What Exercises Will Help Tighten Back Fat?

Spin girls cellulite and obesity during a measurement tape

Tightening back fat is actually a misconception. The actual goal is to burn back fat and tighten the muscles underneath. This in turn gives your back a leaner, more toned appearance. The game plan is to target all the muscles in your back to maximize recruitment. Focus your attention on the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids and erector spinae.


Cardiovascular training is performed in a repetitive motion, and it burns fat through the entire body. Rowing is a particular form of cardio that also involves the back muscles. By choosing this type of exercise, you will not only lose fat but also tighten your muscles. Rowing machines come equipped with a resistance adjustment. Turn it up to increase the emphasis on your muscles.

Lat Pulldowns

Lat pulldowns work the lats, lower traps and rhomboids. The lats start in the mid, lower back area and run up to the top at an angle. The traps are at the top of the back, and the rhomboids sit between the shoulder blades. Before you start the exercise, attach a wide, straight bar to the pulldown machine. Then sit on the seat, adjust the padded support so it sits tightly on your thighs and grasp the bar with a wide, overhand grip. Lean back slightly and maintain a straight back as you pull the bar down to your chest. Slowly raise the bar back up until your arms are fully extended and repeat. When pulling the bar down, make sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together.


Pullups challenge the upper and mid-back muscles with the weight of the body. Begin by grasping a pullup bar with an overhand, slightly wider than shoulder-width grip. Keeping your abs tight and body steady, pull yourself up as high as possible. Your goal is to get your chest to bar height. Slowly lower yourself down until your arms are fully extended and repeat. If you lack upper body strength, you will not be able to do a high amount of reps. Start out doing as many as you can and gradually increase your reps as you get stronger. You may also find it easier to bend your knees and cross your lower legs behind your body.

Good Mornings

The good morning exercise requires a barbell and targets the erector spinae, which runs from the base of the skull down to the lower back. Hoist a barbell across your shoulders behind your neck and stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back and legs straight and abs tight, bend forward at the waist until your torso is parallel to the floor or just higher. Steadily rise back up and repeat.

Alternating Superman

The alternating superman works the back muscles with nothing but the weight of the body. Start in a face-down position on the floor with your legs together and arms extended out straight. Steadily lift your right arm and left leg about 12 inches off the floor and hold for second. Slowly lower your limbs, repeat on the other side and continue to alternate back and forth.