How To Lose Upper Back Fat

Upper Back Fat is a common issue amongst many, and sometimes even creates a problem with one’s posture. However, there are certain exercises that are both simple and effective in removing back fat. These exercises range from plyometric exercises, Pilates to yoga poses, and you can choose the one you are comfortable with in order to say goodbye to back fat once and for all. It is linked to underlying health issues like insulin resistance, low carbohydrate tolerance, and excess testosterone (1), (2). If nothing is done about it, it might give rise to serious complications like PCOS, diabetes, and infertility (3), (4), (5), (6).

The good news is shedding upper back fat is easier than you think. Give it three weeks, and you can see a visibly toned upper back. Here are 10 things to do to lose upper back fat. Swipe up!

How To Lose Upper Back Fat

To lose upper back fat, you have to tweak your diet a little, follow an effective workout routine, and make a few changes to your lifestyle. Do these, and you will start noticing a difference in three weeks. First, let’s see what kind of exercise you should focus on.

1. Upper Back Exercises

You need to target your upper back while exercising. Here’s a 10-minute, no-equipment back exercise routine (timestamp below video).

Mix your workout routine with these effective back exercises using dumbbells and barbells.

Make sure you warm up before doing these exercises. Maintain good posture, breathe in and out while doing the exercises, and take at least 15 seconds to break between each exercise.

2. Cardio The Fat Out

To lose back fat, you must also lose overall weight. Cardio involves aerobic exercises that help mobilize fat, improve metabolism, and enhance mood.

Do cardio every alternate day (do strength training on the other days) for at least 45 minutes. You may also do HIIT exercises to burn fat more effectively in a shorter period. You will start to lose weight, be proactive throughout the day, and sleep better.

3. Cut Down Calories

Cutting back on calories will help you create a negative energy balance. This means that along with exercise, if you consume fewer calories, you will help your body burn the stored fat and also prevent it from accumulating more fat.

But you must be careful with the calorie count. Your calorie intake should go up if you are active. Also, the calorie count is not the only factor. You should be aware of what you consume.

4. Consume Good Calories

Good calories are calories you consume from foods like veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and lean proteins.

Veggies and fruits are low in calories, but you should be careful about the glycemic index of these foods.

Include lean protein sources like fish, skinless chicken breast, mushrooms, tofu, and beans and lentils in every meal. Protein helps increase satiety and thermogenesis and improves muscle tone (7).

Consume whole grains like brown rice, red rice, black rice, sorghum, barley, etc. These are loaded with dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Whole grains are low in calories and help fill you up quickly and keep your hunger pangs at bay (8), (9).

Healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, avocado oil, fish oil, and rice bran oil are rich in PUFAs (polyunsaturated fats). PUFAs helps lower inflammation in the body (10), (11). This, in turn, helps prevent inflammation-induced weight gain (12), (13).

5. Give Your Kitchen A Makeover

5. Give Your Kitchen A Makeover

Kitchen makeover is an important step while trying to lose back fat. If you do not have junk food in your pantry, you are less likely to be tempted to eat it. Donate the foods that might cause you to gain weight. Refill the cabinets with healthy and low-calorie foods.

6. Check Your Hormone Levels

Hormones play an important role when it comes to body fat distribution. Insulin resistance is closely related to back fat and belly fat accumulation. Consult a licensed physician to know if your insulin levels are higher than normal, which might be the reason for excessive weight gain.

7. Don’t Consume Junk Food

Junk foods like fries, burgers, pizzas, processed food, canned, and packaged foods, packaged fruit and vegetable juices, and frozen foods contain additives, preservatives, hidden calories, and food colors that are harmful and fattening. Avoid consuming these at all costs.

Cook at home to make your meal wholesome. Here are a few delicious and healthy recipes.

8. Walk It Out

Stress is one of the common reasons for weight gain (14). Work, school, relationships, finances, and social media can cause stress build-up (15). This results in increased production of cortisol and inflammation. Cortisol may interfere with your appetite, making you feel hungry more often (stress eating) (16), (17). Inflammation also adds in by causing unexplained weight gain.

Go out for a walk. You will feel a lot better, think clearly, and be able to decide based on logic, not emotion.

9. Get Some Shut-eye

9. Get Some Shut-eye

Sleep is the best medicine for an overworked brain. Sleep deprivation has been linked to weight gain. Less sleep increases cortisol (stress hormone) levels and hunger and decreases insulin sensitivity (18). You need at least 6-7 hours of sleep to feel fresh and take on the next day’s work head-on.

