5 Great Upper Body Exercises for Women

5 Great Upper Body Exercises for Women

Incorporating strength training into your fitness routine is essential for maintaining total body health, and it won't make you look like a body builder. Developing strong muscles in your upper-body will provide definition while bringing additional benefits to women looking to stay fit - such as improved bone density, better balance and coordination.

Get ready to sculpt the upper body of your dreams without ever having to leave home! With just some basic equipment and a little dedication, you can use resistance training exercises wherever and whenever is convenient. Check out our top picks for perfecting that toned physique from the comfort of your own space.

Getting started

Strength training at home is pretty simple. The equipment you need includes:

an exercise mat

a few resistance bands of different strengths

two or three sets of dumbbells that are different weights

Warm up

Ready to take your workout routine up a notch? Start with an effective warm-up! Warming up can help target the muscles you’ll be using by increasing circulation and preparing them for intense activity. Try doing arm circles, windmills, swing arms, spinal rotations or light cardio movement like jogging in place - all geared towards boosting heart rate and getting blood pumping. On average it takes 8 to 12 minutes of warming up before taking on those tougher exercises; then get ready for enhanced strength training as you focus specifically on arms, back chest and shoulders.

Dumbbell curls

  • Get into a balanced position by standing or sitting with two dumbbells, each in one hand and at your sides. Place your feet shoulder-width apart for stability.
  • Start by bringing your elbows close to your core and rotating the dumbbells so that they are facing inward. This is where you'll begin each repetition.
  • Inhale deeply and use the exhaled breath to power your way through a bicep curl. As you contract your muscles, feel them become stronger with each rep.
  • Take a beat to really focus and engage the muscles prior to curling. Then, steadily work your way back down into starting position.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times. Perform 2 to 3 sets.

Triceps kickback

  • Keeping your knees slightly bent, take a stand with one dumbbell in each hand and face the palms inward. Be ready to pump up those muscles.
  • Strengthen your spine and core by bending forward at the waist, bringing you one step closer to achieving a strong foundation.
  • To maintain proper alignment, be sure to keep your head in line with your spine and hold you arms close. Allow a slight bend at the forearms for an ergonomic touch.
  • As you exhale, keep your upper arms in position to strengthen and tighten the triceps by pushing back your forearms.
  • Pause then inhale and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times. Perform 2 to 3 sets.

Triceps dip

  • Get situated in a solid seat and settle your arms by your sides with feet firmly on the floor for maximum stability.
  • Position your hands at the side of your hips, securely gripping onto the front portion of the seat for a firm hold.
  • Get up and take your place! Move off the chair, slightly bending at the knees with glutes hovering over floor level. Extend your arms to retain balance while you maintain an upright posture - be sure to grip that seat for stability.
  • Take a deep breath and lower yourself into the perfect form - your elbows creating an ideal 90-degree angle.
  • Pause at the bottom, exhale, then push your body up to the starting position, squeezing your triceps at the top.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times. Perform 2 to 3 sets.

Resistance band pull apart

  • Stretch your arms out in front of you to chest-level for optimal alignment.
  • Firmly grip a resistance band, stretching it parallel to the ground for an invigorating workout.
  • To achieve maximum results, extend your arms and pull the band towards you by engaging your mid-back muscles for a controlled start.
  • Being mindful of your posture, draw in the shoulder blades and hold for a beat before releasing. Keep repeating this sequence to achieve improved spinal alignment.
  • Repeat 12 to 15 times. Perform 2 to 3 sets.

Wall angels

  • Relax your body and find balance. Allow the wall to provide support as you press your buttocks, upper back, shoulders and head firmly against it - feet slightly away for proper positioning. Bend knees just a bit for optimal comfort level.
  • Ready to expand your movements? Start by reaching up and touching the wall with the back of both hands. This is a great place to begin.
  • Strengthen your mid-back by pressing firmly against the wall and sliding your arms down towards your shoulders. Activate those muscles for a stronger physique.
  • Stretching your arms, glide them along the wall until they reach just below shoulder height. Sustain a brief pause, then carefully raise your arms up to their original resting spot without leaving the cool comfort of the wall's surface.
  • Repeat 15 to 20 times. Do 2 to 3 sets.
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