Back fat is the worst!
If you’re reading this article then you have likely noticed a bit of it on yourself.
It bulges over a tight bra, makes an appearance in your favorite dress, and can have you feeling really self-conscious or uncomfortable in your own skin.
Luckily there is a solution!
To get rid of back fat the best thing to do is combine cardio conditioning workouts (i.e. anything that raises your heart rate for a period of time) with strength training (muscle stimulating resistance exercises) to tone up the muscles of your back and give you a firmer and more hourglass-shaped appearance.
When it comes to losing body fat in any area of your body your nutrition will play a big role in it too. Make sure you’re following these guidelines for How Much Female Athletes Should Eat to make sure you’re not eating more than your body needs. (Fat storage on your back is basically from food that’s been eaten and not used for energy).
Now you may be wondering what sort of Cardio Conditioning work is best for back fat?
Here’s what I recommend: Rowing, Jump Rope or Bodyweight cardio exercises like skaters and burpees. (See descriptions and photos below).
Regardless of which cardio type option you choose, I recommend training in intervals rather than steady-state. (Intervals also explained below)
My favorite way to do interval cardio is 40 seconds work with 20 second rest periods for a total of 10 to 15 minutes, but it’s important that you make your cardio workout fit your fitness level and goals.
Since strengthening and toning your muscles is of equal importance when achieving a lean firm back, you should focus on strength training just as much as you do cardio.
For Strength Training, here are some of the best moves that strengthen and tone your back muscles.
1) Dumbbell Bent Rows
2) Dumbbell Renegade Rows
3) Dumbbell Bent-Over Rear Flyes
4) Dumbbell Lying Pullovers
1) Stretch Band Single Arm Bent Rows
2) Stretch Band Double Arm Pull Downs
3) Stretch Band Single Arm Pulldown
4) Stretch Band Straight Arm Single Arm Pull Downs
Do 10 reps of each exercise, 5 per side on the one-sided moves, for 3 sets of each exercise.
Complete all 3 sets of each exercise before moving on to the next exercise.
If 10 reps does not feel challenging with the weight or resistance you are using then increase resistance and do another set.
Complete all your strength training first, then finish with cardio. Here are the best cardio options that will help tone up your back:
Option 1: Rowing Machine (Ergometer)
A row machine is a great cardio option to help tone up your back at the same time. Since you have to use your legs to push as you pull the handlebar towards you, it’s ideal for getting your heart rate up fast! This is one of the few cardio options that actually work your back muscles.
The other great thing about the rowing machine is that it’s very easy to do interval-style cardio as you can easily control your speed and stop or slow down very quickly for your rest periods.
Try doing 30 seconds of work, with 30 second rest periods for 5 minutes.
Option 2: Jump Rope
Jumping rope is also a super fast way to get your heart rate up and burn serious calories. Just a few minutes of jump rope will give you an excellent cardio workout. As a bonus, jumping rope uses a lot of arm and shoulder strength, which is great for toning up your back.
I recommend jumping rope for 45-second intervals with 15 second rest periods.
Try doing 3 intervals in a row, followed by a 2 minute break, then do another 3 intervals or as many as you want till you feel you’ve got a good workout in.
Option 3: Skaters
I love skaters because they are fun to do and so effective for a quick cardio workout. Get your arms involved swinging from side to side and you’ll definitely be feeling it in your back muscles.
Instead of counting your reps, I recommend watching the clock and skating from side to side for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second recovery break.
Try doing this for at least 3 times and see if you feel like you could handle more.
Option 4: Burpees
Burpees are everyone’s favorite love-hate exercise. There’s so much to love because they are so effective for cardio and can be done literally anywhere, with no equipment, and barely any space.
The hate part is usually because they are so challenging, require so much energy, and can have you feeling exhausted after just a few. Learning to love burpees is an amazing way to stay fit anywhere and everywhere you go.
I recommend doing sets of 6 to 8 burpees in a row, this should take you about 20 to 30 seconds. Rest about 30 seconds between sets and do at least 3 sets then see if you feel like you could handle more.
Once you have finished your strength training and cardio you are done for the day. Do this type of training at least 3x per week to see your back shape up and fat melting off.