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How to Get Rid of Back Fat With Exercise & Diet

Here are several ways to lose back fat, and you can choose a method that works best for you. Learn about how to get rid of back fat with exercise, diet, and other methods.

Luna Morin
How to Get Rid of Back Fat With Exercise & Diet
Table Of Contents

If you're reading this, it's probably because you're unhappy with how your back looks. You may have a big event and want to look your best or you may want to feel more confident in your own skin. Whatever the reason, getting rid of back fat is no easy feat. But don't worry, we're here to help.

In this article, we'll share some tips on losing back fat through exercise and dieting. So if you're ready to get rid of that unwanted back fat, read on!

What Causes Back Fat

Body fat is actually necessary for the smooth functioning of many body processes, including digestion, energy storage, and body temperature regulation. Therefore, being overweight doesn't automatically indicate that you're unhealthy. You may actually need some body fat to survive.

You could experience problems with your neurological system, hormones, or vitamins if you don't get enough fat. According to the American Council on Exercise, most healthy women should have between 21 and 35 percent body fat, while men in good health should have between 8 and 24 percent.

Like other types of fat, excess upper, middle, and lower back fat develops due to heredity, inactivity, a sedentary lifestyle, or specific medical issues.

As you get older, fat also tends to build up more around your abdomen, which can result in so-called "love handles" on your lower back.

Regular exercise, calorie restriction, and healthy nutrition are often required for fat loss. You may tone up the muscles in your back by performing exercises that target the upper and lower back.

Is Back Fat Unhealthy

No, back fat is not generally unhealthy. Most frequently, it's a symptom of completely natural changes in the body, like:

  • Somatopause (when growth hormone levels fall as women age, and it becomes tougher to retain muscle)
  • Aging
  • A shift in your posture with aging

According to a physical therapist and performance expert Luke Worthington, genetics might also play a role in back fat being completely natural. He said, “We all tend to retain body fat in specific places. There is no particular explanation or reason why body fat is stored in one place over another."

All things considered, back fat may be linked to insulin resistance, excessive testosterone, poor glucose tolerance, and a higher risk of diabetes, PCOS, and infertility. If adopting lifestyle changes doesn't reduce the amount of back fat you have, you must visit a doctor.

So, what level of body fat is normal? It's hard to suggest how much fat you should have, specifically on your back, but assessing your body's overall fat distribution might be useful. According to the Royal College of Nursing, a healthy body fat percentage for women between the ages of 20 and 40 is between 15% and 31%. Your optimal body fat percentage may increase as you become older.

While healthy levels are typically between 15 and 31% for women, Dr. Rebecca Robinson, a sports and exercise medicine consultant, suggests that this varies from individual to individual.

Remember that a specific level of body fat is necessary for women for appropriate hormone activity. Women carry a little bit more body fat than males, which is both natural and necessary.

Which Exercises Can Help You Overcome Back Fat

Professional athlete (former) Henry Barratt suggests that pull-ups and reverse flyes with dumbbells and cables are excellent for sculpting the back. Below, you'll find a list of the top six back exercises for building a strong upper back.

Your posterior muscles will change in appearance due to these resistance training activities and will also become stronger, reducing your chance of injury.

Resistance Band Pull-Down

  • Hold the center of the band with both hands and arms extended at a 45-degree angle from your shoulders.
  • Pull the band toward your chest while spreading your hands apart and bending your elbows.
  • Control the band to bring it back to its initial position.

Back Extension

  • Lay on your front with your elbows out to the sides and your hands at your temples.
  • Squeezing your shoulder blades together, raise your shoulders and chest off the ground using your glutes and core. (While also raising your legs for a more challenging workout.) Instead of aiming upwards and overextending your back, try to lift your head while bending forward.
  • To return to the beginning position, carefully lower yourself.

Reverse Flyes

  • Sit with your feet shoulder-width apart, dumbbells in hand.
  • When your chest is parallel to the floor, push your pelvis back and bring it forward while hunching at the hips.
  • With a small bend in your arms and your palms facing one another, let the weights hang toward the floor.
  • Make sure your knees are slightly bent, that your back is straight, that your chin is tucked in, and that your core is firm.
  • Exhale, squeeze your shoulder blades together and extend your arms to the sides without tucking your shoulders behind your ears.
  • Inhale, then bring your arms back to their initial posture.

Barbell Bent Over Rows

  • Make sure you're lifting the optimum amount of weight because lifting too much will increase your likelihood of using poor form, which will result in you getting less benefit from the workout than if you lift it slowly and deliberately.
  • With your back straight and your neck in line with your spine, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees, and hinge forward from the waist.
  • As you grasp the bar, make sure your hands are just wider than your shoulders and that your palms are facing downward.
  • Squeeze your shoulders together and lift (or row) the weight until it meets your chest while ensuring your core is strong.
  • Lower it back down gradually.

Side Plank

  • Lay on your side with your legs straight to start.
  • Keep your hand near your chest while supporting yourself on your elbow.
  • Set your body straight from your shoulders to your ankles by lifting your hips off the ground.
  • Hold this posture for 30 to 60 seconds, then slowly return to the ground and repeat on the opposite side.
  • Put your knees on the ground to alter the workout if it's too challenging.

Dumbbell Swing

  • Hold the dumbbell with one hand in front of the other while standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Swing the weight between your legs while keeping your back straight and slightly bending your knees.
  • Once the weight is behind the torso, push forward with your hips by tightening your glutes, allowing the weight to swing up to your chest.
  • Constrict your glutes, quads, and core when the weight is at its heaviest position.
  • Swing the weight back between your legs as you say.

