8 Exercises to Get Rid of Back Fat

These upper body exercises will burn fat to help you get rid of back fat while sculpting your shoulders, strengthening your core, and shred your back muscles.

get rid of back fat

Like belly fat, back fat seems to creep up on us as we get older. Stubborn fat deposits begin forming around the rib cage, the upper shoulders, and our planks. So how can you get rid of back fat?

There are a lot of fitness platforms that claim to get rid of back fat, or belly fat, or thigh fat, or any other fat deposit that sticks to a certain body part. But the truth is, spot training, or the concept that certain exercises can target specific areas for fat reduction is a myth. You can’t choose what fat your body decides to burn. The only sure way to get rid of back fat, is just to get rid of fat in general.

While you can’t spot train to get rid of back fat, you can certainly strengthen your core and develop your back muscles. Not only will this make your back look leaner, strength training burns fat better than cardio.

8 Fat Blasting, Back Shredding Exercises

You can do these exercises three to four days a week. Work your way through one set of each of the exercises without resting (or keep rest to a minimum). When you complete a full set of all the exercises, rest for just a few minutes – no more than 2-3, then do two more full sets for a total of three times for each set. If you are doing the workouts at home or want to gather everything you need in one spot when you are at the gym, you’ll need:

• a pull-up bar or use the Life Fitness Machine,
• a pair of 2-3 pound dumbbells
• a pair of 5-10 pound dumbbells.

Dumbbell Row

This is a great back exercise for beginners. The one arm dumbbell row works your traps, lats, and upper back muscles. The key is to execute with perfect form.

Beginning Position

You can do this from a full standing or sitting position, or do it while standing on one leg, with your opposite knee on a bench. In all variations, bend your body forward at the waist with a dumbbell in one hand hanging down past your knee. If you are sitting, it will be to the side of your knee, if you are on one knee it will be slightly ahead of her straight leg.

Dumbell Row Step-by-Step

1. Grip the weight with your hand curled around and facing your opposite arm, pull the weight up toward your armpit in a rowing motion moving your elbow behind the plane of your back.
2. Tighten the lateral muscles in your back and shoulder area as you lift.
3. Hold at the top for a second or two and then slowly return to beginning position.

This is one rep. Do 8-12 reps per side.

Jumping Rope

This may not seem like a back exercise at first, but jumping rope is an incredibly good cardio workout, shown to effectively burn fat. Since you cannot target where fat will be burned on your body, jumping rope will deplete fat storage throughout your body, including getting rid of back fat. You’ll be working your shoulders as you maneuver the rope, but you’ll feel this one everywhere.

Jump Rope Tips

  1. Jump on the balls of your feet. Your heels shouldn’t touch the floor when you are jumping rope.
  2. Swing the rope using your wrists. Your arms should stay relatively stationary when jumping rope.
  3. You don’t have to jump high to clear the rope, so relax and try and keep your body loose.

Do as many as you can in a minute, and then build your time endurance from there. Don’t be discouraged if you are not fast or can’t go for longer. This may not be a tricky move to learn, but it is a killer exercise. Do 30-60 seconds for each rotation to begin. Build your endurance and time.

T Raises

T raises are a great upper body work out for sculpting the shoulders.

Beginning Position:

Use the two or three-pound dumbbells and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend knees slightly and shift hips back, lowering torso until it’s parallel to the floor.

T Raises Step-by-Step

  1. Bring weights together and turn palms to face forward.
  2. Keeping arms straight, lift weights up to shoulder height (your body forming a T shape)
  3. Lower weights back down.
  4. Make sure to keep core and glutes engaged the entire time.

Do 15 reps.


Pushups are the ultimate upper body workout. With numerous variations to decrease or increase the difficulty, pushups are a great back exercise regardless of your fitness level.

Beginning Position

Drop to the floor and get in the standard position with your hands on the ground and slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

Pushups Step-by-Step

  1. Whether you are on your knees or toes, when you lower hold core muscles tight
  2. lower slowly focusing on the movement as you hold the line of your body from your neck to your knees (or toes) as straight as possible.
  3. Hold position when you are at the bottom for 2-3 seconds
  4. Push back to beginning position contracting your chest muscles.

Do 8-12 reps.

Delt Raises

As the name might suggest, this back exercise targets your deltoid muscles.

Beginning Position

Use 5 to 10-pound dumbbells, stand with feet hip-width apart and knees bent slightly. Shift hips back while lowering torso toward the ground until nearly parallel.

  1. With palms facing each other, bend elbows then lift dumbbells to shoulder height at the sides of your body.
  2. Lift with your back rather than your arms when raising the weights.
  3. Lower weights slowly while maintaining tightness in the glutes and core muscles.

Do 10 reps.

Rowing Machine

Of course, an actual machine works best, but you can do this while sitting in a chair too for the upper body part. Mimic the movement of rowing while holding the core and back muscles as tight as possible. Create isometric resistance while doing so.

Of course if you are in the gym, use the machine and get the full effect. Some gyms have even created rowing classes similar to a spin class only with rowing machines. If you want more info, check out cityrow.com. Do 8-12 rows per set.

Plank and Lateral Arm Raises.

Planks are a killer core workout. With this plank variation, you add intensity and really work those upper body muscles.

Beginning Position

Begin in traditional straight-arm plank with hands below the shoulders and the feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.

Plank and Lateral Arm Raises Step-by-Step

  1. Keeping your hips as still as possible lift one arm up to shoulder height and straight out to the side.
  2. Hold for 1-3 seconds
  3. Return to starting plank position.
  4. Alternate arms.
  5. Remember to draw your belly button up and in and keep your body centered.

This is one rep – aim for 10 reps.


This is an incredible back exercise, but the mere thought of it can cause many people stress. That’s because pullups are hard to do. It takes a lot of upper body strength, but pullup machines at the gym can decrease the difficulty, giving beginners a place to start and work up from.

The full-on pullup with your palms facing outward as you grip the bar is most effective. But here are some alternatives you can do until you are ready for the most intense version. Whatever version you choose, try for 3-5 pullups per set.

Assisted Lat Pullup Machine: This is a great machine. Check out this exercise video demonstrating how to use this machine: youtube lat pullups. If your knees are sensitive, wear some knee pads to provide cushion.

Negative pullups: Find something you can stand on while you are at the pullup bar. Ideally, what you are standing on will put you at the right height, so you look like you are in the top of the pullup motion standing with your hands on the bar. Now, while still supporting some of your weight with your feet and legs, lower your body slowly down to get the full arm and back stretch. Move slowly to get the maximum impact from your lowering efforts, now raise back to the starting position. Use your upper body strength as much as possible throughout this motion while relying on your legs as little as possible.

Inverted row with TRX: This needs TRX bands – they’ll probably have them at your gym. If you want your own, go online, there are basic band systems you can get for about $200. Attach the bands to a very sturdy bar or hook – you’ll be putting your body weight in counterbalance to where bands are hooked so this is very important. Once you’ve got that set up, stand at a distance so you can hold the bands and lean back putting your body at an angle to the ground. The closer your body lies to the ground, the more difficult the movement. Now once you have extended, pull the handles into your armpits while raising your body, then lower again. That is one repetition.

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