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Back Pain Center

How to Get a Fatless Back

author image Chloe Newkirk
Chloe Newkirk is a writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been a freelance writer for over five years, and written for a variety of publications. She is a graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. Her areas of expertise include crafts, pop culture, the arts, pets, American history and food.
How to Get a Fatless Back
Woman stretching at beach

The back can be a tough place to target. Most activities work other muscle groups, and even chest and arm-building moves can focus on the front of the body. While your genes will affect where your body stores fat, there are some steps you can take to keep your upper body trim.

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Couple running in park
Couple running in park

Regular cardio activity will help your body burn fat, no matter where it is stored. Try a workout where you perform vigorous, aerobic exercise for 30 to 60 minutes, such as running, cycling or kickboxing. Perform your cardio routines on most days of the week, making sure to leave at least two days to rest and recover. While cardio exercise won't specifically target your back, the workouts will help you shed excess fat all over your body, including your back.

Rowing or Swimming

Woman swimming
Woman swimming

Some forms of cardio exercise will be more effective for your back muscles than others. If you have access to a pool, swimming laps will work your upper body and shoulders. Unlike running, swimming is also a low-impact form of exercise. As a low-impact option, swimming puts less stress on your joints and can be easier to sustain than a high-impact routine. Outside of a pool, use of a rowing machine will also work your back muscles while burning fat throughout your body.

Upper Body Moves

Woman lifting ball
Woman lifting ball

Once you have a cardio routine established, add targeted moves to address your back muscles. Boxing with a punching bag will strengthen your upper body through repetitive, forceful exertions. The resistance of the bag will challenge your muscles and help create tone. Adding a few reps of dumbbell lifts can also banish stubborn back fat. Make sure to lift the weights high enough to engage your upper shoulders and back, not just your bicep muscles.

Back Strengtheners

Woman lifting cross fit weight
Woman lifting cross fit weight

Another weight-lifting move is to lift while bent at a right angle. By bending at the waist so that your chest is parallel to the floor, you are automatically activating your back muscles to support your stance. From that position, lifting dumbbells outward or in circles will challenge your upper body even more. Similarly, chinups or pullups on a bar will also burn back fat and build tone.

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