Most lower back fat exercise guides miss the mark.

Typically, they encourage futzing around with resistance bands and bodyweight exercises that specifically train your lower back.

While this seems like a logical approach, it’s actually a waste of time—you can’t reduce lower back fat by training that area of your body. Furthermore, these exercises don’t build muscle or burn calories effectively enough to make a meaningful difference to your physique.

This article is different. 

In it, you’ll learn the best lower back fat exercises, why they are effective, an excellent lower back fat workout, and more. 

What Are Effective Exercises for Back Fat?

Many articles about the best exercises for lower back fat suggest specific lower back exercises to target back fat, but this approach won’t give you the results you want because you can’t “spot reduce” fat.

Instead, choose lower back fat exercises based on these criteria:

  1. Are they a compound exercise?: Compound exercises train multiple muscle groups at once, increasing metabolic rate, muscle mass, and strength more than isolation exercises, which train one muscle group at a time. That said, doing some isolation exercises is sensible for reasons we’ll discuss soon.
  2. Do they allow you to lift heavy weights safely?: Lifting 75-to-85% of your one-rep max promotes more muscle growth and fat loss than lighter weights. 
  3. Do they allow you to progress regularly?: Progressively adding weight or reps maximizes weightlifting’s muscle-building and fat-burning effects.

You should also prioritize exercises that train your upper back, shoulders, and chest since developing these muscle groups balances your torso, making your lower back less noticeable. They also prevent you from overemphasizing lower back exercises, which could harm your physique and increase injury risk.

With these points in mind, let’s look at the best exercises for lower back fat.

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The Best Exercises for Lower Back Fat

While lower back fat exercises play a vital role in losing back fat, they’re only one piece of the puzzle. To learn everything you need to know about losing lower back fat, including how to create a calorie deficit by eating a healthy diet rich in nutrient-dense foods, check out this article:

How to Get Rid of Lower Back Fat

That said, doing the right exercises for lower back fat can significantly improve your ability to slim your waist long term. The following strength training exercises tick all the boxes above, making them the most effective exercises for back fat.

1. Deadlift

Deadlift before after

The deadlift trains every muscle on the back side of your body (including your lower back) and allows you to lift heavy weights safely and progress regularly, making it ideal for gaining strength and muscle and losing back fat.

How to:

  1. Position your feet slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed slightly out. 
  2. Move a loaded barbell over your midfoot.
  3. Take a deep breath into your belly, flatten your back, then grab the bar just outside your shins with your palms facing you.
  4. Push through your heels to drive your body upward and back until you’re standing upright.
  5. Reverse the movement and return to the starting position.

2. Back Squat

Barbell Back Squat (behind) before/after

The back squat is a whole-body exercise that allows you to lift heavy weights, so it’s highly effective for building muscle and fat loss.

How to:

  1. Position a barbell in a squat rack at about mid-chest height. 
  2. Step under the bar, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and rest the bar above the bony ridges on the bottom of your shoulder blades. 
  3. Lift the bar out of the rack, take 1-to-2 steps backward, and place your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing slightly outward. 
  4. Keeping your back straight, sit down and push your knees out in the same direction as your toes.
  5. Stand up and return to the starting position.

3. Front Squat

Barbell Front Squat before/after

The front squat is about as effective as the back squat for gaining muscle and strength and burning calories. It’s also gentler on your knees, making it a good addition to a lower back fat workout for those with knee issues.

How to:

  1. Position a barbell in a squat rack at the height of your breastbone.
  2. Grab the bar with a shoulder-width grip and your palms facing away from you. 
  3. Step closer to the bar so it presses against the top of your breastbone and push your elbows up and out in front of the bar. 
  4. With the bar resting on the front of your shoulders, lift it out of the rack, take 1-to-2 steps backward, and place your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing slightly outward.
  5. Keeping your back straight, sit down and push your knees out in the same direction as your toes.
  6. Stand up and return to the starting position.

4. Bench Press

Flat Barbell Bench Press before/after

The bench press trains most muscles in your upper body and allows you to lift heavy weights, which is beneficial for burning calories and getting rid of back fat.

