And most of your everyday movements like walking and carrying groceries work the front of your arms and your chest. This may make it difficult to know how to tone back muscles and target back fat.
While belly fat is the number one weight-loss problem for some, others struggle with another type of stubborn fat—the back fat. It is that stubborn layer of fat that clings to the back muscles, creating a fold of skin above the waistline.
The idea of “spot-treating” areas of fat on your body with certain exercises is a myth. You’ll need to lose overall fat to lose back fat.
Luckily, fat on your back is unlike fat in some other areas of your body so there are several different ways to solve the problem. But before you decide on the best way for you to lose back fat, first decide which area of your body to target.
Before you let panic set you down the wrong path – if you’ve tried to get rid of back fat the same way you’ve attempted to lose body fat or get rid of belly fat – with unsustainable crash diets or short-lived exercise routines, let us set you straight. The best way to achieve your body composition goals is by adopting healthy habits that make your life better, not smaller. This means not cutting out any food groups or suffering through a workout you hate
What Causes Back Fat
The first hormone is Leptin. This hormone helps with feeling full and satiated after a meal. That’s why its recommended to eat slower to feel fuller, because it takes a little time for the hormone to work, also why you may feel full 20 minutes after eating instead of right when you finish your meal. So it is common sense that when these levels are too low, your body will become ravenous, causing you to eat more and more. This could potentially cause you to overeat abundantly and gain weight all over, some to a point of obesity.
The next hormone is testosterone and human growth hormone, since they seem to cause similar problems when levels are low. Now this can also be useful for women too. Now testosterone is the hormone responsible for many male qualities ; deep voice, hairy, aggression, etc but mostly useful in this article for helping build muscle. When these levels are low, they can cause sagging of muscle in the chest and give the effect of having man boobs. Although prolactin which enlarges glands in the nipple area, producing milk, also can cause gyno in men if levels are very high.
And human growth hormone is responsible for overall growth in the body, and muscle protein synthesis. When levels of this hormone are low, they can cause fat deposits in the back of the arms, causing them to look saggy, as well as the legs.
The next hormone is estrogen. Now this is the biggest reason fat is stored in the lower body, causing the “pear shaped figure” most women suffer from. The reason for this is that estrogen causes the increase of alpha adrenergic receptors in the lower body,slowing down the release of fat. Estrogen causes the body to become insulin resistant over as well.
The next one is insulin. This hormone is secreted by the pancreas to help absorb the sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream and deliver it to the cells for energy. If levels of this are too low, or you overeat , the body will try to take the glucose and store it is as fat. When overeating, this can cause resistance to insulin. Meaning, if youre cells already have glucose in them, and you keep eating, the insulin will try to take the glucose and give it tovthe cells, the cells will have too much glucose, causing the body to just store the glucose as fat for energy to be used later.
The last hormone, not many realize, is the thyroid hormones. These hormones are responsible for basic metabolism within the body. When these hormones are not functioning properly, they can cause the daily amount of calories needed to sustain weight to lower. Meaning, your body will require less food to maintain its current bodyweight. And if diet is not fixed, this will cause weight gain at a slow or fast pace depending on the severity and overall calories consumed. This causes fat deposits everywhere within the body, however belly and face seem to be the most common.
Where Is Your Back Fat?
Back fat can attack in a few different areas. Most men and women experience fat in one of these three areas:
- Upper back fat: excess fat that spills over the back of the bra strap
- Mid-back fat: fat folds near the back of the waist
- Lower back top fat: a pocket of fat that spills over the top of the pants in the back
The best way to find the area you want to target is to stand with a mirror behind you and hold the second mirror in your hand. Make sure you stand up tall so the lines of your body are apparent. You should be able to identify the area that is troublesome.
How to Lose Back Fat
No matter where your fat settles on your body, a consistent program of diet and exercise will help. But you should target your program to address what bothers you the most.
A Healthy Diet
A reduced-calorie diet will help you to lose fat all over your body.1 Unfortunately, you can’t decide exactly where the fat loss will occur first. But you can eat a diet that includes plenty of lean protein to promote muscle growth.
Strong back muscles help improve posture and a taller appearance makes you look instantly thinner. And you can also reshape your back by building the muscles along your spine and torso.
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!
Watch Sodium Intake
When you’re feeling a little more bloated than usual, fat might not even be to blame — it could be water weight. Regularly munching on salty foods can cause you to retain excess water that adds to stomach and back bloat.
You know that feeling you get after eating a cup of noodles? Yeah, that’s what sodium does to you. To get back on track, cut down on processed and restaurant foods, which are often super salty.
Munch On Fiber-Rich Foods
You don’t have to meticulously count calories to eat better. Instead, opt for healthful, fiber-rich and low sodium foods like avocados, eggs, nuts, leafy greens and veggies, fish, and lean chicken breast.
Eating fiber-rich, nutrient dense foods will keep your digestive system regular, lower bad cholesterol levels, and help you maintain a healthy weight.
Keep Tabs On Carbs And Starches
High carb and starchy foods are delicious. But unfortunately, they’re usually full of sugars and empty calories. Cutting back on foods like white bread, crackers, chips, and cookies can have a major impact on weight loss as well as your overall health.
