Have you ever looked in the mirror and wished you could tone up your upper body? Maybe you’ve tried a few exercises, but they just don’t seem to be working. Or maybe you’re totally new to this whole working-out thing and have no idea where to start. Well, don’t worry – we are here to help!
When most women think of weight training, they imagine bulky muscles and a serious tone. But that’s not actually the case! Weight training can help you sculpt your entire upper body into the shape you’ve always wanted rather than bulking your muscles. And yes, it can be fun, too!
When it comes to sculpting the upper body muscles, most women think they need a whole bunch of equipment or special machines. Nevertheless, there are plenty of exercises that you can do with just a set of dumbbells.
So today, we’re going to show you 5 exercises perfect for toning and shaping the upper body. Whether you’re an experienced athlete or a complete beginner, these upper-body strength workouts will help get you closer to your goals. So grab a pair of weights, and let’s get started!
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Benefits of Upper Body Strength for Women
Many women don’t think about strength training their upper body. But there are lots of great benefits to doing so. Strength training with weights can help improve posture, protect joints, and reduce the risk of injuries. Check out these five benefits of upper body strength for women and get started today.
Helps Improve Posture
Upper body strength is often overlooked in overall fitness but can significantly impact your posture. Strong upper back, shoulder blades, and chest muscles help keep the spine in alignment and prevent slouching.
Additionally, upper body strength helps you to offset the effects of gravity, making it easier to stand up straight and tall. As a result, improving your upper body strength can be a great way to improve your posture.
Women can do many upper body exercises to achieve this goal. Some of the best exercises for upper body strength include push-ups, pull-ups, and overhead presses. By incorporating these exercises into your fitness routine, you can soon enjoy better posture and improved health.
Give Workouts a Boost
When it comes to working out, most people focus on exercises that target the lower body. However, upper body strength is also important for overall fitness. In addition to helping you move better in everyday life, upper body strength can boost your workout in several ways.
Upper body exercises help to improve posture by strengthening the muscles that support the spine. Strong upper body muscles can help to offset the risk of injuries to the lower body. These exercises can help you burn more calories since they require more energy to perform. So if you want to get the most out of your workout, don’t forget to include some upper-body exercises in your routine.
Makes Everyday Tasks Easier
Everyday tasks like reaching for a jar on a top shelf or holding and playing with your kids can become a lot more difficult when you have weak upper body muscles. But upper body workouts for women are not just about looking good in a tank top.
These exercises can also help to make everyday tasks easier by strengthening the muscles in your arms, shoulder blades, and back. Upper body exercises can help us to tone our arms, chest muscles, and upper back muscles, making everyday tasks like setting furniture or carrying heavy bags a breeze.
Can Help Build a Positive Body Image
As any woman knows, upper body workouts can be essential for building a positive body image. Not only do they help to tone and strengthen the muscles, but they also help to improve posture and reduce the appearance of excess fat.
However, upper-body workouts can also be difficult to stick with, particularly if they are not part of a well-rounded fitness routine. One way to keep upper body workouts interesting is to vary the exercises. For example, try incorporating other exercises, such as tricep dips or overhead presses, instead of always doing traditional push-ups.
By mixing up the routine, you can avoid boredom and keep your upper body in tip-top shape. In addition, upper-body workouts for women at the gym can be a great way to boost confidence and feel good about yourself. So next time you’re in the gym, don’t forget to give your upper body some love.
Best Upper-Body Workouts for Women
One of the great things about upper body exercises is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to get a good workout. Dumbbells are a great way to work your upper body. They allow you to target specific muscles and movements, which can help you achieve the results you’re looking for.
Let us look into some best upper body workouts for women using dumbbells that you can do in the ease of your home or in the gym.
1. Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Dumbbell lateral raises are a great upper-body exercise that targets the deltoid (shoulder) muscles. All you need is a dumbbell and a flat surface to perform this exercise.
How to Do It?
- Grab a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet relatively close together.
- Next, raise the dumbbells out laterally to your side to shoulder height. Try to keep them a little bit in front of your shoulders, in what's called a scaption position.
- Finally, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. As with all exercises, be sure to use proper form and focus on quality over quantity. With a little practice, you’ll be kicking back in no time!
