Are you ready to literally bring sexy back? If you’re hoping to tone up and get rid of back fat, you will need to embark on a new journey into the world of fitness. The core of this process will be some effective bodyweight back exercises. Committing to them on a regular basis is a great way to work towards the body you want. However, you will need to make small lifestyle changes too. Here’s what you need to know.
Where shall we start...
3 Benefits of Bodyweight Back Exercises
First of all, let’s take a moment to talk about why you may want to start bodyweight back exercises. The main reason is likely to be to get rid of back fat. However, it’s worth noting that there’s a whole host of other ways in which this new fitness regime may help you and your general health. Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits you may reap:
1. Improved posture
One of the most noticeable changes you will see when you start to get rid of back fat and strengthen your muscles is that your posture will change. Toning this area and giving it more strength means that you won’t have to work so hard to stand up straight. Your form and posture will improve. That in itself could make a major difference to your physical appearance.
2. Burn more calories
When you start focusing on your back muscles, you will notice that you burn some serious calories during a workout. The reason is simple – your back and shoulder area holds some of the biggest and most hefty muscles in your body. That means that it takes a lot of energy and strength to boost these muscles and really work them.
All that pressure means that you need to burn more calories to get the job done. Research shows that weight training can help you lose more fat than aerobic workouts. While, ideally, you should focus your attention on both of these fitness regimes, the former is sure to give you some quick results when it comes to weight loss.
3. Reduce the risk of fracture
According to a 10-year study working with female participants, strengthening the back muscles could reduce the risk of fracture to the vertebrae. If you’re at all worried about the chance of injuring your back and spine area, it’s well worth spending some time focusing your workout routines on this area. Bodyweight back exercises could be the answer!
Regardless, the stronger your muscles happen to be, the less likely you are to cause them damage. This is also true when we’re talking about muscular damage. As your shoulder and back muscles improve, you will find that you have less of a risk of pulling them or straining them in any way. It’s worth the time and energy to lower that chance.
Tips for Toning Up to Get Rid of Back Fat
We all want a lean and toned body, but how can you achieve that perfect physique? If you’ve been trying to get rid of back fat and not succeeding, we have the answer. Before we get into some bodyweight back exercises, we’ve got some handy little tips that will help you along the way. Switching up your routine, your diet, and the way in which you exercise could help you shed that fat and get into shape. Here are some tricks that you should try sooner rather than later.
Focus on your back muscles
Before you start to get rid of back fat, you need to learn a little about anatomy. Understanding which exercises target certain muscle groups will help you determine which ones to add to your routine. Focusing on your upper and lower back muscles as well as your shoulders will really help you to tone this area.
Of course, there is a wide variety of exercises to get rid of back fat. Later in this article, we will look at some of the best upper back exercises and the most common lower back exercises for women. However, it’s worth noting that in order to truly tone these areas, you need to dedicate time and energy to the task. For example, scheduling “back days” as part of your gym routine.
Weight train (or try bodyweight back exercises)
While cardio training certainly has its place in a healthy fitness regime, it’s not the secret to burning fat. This is a common misconception. If you’re looking to get rid of back fat fast, weight training is most certainly the smartest way to work out. Research from Wake Forest University has shown that using weights is more effective in burning fat than cardio in older people. The same is likely to be true for younger individuals as well.
Of course, if you’re working out at home, you may not have a range of weights and bars from which to choose. Should that be the case, trying some bodyweight back exercises could be the solution. These activities and movements use your own weight to add tension and pressure to various muscle groups and can yield some dramatic results.
Make sure you get enough sleep
Are you getting your 40 winks each night? Surprisingly, how much sleep you get on a nightly basis could have an effect on how much fat you burn when you work out. One study from the University of Chicago Medical Center found that getting a full night’s sleep leads to a greater chance of fat loss than having poor rest. Taking care of all areas of your life – including your downtime – may be essential to your weight loss journey.
Add more healthy protein to your diet
Controlling your calorie intake while getting the right amount of protein could help you to get rid of back fat. Researchers from McMaster University found that those who consumed healthy high-protein diets were more likely to lose body fat than those who did not. Over the course of the month-long study, participants either ate high- or low-protein diets while working out and, specifically, engaging in weight training.
Those in the low-protein diet group typically lost an average of 8 pounds, while those in the high-protein group lost an average of 10.5 pounds. The results suggest that including lean (and healthy) protein in your diet could help with weight loss. However, it’s important to recognize that this study was a male-only trial. Researchers suggest that the same study be carried out with women before it is conclusive.
Exercise before breakfast
When you’re trying to slim down and lose any type of fat – including back fat – you should consider the time of day you exercise. Working out on an empty stomach, rather than right after you’ve eaten, could help you to burn more fat than you otherwise would. Research from Northumbria University found that exercising before breakfast helped people to lose up to 20% more body fat than they lost at other points.
Changing your routine so that you exercise early in the morning and, crucially, before you eat anything, could help you to get rid of back fat and other fat too. While this type of lifestyle is not for everybody, it’s worth trying. Should you find that you can’t get up early to work out, simply exercising before a meal (rather than after you’ve eaten) is a small change you can make which could make all the difference.
