Q. How do I get rid of the fat on my back?
An friend of mine (Laura) once asked me for a workout that would focus on reducing her back flab and tightening her back muscles. She felt her back looked flabby and was uncomfortable with the unsightly fat that seeped through the back of her bra.
I get hundreds of requests for improving the abs,hips,butt and arms. I hardly ever get one for improving the back. This request brought a smile to my face.
When someone begins to realize the importance of the back muscles from a practical and cosmetic standpoint, they have advanced to the next level of their fitness evolution.When properly developed, it is absolutely amazing to see the beauty and artistic perfection of the multitude of back muscles. As I always mention, the ultimate key to a beautiful back and tight body is the combination of proper nutrition that places one in a slight caloric deficit, exercise and consistency. Luckily, Laura already had the nutrition part humming along with my diet program. She is also lifting weights twice per week and performing cardio three times per week.
All I needed to do was provide a specialty workout that she could perform twice per week along with her current program.
From a practical standpoint, building strength in the back, particularly the lower back, helps to prevent injury. How many times have you heard someone tell you they have a bad back? I hear it almost every day.
I’m providing a simple, yet practical understanding of the major back muscles. First I’ll briefly describe each major area of the back and then I’ll give you an exercise with one of our totally cool animations so you can practice on your own. The exercises focus on the major areas, but, in reality, there are even more isolated areas of the back.1. Latissumus Dorsi -- The Latissumus Dorsi muscles (also known as the lats) are the largest muscles of the back. The lats are large, fan-shaped muscles. If you spread your back and touch the outer end of each side of the back, you’re touching your lats. The function of the lats is to pull the arm down toward the pelvis. When properly developed, the lats will actually make your waist look smaller. Now, there’s some good incentive.
Here’s a great exercise for the lats:
Cable Two-Arm Lat Pulldown
Other exercises that target the lats: Close Grip Pulldowns; Wide Grip Pulldowns; Chin Ups; One Arm Dumbbell Row; Seated Cable Row; Stiff Arm Cable Pushdowns.
2. Rhomboid Muscles -- The Rhomboids originate on the spinal column and attach to the middle area of the scapula. They get their name from their shape. The function of the Rhomboids is to assist in squeezing the shoulder blades together. When even slightly developed, the Rhomboids give the back a look of utter beauty.
A great exercise for the Rhomboids:
Dumbbell Bent Over Row
Alternative exercises for the rhomboid muscles: Rear Delt Raises, Seated Cable Rows, Dumbbell One Arm Bent Over Rows.
3. The Erector Spinae -- For the most part, we’re referring to the lower back when we discuss the Erector Spinae. The erectors are a group of muscles that support the spinal column. The functions of the Erector Spinae group are to extend the spine as well as provide support for it. This area is extremely important to strengthen and very seldom exercised by the majority of the population.
A great exercise for the Erector Spinae:
Fitball Prone Trunk Extension
Alternative exercises for the erector spinae: Machine Back Extensions, Dumbbell Deadlifts.
Attempt two to three sets of each exercise for 10 to 12 repetitions on two alternate days of the week and focus on precise form at all times.
Whether it’s a sleeveless dress you’ll be wearing, tank top or just need that extra strength to pick up your kids and groceries, then focusing on your back muscles is your ticket to success. As always, check with your doctor prior to beginning any exercise program.
Please consult your physician before starting any diet or exercise program
Wishing You Great Health,
Glen Edward Mitchell
Got a question? Ask Glen!