Of all the stubborn places on the body to collect fat, back fat seems to be the worst. It completely alters the way your shirts fit, which throws off your entire outfit, and don’t even get us started on how it makes your bra feel like a torture trap. Although it’s impossible to spot treat your back fat, you can make changes that allow you to lose overall body weight and tone up the area. These include making good eating and sleeping choices, drinking more water, and keeping your workouts fresh. Throw in some planks, some weighted exercises, and some cardio, and you’ll be feeling confident again in your tank top in no time. Here are 17 tips for helping you learn how to lose back fat.
1. Get More Sleep
Getting more sleep is our first tip for losing back fat. That’s because studies show that people who don’t sleep enough have lower levels of leptin, which is the hormone that controls your hunger. Losing sleep leads you to eat more. Research shows that when you’re sleep deprived, you not only tend to crave more food, but you also tend to want the wrong kinds of food, such as sugary sweets, refined carbohydrates, and comfort foods. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule also helps you feel more energized throughout the day, so you’re able to make better decisions and get to the gym on time. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night. It also helps to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
2. Stay Hydrated
Drinking lots of water throughout the day helps you flush toxins out of the body, which ultimately helps you lose weight. Water is especially essential for the functioning of your digestive system. It’s needed to help move waste through your intestines. Drinking water also keeps your skin looking great and helps curb hunger. If you want an added health boost, try adding a slice of lemon to your water. Lemon has natural blood purifying properties. It’s also high in vitamin C and antioxidants to neutralize free radicals and help flush fat from the body. Aim for eight large glasses of water each day. You may want to drink more if you consume caffeine to prevent becoming dehydrated.
3. Start with Cardio
According to the USDA, you need to perform an hour of cardio exercise five times a week to help you stay healthy and lose weight. While cardio alone won’t help you lose back fat, it’s an excellent place to start. Cardio gets your heart pumping and enables you to warm up for weight-bearing exercises. Try switching up your cardio exercises to keep things fresh. You don’t want to burn out on one single exercise. Try walking, jogging, biking or swimming. You can even do a kickboxing or HIIT class with some friends to work different muscles and keep your workouts enjoyable. After a 20 or 30-minute cardio session, hit the weights and work out your back muscles to get rid of that bulge!
4. Do Some Push-ups
Although most people associate push-ups with your chest muscles, they are a great way to tone up your back, too. Plus, like some of the other tips on this list, you can do them virtually anywhere. Push-ups strengthen the muscles that support your spine, which can help with back pain. They also help give you a long, lean physique. To do them, start by laying on your stomach with your hands just outside of your shoulders and your feet shoulder-width apart. Press your palms into the floor and lift your chest and knees off the ground. Keep your back straight and your middle section tight. Slowly bring yourself back down to about an inch off the ground and lift yourself back up. Try for a set of ten. If you’re feeling weak, you can bring your knees to the ground until you develop the strength to work on your toes.
5. Go for Fiber
You can never go wrong when you choose to eat lots of whole, unrefined, plant-based foods overly highly refined ones. They’re full of protective plant properties, like antioxidants and fiber. Fiber is excellent for helping you feel full so that you don’t eat as much. It also improves the digestive process, which is where weight loss begins by cleaning out your system. Oatmeal is a great way to start your day as it contains soluble fiber. Add some flax seeds and blueberries for more filling fiber. Snack on guacamole and vegetable sticks throughout the day, enjoy some steamed broccoli with your dinner and experiment with different types of ancient grains that you’ve never tried. Here’s a tip you’ll thank us for: bake some chickpeas in olive oil with sea salt the next time you’re craving potato chips and enjoy as a guilt-free snack.
6. Bent-over Dumbbell Rows
All you need to perform this back fat-blasting exercise is a pair of dumbbells. It perfectly triggers problem areas on your back, but keep in mind that performing this exercise alone isn’t enough. However, when used in combination with a proper diet, this exercise is hard to beat! Start by planting your feet shoulder-width apart. Choose a pair of dumbbells with a weight that is comfortable to use without straining. With one in each hand, slightly bend your knees and bring your torso forward while keeping your back straight. Bring the weights down to your knees and pull them up, so your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle. Squeeze your back muscles as you bring the weights up. Then slowly bring the weights back down. Perform three sets of ten reps.
7. Plan your Meals
The secret to making healthier eating habits work for you is to plan for them. If you wing it, you’re more likely to make bad decisions, such as stopping for a fast-food meal on your lunch break. But if you pack a fresh salad and bring it to work, you’ll be less likely to make a bad food choice. Meal prepping doesn’t have to be hard. You can purchase a family pack of chicken breasts at most grocery stores, top them with olive oil and your favorite spices, and cook them in the oven on Sundays. Then you have your protein for the week. Buy big bags of fresh lettuce for salads and frozen vegetables for an easy stir-fry at dinner. Keep plenty of fresh fruit on hand and stock up on raw nuts for a snack.
