- 8 Best Ways To Reduce Lower Back Fat
- 7 Best Lower Back Fat Exercises
- Causes Of Lower Back Fat
- Frequently Asked Questions
Increased lower back fat may cause unwanted body fat accumulation around the sides, lower back, and abdominal areas. It could develop due to a sedentary lifestyle, genetics, or bad food choices.
However, targeting back fat alone may not be possible. Instead, the focus should be on overall fat reduction.
Performing targeted exercises for the upper and lower back could help tone and strengthen the back muscles, giving them a defined appearance.
Can you effectively reduce your lower back fat? Please continue reading to know the leading causes of fat accumulation around the lower back area and simple ways to manage it.
This article will also provide some evidence-based tips to help reduce lower back fat, alongside disclosing the potential causes behind lower back fat accumulation.
8 Best Ways To Reduce Lower Back Fat
Get Enough Protein
Adequate protein intake could be essential for effective weight loss and toning the muscles in your lower back.
Protein helps enhance muscle development, and repairs damaged muscle tissues, including the muscles in your back. Such effects may stimulate the metabolism and promote fat burning, thereby improving body composition and potentially reducing lower back fat.
Consuming protein-rich foods may increase satiety and reduce cravings, making it easy to stick to your calorie deficit and avoid overeating.
Cardiovascular exercises like running, cycling, or jumping rope may help burn calories and decrease overall body fat, including lower back fat. Running could elevate the heart rate and stimulate calorie burning (throughout the day).
Whether you prefer jogging on a treadmill or running outdoors, this activity could help shed those unwanted pounds and potentially target back fat.
Swimming is a low-impact, full-body exercise that may burn calories and work out your back muscles. The water resistance may help tone and strengthen the back muscles while providing a refreshing and enjoyable workout.
Performing jumping rope may elevate heart rate and burn calories in a short amount of time. It engages the entire body (including back muscles), which could help you tone and reduce back fat.
Consume the Right Number Of Calories
According to research studies, eating 20-to-25% fewer calories than those you burn daily will help you lose fat without losing muscle or experiencing excessive hunger and lethargy.
Processed or sugary foods like pastries, cakes, or sweetened beverages may increase fat accumulation and the risk of weight gain.
Choosing nutrient-dense foods high in fiber and low in sodium could help reduce water weight. These foods may include hard-boiled eggs, avocados, leafy greens, broccoli, and lean meats.
Exercising portion control by using a smaller plate, checking food labels, and employing measuring cups may restrict the total calories consumed and potentially aid in preventing lower back fat.
Upper Back Exercises
Performing upper back exercises may reduce back fat and give the upper back a more defined and toned appearance. Such effects may enhance overall back appearance and diminish the appearance of back fat.
Some effective upper back exercises include chin-ups, pull-ups, lat pulldowns, and seated cable rows.
Pull-ups and chin-ups could engage multiple muscles in the upper back, including the trapezius, latissimus dorsi, and rhomboids.
Lat pulldowns and seated cable rows could target the muscle groups in the upper back, rear delts, rhomboids, and traps.
Lower Back Exercises
To target and reduce lower back fat, performing specific exercises for the lower back may help strengthen and tone the muscles in that area.
- Start by lying flat on the back (with knees bent and feet flat on the ground).
- Place your arms at the sides and lift the hips off the ground, squeezing your glutes and lower back muscles.
- Hold the position for a few seconds, then slowly lower your hips back down.
- Repeat for multiple reps.
- Lie face down on a mat with both of your arms fully extended in front of you.
- Lift your upper body off the ground by engaging your lower back muscles.
- Repeat for several reps.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand in front of your thighs.
- Keep your back straight, hinge forward at the hips, and gradually lower the weights towards the ground while keeping them close to your legs.
- Try engaging the lower back muscles by lifting up your torso to a standing position. Repeat for several reps.
Strength training could improve overall strength and stability, enhance posture, and boost metabolism.
It could aid healthy weight management and increase fat loss by increasing muscle mass.
Building muscle through strength training may strengthen your back muscles and contribute to reducing back fat.
Yoga may offer a holistic approach to reducing back fat and improving overall back strength and flexibility.
- Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana): This pose involves lying on your stomach, lifting the upper body off the ground, and using your back muscles. It helps tone and strengthen the lower back muscles while improving spinal flexibility.
- Locust Pose (Salabhasana): In this pose, you lie on your stomach and lift your legs, upper body, and arms off the ground. It engages the muscles in your back and helps tone and strengthen the entire back area, including the lower back.
- Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana): This pose involves moving between a rounded spine position (cat pose) and an arched spine position (cow pose). It might strengthen and stretch the back muscles, improving overall back flexibility and reducing tension.
Try Right Supplements
Caffeine may increase fat oxidation by helping utilize stored fat cells for energy production. Such effects may boost energy levels, enhance calorie-burning rate, and improve anaerobic performance.
Typically, consuming an average of 180–190 mg of caffeine daily is suggested, equating to about two to three coffee cups daily.
Yohimbine supplement may aid in weight loss, especially with fasted training. It’s recommended to consume 0.1–0.2 mg/kg of yohimbine before fasted training. You could also try fat burners. They could enhance athletic performance, support weight loss, preserve muscle mass, and help maintain mental sharpness and training intensity.
7 Best Lower Back Fat Exercises
Deadlift engages multiple muscles in your lower back, including the erector spinae, glutes, and hamstrings. It could activate other muscles like the quadriceps, core, and upper back.