What Are the Best Lower Back Exercises?
We all know that squeezing exercise into your schedule can be tough! One of the most exciting things about bodyweight back exercises is the fact that you can do them at home without the use of heavy equipment. If you’re trying to find a way to get some exercise into your busy life, you might find that this option works best for your current routine. Whether you’re hoping to get rid of back fat once and for all or just looking to tone up, these are the best lower back exercises for you.
As one of the best bodyweight back exercises, the low-level plank is one that you ought to add to your current training routine. This type of position uses your own weight against your body. The key is to maintain the position for as long as possible, putting pressure on your lower back muscles for the entirety of that period.
- Targeted muscles: Oblique and flexor muscles
- Time period: 30 seconds
How to do it: Start on your stomach and use your forearms to lift yourself up into plank position. You should be on your toes. Keep your body in a straight position with your thighs, hips, stomach, and chest lifted off the floor. Be sure to keep your body as low and close to the ground as you can manage. Avoid raising your butt! Hold the position while maintaining a solid core for 30 seconds or more.
Pro tip: Try to extend your time period a little at a time. While, at first, you may only be able to hold the plank position for 30 seconds, you should ultimately aim to build on this. The longer you can maintain the position, the more you will strengthen your muscles.
Bodyweight back exercises don’t have to be overly complicated to be effective. One example of a strikingly straightforward exercise that does the job is the dolphin kicks move. This activity only has one simple element to it, but when you give it a go, you will feel that it works your muscle groups harder than most. Plus, it attacks a whole range of muscles from your glutes and abs to your flexors and oblique muscles.
- Targeted muscles: Abdomen, glutes, flexor, and oblique muscles
- Repetitions: 3 sets (20 reps per set)
How to do it: Lie on your stomach with your head facing forward. Tighten your core and apply pressure to the area by holding a strong stance. While keeping the rest of your body perfectly still and your legs close together, lift your legs up backward. Don’t worry about getting too high here. The key is to make a short, concise movement that feels comfortable. Hold your legs at the top of the move for around five seconds then slowly release and bring your legs back down.
Pro tip: When you first try to execute this exercise, you will likely find that it’s difficult to stay in the same position. By clenching your glute muscles, you should gain more stability and find that it’s actually easier to complete this move.
When we talk about some of the best lower back exercises and bodyweight back exercises, here’s one that we simply cannot overlook. The superman is a simple move that you can do anywhere you please – so long as you have an exercise mat handy. This back extension exercise actually works both your lower and upper back muscles, but the focus is on the lumbar area.
- Targeted muscles: Extensor, oblique, and flexor muscles
- Repetitions: 3 sets (10-15 reps per set)
How to do it: Start by lying on your stomach with your face down. Stretch your arms out in front of you. Lift the front end of your body – your shoulders, chest, and upper abdomen – so that they are no longer touching the mat. Lift the back end of your body so that your knees are off the mat too. Hold the position for five seconds and then release.
Pro tip: One of the biggest mistakes people make when they first try these bodyweight back exercises is that they overextend their arms and legs. You don’t need to push yourself that hard at all. Instead, work to a level that feels comfortable for you and focus on increasing the reps you do for a harder session.
If you’re looking for a way to get rid of back fat, bird-dog crunches could be just what you need. These are some of the best lower back exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home. Plus, as an added bonus, this activity actually works your core at the same time to give you a truly intense workout. You should find that it targets your abs just as much as your lower back area if you execute it correctly.
- Targeted muscles: Abdomen and oblique muscles
- Repetitions: 3 sets (20-30 reps per set)
How to do it: Get down on all fours so that your knees are underneath your hips and your arms are directly underneath your shoulders. Bring your right knee up toward your left elbow for a crunch and then extend outward. At this point, your elbow should be facing out to your left (with your hand extended out ahead of you) and your right foot should be pointed backward. Switch sides and repeat this crunching technique for a set of reps.
Pro tip: If you feel as though you’ve mastered this exercise, you can take things to the next level. After the crunch, add a twist into the mix by turning your body out toward the elbow that’s pointing out. You should feel pressure on your lower back and abs areas.
The 5 Best Upper Back Exercises
Of course, if you’re hoping to tone up your back completely, you also need to include some of the best upper back exercises in your fitness regime. You don’t need to have a whole host of gear to get this element of your training right. With these exercises you need minimal gear and, in many cases, just a mat. There are many bodyweight back exercises that target your upper back. Let’s take a look at five you should try at home.
1. Reverse Snow Angel
Next up, it’s one of the most effective bodyweight back exercises that just so happens to have a sweet name too. The reverse snow angel gets its title because you mimic the same movements that you would if you were in the snow creating that all-too-familiar shape. However, rather than laying on your back to do this exercise, you lay on your front. That way, you can stretch out your back and target your upper back and neck muscles.
- Targeted muscles: Rhomboid and trapezius muscles
- Repetitions: 2 sets (20 reps per set)
How to do it: Before you do anything, you will need a mat and a small towel. You should fold the towel up and simply place it where your head will rest. Next, lie down on your front and put your forehead on the towel. This is purely for comfort as you will not be moving your head for the duration of the repetitions.