8. Eat the Rainbow
Remember when your health teacher in school told you to eat the rainbow? They were right. Getting your calories from a wide variety of different foods is an excellent way to make sure you’re getting lots of different vitamins and minerals. For example, orange fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins A and C while greens contain flavonoids, beta-carotene, and lutein. Try to make your plate as colorful as you can. Pair green, leafy vegetables with brightly colored red and yellow peppers. Or buy some purple carrots instead of the orange kind. Pack a bag of different colored fresh berries, such as blueberries and raspberries, and add them to coconut kefir yogurt as a snack while at work. Get creative by adding mango chunks to a smoothie in place of banana and purple cabbage to your green salads.
9. Work your Lats
Your lat muscles are located in your middle back. They are attached to your vertebral column. Keeping these muscles lean and strong will help you get rid of that pesky back fat. One of the most popular weighted machines at the gym for targeting these muscles is the lat pulldown machine. To use it, sit down on the machine with a wide bar attached and lock your legs in place. Reach up, grab the bar and pull it down toward your chest while keeping your back straight. The idea is to target your back muscles and not your legs when you pull down on the bar. Slowly return the bar to the starting position. Aim for three sets of ten reps each.
Research shows that green tea boosts metabolism and burns fat in overweight subjects, making it a great beverage of choice for people who want to get rid of their problem areas. It works exceptionally well when you drink it and adopt a healthy exercise routine, too. If you’re a caffeine drinker, you may want to swap out your daily cup of joe for green tea. Add lemon for an added health boost. Not only does it help your green tea taste better, but it also aids in the fat-burning mechanisms of the tea. You can drink your green tea hot or cold- the temperature makes no difference, which is an excellent way to enjoy it all year long. Brew your tea as you usually would and add ice for a summer fat-blasting treat.
11. Try a Detox
Can a detox help you lose back fat? You bet. Actually, it can help you lose fat all over your body. We don’t really get to choose where we lose fat, but taking measures that reduce overall fat is your best bet for getting rid of problem areas. Detoxing doesn’t have to be as bad as it sounds. You can do a sugar detox that allows you to eat as you usually would minus any food that contains sugar, except fruit. Or you could commit to eating a whole-food, plant-based diet for one month that includes lots of fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains, and nothing more. You can even start slow by ditching the alcohol first, then the sugar, and finally the meat.
12. Shoulder Press
The shoulder press is an excellent exercise because it works lots of different muscles, including your triceps and back. To avoid injury, be sure to pick a set of dumbbells that are comfortable for you. You can perform shoulder presses standing up or sitting down, but sitting down and leaning against something supportive is a good way to make sure you’re targeting the right areas. Start with your feet planted on the ground shoulder width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, bend your arms at a 90-degree angle, so your wrists line up with your ears, and push the weights up over your head. Return them to the starting position and repeat up to ten times for a total of three sets.
13. Try Yoga
Yoga is excellent for reducing stress, which is a common characteristic of inflammation. And inflammation contributes to your body weight. Additionally, stress causes you to overeat, so nipping it in the bud before it can get to you is crucial. Not only will you be leaner, but you’ll also be calmer and more productive at work. If you’re new to yoga, try checking out a beginners class at a local studio. You can also catch some great yoga videos online for free to see if you like it. Pilates is another great way to reduce stress and work on building long, lean muscles. Look for a certified instructor to prevent injury. You’ll also get in a deep stretch and learn how to work on your breathing.
14. Try Planking
Planks are one of the best full body workouts out there. They tone your abs, back, shoulders, and arms by using your body weight as resistance. The best part is that you can do it just about anywhere. Start your day out with some planks first thing in the morning or aim for a few sets of planks immediately after a cardio session while your heart rate is up to help you burn more fat. Hold each plank for 30 seconds and gradually lengthen this time as you get stronger. Some people can hold planks for minutes at a time. To get in position, start by performing a push-up and hold yourself up with your arms straight and your palms flat on the floor. You can also plank on your forearms. The trick is to keep your body straight so your butt doesn’t drop.
15. Superman Lifts
Superman lifts are an exercise that works both your upper and lower back. They also give you a great stretch if you have a tight back. Start by laying on your belly with your arms and legs straight out. Look down at the floor to make sure that your head and neck are properly aligned with your spine. Tighten your middle section and lift your legs and arms off the ground at the same time. Exhale as you lift and hold for a count of ten seconds. Slowly bring your arms and legs back down to the ground and repeat ten times. You can also do this exercise on a stability ball while keeping your keep planted on the ground and lifting your upper body up.
16. Circuit Training
Circuit training is a form of exercise that combines both cardio and weight resistance movements. It’s great for blasting fat and toning up. You can also get a full body workout in 20 to 30 minutes. It works by alternating between short bursts of cardio exercise with resistance training. The idea behind the workout is that you keep your heart rate up during the entire session, which accelerates fat-burning. If you want to target your back, then incorporate some upper body workouts into the session. For example, you can do one minute of jogging in place, followed by a minute of push-ups, then a minute of jumping rope, and a minute of press ups, and so on.
Like push-ups, pull-ups work by using your body weight as resistance. You might see some people at the gym adding weights to their pull-ups, but you don’t need to do this to get a sculpted back. You can even install a pull-up bar in your house so you can do them right at home. To start, reach above your head and grasp a straight bar. Pull yourself up until your chin touches the bar then slowly lower yourself down. Avoid throwing yourself at the bar with added momentum and make sure you engage your back as your primary lifting force.