Upper back is ideally the most neglected regions when it comes to exercise and work out. However, there are cases where excessive fat deposits on the upper back, causing cramps, restricted shoulder and arm movement and pain while moving the neck. The pain is usually caused due to restricted physical activities in work routine, holding purse or bags on the shoulder for long duration and lifting heavy weights in a jerky movement.

This can be taken care of with proper exercise routine to keep the muscles flexible and get rid of the fat.

Simple and Effective Upper Back Workouts:

Here are a few simple exercises that you can do daily to keep the upper back toned and flexible.

1. Pull Ups

Pull Ups has an effect on the entire body, especially in the upper back. These strengthen the back muscles and tone the shoulders. Pull Ups strengthen the muscles and are easy to perform with the most basic equipment.

To Perform:

  • Stand straight with feet parted at shoulder length.
  • Raise the hands straight above the head and hold the rod/ring firmly
  • Now with the strength of the shoulder muscles, pull your body up to the rod, breathe in simultaneously.
  • Hold in position for two seconds.
  • Breathe out and get back to normal posture

Do two sets of ten pull ups each for effective results. Discontinue if pain is felt in the shoulders or back.

2. Dynamic Push Ups

Push Ups are very important to have your upper back in shape. These are tough to perform initially, but with practice become an easy task. Performing push ups on a regular basis helps tone the arms and shoulders too.

To Perform:

  • Stand with feet at shoulder length and hands at the side.
  • Bend the knees and put the hands at front, flat on the floor.
  • Push the legs back (one by one or simultaneously as suited), with only the toes touching the floor
  • With the back straight, bring the upper body down, folding the elbows
  • The target should be to touch the nose on the floor
  • Cautiously, bring the feet back near the hands.
  • Jumps back to land at the standing posture.

Perform this upper back exercises at home 10 time initially, and increase the speed and repetition with time.

3. Jump Squats

Jump Squats are good for overall back health. It also strengthens and tones thighs and calf. These are easy to do, yet jump squats should be done very carefully and should be avoided in case of special back conditions and pregnancy.

To Perform:

  • Stand with legs parted at shoulder length and hands behind the head with fingers threaded.
  • Now slowly, bend your knees and squat, keeping the entire foot on the floor.
  • Make sure the heels are on the floor and back straight.
  • Target is to have the thighs parallel to the floor.
  • Now lift the body and jump as high as possible, and land back to squatting posture.

Repeat the process of upper back fat exercises 15-20 times in sets of five. Take a 10 second break in between if you are a beginner.

4. Butterfly – With Dumbbells 

Butterfly Exercise is done to tone the upper back, especially the shoulder area and the arm joints. Simultaneously, it also builds up biceps and triceps. Simple to do and can be performed any where even in the absence of dumbbells.

To Perform:

  • Stand with legs parted wide – at shoulder length distance.
  • Hands should be at the sides, with light weight dumbbells.
  • Breathe in and lift the hands sideways without folding the elbows.
  • The aim is to lift it till the dumbbells are parallel to the head.
  • Breathe out and bring the hands back to normal posture.

Do this10 times to make a set. Repeat 3 sets daily to have a toned and shapely back. If there is any problem or overstretching, discontinue immediately.

5. Arm Rotation

Arms Rotation is the most basic form of upper back exercises for women and should be performed irrespective of whether you have to tone your back or not. It is a great way to improve blood circulation and keep the biceps, arms and hands in good condition and problem free.

To Perform:

  • Stand with legs parted at shoulder length and put the hands on the sides, folded in a fist.
  • Make sure the back is straight and it remains so during the entire exercise.
  • Now breathe in and lift the arms making a big circle on the sides and complete the rotation from back to front
  • Breathe in while lifting and breath out while the arms are swinging down
  • Repeat performance at least 15 times

After the back to front routine is done, rotate front to back equal number of times. Minimum 2 such sets should be done regularly.

See More: How To Lose Lower Back Fat

6. Squatting – With Weights

Squatting with weights hits the shoulder muscles directly and strengthens the upper back. It is very effective in toning the upper back and arms. This however is not advisable for those with weak backs and shoulders. This can also be done without weights; in that case, it is more beneficial for thighs and lower abdomen.

To Perform:

  • Stand with feet parted and hands high above the head with the weights.
  • Make sure that the arms and back are straight and remain so throughout the exercise.
  • Breathe in, bend the knees and get as low as you can, only to make a perpendicular between the thigh and calf, behind the knee.
  • Count to 5, breathe out and stand up with hands high
  • Repeat at least 10 times.

Perform these exercises to lose upper back fat 3 sets of 10 squats should be done regularly to have a noticeable change in the upper body.

7. Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging leg raises can be performed anywhere there is a rod, strong enough to take your weight. For safety, gym gloves are necessary when performing the lifts to prevent accidents. This has a huge impact on the upper back, biceps and lower body.

To Perform:

  • Hold the rod, stand on your toes and breathe in.
  • Count to 3 and lift your lower body as high as you can, keeping the knees straight at all times.
  • The target is to have the legs parallel to the floor.
  • Hold in position for 10 seconds ‘
  • Breathe out and bring the legs back to initial position.

Perform these exercises for upper back fat, at least 30 times regularly. You can see the difference in the upper body  in no time. As a precaution, it is advisable to maintain a slow pace and smoothness while leg lifting to prevent cramps in the back.

See More: Inner Thigh Exercises

8. Dumbbell Shrugs

Dumbbell Shrugs are very effective in strengthening the shoulder and arms. These also make the upper back shapely and firm. Those with shoulder problems should refrain from doing this exercise as it can worsen the problem if not done properly.

To Perform:

  • Stand with feet parted at shoulder length and hands at the sides.
  • Breathe in and lift your shoulders in the shrug position.
  • Count to 10 and release to normal position, breathe out simultaneously.
  • Ensure that the back is straight during the exercise.

20 such repetitions should be done while exercising. This will show beneficiary results in less time and improve blood circulation. To increase the level of difficulty, you can increase the dumbbell weights, this should be done after a few weeks of regular practice with low weight dumbbells.

9. Behind the Body Lifts

This is one of the toughest and most effective upper back workouts for women to have the upper body toned and shaped. The level of difficulty can be increased or decreased simply by changing the amount of weights to be lifted. Those who have a back ache problem should start with minimal weights and then increase over time.

To Perform:

  • Stand with legs parted and hands stretched out at the back with weights.
  • Breathe in and lift the weights as high as possible.
  • Hold in position for 5 seconds. Breathe out and slowly get back to initial position

Repeat the exercise to reduce upper back fat 15-20 times and do two such sets for effective results in no time. If there are no weights, hold the hands at the back with a lengthwise folded towel. Do not over stretch, it may lead to severe injury.

Care should be taken while performing the exercises as they need balance and proper weight positioning. In any case, is there a lot of pain or discomfort, it is important to discontinue performing these exercises. Those who have peculiar back and shoulder problems should not perform the exercises without the consent of a medical practitioner.

Doing these exercises to get rid of upper back fat regularly will improve upper back conditions and strengthen the arms and shoulders. In addition, maintaining proper posture at all times will help keep the upper back in shape and all the problems at bay.

See More: Exercises To Reduce Flabby Upper Arms


About Saanvi

Saanvi Sharma is an excellent web content writer in health and nutrition. Her expertise in the subject stems from in-depth research and knowledge that she gained over the years. Her interest in science coupled with a bachelor's degree in biotechnology proves as an added advantage and further adds value to her writing. She is highly interested in science, thus writing quality content became her virtue.