Everyone has their trouble places where they can’t seem to lose fat regardless of what they do. For many, it’s their back.
Although you can’t spot reduce fat, I’m going to show you exactly why you seem to store a lot of fat on your back and more importantly how to get rid of back fat with HIIT.
Why exactly do you seem to store a lot of fat in your back? Well, there’s two reasons. The first reason is atrophy of your back muscles. Your back muscles are most likely weak and have lost their muscle tone, resulting in the illusion that you have a lot of fat in your back. To combat this, you need to start performing weight training exercises that target various muscles in your back. The second and more likely reason is that you simply have too much overall body fat. And your body may prefer to store fat on your back more than in other places. In this case you need to significantly lower your body fat until the fat from your back starts burning off. To make matters worse, the back (especially the lower back) is often a stubborn area for fat loss. Doing traditional cardio and dieting will only get you so far until you can no longer lose anymore fat. Your best bet is to use HIIT to burn off this stubborn fat, and even better – to do HIIT while in a fasted state.
In this article I’m going to show you a few exercises that strengthen and tone the musculature of your back, as well as show you how to get rid of back fat with a HIIT routine.
Back Sculpting Exercises
1. Pull-ups (4 sets of 8-12 reps)
One of the best ways to strengthen and increase the muscular tone of your back is with pull-ups. This will target and tone your upper back, especially your lats. They force you to work several back muscles simultaneously and should be a staple in your workout regimen. I recommend performing pull-ups instead of chin-ups as this will work more of your back muscles with less activation of your biceps. If you are unable to perform a pull-up, you can start with an “inverted row” on the TRX or use an assisted pull-up machine until you can do a pull-up with no assistance. If you’re already able to do pull-ups, then try to start adding weight with a dumbbell between your feet or a weight belt to add more resistance.
2. Deadlifts (4 sets of 8 reps)
Deadlifts should also be a staple in your exercise, as they are a compound movement that will help build your back as well as other areas of your body. And if you use an appropriately heavy weight for this exercise, it will help boost your metabolism and burn tons of calories. They will help you build and tone the muscles of your lower back (erector spinae) as well as your upper back.
3. Barbell Row (4 sets of 10 reps)
Lastly, the barbell row is another movement I highly recommend you include in your workout routine. In addition to working your lats, this exercise puts more emphasis on your trapezius and rhomboids as well. It also challenges you to use your core and other stabilizing exercises throughout the movement and works several muscles in your back. Grabbing with an overhand or underhand grip will slightly change the activation in your back muscles, but I suggest choosing which is more comfortable for you.
HIIT Routine to Burn Off Back Fat
Back strengthening exercises are great for increasing the tone of your back muscles, however HIIT is what’s really going to burn off the stubborn back fat. There are several reasons why HIIT is the most effective exercise to burn off stubborn fat. The main reason is because it increases the level of fat oxidation in the muscles. This basically means that HIIT makes it easier and more efficient for your body to burn fat, especially in stubborn areas.
And to make HIIT even more effective, you want to do it in a fasted state. There are once again several reasons why cardio (especially HIIT) becomes extremely effective when fasted, but I won’t go into them in this article.
What’s the best HIIT workout to get rid of stubborn back fat? Well, ideally it would be a workout that simultaneously works out the muscles of your back in a high intensity manner. We can do this perfectly by using a rowing machine. Set the rowing machine to an appropriate resistance and perform the following workout. During the “work intervals”, row as hard and as fast as possible. During the “rest intervals”, row at a slow pace to recover for the next work interval.
Work Interval: 30 seconds all-out row
Rest Interval: 60-90 seconds slow row
As easy as it may sound, I guarantee that this workout will be one of the hardest cardio sessions you’ve ever done. However it will be the most effective way for you to get rid of back fat. But make sure that you push with maximal effort during the work intervals in order to fully reap the benefits of HIIT.
Perform this workout once a week for a few weeks to get your body accustomed to the movement. As your body adapts, you can start performing the workout 2-3 times per week. If you’re doing this while maintaining a caloric deficit you will be able to get rid of your stubborn back fat, as well as the fat in other areas of your body.
Now that you know how to get rid of back fat, it’s time to put what you learned into action!