Upper body gym exercises are a perfect way to sculpt your back, shoulder, arms, and prevent sagging breasts. These exercises not only strengthen your upper body, but they also improve your beauty and lessen the rigors of everyday tasks.
According to a research, women often have 50% less strength in their upper bodies as compared to their lower body (1). Further study also shows that adding strength training to your workout routine can help to build a positive body image (2).
Contrary to common belief, these exercises do not build bulk or make you look unnecessarily huge. This is because women produce only about one-tenth of the testosterone that men produce and so building muscles like bodybuilders will require intensive full-body training.
In this post, you will find eight of the best upper gym exercises that are suitable for women. These exercises strengthen your muscles and give you gorgeous gams while sculpting the perfect butt.
Before we talk about these exercises and how to perform the moves, here are six upper body movements you should concentrate on and which muscle group they work.
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6 Upper Body Movements You Should Focus On
In performing these upper body gym exercises, it is vital that you use specific muscles and joints that help to build a lean and well-toned upper body. Here are six body movements that you need to concentrate on to achieve your desired body.
- Horizontal Push: This body movement involves exercises that you will use to push the weight away from your body in a horizontal movement.
- Horizontal Pull: The horizontal pull body movement exercises pull the weight towards your body horizontally.
- Vertical Push: Exercises under this category involves movements that push weights vertically above your head.
- Vertical Pull: These are exercises where movements make you pull your weights towards you vertically.
- Elbow Flexion: Here, exercises performed require flexing your elbows and bringing the weight in your hands towards your body.
- Elbow Extension: These are exercises that make you stretch your elbows and push the weight away from your body.
The Muscle Groups These Movements Work On
For each of these upper body gym exercises, you will work on certain muscles that will help build your upper body strength. Those muscles are listed below.
- Push Exercises: You will use the pectoral muscles, lats, trapezius muscles, triceps, and shoulders.
- Pull Exercises: You will use the large group of muscles like lats (upper back), rhomboids (top of back), trapezius muscles (center of the back), and erector spine (bottom of back).
- Flexion/Extension Exercises: Biceps, triceps, wrist flexors and extensors, shoulder muscles, upper abs, chest, and back muscles.
8 Best Upper Body Gym Exercises For Females To Sculpt Muscles
These are amazing best upper body gym exercises for females that work your shoulders, arms, back, and chest. Each exercise tones carves and sculpts your muscle while making you stronger, more good-looking.
Your search for the perfect upper body workout workouts ends here, continue reading this article for them.
1. Dumbbell Punches
First on our list of best upper body gym exercises is Dumbbell punches. This workout is perfect as a warm-up exercise as it works all the muscles in your arms in preparation for a good strength training session.
Also, it is a perfect cardio move for heating the body. You will need a pair of dumbbells for this move.
How To Do Dumbbell Punches:
- Holding one dumbbell in each hand, lift the dumbbells until they are near your shoulders with your elbows sticking to your side
- Then, alternatively, punch a dumbbell out by straightening your elbows
- Keep doing this for 1-2 minutes.
2. Bent-Over Front Raise
The bent-over front raise is an excellent upper body gym exercise for females. Most ladies who have performed this move testify that it gives them toned arms and a sexy back. The move also works your shoulder, biceps, triceps, upper back, and lower back to give you the perfect body shape.
How To Do The Bent-Over Front Raise Move:
- Start by squatting as low as possible before rising without curling your back
- Then, grab a dumbbell in each hand and extend both hands directly in front of you
- At this point, raise your arms up and raise the dumbbell overhead. Ensure you maintain your posture without bending your elbows
- Now, bring your arms back down to complete one rep
- Repeat this move for about 12-15 times more.
3. Bench Dip with Stability Ball
This exercise is one of the excellent upper body gym exercises for people at an intermediate level. The move makes use of your body weight to strengthen your triceps. It is important to note that this exercise can be tough on your shoulders. So, you should be careful when doing it.
How To Do The Bench Dip With Stability Ball:
- Start by placing your feet on a stability ball and your palms on a bench to make sure your fingers are facing front and your bottoms lifted off the bench
- Then, breath out and slowly bend your elbows to lower your hips
- Inhale deeply and stretch out your arms bringing your hips to your start position
- That completes one rep; do 15 more for effectiveness.
Chin-ups are amazing upper body gym exercises that every woman will enjoy. This exercise not only strengthens your upper body, but it also works your shoulder, chest, abs, triceps, biceps, obliques, and lateral muscles. Here is how to perform this effective move:
How To Do The Chin-Up Exercise:
- Start by standing straight under a bar and holding it with your palms facing you and your arms at shoulder-width apart
- Then soften your knees and engage your core
- Now, put your legs over each other and get into a hanging position from the bar
- Slowly bring yourself back up and then place your feet gently on the ground to complete one rep
- Do 5 more reps of this move and increase the number of reps gradually to increase the difficulty level
5. Incline Push-Up
Just like the chin-up, the incline push up is effective and makes you stronger. This move can be performed using a squat rack, high box, low bench, or a smith machine.
The rule of this move is that the lower the platform, the more difficult the incline push-up is to perform. However, if you are a beginner, you can try it on a higher platform until you are ready to move on to lower platforms.
How To Do The Incline Push-Up:
- Start by placing your arms at shoulder-width apart and your palms on the edge of the bench
- Then, keeping your spine neutral, extend your legs behind you and flex your toes with your chin tucked in
- Now, flex your elbows and go down while keeping your gaze on the bench below you
- Here, your elbows should be bent at about 40 degrees
- Move away from the bench and return to your start position to finish one rep
- Do 2 sets of 10 reps and lower the incline and increase your reps as you proceed.
6. Triceps Extension
The triceps extension move works on your triceps in a parallel manner. It also works your biceps and upper back muscles, strengthening them in the process.
How To Do The Triceps Extension Move:
- Start by standing erect and tightening your core
- Then, hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in both hands and raise the weight straight upward
- Now, lower the weight behind your back by bending your elbows
- Lastly, return to your start position by straightening your elbows to complete one rep
- Do 15 more reps.
7. Plank With Arm Curl
This move is a perfect combination of isometric and isotonic exercises. The plank tightens the core muscles in the entire body, and at the same time, the curl strengthens your arms, specifically targeting the biceps.
How To Do The Plank With Upper Arm Curl Move
- Do the plank position with your back straight and abs tight
- Put the dumbbells on the floor and grip one in each hand. Settle your toes firmly on the ground to maintain your balance.
- Steady yourself on one arm and toes and do a bicep curl with the other arm
- Lower your arm and repeat on the other side
- Repeat 20 reps.
8. Russian Twist With Kettlebell
Here is another workout for the upper body. This move works well on the entire upper body – the core, back and arms. Use a kettlebell of whatever weight of your choice. Or you can also use a heavy dumbbell.
How To Do The Russian Twist With Kettlebell Move:
- Sit upright with your back straight and legs stretched in front of you
- Bend your knees and lift your calves in a way that they are parallel to the floor
- At the same time, bend your back a bit backward and balance yourself on your tush
- Tighten all the muscles in your body to make the balance a lot easier
- Then, hold a kettlebell in the center near your chest
- Twist to your right and take the kettlebell to that side. Return to the center and redo it on the left side
- Do 15-20 reps.
There you have our list of eight best upper body gym exercises for women. The secret to their effectiveness is to switch upper body routines with lower body routines to build integrated strength and keep your whole body strong.
Remember to eat a protein-rich post-workout meal after doing these exercises too. Ultimately, it is more essential to perform the exercise to perfection than it is to concentrate on the number of reps.