A lot of people carry excess weight, and for some, this weight accumulates around the back. 

Regardless of its location, the best way to get rid of excess fat is to reduce your overall calories with a combination of diet and exercise. 

To reduce back fat, start by adopting healthy habits to help you stay fit and energized. 

Regular cardio will burn off excess fat, while strength training exercises can help you build muscle and improve the shape of your back.

While some of us have trouble making our belly fat disappear, other people can’t rid their bodies of back fat no matter how hard they try. Also referred to as a “bra bulge”, back fat is that that annoying band of chub that clings to the back muscles and creates a fold of skin above the waistline or a bulge that peeks out of a bra band.

While we’d love to answer the age-old question of how to get rid of back fat, it’s actually impossible to spot-reduce flab. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. If you’re serious about firming up your back, you’ll need to decrease your overall body fat, which means you’ll look slimmer everywhere—not just below your bra band. (Woohoo!)

Adding fat-burning foods to your diet, tweaking your daily routine, and adding some targeted strength training exercises to your workouts are the most effective ways to sculpt a lean back.

We’ve put together the best tips for how to get rid of back fat so you can firm up and feel confident in your own skin.

Pull-Ups

Fit a pull-up bar to your home and before you know it, you will be on your way to a sexy back and a heap of functional strength.

Yoga

Sick of the bulge that pokes out around your shoulder blades? Well, stop stressing! Studies show that stress tends to increase levels of cortisol, the hormone that donates those extra pounds to your backside. De-stressing can be as simple as taking up a weekly yoga class and relishing every second of savasana. Plus, holding and breathing through poses such as warrior 3 and half-moon can help strengthen and tone your back and core muscles.

Reverse hip raise with exercise ball

This low-impact exercise is easy on your hips and a simple way to start toning your back.

  1. Start by lying with your belly on the exercise ball, your eyes looking at the ground. Your palms should be flat on the floor, and your legs can be bent at the knee.
  2. Squeeze your glute muscles together and balance on the ball as you press your legs together and up. The ball should remain stable during this movement.
  3. Hold this pose for several seconds, then lower your legs. Repeat several times, increasing the length of time you hold the hip raise if you’re able to.

Side jackknife

This exercise targets your obliques, which are part of your abdomen, and will tone your “love handles” and lower back area.

  1. Lie on your right side with your legs stacked over each other.
  2. Put your left hand behind your head. Your right hand can rest wherever you feel comfortable.
  3. Squeeze your obliques as you draw your left leg up toward your left arm, which should remain stable on your head. You’ll be bringing the bent left arm toward your left knee.
  4. Repeat several times before switching to the opposite side.

Straight-Arm Planks

Planks are an awesome core-strengthening exercise. Use them to build a 6-pack to go with your toned back.

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  1. Start with your arms straight towards the floor.
  2. Lift and hold your body as straight as possible.
  3. Hold this position for 15-60 seconds then rest.
  4. Perform this static hold 3 times in total.

Dumbbell Rows

Get hold of a dumbbell and start performing this back-toning movement!

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  1. Place one of your knees on a study bench or similar object and hold your dumbbell in the opposite hand.
  2. Keeping your back as level as possible, pull the dumbbell to your armpit in a straight rowing motion.
  3. Slowly lower the weight back down but don’t fully lock your arm out.
  4. Once you have completed a set of 8-12, switch to the other arm and knee and repeat.

Resistance Band Rowing

Resistance bands are an incredibly flexible fitness tool. You use one in a simple rowing motion to train your back and shoulders almost anywhere!

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Go for 10-20 minutes rowing sessions with varied intensity. Your back will be slimmer and firmer in no time.

Lifestyle changes for weight loss

Lifestyle changes can help make your weight loss efforts more efficient. Here are some changes to consider making in your routine:

  • Start by walking more. Simply walking to drop off your child to school or to get your coffee instead of driving to the coffee shop burns calories.
  • If you smoke, consider quitting. This can be difficult, but a doctor can help you create a smoking cessation plan that works for you.
  • Practice your posture. Not only will this minimize the appearance of back fat, but it will also help strengthen your back and give you a little bit of a workout right where you’re sitting.

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Written by Harry Rosen

Harry Rosen is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author.

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