A toned back is key to a fit and attractive upper body. The back is made up of several different muscle groups including the trapezius muscle, latissimus dorsi and the erector spinae muscle. Doing simple, at-home exercises that target these muscle groups will allow you to tone your upper and lower back, while including cardio in your workout routine will help you shed fat in your back and throughout your entire body.
Blast Back Fat
There is no way to spot reduce fat in your back with toning exercises. In order to lose fat in your back, you have to burn fat throughout your body by regularly doing cardio. Walking, jogging and running in place are easy to do at home and are good ways to burn calories. Add diversity to your at-home cardio routine with jumping jacks, burpees and running lunges -- or burn calories throughout your body by adding fast-paced power yoga to your routine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends doing no less than 150 minutes of moderate, or 75 minutes of vigorous, cardio exercise each week to lose weight.
It's a Bird, It's a plane...It's Superman!
With this lower-back exercise, you can act like a superhero while you get in shape. Supermans work your erector spinae and strengthen the back muscles around your spine. This body weight exercise requires no equipment, so it can easily be done at home. Start by laying flat on your stomach with your arms and legs spread out in an X shape. Lift your right arm, left leg and head 3 inches from the ground while squeezing your abs and glutes. Hold for three seconds and then release. Switch sides by lifting your left arm and right leg to complete one rep. Repeat eight to 10 times.
Rows, Rows and More Rows
Your latissimus dorsi muscles, better known as your lats, extend down the sides of your back and are responsible for arm adduction and pulling activities like rowing. Therefore, you can do a variety of rows at home to tone your lats. Do single-arm dumbbell rows by resting your right hand and knee on a bench while pulling a dumbbell with your left arm by drawing your left elbow up toward the ceiling. Keep your back flat. Choose a weight that allows you to complete eight to 12 reps per set for each side. Do seated rows by sitting on a mat with your feet together and knees bent slightly. Center a resistance band under your feet and hold the ends in each hand. Pull the band with both arms in a rowing motion. Complete eight to 12 reps per set.
Trap Some Traps
Your trapezius muscles, also known as traps, run along the top of your back behind your shoulders. To get a toned back, you can develop your traps at home with the help of some dumbbells and bent-over lateral raises. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing your torso. Stand with your knees slightly bent and lean forward by bending at the waist. Extend your arms out to your sides and lift them until your elbows are even with your shoulders and your arms are nearly parallel to the ground. Slowly lower your arms to the starting position to complete one rep. Do three sets of 10 to 12 reps each.