom elbow against your thigh to lift and rotate your chest up, increasing the twist. Pull your right hip back slightly, making sure both knees are parallel.
- Stay put for five breaths in a side twist, then inhale as you press into your feet and lift your torso, rising back into the pose. Exhale to cross your left elbow over your right outer knee, holding for another five breaths on this side.
2. Modified Warrior
This exercise works the back and shoulders to great effect. Practice this at least three days per week. This is a great back fat exercise for women.
- Stand at the front of your mat with both feet together. Shift your weight onto your left leg and kick your right leg behind you, balancing with your torso parallel to the floor. Extend your arms straight in front of you or do Eagle arms, as shown in the photo.
- Draw your navel toward your spine and hold the pose for five breaths.
3. Half Moon
This pose works the back and sides of the upper portion of the body.
- Begin in downward facing dog. Step your right foot forward between your hands, and rise up to the warrior pose. Then open your hips, arms, and chest into modified warrior pose.
- Place your left hand on your left hip and stretch your right arm straight out, creating length through the right side of your body. Shift weight onto your right foot, and lift your left foot up. Plant your right palm flat on the ground under your shoulder. Bend your right knee or use a block if your hamstring is tight.
- Try to distribute your weight evenly between your right hand and foot. Look down at the ground and try to bring your left arm straight up. When you’re ready, look up toward your left hand.
- Hold for five breaths, and then repeat this pose to the left side.
4. Dolphin Plank
This pose works on the muscles of the abs, arms and especially the shoulders.
- From the down dog position, lower onto your forearms and walk your feet out. Your body should be in one straight line with your shoulders directly above your elbows.
- Hold the dolphin plank position for five breaths and feel the burn on your shoulders.
The one thing we must always keep in mind is that we cannot spot reduce, we need to reduce the overall fat percentage of our body, and hence these exercises must be supplemented by the right nutrition and cardio exercises. If you want to flaunt that V shape, you need to focus on weight training and the right exercises to get rid of back fat and to sculpt your back from flab to fab!