10. Wear The Right Attire

Last but not least – your attire or what you wear is also important. Here’s what you can do.

Wear the right bra. This prevents making the bra bulge too obvious and visible.

Shop for clothes that suit your upper body shape. If you want to take attention away from your back, wear tops and dresses that have V-necks and stitch lines that make your upper body look slimmer (a lot of sportswear brands do that).

You may also wear color-blocked dresses that make your lower body look proportionate to the upper body, cool jackets, and makeup and accessories that highlight your best features.

These are the 10 things you must do for three weeks to see a visible difference.

Fat-burning exercises for the lower back

These exercises target the muscles in your lower back muscles, including your obliques and extensors. The exercises can be done at home or at the gym, with minimal exercise equipment necessary.

Reverse hip raise with exercise ball

This low-impact exercise is easy on your hips and a simple way to start toning your back.

  • Start by lying with your belly on the exercise ball, your eyes looking at the ground. Your palms should be flat on the floor and your legs can be bent at the knee.
  • Squeeze your glute muscles together and balance on the ball as you press your legs together and up. The ball should remain stable during this movement.
  • Hold this pose for several seconds, then lower your legs. Repeat several times, increasing the length of time you hold the hip raise if you’re able to.

Side jackknife

This exercise targets your obliques, which are on your abdomen, but also impacts your “love handles” and lower back area.

  • Lie on your right side with your legs stacked over each other.
  • Put your left hand behind your head. Your right hand can rest wherever you feel comfortable.
  • Squeeze your obliques as you draw your left leg up toward your left arm, which should remain stable on your head. You’ll be bringing the bent left arm toward your left knee.
  • Repeat several times before switching to the opposite side.


This exercise named for a superhero works your lower back as well as your glutes.

  • Lie on your stomach, on a yoga mat if you have one.
  • Stretch your body out so that your legs and arms are lengthened.
  • Lift your hands and feet off the ground at the same time. Both your arms and legs should be about 6 inches off the ground.
  • If you can, lift your bellybutton off the floor and hold the position for several seconds. With control, lower your legs and arms back down before repeating the exercise.

Fat-burning exercises for the upper back

Lateral raises with dumbbells

This easy weight exercise works the muscles right under your neck. And working out with weights can help boost your metabolism all day long.

  • Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, facing forward. You can also modify this movement by doing it from a sitting position. You don’t have to use a lot of weight, either — doing lots of reps with lighter weights might be better for toning your back.
  • Slowly raise the weights with your arms spread straight out, until your arms are parallel with the floor. Don’t squeeze your shoulders or “shrug” while you do this.
  • With control, return your arms to your body. Take a breath, and repeat 10 to 12 times for one set.


A seated cable row will work your back muscles, especially your latissimus dorsi. You can also mimic the motion of a row machine by simply sitting on a bench and using light dumbbells or a resistance band.

  • Start by sitting with your back straight and your hands on either side gripping the resistance band, dumbbells, or row machine handle.
  • Draw your arms in, bending your elbows and pulling with your full weight as you lean back.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat. Instead of repetitions, try to repeat this exercise quickly for several minutes to get your heart rate up.


The speedbag helps you tone your arms and upper body. While it’s best to use a bag that’s mounted to a wall or ceiling, you don’t even need a bag at all to perform this exercise.

  • Stand with your shoulders held high, in a fighting stance. That means your feet are hip-width apart, with one leg slightly in front of the other, and your hands are in fists, close to your jaw.
  • Set a timer for anywhere between 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Aim at your bag (or imagine one!). With your knuckles facing outward, aim to hit the bag as many times as you can in your chosen time frame, rotating your arms as you do so.
  • When the timer goes off, that’s one “set.” Do up to three sets.

Lifestyle changes for weight loss

Lifestyle changes can make your weight loss efforts more efficient. Here are some changes to consider making in your routine:

  • Start by walking more. Simply walking to drop off your child to school or to get your coffee instead of driving to the coffee shop burns calories.
  • If you smoke, consider quitting. This can be difficult, but a doctor can help you create a smoking cessation plan that works for you.
  • Practice your posture. Not only will this minimize the appearance of back fat, but it will also help strengthen your back and give you a little bit of a workout right where you’re sitting.

The Final Word

Losing back fat is not a tough job. All you need is to stay focused on eating healthy, working out, and leading a healthy lifestyle. Set a goal for three weeks, and you will shed the back fat easily. Also, you will feel a lot more active and less exhausted mentally.

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