A large back due to excess fat and lack of muscle tone can leave you feeling embarrassed about the way you look. Although it's not possible to slim down your back exclusively, you can get a smaller back with overall weight loss through exercise and muscle toning. A healthy diet that's reduced by 250 to 500 calories each day will contribute a 1/2 to 1 pound of weight loss toward your goal each week, and you'll reach your goal faster if you combine exercise with diet.
Eat a diet consisting of fresh produce, lean protein sources, whole grains and low to nonfat dairy. Avoid sugar-laden foods and those cooked with trans or saturated fats. Drink plenty of water each day; eight to 10 cups will keep your body hydrated and prevent your metabolism from slowing down. Slowly lose weight at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week to keep it off for the long run.
Reduce the size of your back as you lose weight all over by performing aerobic activity for at least 300 minutes per week. Divide your exercise sessions to fit your daily and weekly schedule to encourage consistency.
Participate in aerobics that engage the back muscles for the added benefit of muscle toning. Play tennis, use a rowing machine or enjoy a game of basketball for one hour each day to burn about 500 calories and lose 1 pound per week.
Perform total-body strength-training moves twice or three times weekly to build muscle mass and increase your body's calorie-burning efficiency.
Do the T-raise to slim and tighten the muscles of your upper and lower back. Lie on your stomach with your arms extended out to the sides and perpendicular to your body. Rest your chin on the floor to get into the starting position. Raise your arms and legs up toward the ceiling, holding the position for 10 counts. Lower your arms and legs with control. Repeat two to three times, three times each week.
Remain on the floor, moving immediately into the next move. Extend your arms above your head to get into the starting position for Supemans. Lift your arms and legs at the same time, while looking straight ahead. Hold the position for up to 10 counts before lowering slowly. Do two to three Superman poses, three times per week.
Get a smaller, sleeker-looking back by performing dumbbell rows three times weekly. Stand with your feet hip-width apart while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend at the waist to form a 90-degree angle with your body. Form 90-degree angles with your arms, bringing your upper arms close to your sides. Lift your upper arms up toward the ceiling to bring your shoulder blades as close together as possible. Return to the starting position to complete one repetition. Perform 12 to 24 dumbbell rows.
- American Council on Exercise: Why is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Common-Sense Strategies to Long-Term Weight Loss
- Georgia State University: Physical Activity
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity
- Women's Health Magazine: The Best Exercises for a Backless Dress
- Fitness Magazine: Three Moves to a Strong, Beautiful Back
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.