Remember: Everything in moderation. You don’t have to skip out on your fave Sunday morning croissant to be healthy and feel amaze.
Sip On More H2O
Sometimes when you think you’re hungry, you’re actually just thirsty. Stay hydrated and feel more satiated by sipping on more water throughout the day.
Most adults lose about 2.5 to 3 liters of water per day, which is about how much you need to gulp down to stay healthy.
Focus on strengthening exercise to help you shape the muscles in the upper, middle, and lower back. Here are some exercised you can try.
- Shoulder strengthening exercises: If you build strong, tight shoulders, the area of your back beneath the shoulders (especially near your bra line) starts to look smaller. Lateral raises with dumbbells or an overhead press exercise will help you to build strong shoulders.
- Mid-back exercises: The wing-shaped muscles in the middle of your back are called the latisimus dorsi. If you can make these two muscles tighter and stronger, they give your waist the appearance of being smaller. The lat pulldown is a good exercise to strengthen the lats and create a toned, triangular shape.
- Waist exercises: If you want to whittle the back of your waist, try doing exercises that strengthen the oblique abdominal muscles and also the erector spinae, the muscles that run along the spine. These muscles help contour the sides of your body and help it bend from side to side. A side bend exercise with or without added weight will help to taper and strengthen the sides of your body. You can also do oblique crunches on the floor to target the oblique abdominals.
- Lower back exercises: Slouching makes back fat more noticeable. To stand taller and promote better posture, do lower back exercises to strengthen the core, including the erector spinae. A back extension exercise will help to target these trouble spots.
Reverse hip raise with exercise ball
This low-impact exercise is easy on your hips and a simple way to start toning your back.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stand with you feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells at your sides.
- Move your pelvis back and bring your chest forward, hinging at the hips until your chest is parallel to the floor.
- Allow the weights to hang towards the floor, with palms facing each other.
- Make sure your core is strong, your back is straight, your chin is tucked and your knees are slightly bent.
- Exhale and raise your arms out to the sides while squeezing your shoulder blades together and ensuring you’re not hunching them up towards the ears.
- Inhale and lower the arms back to starting position
To work your core muscles and stabilize your back to get rid of fat, try this home-friendly workout:
- Place two dumbbells on the floor and assume a push-up position, with your hands on the dumbbells about shoulder-width apart. Your body should be as stiff and straight as a plank, forming a straight line from head to toe. There’s an added degree of difficulty as you work to prevent the dumbbells from rolling out from under you.
- Hold the position for 30 seconds.
- If you want to further target the back area, lift one arm at a time to shoulder height and hold it for a few seconds.
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.
Kneeling side leg lift
- Start on your right arm in a kneeling side plank. Extend your left leg up and out by squeezing your lower back, legs and glutes. Your arm and knee should support your weight.
- Lower your left toes to the floor and squeeze those muscles to bring it back up.
- Repeat for 10 to 15 reps on each side.
Start with modified push-ups from your knees:
- Slowly lower your chest to the ground, focus on engaging your back muscles.
- Push back up to the top position.
- Repeat for 10-20 repetitions.
- If you can perform 20 reps with good form, switch to normal push-ups from your feet with straight legs.
Push-ups do a great job at strengthening your chest and revealing your new streamlined back!
Superman Ball Lifts
Step 1: To get into your starting position, come to all fours and place the ball securely between your ankles. Walk yourself down to your belly with your arms extended in front of you, face to the mat. (Modification: Fold your arms under your head and rest your forehead on it.)
Step 2: Squeeze the glutes tightly as you lift the ball off the floor. At the same time, lift your chest and reach your arms in front of you. Try not to press your belly into the floor with great force. Keep the work in your backside and maintain length from your fingertips to toes. With control, lower the ball. (Modification: Keep your head resting on your arms and skip the chest lift.)
Resistance Band Pull-Down
- Hold the middle of the band with both hands.
- Bend your elbows and separate your hands as you pull the band towards your chest.
- Return the handles to the starting position with control
Lateral Raises With Dumbbells
This easy weight exercise works the shoulder muscles improving definition around the shoulders and back. Adding weight training to your routine can helpTrusted Source boost your metabolism all day long.
- Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, facing forward. You can also modify this movement by doing it from a sitting position. You don’t have to use a lot of weight, either — doing lots of reps with lighter weights might be better for toning your back.
- Slowly raise the weights out to sides away from your body until your arms are parallel with the floor. Don’t squeeze your shoulders or “shrug” while you do this.
- With control, return your arms to your body. Take a breath and repeat 10 to 12 times for one set.
If you’ve tried diet and exercise and still can’t lose back fat, there are several surgical and non-surgical methods to target your trouble spots. These include liposuction, smart liposuction (also called laser lipolysis), Coolsculpting, and Ultrashape.
Of course, many medical procedures have side effects and some require that you take time away from strenuous activities after having them performed. There is also cost to consider.
These are good reasons to try to lose back fat with traditional methods like diet and exercise first. Then if you have remaining pockets of fat on your back, talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon or a board-certified dermatologist to see which method would work best for you.