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2. Behind the Head Dumbbell Triceps Extension
The behind the head tricep extension is one of the key muscles in the upper body, and strong triceps can help improve your overall strength and performance in various upper-body exercises. Behind the head tricep extension are a great way to target this muscle, and there are a few different ways that you can do them.
The most common way to do behind the head tricep extension is with a dumbbell. You can also use a cable machine or resistance band.
How to Do It?
- Hold the weight overhead with your arms straight.
- Bend your elbows to lower the weight behind your head, and then extend your arms to return to the starting position.
- You can also do this exercise lying down on a bench or stability ball. If you’re using a dumbbell, hold it in both hands above your chest.
- Lie down on your back on the ball, and then press up to the starting position.
These are just a few of the many ways that you can do behind the head tricep extension. Experiment with different variations to find what works best for you.
3. Bent Over Dumbbell Row
There are a lot of upper body exercises out there that target different muscles, but bent over dumbbell rows are a great all-around exercise that targets many muscles at once. The main muscle groups targeted are the latissimus dorsi (lats), which are the large muscles in your back, and the biceps.
How to Do It?
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand.
- Bend your knees and hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back flat. Let the dumbbells hang down, and then row them up, leading with your elbows.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement, and then lower the dumbbells back down.
This exercise can be done with lighter weights for higher reps or heavier weights for lower reps, depending on your goals. Give it a try next time you look for a great upper-body workout!
4. Incline Bench Press
The incline bench press is one of the most popular upper body exercises around. Not only does it help to build strong muscles, but it can also be used to target specific muscle groups. The main muscles involved in the incline bench press are the pectoralis major, the triceps brachii, and the anterior deltoid.
How to Do It?
- To properly execute an incline bench press, start by lying flat on your back on a weight bench.
- Place your feet firmly on the ground and hold the barbell at shoulder width.
- Lower the barbell to your chest, and press it back to the starting position.
- Be sure to keep your elbows close to your sides throughout the movement.
Following these simple instructions, you can use the incline bench press to target your upper body muscles effectively.
5. Bent Over Rear Delt Raise
The bent over rear delt raise is great for targeting the rear shoulders, and upper back muscles. The starting position for the bent over rear delt raise is with your knees bent and your back straight.
How to Do It?
- You can either have your feet together or hip-width apart. Once you have assumed this starting position, bend forward at the hips until your torso is parallel to the ground.
- From here, raise your arms out laterally until they are in line with your shoulders.
- Hold this position for a second before lowering your arms back to the starting position.
The bent over rear delt raise is an effective exercise for targeting the shoulder muscles. To make the most of this exercise, be sure to keep your back straight and avoid swinging your arms as you raise and lower them.
1. How much weight should I use for these exercises?
The amount of weight you use will depend on your individual fitness level. If you are new to strength training, starting with lighter weights is advisable and gradually increasing the amount as you get stronger.
2. How many sets and reps should I do?
Again, this will depend on your fitness level. If you are new to strength training, you may want to start with 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps for each exercise. As you get stronger, you can increase the number of sets and reps.
3. What is the best time of day to do these exercises?
The best time of day to do strength training exercises is whenever you can fit it into your schedule. If you are just starting out, you may want to do 2-3 sessions per week. As you get more experienced, you can increase the frequency to 4-5 times per week.
4. Will women grow their biceps by doing these exercises?
No, women will not grow their biceps by doing these exercises. These exercises are designed to tone and sculpt the upper body, not to build muscle mass.
Women who strength train can expect numerous benefits, both aesthetically and functionally. Upper body exercises with dumbbells effectively target specific muscle groups and achieve desired results.
The lateral raise, behind the head tricep extension, bent over dumbbell row, incline bench press, and bent over rear delt raise are all excellent movements to include in a workout routine. With regular practice, women will develop greater upper body strength and definition.
These exercises can also help improve posture, boost workouts, and make everyday tasks easier. Additionally, strength training can lead to a more positive body image.
Ultimately, by incorporating dumbbell exercises into their fitness routine, women can achieve a strong and healthy upper body.
- Jeno, Susan H., and Matthew Varacallo. “Anatomy, Back, Latissimus Dorsi.” StatPearls, StatPearls Publishing, 2022. PubMed, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK448120/.