If back fat is one of your biggest body hang-ups, focus on strengthening that area. In general, in terms of lifting and weight training, both men and women neglect their lats and their upper back more than any other muscle group.Everybody is always more concerned with what they immediately see in the mirror, which is the front of the body. Your back is probably the last part of the body that most men and women really think about. But strengthening your back muscles is incredibly important—and not just for aesthetic reasons. Working these muscles also improves posture. Your posture doesn’t just stem from your lower back. It’s the upper back and the rounding of your shoulders, too. And poor posture, aside from making you seem less confident when you walk into a room, can actually create the illusion of back fat, even if you don’t have it. The minute you start to focus on your back body, your posture is going to improve. We have got you sorted with the best exercises for toning your back and feeling fantastic, from back to front. Try out these exercises to get started.
Power up your plank
You know that a perfect plank is one of the best exercises for your core. Now make it one of the best for your back, too, by adding a row to your plank workout. This move hits the important upper push and pulls muscles in your back. Holding two medium free weights get into a straight-arm plank position. Alternating one arm at a time, pull one arm back in a row. Repeat as many reps as possible in 60 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Try resistance bands
Store a resistance band at your desk, and during the workday perform standing reverse flies, which not only hit your upper back muscles, but are also great for good posture. Grasp the ends of a resistance band, choking up on the band for more resistance, if needed. Fully extend your arms with a slight bend in the elbows. Separate the handles by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Repeat as many reps as possible in 60 seconds. Repeat 3 times, twice a week for a month to see changes.
Push, pull and lift
Your back muscles are being activated every time you pick up your child, turn your steering wheel, and to bathe your skin. Your back is basically the key motivator for all human movements. To target those important back muscles, consider doing bench presses—even with just the bar—push-ups, and dead lifts, which also work your glutes, hamstrings, quads, forearms, shoulders and abs.
Stretch it out
When your back muscles are tight, you tend to slouch more, resulting in a not-so-sculpted rear. Keep your back muscles limber by making a point to stretch—even just for 10 minutes. Often, with bad posture, aging and ultimately a degenerating spine, our back starts to curve and weaken. You must maintain flexibility in your body by stretching shortened muscles and for most people with weak backs, that muscle is often the chest and shoulders. Position your arm in a 90-degree angle and place it against a doorframe. Turn your body towards the other arm and stretch for 30 to 60 seconds, then change sides.
Engage your whole back
Lie face down on the floor. Lift both your legs and arms off the floor at the same time. Hold for 10 seconds and then lower back down. Repeat as many reps as possible in 60 seconds. Repeat 3 times a week for best results.
Perfect your posture
Half of maintaining a strong back is proper posture, so make your world ergonomic. At work, get the center of your computer screen level with your line of sight. In the car, recline your car seat less and while you’re in traffic, see if you can press the back of your head against the seat back. The idea is not necessarily to engage your muscles but to allow them to relax via ergonomic positions.