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These 6 Back Exercises Burn Fat Fast, Trainer Says

These effective strength-training exercises will help you sculpt a toned back.

We live in a time when everything we do (from looking at our phones to working on our laptops and even driving) involves sitting and facing forward with our shoulders slouched. That's why it's so crucial that you strengthen your posture muscles—and one of the best ways to do this is by training your back.

There are several muscle groups that compose your back, and by selecting the right strength-training exercises, you can build muscle, burn more calories, and elevate your metabolism, all of which will help you reach your fat- and weight-loss goals faster.

The following exercises are compound movements that target your back and help you burn fat fast. Incorporate 3 sets of the following exercises into your current fitness routine. And for more, don't miss This Workout Plan Will Keep You Lean Throughout the Holidays.


4 chinups
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

To perform a chin-up, start by grabbing the bar just outside of shoulder-width with your palms facing away from you. Get into a full hang and pull your shoulder blades down. Next, pull your torso to the bar so that your chin clears it, squeezing your lats and upper back. Make sure to lean back slightly, reaching from your sternum rather than your chin as you're coming up. Lower yourself back into a full hang before performing another rep. Do 3 sets of 6-8 reps.

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Barbell Row

barbell row
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Grab a bar with either a pronated (overhand) or supinated (underhand) grip just slightly outside of your shoulders and stand up straight. Keeping your core tight, hinge at your hips so your body forms a 45-degree angle (while maintaining a neutral spine).

Then, drive your elbows towards your hips, squeezing your back hard, then straighten your arms to get a full stretch in your shoulder blades before performing another rep. Do 3 sets of 6-8 reps.

A hot tip for any back move: If you're having trouble feeling your back and end up using too much of your biceps, imagine using your elbows to lead the movement. This will help you engage the area much better and you'll develop a stronger mind-muscle connection.

Related: Exercise Tricks for Getting Rid of Belly Fat, Trainer Says

Dumbbell Renegade Row

Renegade Row
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Start by getting into a pushup position with a wide stance and holding a pair of dumbbells. Keeping your core tight and glutes squeezed, take one hand and row the weight up by driving your elbow towards your hip and squeezing your lat.

Return the dumbbell back to the ground, then perform a row with the other arm. Return to starting position before performing another pushup. Do 3 sets of 6-8 reps on each arm.

Related: Secret Effects of Lifting Weights Just Once Per Week, Science Says

Dumbbell Plank Open Row

alternating dumbbell open plank row
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Start by getting into a pushup position with a wide stance, gripping a pair of dumbbells that are resting on the ground. Keeping your core tight and glutes squeezed, row one dumbbell up toward your hip, then rotate the weight up and extend it straight toward the ceiling.

Lower the dumbbell back down in the same pattern, then return to the pushup position before performing another rep with the other side. Do 3 sets of 6-8 reps.

Related: These 6 Arm Moves Burn Fat Fast, Trainer Says

Deadlift (any variation)

kettlebell deadlift
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Although technically not a back exercise, the deadlift movement pattern works your upper back, lats, and posterior chain.

Stand with a weight (a kettlebell, dumbbell, or even a trap bar works well for this) in front of you on the floor with your feet shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back and squat down low enough to grab the weight—making sure your shoulders are in line with the weight and your torso is straight when you get into position.

Keeping your core tight and shoulders down, pick up the weight by pushing through your heels and hips to stand up tall, squeezing your glutes at the top. Reverse the motion to put the weight back down before performing another rep. Do 3 sets of 6-8 reps.


rowing row machine
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Just like the deadlift, rowing isn't exactly a direct back exercise since it also involves your legs and core, but it does burn a lot of calories.

To properly use a rowing machine, start toward the front of the machine with your knees bent and your hands grasping the handles. Then, use all the power in your legs to push your entire body backward in order to straighten your legs, then finish by leaning back and pulling with your arms and upper back until the handles are touching your chest.

If you're used to doing anaerobic activity, you can sprint hard for 500 meters for 2-3 sets, or start off building your endurance by rowing 1000-2000 meters.

and that's it! This killer back workout will help you burn fat fast and sculpt a more defined and stronger back.

For more, check out Doing This One Thing While Strength Training Burns Twice as Many Calories, New Study Says.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S., CSCS
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim