How to Tone your Back | How to Achieve a Well-defined Back on Your Weight Loss Journey

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"You can't tone a muscle - you can grow specific muscles to create more definition and losing fat will help define the muscle." - Elaine Acheampong

Your social media feeds are likely crowded with women working out either at home or in the gym. It is thrilling to see women fiercely claiming their power and strength by embracing weight lifting (or resistance training) - a male-dominated sport that has abundant benefits for all genders.

Fitness and personal health should be the primary focus for anyone who exercises, but it seems the motivation for gains for some individuals is purely for aesthetic reasons.


Whatever the motivation for getting your sweat on, ensure that your training routine receives the overall balance it requires. Instead of exclusively working on abs, glutes and legs, don't forget to include the rest of your muscle groups.

Don't allow the old, worn-out beliefs that lifting weights will "make you bulky" or "look too manly" to scare you from including it into your workouts. You don't have to lift super heavy weights and make gorilla noises when you use them to reap the benefits of strength training.

Weight training has unexpected benefits for women:

  • Development of Good Movement Patterns - Relieve and prevent joint and muscle aches and pains.

  • Improvement of Self-Confidence - Freedom from fad diets and poor body image.

  • Increasing Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) - Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat.

  • Decreased Risk of Metabolic Syndrome - Reduces the risk of heart diseases by 30%-70% and up to 40% decrease in Type 2 Diabetes risk.

  • Improvement of Bone Mineral Density - Strong and healthy bones (bye-bye osteoporosis!).¹


As explained in our previous posts, 10 min abs and 'fast weight loss' & Getting Toned is a Myth (linked below), to 'tone a muscle' or target fat loss in a specific area is biologically impossible.

"Toned" is a marketing tactic; created to prey on women's insecurities leading to sales and blind belief in fad diets, phoney slimming products, gym memberships and ineffective exercise routines.² The "toned" look you seek to achieve is a reduction of fat and growth of the muscle(s) in a particular area.

To lose fat overall, since you cannot lose fat in a specific area (called spot reduction), you need to consume slightly fewer calories than your body burns in a day (calorie deficit). A diet of 1,200 calories per day (💀silently dies inside💀) is not safe or recommended unless you are directed and monitored by your nutritionist or a medical professional.

The deficit should be moderate as your body will still need the protein, carbs and fats to maintain normal body functions and to fuel and nourish new muscle growth when incorporating weight training.

Gone are the days of believing cardio was the golden ticket to weight loss! While cardio is still essential for heart health, moving oxygen through your blood and body and burning off calories, weight lifting is where the magic happens.


Elaine's top recommended back day exercises:

  • Bent over Rows

  • Lat Pull Downs

  • Seated Rows

  • Pull Ups/ Assisted Pull Ups

Add 2-3 back exercises to your current schedule at least twice a week to see results sooner.

Don't forget:

  1. It is impossible to lose back fat/ tone your back only from doing back exercises.

  2. Your genetics determine where and how much fat you will lose in specific areas.

  3. Be patient and kind to yourself as it takes time to see results.

  4. Ensure you are eating enough - your calorie deficit is not too low or it can hinder new muscle growth.

Are you looking for a workout routine that effectively targets your whole body and unsure where to look or how to start? Download your free copy of our 6-week Workout Plan focused on strengthening your legs and back. Easy-to-follow and designed for beginners to get results whether you want to go to the gym 5, 4, or 3 days a week.


Do you need help figuring out to be in the right amount of calorie deficit? Would you like personalized assistance with your weight loss journey? Book your consultation call to receive an action plan made just for you!

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Written by: Andrea Thelen of AuthenticAndrea44

19th August 2022

¹ Golden, N. (n.d.). Weight-lifting for women: Why women should lift. NASM. Retrieved from

² Stefano, S. D. (2019, April 17). Toned is a made-up word. Mind Pump Media. Retrieved from

DISCLAIMER: All blog posts are for educational and entertainment purposes only. Any advice or recommendations given in these posts does not supersede directions received by a licensed medical professional (i.e. doctor, psychiatrist, nurse, psychologist, etc), nutritionist, dietician or your personal trainer. The reader is responsible for their own health and well-being.