No woman likes to get all dressed up to go out, turn to look in the mirror and realize that she has fat hanging over her bra. Unlike a tummy roll, back fat is not something you can hide with a strategically placed hand bag. If you want to lose the back fat and feel sexy in your clingy T-shirts, you need to follow a healthy diet and combine regular cardio with back-targeting, strength-training exercises.
Cardiovascular exercise is a great way to jump start a fat loss program. Unfortunately, it is not possible to specifically target the fat on your upper back. Rather, you must engage in total body cardio in order to rid your body of excess fat. The best forms of cardio are those that tax the major muscles of your body and include running, swimming, rowing, cross country skiing and using an elliptical machine. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that overweight adults should complete 60 to 90 minutes of exercise per day to facilitate weight loss and prevent weight regain.
The lat pulldown targets the bulk of the back including the latisimus dorsi and teres major muscles of the upper back. Building these muscles will help to smooth out the fat of your back as well as give you muscular definition. Sit facing a lat pulldown machine with your knees comfortably positioned under the roller pads. Grasp the bar with a wide overhand grip. Stabilize your core and pull the bar down toward your upper chest. Hold here for a count of one and then, with control, allow the bar to return to the starting position. Using a challenging weight, perform three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.
The seated row works the majority of the upper back including the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboid major and teres major. When adequately conditioned, all of these muscles help to give you a sleek, strong and sexy back. Sit facing a weighted row machine, with your feet resting on the foot pads and your knees bent. Your torso should be bent forward when you begin. Stabilize your core, and pull the handle to the base of your sternum by straightening your back and bringing your elbows back as far as you can. With control, return to the starting position. Complete three sets of eight to 12 repetitions using a challenging weight.
Single-Arm Dumbbell Row
The dumbbell row mainly works the latissimus dorsi, teres major and the posterior deltoids. Grasp a dumbbell with your palm facing in. With the opposite knee and hand, support your body on an exercise bench. Allow the arm holding the dumbbell to hang straight toward the floor. Stabilize your core, straighten your back and with your elbow bent, lift the upper arm and elbow as high as possible next to your body. Pause at the top and then slowly lower the dumbbell back to the lowered position. Perform the desired repetitions and then switch arms. Complete three sets of eight to 12 repetitions per arm.
- ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, Seventh Edition; Lawrence E. Armstrong, PhD, FACSM, et al.
- Strength Training Anatomy, Second Edition; Frederic Delavier
- Shape Fit: Single-Arm Dumbbell Row