Best Upper Body Workout for Women

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Girl, do you lift? That is one question that women fear hearing in the gym directed at themselves. Many women avoid the weight section of the gym for fear of getting “bulky” or looking like a man. Girl let me tell you that is EXTREMELY difficult to do. Not just the average girl can do it. It takes years and thousand and millions of calories to build serious muscle.

However, you do want nice, shapely, toned muscles, am I right? If you want to show off those shoulders in that little black dress, continue reading!

Most women focus mainly on cardio. Once and a while, they will get a wild hair and venture over towards the weight section. However, when this wild hair occurs it usually entails 15-20 minutes spent doing body weight squats, maybe some leg curls, perhaps a couple bicep curls, and maybe some lateral raises.

Most women focus on their lower body when they hit the weight room. While the lower body is super important, if you are shooting for a balanced physique, then putting in some time on your upper body is going to be key! Plus, pairing that round booty with a nice shapely back and shoulders will get you that illusion of a tiny waist. I mean, who doesn’t want that?

There are 6 major muscle groups to the upper body. ALL of them are important to pay attention to and give some love. Just working your shoulders or your triceps is going to not only give you an outwardly unbalanced physique, but an inwardly unbalanced one as well that could lead to unnecessary strain on the neglected muscles.

The first major muscle ground of the upper body, and my personal favorite, is your back. Now, the back is broken down into several sub muscles, the lats, lower back, middle back, etc. Let’s stick with the top two that are going to give you that shapely back you want! So, the lower back is part of your core and focusing on the lower back will help you get rid of those love handles as well as helping you minimize low back pain. Giving your lats some attention will help you build that beautiful hourglass shape.

The next major muscle ground is your chest, which is the opposite muscle to your back. While a lot of women shy away from working chest because it can reduce breast size, it is important for posture and overall strength to give your chest a little bit of attention in the weight room.

Next, we have the shoulders. Now, we don’t need to build boulder shoulders (unless that is your thing 😉), but we do need to build nice defined and strong shoulders! Shoulders are on of the most injured muscles and mainly because people don’t give them the proper attention. I’ll show you how to do that in the workouts below.

Next, we have the biceps. Suns out, guns out girl! Making sure that you give your biceps some love in the weight room will ensure that you have those nice toned arms!

Mirroring the biceps on the opposite side of your arms we have the triceps. These are important so that when you wave a someone, it is only your hand moving. No more batwings, if you get me.

Lastly, we have those abs. You don’t want to work your abs every single day because just like any other muscle, they need some rest.  3-5 times per week is a great amount to do ab work. Just make sure you do more than crunches! Hit the upper, low, and transverse abdominals to really make that stomach nice and tight and flat.

3 Upper Body Workouts

Workout #1:

This workout will focus on the smaller muscles of your upper body. This is a great workout for those days when you feel like you just don’t have a ton of energy to hit it really hard. It is what I call a “pump” workout because you get your muscles pumped up without over taxing them. So, let’s get to it!

Lateral Raises: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Dumbbell Bicep Curls: 4 sets of 12-15 reps
Cable Tricep Pushdown: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Cable Front Raise: 4 sets of 12-15 reps
Dumbbell Alternating Hammer Curl: 3 sets of 10-12 reps per side
Dumbbell Tricep Kickback: 4 sets of 12-15 reps
Ab Wheel: 4 sets of 15 reps
Hanging Knee Raise: 4 sets of 15 reps

Workout #2:

This workout is going to be the heavy hitter. You should sincerely think about eating something nice and filling before you get down to this workout. Drink a pot of coffee. Get hyped. This workout will be hard but let me tell you what few things are more satisfying that crushing a heavy upper body workout.

Bench Press: 4 sets of 6-8 reps
Lat Pulldown: 5 sets of 10-12 reps
Incline Bench Dumbbell Fly: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Seated Cable Row: 5 sets of 12-15 reps
Decline Push-ups: 4 sets to failure
Back Extensions: 5 sets of 10-12 reps
Plank: 3 sets of 60 seconds

Workout #3:

The last upper body workout I will leave you with will hit the large and the small muscle groups.

Bent Over Barbell Row: 5 sets of 8-10 reps
V-Bar Pulldown: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Cable Bicep Curl: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 5 sets of 8-10 reps
Lateral Raises: 3 sets 12-15 reps
Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly: 4 sets 10-12 reps
Tricep Dip: 4 sets to failure
Flutter Kicks: 4 sets of 20 reps
Russian Twists: 4 sets of 20 reps
Lying Leg Raises: 4 sets pf 20 reps

There you have it! You are now equipped with 3 amazing upper body workouts and the knowledge of how to implement these workouts. This article showed you why it was important to work on your upper body and gave you the tools to do so. Now, I can’t put the work in for you, so go grab that iron and pump up that upper body!

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