Upper body workout for women

Upper Body Workout for Women

To most guys, the most important muscles to work are the biceps, pecs, lats, and traps (beach muscles!). After all, these are the muscles that can change a mans look dramatically. But what about women? Most of women don’t want to have massive, bulging biceps or look like  the incredible hulk. They want to look slimmer, longer, and more toned.






The good news for women is that doing upper body exercises won’t make them bulky. It won’t make them look like a guy, and it certainly won’t make them muscle-bound or less flexible. The exercises which make men big won’t have the same effect on women. Why is this, you wonder? Put simply; they can’t.

Women lack the necessary hormones (namely testosterone) to effectively build visible muscle mass. Working out with weights will have the effect of giving a woman a more slender and toned appearance.


When choosing to lose weight, many simply change their diet. Maybe some will combine this with good aerobic exercise. But what many don’t know is that weight training can also contribute to fat loss. Muscle tissue burns fat, and the act of increasing muscle, increases the rate at which the body can metabolize energy, and ultimately burn fat.

Obviously just lifting a few weights by themselves will not constitute fat loss – but the combination of the right diet, exercise and weight training will give you the best chance of achieving your weight loss goals.


There’s a lot of bad information out there saying that women shouldn’t do the same kind of exercises as men. The companies that spread this kind of information usually care more about selling magazines than they do about actually helping people.


It’s time to dispel those lies.


That said, what would the perfect upper body workout look like for a woman? Well, it would consist of exercises that hit all the major muscle groups above the waist – equally. This way, you’ll prevent muscle imbalances (caused by underdeveloped muscle) that can lead to injury.
So here it is:

I’ve given you two exercises per muscle group. Pick one exercise from each muscle group to make up your workout. Change it up slightly each workout so you don’t do the exact same routine over and over again.


The Push-up

Support Muscles: Triceps, Deltoids, Core

Some call this exercise the king of all uppe
r-body exercises. The Pushup involves a great deal of cooperation between many different muscle groups, making it an effective compound exercise. It primarily trains the pectoral muscles of the chest, but also goes a long way in developing upper body strength in general.

Alternating Dumbbell Press (On A Ball)

Support Muscles: Triceps, Core

The support ball forces your body to recruit its stabilizer muscles, making this workout not just beneficial for your pectorals, but for your whole upper body. After a few sets of these, you’ll really feel it in your core too. 

The Bicep Curl

Support Muscles: Forearm

The bicep is a very small muscle, but it’s integral to almost every upper body movement we do. Developing this front section of your upper arm will make everything you do easier. 

Assisted Chin-up

Support Muscles: Forearm, Core, Pecs, Lats

You’ll need a resistance band for this one. Loop it aroun
d the bar and then under your feet or knees. This should take some of your body’s weight away, allowing you to do multiple chin-ups with proper form. Alternatively, you can use an assisted chin-up machine, but because it’s a machine, it takes the stabilization benefits of the exercise away.

The Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Support Muscles: Trapezius, Triceps

I’ve chosen this exercise, not only for its awesome benefits to the shoulders as a compound exercise, but for it’s ability to correct posture and help you get rid of those aches and pains associated with sitting at a desk all day long. This exercise works your shoulders, trapezius muscles (which runs from the back of your neck to below your shoulders), and your triceps muscles. This will do wonders for you! 

Side Dumbbell Lateral Raise

This exercise will target the outside of your shoulders. These muscles are responsible for your posture, and they will give you that “high and pulled back” look that is indicative of great posture. These will also help increase your arms range of motion.


Overhead Extension

A fantastic exercise to get rid of those flabby bits hanging off the back of your arms. The triceps are the muscles that run along the back of your upper arms, opposite your biceps. These muscles are much larger than the bicep (nearly 3 times the size), and by working them you’ll not only tighten up that annoying area, but greatly increase the strength of your arms as well. 


Support Muscles: Forearm, CoreA more intense version of the overhead extension, this exercise will also target those bingo wings behind your arms.


Bent-Over Dumbbell Row

This exercise will go a long way in building you a lean, defined back. The key here is to bend at the waist until your torso is near parallel to the floor, and squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.Support Muscles: Biceps


Assisted Pull-up

Support Muscles: Biceps, Lats, Forearms, Deltoids, CoreI truly believe there is no bet

ter exercise for building a lean and sexy back than the pull-up. Once again, you’ll need to have a resistance band handy for this one. Loop it around the top of the bar and then under your feet or knees.

The difference between this and the previous chin up exercise is that your have a much wider grip.

Perform 3 sets of 10 reps of each exercise you choose. Expect to see awesome results in 3-4 weeks.