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 the practical, science-backed information you need to get rid of back fat and feel more confident in your body.
Learn how to get rid of back fat, what causes back fat, and why you need a multi-step approach to lose back fat. We’ll also show you how to tone up your back using our 15-minute back fat blaster 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.
- 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
You’ve probably heard this phrase by now, but if you haven’t, listen loud and clear: You can’t work off a bad 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
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.
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
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 exercises.
- Muscle tissue is active. The more muscle you have, the more efficient your body is at burning calories.
- 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 on your body.
- 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.
4. Stand Up Tall
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.