Most gym sessions are spent tightening and toning the areas we consider the most noticeable—butt, stomach, legs. But here’s a secret all top trainers know: Strong back muscles are not only key for an overall defined look, but they’re your best defense against pain, injury, and poor posture for years to come. These six classic strength moves for get rid of back fat target all of the muscles in your upper body to help you banish bra bulge and sculpt a strong, sexy back, and shoulders.
How it works: Three or four days a week, do 1 set of each exercise back to back, with little or no rest in between moves. After the last exercise, rest 1 to 2 minutes, and repeat the full circuit 2 more times (3 times total).
You’ll need: A pair of 2- to 3-pound dumbbells, a pair of 15- to 25-pound dumbbells, a resistance band, and a pull-up bar or Life Fitness Machine.
Grab a pair of 2- to 3-pound dumbbells and stand with feet hip-width apart. Take a slight bend in knees as you shift hips back and lower torso until it’s parallel to the floor. Bring weights together and turn palms to face forward. Keeping arms straight, lift weights up to shoulder height then lower back down. Make sure to keep core and glutes engaged the entire time. Do 15 reps.
Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows
Reps: 10 per side
Grab a 15- to 25-pound dumbbell in one hand. Stand with feet hip-width apart, bend knees, and shift hips back, lowering torso until nearly parallel with the ground. Place right hand on a wall in front of you for balance.
Draw the weight up toward chest by bending left elbow straight up toward the ceiling. Make sure to keep shoulder blades down and together and core engaged the entire time. Do 10 reps on each side.
Grab a pair of 5- to 10-pound dumbbells and stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Shift hips back as you lower torso until nearly parallel with the ground.
Turn palms to face each other, bend elbows, and lift weights up to shoulder height. Focus on using your back, not your arms, to raise the weights. Gently lower back down, keeping core and glutes engaged during the entire movement. Do 10 reps.
Reps: 8 to 10
Loop a band on top of a pull-up bar or the Life Fitness Machine at your gym. Hold onto the bar with hands slightly wider than shoulder width, palms facing each other. Place one foot (or knee if you prefer) inside the band. Hang at arm’s length. You should return to this position—known as a dead hang—each time you lower back down.
Pull body up in one straight line, bringing head just above hands. Squeeze shoulder blades together and pull upper arms down forcefully. Slowly lower body all the way back down to dead hang. Repeat motion without swinging. Aim for 8 to 10 reps.
Plank with Lateral Arm Raise
Reps: 10 per side
Come into a straight-arm plank with hands below and in line with shoulders, feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Keeping hips as still as possible, lift one arm up to shoulder height. Return to center, then lift the other arm to shoulder height. Draw belly button up and in and keep your body centered. Do 10 reps each side.
Come into a pushup position with hands slightly wider than shoulder width, feet hip-width apart. Your body should form a straight line from heels to head. Bend elbows and lower body until hovering a few inches above the ground. Hold for 1 deep breath, and then press half-way up and hold for 1 deep breath. Lower back down to your lowest point, holding for 1 deep breath. Come back to your half-way point for one more hold. Repeat pattern 3 more times, 5 times total.