Diet Tips to Get Rid of Back Fat Safely

Exercise is crucial for altering body composition, but according to Barratt, dietary changes are the most effective way to see results. The old adage remains true; 'you can’t out-train a terrible diet.'

Mindful Eating

Mindful nutrition, or ensuring you're eating a balanced diet full of veggies and other foods, is essential to managing extra body fat. Mindful eating can be very beneficial for creating a calorie deficit, which is necessary to shed body fat. Back fat is the same way.

According to Barratt, the issue is not diets. Just ensure you're consuming the recommended number of calories for your height and gender, which for most women is often between 1,450 and 2,000 (emphasis on the majority, not all).

Uncertain of the number of calories to consume to maintain a calorie deficit? Here is how to figure out yours. Remember, most of your meals should be made up of whole, nutrient-dense foods. Fun is always welcome, but moderation is key in this situation.

Additionally, counting calories may be helpful if you follow instructions and have a health-related aim, but if not, you'll probably wind up undermining your objectives. It's not suggested for anyone who has, or had in the past, a problematic relationship with food.

Learning to count your macros for fat loss might also be helpful if you're used to eating on a CICO diet (calories in, calories out) style. Not accustomed to macros?

It stands for "macronutrients," which are the three major food types that people require: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Your ability to gain muscle or shed body fat, including back fat, depends on the proportions in which you consume these macronutrients.

Concentrate on Nutrients & Energy-Dense Foods

According to dietician Jenna Hope, "Fueling yourself with energy-dense foods is crucial to guarantee sustained and maintainable fat loss in the long term."

Hope advises including the following seven foods in your diet to lose weight:

  • Avocados increase your feeling of fullness and satisfaction for longer
  • Eggs regulate blood sugar and lessen cravings
  • Chickpeas are a high-fiber food that can improve digestive health.
  • Almonds are a source of both protein and good fats.
  • Milk as the whey protein in it helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and satiety.
  • Oily seafood like salmon promotes normal insulin activity, which helps a person maintain a healthy weight.
  • Green leafy veggies are high in fiber and nutrient-rich.

But while these foods can aid satiety and blood sugar control, Hope clarified that "no single food can produce fat loss." Diet, sleep, exercise, lifestyle, and stress are just a few variables to help with fat loss.

Additionally, forget about shedding back fat quickly; the key is to establish lasting, sustainable behaviors. While losing back fat in, say, two weeks can provide you with a short cure, it's likely that you've restricted your food intake or gone all out in the gym and are on the verge of burnout.

The result? Your hard-earned fat deposits will quickly return since you'll yearn for unhealthy foods and feel too weary of working out.

Watch Sodium Intake

It's possible that water weight rather than fat is the cause of any extra bloating you experience. Regularly eating salty foods might make you retain more water, contributing to bloating in your stomach and back.

Do you recall how you feel after consuming a cup of noodles? That's what sodium does to you, indeed. Reduce your intake of manufactured and restaurant foods, which are frequently very salty, to get back on track.

Drink More Water

Sometimes you're only thirsty when you believe you're hungry. Drink more water to stay hydrated and feel fuller throughout the day.

The average adult loses between 2.5 and 3 liters of water daily, around the amount you need to consume to keep healthy.

Other Tips

To lose some back fat, you don't need to love the gym or clean eating. Small changes in lifestyle over time can have a big impact. Here are some pointers to help you become healthier:

Yoga: All you need to do to include it into your life is get a mat, open a YouTube video, and do downward dogs to improve your physical fitness. You don't even need to go to an expensive class.

Sleep: Losing weight as you sleep seems too good to be true, right? Not quite. According to a study, poor sleep hygiene and adolescent obesity were linked. Sleep deprivation may negatively affect your metabolism, according to scientists.

Posture: Poor posture can easily develop from spending too much time slumped over a laptop. Weight is distributed differently on the body when the spine is straightened, frequently giving the abdomen and back a thinner appearance.


1. What is the fastest way to get rid of back fat?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the fastest way to get rid of back fat may vary depending on the individual's body type and exercise routine. However, some tips to reduce back fat include performing cardio exercises such as running or biking and doing strength training exercises that focus on the upper back and shoulder muscles. You can also try the exercises we have mentioned in our article.

2. Is it difficult to lose back fat?

Back fat can be difficult to lose, especially if you have a lot of it. However, there are some things you can do to make the process a bit easier. First, try to exercise regularly. This will help you burn off excess fat and tone your muscles.

Second, make sure you are eating a healthy diet. Cut out processed foods and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Finally, be patient. Losing back fat takes time and dedication. But if you stick to your goals, you will eventually see results.

3. Is back fat normal?

Some level of back fat is normal, but if it is in excess, it is not normal. It can indicate several health problems, including obesity and heart disease. If you are concerned about your back fat, consult your doctor.

4. How long does it take to lose back fat?

Some people may lose back fat faster than others, and the amount of time it takes to see results will also depend on the individual's body composition and exercise routine. However, by incorporating regular cardiovascular exercise and strength training into your routine, you can expect results within 6 months.

The Bottom Line

So there you have it, everything you need to know about how to get rid of back fat once and for all. Though getting rid of back fat is not an easy thing to do, with dedication and hard work, it is possible to achieve the results you desire.

Just be consistent with your workout routine and stay disciplined with your diet, and the rest will fall into place. And finally, don't get discouraged if you don't see results immediately – Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is a chiseled back. Stay the course and remain positive, and you'll soon be on your way to the back fat goodbye.

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Luna Morin

Luna is a freelance writer, passionate about bringing a positive change in people’s lives by producing well-researched content related to health and fitness. She makes sure that her content is relatable to her audience by exploring the latest trends in fitness.

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