  1. Lie on a flat bench and place your feet flat on the floor. 
  2. Pull your shoulder blades together and down, and without lifting your butt or shoulders off the bench, slightly arch your back. 
  3. Grab the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip and unrack the barbell.
  4. Lower the barbell to your chest, keeping your elbows tucked 6-to-8 inches from your sides.
  5. Press the bar back to the starting position.

5. Incline Bench Press

Incline Bench Press

The incline bench press builds your pecs, triceps, and deltoids, which adds muscle to the upper part of your torso, making your waist (and lower back fat) appear smaller.

How to:

  1. Lie on a bench angled at 30-to-45 degrees and plant your feet on the floor. 
  2. Pull your shoulder blades together and down, and without lifting your butt or shoulders off the bench, slightly arch your back. 
  3. Grab the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip and unrack the barbell.
  4. Lower the barbell to your upper chest, keeping your elbows tucked 6-to-8 inches from your sides.
  5. Press the bar back to the starting position.

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6. Overhead Press

Overhead Press

As well as improving upper body strength, chest, shoulder, and tricep size, the overhead press develops your whole-body balance and coordination.

How to:

  1. Set a barbell in a rack at the same height as your upper chest. 
  2. Grip the bar with a shoulder-width grip and your palms facing away from you.
  3. Unrack the barbell, step backward, and plant your feet just outside of shoulder width.
  4. Push the bar toward the ceiling until your arms are straight.
  5. Reverse the movement and return to the starting position.

7. Barbell Row

Barbell Row

The barbell row is an excellent exercise for building upper back size since it typically allows you to lift heavier weights compared to other back exercises.

How to:

  1. Position your feet shoulder-width apart under a loaded barbell with your toes pointed slightly outward.
  2. Bend over and grab the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip and your palms facing you. 
  3. Straighten your back and raise your hips until your back is roughly parallel to the floor.
  4. Drive through your legs to generate momentum with your lower body, then pull the barbell to your lower chest.
  5. Reverse the movement and return it to the starting position. 

8. Lat Pulldown

Lat Pulldown before/after

The lat pulldown is an excellent exercise for training your lats, biceps, and traps, which, when well-developed, can help to shrink the appearance of love handles.

How to:

  1. Adjust the thigh pad so that it locks your lower body in place.
  2. Stand up and grab the bar. While keeping your grip on the bar and your arms straight, sit down, allowing your body weight to pull the bar down with you.
  3. Nudge your thighs under the pads and plant your feet on the floor. 
  4. Pull the bar toward your chest.
  5. Once the bar is underneath your chin, extend your arms and return to the starting position.

9. Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise

Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise

The dumbbell side lateral raise isolates the lateral (side) head of the deltoids, which broadens your shoulders and makes your waist appear slimmer.

How to:

  1. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. 
  2. Raise the dumbbells out to your sides until your upper arm is parallel to the floor.
  3. Reverse the movement and return to the starting position.

10. Dumbbell Rear Lateral Raise

Dumbbell Rear Lateral Raise

Dumbbell rear lateral raises are a fantastic exercise for training your entire upper back, especially your rear delts. 

How to:

  1. Sit on a bench and bend at the hips until your torso is close to parallel to the floor.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and while keeping your back flat, lift the dumbbells out to the side until your upper arm is parallel to the floor. 
  3. Reverse the movement and return to the starting position.

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The Best Lower Back Fat Workouts

You now know the best lower back fat exercises. Now, let’s discuss how to put these exercises into effective lower back fat workouts.

Below are three full-body lower back fat workouts that include all the best exercises for back fat discussed above. They also contain the perfect number of weekly sets to promote muscle growth without wearing you to a frazzle.

For best results, leave at least one day between each workout. For example, you could do Lower Back Fat Workout #1 on Monday, Lower Back Fat Workout #2 on Wednesday, and Lower Back Fat Workout #3 on Friday, then rest or do cardio on the other days of the week.

Lower Back Fat Workout