Fitness is a whole-body state. Muscle strength and tone along with cardiovascular health go together to complete the picture. No matter how fit you are, however, there are certain parts of the body that are more difficult to tone because everyday activity doesn’t fully engage those muscle groups. General aerobic exercises don’t focus on harder-to-reach places like the back and under your arms—you have to concentrate on those.
Where you have a tendency to gain and retain weight has a lot to do with age, sex, and genetics. While you can’t choose in the short term where first in your body you want to lose weight, you can isolate certain muscle groups with specific exercises to tone and strengthen them, reducing the appearance of fat deposits in the process. Exercises for back fat and underarms are a great example. Moreover, exercising a particular part of the body increases blood flow and use of fat for energy in that area. (1)
5 Exercises for Back Fat and Underarm Fat
Below are seven exercises for back fat that target problem back fat and underarm bulge areas to stimulate fat loss and tone hard-to-get-at muscles. You don’t need special equipment or have to go to a gym to do these; all you need is a soft, firm surface (an exercise pad or yoga mat works well). Add these to your regular exercise regimen to do 2-3 times a week and you’ll quickly see the results.
This exercise improves balance and flexibility in addition to toning arms, abs, and back.
Here’s how to do it:
- Begin on hands and knees with your palms flat on the floor, at shoulder-width apart.
- Tighten your abs to keep your back straight throughout the exercise.
- Raise your right arm and left leg until they’re in line with your back. Pause, then return to the starting position, keeping your hips straight.
- Repeat with your left arm and right leg and do 10 repetitions.
2. Plank Drop
This exercise is great for the lower back and abs.
- Begin in a plank position with your chest up, and forearms and feet on the floor.
- Keep your body straight and parallel to the ground.
- Rotate at the waist and touch your right hip to the floor.
- Rotate again to return to the starting position.
- Repeat with left hip.
- Alternate back and forth for the desired amount of repetitions.
3. Prone Reverse Fly
By doing this version of the fly, you can a great back workout.
- Lie face down on the floor with arms at shoulder height out to the sides. Keep your palms down, and legs straight.
- Raise your arms straight up off the floor at the same time. Hold for 1 second (or more) and return to starting position.
- Repeat for 15 repetitions for up to 3 sets.
To make this a more vigorous exercise for your upper back and shoulders, add weights!
- Stand straight and bend forward at the hips, keeping your spine neutral and your shoulder blades together. Bend your knees slightly.
- Hold 5 pounds dumbbells in each hand and bring your arm out in front of you.
- With elbows bent slightly, raise your arms out to the side until your upper arms are nearly parallel to your back. Return to the starting position. Do not swing your arms, keeping your movements carefully controlled.
4. Snow Angels
For this exercise, focus on tightening your abs while keeping your neck and shoulders relaxed. As usual, your movements should be smooth and controlled.
Here’s how to do it:
- Lie face down on the floor with arms at shoulder height out to the sides, palms down, and legs straight.
- Raise your legs, arms, chest, and head straight up off the floor at the same time. Move your arms and legs as if you were making a snow angel.
- Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
This back exercise gives you a great workout, but if you have back pain, it’s probably best to skip it.
- Begin on your belly with lower abdomen pressed to the floor, legs straight, and arms straight on either side of the head at shoulder width apart.
- Raise your head, neck, and chest.
- Raise your right arm straight up at the same time as your left leg, hold for 2 seconds, and return to starting position.
- Repeat with left arm and right leg.
- Raise just the arms, chest, neck and head, and hold for 2 seconds before lowering to the floor.
- Next, raise just the legs, hold for 2 seconds, and lower to the floor.
- Raise both arms and both legs at the same time, hold for 2 seconds, then lower your whole body to the floor.
- Repeat all the step 10-15 times.