Deadlifts could target the lower back muscles, helping to build muscle mass and create a defined, toned appearance. Such effects might contribute to a more sculpted and lean back.
Here’s how to perform the deadlift:
- Position your feet slightly less than shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointed slightly out. Place a loaded barbell about an inch from your shins.
- Lower your body down towards the bar by raising your hips back and gripping the bar just outside the shins.
- Take a deep breath and flatten your back by pushing your hips up slightly. Then, drive the body upward (and slightly back) by pushing through the heels until you stand upright.
- Reverse the movement and return to the starting position.
The back squat could be an effective exercise for losing leg fat and building muscle. It allows you to employ heavy weights, making it suitable for those looking to build strength and sculpt their lower body.
The back squat could target muscles in your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, helping to increase muscle mass and burn calories.
Here’s how to perform the back squat:
- Start by positioning a barbell in the squat rack (somewhere about the height of the top of your breastbone).
- Stand under the bar and rest it above the bony ridges (on the bottom of the shoulder blades).
- Lift the bar out of its rack, take a few steps backward, and take a stance slightly more than shoulder-width, with the toes pointing outward.
- As you squat down, maintain a neutral spine position and push the knees out (in the same direction as your toes).
- Then, stand up and return to the starting position.
The front squat is a substitute for the traditional back squat, providing similar benefits in building muscle and burning leg fat while placing less strain on the knees and lower back.
To perform a front squat:
- Position the barbell in a squat rack (at the height of your breastbone).
- Hold the bar with palms facing away from you (pronated grip) at a shoulder-width grip.
- Stand closer to the bar so that it brushes against the top of your breastbone, and push the elbows up and out in front of the bar.
- Lift the bar out of the rack, take a few steps backward, and bring a stance moderately wider than shoulder-width (with your toes pointing slightly outward).
- Sit down, keeping your back straight and elbows up, and push the knees out in the direction of the toes.
- Rise and return to the starting position.
Reverse hip raise with exercise ball
Performing the reverse hip raise with an exercise ball could specifically engage the lower back muscles, helping to strengthen and tone that area. It may help boost your core muscles, improving your posture and reducing tension in the lower back.
To perform the reverse hip raise with an exercise ball:
- Start by lying on the ball with your belly facing down and your palms flat on the floor. Your legs could be bent at the knees.
- From this position, squeeze your glute muscles and try balancing on the ball as you press your legs together and lift them up.
- It’s essential to keep the ball stable during this movement. Hold this pose for several seconds, then slowly lower your legs back down.
- Repeat it multiple times, gradually increasing the timespan of holding the hip raise (if you can).
The side jackknife exercise could target your obliques, which are part of your abdomen. It could help tone your “love handles” and lower back area.
Here’s how to do it:
- Lie on your right side with your legs extended and stacked on top of each other.
- Place your left hand behind your head for support.
- Engage your core muscles and squeeze your obliques as you draw your left leg up towards your left arm.
- Keep your left arm stable on your head as you bring your left knee towards it.
- Gradually lower the leg back down to the original position.
- Repeat the movement multiple times before switching to the opposite side.
The Superman exercise could engage the muscles in your lower back and glutes, helping to strengthen and tone these areas.
To perform the Superman exercise:
- Commence by lying on your stomach, preferably on a yoga mat.
- Stretch your body out to fully extend your legs and arms.
- Then, simultaneously lift your hands and feet off the ground, aiming to have your arms and legs about 6 inches off the ground.
- Repeat the exercise for desired repetitions.
Cycling primarily targets the leg muscles but could engage your lower back muscles and core to maintain stability and balance.
With consistent cycling, you may strengthen the lower back muscles, which might contribute to reducing back fat. It may help improve your overall posture, making your back appear leaner and more toned.
Causes Of Lower Back Fat
Genetics could determine where excess weight is stored in the body. However, lifestyle choices and body composition also contribute to back fat accumulation.
A sedentary lifestyle may disrupt the body’s calorie-burning mechanism, resulting in weight gain and fat accumulation, including in the lower back area. A diet high in sugar or sodium may contribute to inflammation, making back fat appear more pronounced.
Poor posture and ill-fitting clothing also contribute to the appearance of back fat.
Slouching or wearing tight clothing that doesn’t fit properly may create the illusion of bulges or lumps in the back.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How Long Does It Take to Lose Lower Back Fat?
Losing lower back fat requires adherence to a proper diet, a consistent exercise regimen, and healthy lifestyle choices. The timeframe for losing lower back fat could vary between people, which could take several weeks to months of sustained effort.
- What Are Some Common Mistakes to Avoid When Trying to Lose Lower Back Fat?
People make some common mistakes when trying to lose lower back fat. These may include relying solely on targeted exercises, neglecting overall weight loss, not creating a caloric deficit, and lacking consistency and patience in their efforts.
- Are There Certain Exercises That Target Lower Back Fat?
Specific exercises like pull-ups, lat pulldowns, or rows may engage the muscles in the lower back and help tone them. However, combining these exercises with a nutritionally adequate diet and healthy lifestyle will help expedite your results.
Targeting fat reduction from a specific body area like the lower back is not feasible. Instead, maintaining a calorie deficit, doing back-strengthening exercises, and engaging in regular physical activities may accelerate fat reduction (including in the lower back area).
Including healthy lifestyle changes such as maintaining good posture, managing stress levels, and staying hydrated may aid in back fat reduction. Consistency, patience, and a holistic approach are essential to achieving sustainable results.
Rachel has been a freelance medical writer for more than 18 years. She graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 2005 and is currently practicing as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at a Level I trauma center.