The 5 Best Exercises to Tone Up Your Back


As women, we are constantly plagued by the irritation of back fat. The roll that hangs over your bra and your jeans might just drive you insane. So how do you get rid of that pesky back fat? This article will give you the 5 best exercises you can possibly do to tone up your back.

In order to attain that toned back you so desire, you must build muscle in your back. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU WILL GET BULKY. Building some lean muscle in your back will melt the fat as well as give you that nice toned look that you want. Don’t be afraid to pick up some heavy weights.

The Exercises

1. Bent-Over Barbell Row

The bent-over barbell row is an excellent movement for hitting the middle part of the back. This is the area where that bra fat hangs out, but is also the area where your hard work will be showcased. Since this movement also forces you to incorporate your core, it is an excellent compound movement which equals mega calorie burn.

The Movement

  1. Hold a barbell with an overhand grip hands shoulder distance apart and feet about hip distance apart.
  2. With the barbell in your hands, bend at the waist until the upper body is slightly above parallel to the floor. MAKE SURE YOU KEEP YOUR CORE TIGHT!
  3. With the barbell hanging at shin level, contract your lats and pull the bar towards your chest.
  4. Once your lats are full contracted, lower the bar back to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner.


  1. Keep your core tight.
  2. When pulling the bar towards your chest, pretend you are pinching a pencil between your shoulder blades.
  3. Keep elbows close to sides.
  4. Keep everything tight. Do not use momentum to move the bar.
  5. Don’t look up and don’t look down. Look out in front of you so that your head stays in line with your spine!

2. Lat Pull-down

The lat-pulldown works the lat muscles, or side muscles of your back. I love this exercise because it allows you to really focus on contracting your lats while forcing you to keep your core tight. This is the exercise that will rid you of the bra fat and build that bombshell back. You will feel this exercise the next day!

The Movement

  1. Hold the bar with an overhand grip with hands about six inches wider than shoulder width.
  2. Make sure that your knees are firmly lodged under the pads.
  3. Lean back only slightly, keeping your core tight, so the bar can travel downward on the correct path.
  4. Contract your lats to pull the bar down towards your chest.
  5. Stop once the bar is just above your collar bone.
  6. Slowly return to the starting position.


  1. Don’t lean way backwards when pulling the bar down. Maintain the same position with your trunk the entire way through the movement.
  2. Keep your lats contracted throughout the entire movement.
  3. Don’t use momentum to pull the bar down.
  4. Keep that core tight!
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3. Conventional Deadlift

The ultimate compound exercise for hitting your lower back is the conventional deadlift. It is contested whether the deadlift should be performed on back day or leg day. However, I love to do deadlifts on back day because the lift completely exhausts the muscles in the back of your body. Bye, bye love handles!

The Movement

  1. Stand with feet about hip distance apart.
  2. Grasp bar with one hand in an overhand grip and the other in an underhand grip. Hands slightly wider than shoulder distance apart.
  3. Set up with bar just behind the toes.
  4. Keeping your core tight and back flat, sink down into your glutes.
  5. Stand up with the bar, keeping the bar as close to the legs as possible.
  6. When your hips hit the open position, pause, then slowly lower the bar back down to the starting position.


  1. Keep the core tight, back flat, and keep the head in line with the spine.
  2. Do NOT lean backwards at the top of the movement.
  3. Bend the legs to lift and lower the bar. You will feel this movement in the legs as well.
  4. Chalk up your hands to keep a good grip on the bar.


4. Single Arm Dumbbell Row

This particular back exercise will be the key to that toned back you are yearning for. The secret to the single arm dumbbell row is to focus on mind-muscle connection. Focus on pulling with your lat muscle and not with your arm. That bombshell back will be one you are proud to show off in a bikini!

The Movement

  1. Set up on a bench with the same arm same knee on the bench.
  2. Grab a dumbbell in a neutral grip.
  3. Keeping your back flat, contract your lats to pull the weight up towards your side.
  4. Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.


  1. Keep elbow as close as possible to side.
  2. Keep your core tight and back flat.
  3. Slowly lift and lower the weight.


5. Pull-Ups

Pull-ups are by far the most difficult exercise on this list. If you cannot do an unassisted pull-up, use an assisted pull up machine or a band. Pull-ups are hard but irreplaceable on a list of the best back exercises. Pull-ups will leave your back shredded as well as give you some serious functional strength.

The Movement

  1. Grab a pull-up bar or pull-machine with an overhand grip.
  2. Hanging from the bar, contract your lats to pull your chest towards the bar.
  3. Once your chin is over the bar, slowly lower back to the starting position.


  1. Keep the core tight.
  2. Do not swing through the movement, keep everything tight.
  3. Control the movement on the way up and on the way down.
  4. Use your lats to pull you up and not your arms as much as possible!


There you have the 5 best exercises to tone up your back. If you use these movements in your workouts and are not afraid to lift heavy, the results will blow you away. No part of your back was left untouched by these back exercises. The key takeaways when performing back exercises are: keep your core tight and back flat, contract your lats, keep the head in line with the spine, and don’t pull with your arm muscles.

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