How to Tone Up Back Fat

Get your back in shape for that backless dress.

Get your back in shape for that backless dress.

Bra overhang or a pudgy muffin top is the last thing you want anyone to notice as you walk away. If back fat has you feeling self-conscious about your appearance, you can shed the flab and develop a sexy, toned back with a combination of cardio and strength-training exercises. Reach your goals more quickly by cutting 250 to 500 calories from your daily intake while eating a healthy diet. Before you get started, be sure to see your doctor to make sure you get the OK to work out.

Burn 250 to 500 calories per day with cardio exercise to lose 1/2 to 1 pound of fat all over, including your back. Go with activities such as jogging, swimming or biking to burn about 500 calories in one hour. Shed fat and use up 250 calories in one hour with less vigorous forms of exercise, such as brisk walking, yoga or gardening.

Increase your fat-burning potential by adding intervals into your workouts. Move your body at a faster pace for 30 to 60 seconds after every four minutes of exercise at your normal pace.

Incorporate small lifestyle changes that get your body moving more throughout the day to add up the number of calories you burn. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, and walk to nearby errands.

Tone your back for a leaner, more sculpted look by doing strength-training exercises three days per week. Lie on your back while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your arms out to the sides to get ready to do dumbbell flyes. Bring your arms together until your hands meet above your chest. Lower your arms until it feels like you're squeezing your shoulder blades together. Perform eight to 12 flyes.

Stand up, and hold dumbbells or kettlebells next to your shoulders. Push your arms up to lift the weights, and then lower with control to work your back, chest and arms. Do eight to 12 shoulder presses.

Aim for eight to 12 regular or modified pushups, three times weekly. Start with as many as you can in that range without sacrificing form, even if you can only do one. Add more pushups as they get easier.

Items you will need

  • Dumbbells or kettlebells


  • Do your strength-training exercises every other day to make sure your muscles get the break they need to recover.
  • Consume no less than 1,200 calories per day to make sure your body doesn't go into starvation mode and has the energy needed to go through the day.
  • Steer clear of fast food and junk food; opt for fresh produce, lean proteins, whole grains and low to nonfat dairy, instead.

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About the Author

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.

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