Which exercise machines are good for back fat ?

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Last updated on June 6, 2023

Are you tired of having to lug around rolls of back fat? Fat accumulation in the back is more of a problem for women, but fat in the back also prevents many guys from developing a lean looking upper body from the rear. In this article, I will lay out the 10 best exercise machines to help you get rid of back fat.

How Not to Get Rid of Back Fat

Many people think that the way to get rid of back fat is to perform back specific exercises. As a result they devote their gym time to exercises like back hyperextensions, lat pulldowns and pull ups in their quest for a lean back. But they never get the results that they want.


The exercises just described will help you to strengthen and develop such muscles of the back as the erector spinae and the latissimus dorsi. But they definitely will not help you to lose body fat. That is because you cannot spot reduce body fat from any area of your body. The only way to lose that fat is to burn off more calories than you take in every day. This will force the body to call upon its stored fat reserves in order to meet your energy needs. That fat will come from the body evenly.


So, in order to get rid of stored body fat, you need to be doing cardio exercises that will burn off the most calories. Here are the 8 best machines to do that.

Exercise Bike



The exercise bike is probably the oldest type of exercise machine that you will find in the cardio room of your local gym. Yet, it is one of the most effective calorie burners that exist. Depending on how hard you pedal, you can burn between 500 and 900 calories in an hour.


One of the best things about exercising on a bike is that it is low impact. It is a closed chain exercise, where your foot is in constant impact with the floor. That means that there is no jarring on the ankle or knee. Exercising on an exercise bike is also more friendly on the lower back than many other cardio exercise options.


There are three main types of exercise bike …


  • Upright
  • Recumbent
  • Spin

For general fitness and weight loss, most people use a standard upright bike. A spin bike allows for a more intense, HIIT type workout, while the recumbent is ideal for people with lower back or mobility problems.

You may also want to check our Are Exercise Bikes Effective For Weight Loss? Top 7 Reasons To Use Them!



The treadmill is the most popular cardio training option in most gyms. Even though it has greater impact than a stationary bike,  a modern treadmill has plenty of cushioning built into the running bed so that the actual joint impact is quite minimal.


You can burn between 450 and 650 calories per hour on a treadmill depending on the speed of your workout. Rather than doing long, slow low intensity treadmill workouts, you will burn more calories, and therefore achieve a greater back fat loss, with high intensity interval training (HIIT).

You may also want to read best treadmill workout to burn fat.

Stair Stepper


The stair stepper simulates the action of climbing stairs, but without having to actually remove your foot from the stepping platform. That gives you all the benefits of stair stepping without the impact that comes with that activity.


Stair stepper machines come with a range of built in programs for fat loss and general cardio fitness. You can also adjust the resistance level to make it harder or easier to progress from one step to the next.


An hour on the stair stepper will burn off around 400 calories.



The elliptical machine is a more ergonomically friendly version of an air stepper that sees your lower body moving through an elliptical movement. This is a closed chain exercise that is very joint friendly.


In effect, the elliptical machine is a combination of a bike, a treadmill and a stepper. It does take a bit of getting used to the unique motion of this machine. Once you do, however, it is a great exercise option when it comes to back fat loss.


Many elliptical machines have movable arms so that you can work your upper body as well as your lower body while you are training. This naturally increases the calorie burn.


An hour-long session on the elliptical machine will burn between 300 and 600 calories per hour, depending on the intensity of your training session.

You may also be interested in Top 3 Elliptical Workouts For a Fast Weight Loss

Rowing Machine


The rowing machine is probably the piece of cardio room equipment that does the best job of working your muscles while also burning calories. You will be working the muscles of your upper body, especially the back, shoulders, core and quadriceps while also churning through a large number of calories.


You will be able to burn between 300 and 700 calories on a rowing machine in an hour, depending on the intensity of your workout.

please also check out best rowing machine workout for weight loss 

Ski Erg


The Ski Erg is a vertical climbing machine that simulates climbing up a steep cliff. This is a challenging form of cardio that also works the muscles of your upper and lower body. It is an especially good option if you are wanting to develop power through your glutes, hips and quads.


The Ski Erg is a low impact machine that will see you burning around 500 calories in a 30 minute workout.

Air Bike


The Air Bike is rated separately to the general bike category listed above because it provides unique benefits in its own right. This bike is powered by air resistance generated by a large front fan wheel that is fitted with resistance blades. That means that the faster you pedal, the harder the exercise becomes.


The air bike provides a fantastic cardio and calorie burning workout. The Air Bike is fantastic for doing HIIT type training as it allows you to quickly transition from fast to slow periods. You can burn up to 800 calories per hour with an intense HIIT session on an air bike.


Jacob’s Ladder


The Jacob’s Ladder is a take on the standard step mill cardio machine. On it, you are having to keep up with a constantly revolving conveyor belt, using both your arms and your legs. It takes a bit of getting used to but, once you do, you will be able to achieve some serious back fat.


You will burn around 500-700 calories on the Jacob’s Ladder.

Wrap Up

Now that you know which exercise machines to focus on to burn the most back fat, you need to optimize your use of them. The most effective workout protocol for fat loss is high intensity interval training, where you repeat rounds of sprint type high intensity with even shorter periods of rest. For example, you can do 20 second sprints followed by 10 second recoveries for 8 rounds. You can do this on all of the machines featured in this article.


About the author  Steve

Steve Theunissen is from New Zealand and is a qualified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist with over 30 years experience. Read more about Steve in the 'about us' page.

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