I’m a female and I’ve always loved the way the lines of a sexy back looks on a woman. However, I don’t like the muscle toned look which is a little too masculine for my taste. I would like to know the best ways to lose fat and tone up the back area? I’m probably about 10-15 pounds overweight and I just want a slim, back without the extra fat or the exaggerated muscle tone like you see on the female bodybuilders. Can you recommend any workout tips to help me?
A lean and sexy back provides what is called the “V-Taper” which is the look achieved when you have a fully developed back and a small, narrow waist. You can actually create an illusion of having a narrower waist than you actually have by training your back and developing the lat muscles so it appears wider. I’m not talking about a gigantic and heavily muscled back with striations running up and down like you might see on the pages of bodybuilding magazines. I’m just talking about a lean back that has the right level of muscle tone and I’m pretty sure this is the overall look you’re going after. It’s nothing outrageous, just a reduction of body fat from the area which shows off the natural sexy lines of the back. This is a highly desired goal of most men and women who start on a fitness program and it’s one that can be accomplished with dedication, hard word and discipline.
In order to reduce fat and tone up your back, you will need to start doing real muscle building exercises when you train. This involves basic movements that you see many of the men doing in the gym. Don’t be frightened about getting huge and buff from doing a few sets of barbell rows or pulldowns. It’s not going to happen since you don’t have the amount of testosterone needed to build a significant amount of muscle mass like the guys can. Too many women get caught up thinking that working out hard with weights is too manly and this mindset needs to be avoided if you want to reach your ultimate goal of a lean and sexy back. Resistance training with the right exercises is the #1 way to develop the back of your dreams. Just doing cardio is not going to provide the results you want, but by combining cardio with weights and a clean diet will get you to the promised land!
Here are the top 5 back exercises you should include in your workout to develop a lean and sexy back:
The weight training movements listed above are amazing but one of the absolute best bodyweight exercises to include in your routine are pull-ups. These are incredible for developing the back muscles but they are a bit difficult, especially for women since they tend to have less upper body strength than men. Actually, most men have a very difficult time doing even a couple of pull-ups, so don’t feel embarrassed if you can’t do a single one. You have a couple of options in order to get the most out of this exercise. You can have a friend assist you by grabbing your waist while you are doing pull-ups and slightly pushing you up to allow you to complete the full range of motion. It will take a couple of repetitions for your spotter to find the sweet spot where they help you just enough for you to raise yourself up to the top without helping too much to make it super easy. Your other option is to use an assisted pull-up machine where you adjust the weight stack to allow you to perform the exercise. These machines are great since they allow you to get a full range of motion without the need for a spotter to assist you.
Along with strength training exercises, there are also a few cardio exercises you can do to target your back. A great way to get a killer back workout in while doing cardio is by incorporating rowing into your workout plan. Use a rowing machine for about 20-30 minutes 3-4 days per week for your cardio work and really focus on getting a good stretch on each repetition. Along with shaping your back, it’s also a great workout for your legs. The elliptical machine is also great for working your back while doing cardio. You obviously need to make sure to take advantage of the entire machine by grabbing the handles and using your arms to push and pull your way to a lean and sexy back!