Bring your arms down so that they are next to each of your sides. Hold them above the mat and then move them upward in a curved motion away from your body. They will end pointing forward above your head. Hold for two seconds. Then, you need to bring them back to the starting position.
Pro tip: Make sure you keep the rest of your body as still as possible. You could get a friend or gym buddy to keep your in check here. Don’t raise your arms too high from the ground or you could risk pulling something.
2. Scapula Push-up
Targeting the upper area of your back is relatively straightforward. One of the best bodyweight back exercises you can try for yourself is the scapula push-up. Despite the name, this exercise does not involve flexing your biceps or triceps to move your weight up and down. Instead, you simply drop your shoulders below the arch of your body and bring it back up. When you have learned this move, you can come back to it time and time again.
- Targeted muscles: Rhomboid and deltoid muscles
- Repetitions: 3 sets (10 reps per set)
How to do it: First of all, you need to get down into the basic push-up position. You can do this on your knees. Your arms should be directly below your shoulders, supporting your body weight. You want to drop your scapulas (i.e. your shoulder blades) down below the exterior of your shoulders and then lift them back up again. Isolating this area may be difficult when you first start out, but when you get it right, it’s worth it.
Pro tip: Should you find that these exercises to get rid of back fat are too easy, there’s a simple way to ramp them up. By straightening your legs and getting into a full push-up position, you will find that you put more pressure on your muscles. You should feel the extra strain on your oblique and abdomen areas.
3. Dive Bomber Push-up
One of the greatest bodyweight back exercises you can try is the dive bomber push-up. This fluid, fast movement works a whole range of your muscles in sync to give you a complete workout. The more you practice this move, the more natural it will come to you. Give it time and stick to it.
- Targeted muscles: Rhomboid, triceps, biceps, and abdomen muscles
- Repetitions: 2 sets (15 reps per set)
How to do it: Start by standing and then leaning forward to put your hands on the floor. Make sure that your hips are raised upward so that your butt is in the air. Your body should create a sharp angle with your hips at the highest point.
Put the pressure on your arms and push forward in a diving motion. Curve your back as you move so that your upper body goes through the middle of your arms. You should end in a plank position with your arms supporting you at each side. Lift back up and repeat.
Pro tip: As you’re going down toward the floor, imagine you’re diving into a mass of water. Doing so should help you to get the smooth, fluid movement that you need here. You may find that this exercise takes a little practice, but it is worth the time and effort.
4. Wall Walks
If you’re looking for a serious back-shoulder workout, you might just have found it. While there are loads of bodyweight back exercises out there, some work more muscles than others. Let’s take a moment to look at one of the best upper back exercises that also happens to target your lower back, abdomen, and other areas of your physique. Wall walks are great all-around activities as they give you a full-body workout.
- Targeted muscles: Abdomen, rhomboid, trapezius, and oblique muscles
- Repetitions: 10 reps
How to do it: Start in a push-up position with your feet near the bottom of a wall. Raise your body up so that your weight is on your arms and your knees are off the ground. Walk your arms backward while walking your feet up the wall. You should finish in a handstand position with your feet against the wall. Then, walk back down to the original position.
Pro tip: Have you already got this tricky move down? When you’re comfortable with the above, you can add an extra little move to the activity. As you come back down to the start position, try a push-up at the end of the move.
5. Side Push-ups
When you’re working hard to get rid of back fat, you shouldn’t overlook your latissimus dorsi muscles. These are the big flexor muscles on your back, which allow you to move and rotate. Toning them and working them hard is certain to make a major difference to your physical appearance. Let’s take a look at some side push-ups.
- Targeted muscles: Latissimus dorsi muscles
- Repetitions: 3 sets (10 reps per set)
How to do it: As the name suggests, you need to start by laying on your side. Bring your legs up so that they are bent and offer you some body support. Put the arm that’s off the ground over the front of your body and rest your weight on it. Your other arm should be wrapped around your chest. Use the stability arm to pump up and down for ten repetitions at a time. When you get this right, you should feel the pull along the side of your back.
Pro tip: Want to add a new level to this exercise? It couldn’t be easier. Grab a small hand weight, such as a dumbbell, and hold it in the arm that is wrapped around your body. That extra tension should deepen the intensity of the movement.
While your back fat won’t miraculously disappear overnight, following this guide will help you get rid of it in the long term. Get started and begin to get rid of back fat right now. As we’ve covered here, you need to make some changes to your everyday lifestyle to start to shed some pounds and tone up your back area. Adding these simple bodyweight back exercises to your routine is a step in the right direction. By targeting the right muscle groups, you can get the most out of your workout and boost your fitness levels too.
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Charlotte used to be the type of person who ‘hated’ the gym… That was until around three years ago when she realized that exercise can be a blast and makes you happier than ever.
She now has an undeniable passion for ﬁtness, health, and wellness! She is a seasoned content writer, focusing on these topics and loving every minute of it!