Back fat comes in many forms -- from the not so lovely "love handles" to the less than appetizing "muffin top." No matter what type of unsightly posterior bulge you're dealing with, there are a few things you can do to eliminate a flabby back. While exercises that target the back muscles can help, they will not be effective without additional exercise and diet modifications.
Upper Back Exercises
Exercises that strengthen the muscles of the upper back -- the latissimus dorsi, trapezius and rhomboids -- will help sculpt a lean, defined rear view. Toning exercises that work these muscles by incorporating weight or resistance, such as basic dumbbell lifts, are the most effective. To do a basic dumbbell lift, sit on the edge of a bench or chair with your legs together. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, bend at the waist so your chest is resting on your thighs and your arms are hanging down. Your hands should be near your feet with your palms facing behind you. Bend your elbows and lift the dumbbells to hip level as you turn your palms so they face forward and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Gradually build up to heavier weights and more repetitions, and try other variations of the basic dumbbell lift.
Lower Back Exercises
Lower back crunches -- the reverse of traditional abdominal crunches -- are another effective means of reducing back bulge. Lie on your stomach with your elbows bent and your hands behind your head. Lift your upper torso off the floor about 3 to 5 inches. Build up the number of repetitions gradually, and incorporate pelvic tilts or leg lifts for even better results.
The only way to lose back fat is to lose overall body fat. Toning exercises will tighten muscles, but those muscles will remain hidden by the flab that remains unless you incorporate cardiovascular activity into your workout. Some cardiovascular activities are more effective than others in helping you to sculpt a lean, defined back. Jogging, swimming and rowing all increase your heart rate, which is essential to fat loss, and work the muscles in your arms, shoulders and back at the same time.
Diet and Nutrition
Modify your diet to maximise fat loss and eliminate back flab. Reducing salt, sugars and fats, and lowering your calorie intake will help you to lose excess weight. Some foods may actually help to burn fat, so try to incorporate them into your diet. Citrus fruits, apples, nuts, beans whole grains, low-fat dairy products, chilli peppers, garlic and green tea may bring you closer to achieving a flab-free back.