It’s a fact–most women focus their workouts on their lower bodies and never even try an upper body workout for women. Sure, some might venture as high as the midsection, because they want to have a flat belly. But the truth is, most women avoid working out their upper body. Big mistake.
Why does it happen? Well, let’s face it. As a society, we’re focused on the woman’s lower half. Everyone wants a nice butt and slim legs. But how often do we discuss our arms? Back? Shoulders? Well, we should.
Benefits of an Upper Body Workout for Women
- Balance out your body–Most of us tend to get bigger in the lower half. Consequently, we focus our workouts down there. However, we need to balance things out.
- Make everyday tasks more simple–Every day we are bending and lifting. Have a baby? You really know what I mean. A stronger upper body makes everyday life easier.
- It’s great for your posture–Failing to work your upper back can leave your back rounded, shoulders pulling forward, and all around looking like a turtle. But working those upper body muscles can straighten out your posture. The result? Look and feel more confident.
- Lift your breasts–Did you know you could do certain chest exercises that can actually lift your breasts? By building the pecs underneath, you can push things up a bit. There’s not one of us who wouldn’t want that!
Want to look and feel better? Don’t skip the upper body workouts!
2 Effective Upper Body Exercises for Women
So you know you need to train your upper body, but you don’t want to pump iron with the guys in the weight room. What exercises are best suited for you? What would an effective upper body workout for women look like?
Push-ups are about as good as it gets for a variety of reasons.
- They work multiple upper body muscles. Arms, chest, and shoulders. All at once!
- Even the weakest of us can do them! Can’t do a regular push-up? Just get on your knees. Still too hard? Start upright leaning against the wall.
- Your core get’s worked too. When you’re up in the push-up position, you’re holding yourself in a high plank. And you can’t do that without squeezing those abs.
Start with 3-4 sets of 10-15.
Don’t forget your back! Remember, the key is to develop a balanced body. So opt for another tried and true body weight based exercise–the pull-up. If you thought only guys did them, well, think again. A lot of the same benefits associated with push-ups apply here. The movement works multiple major muscles (middle back, lats, forearms, and biceps). You also have to tense that core. And to get more of a burn in your belly, you can try pull-ups with your legs lifted forward in the form of an L. In fact, there are countless variations of this exercise to keep those muscles guessing.
Can’t do a pull-up? Don’t let that stop you. Go to the gym and get on the machine that assists you. Slowly wean down on the assistance as you get stronger. There are also bands you can buy to use at home.
Reps? As many as you can do. Repeat twice.
Let’s Talk About Sets and Reps for Your Upper Body Workout for Women
For the exercises above, I gave ranges for number of sets and number of reps. Why didn’t I nail down a specific number for you? Well, if you stick to the same number of sets and reps each workout, your body is going to get used to it. In fact, the same goes for doing the same exercises each time.
The key is to mix things up. Yes you need a plan to successfully tone, but within that structure you need to change it up. Your body is really smart. It actually learns as you workout and finds way to cheat a little here and there. But when you mix up your exercises, your muscles can’t get used to what’s going on. The result? They work as hard as you want them to–every single time.
Get More Information on Upper Body Workouts for Women
Okay, so I’ve said a mouthful. but we aren’t done yet. To get more information, check out our articles on arm exercises and other upper body workouts here. And remember–they’re all woman-specific!
dumbell workout image courtesy of stockimages / freedigitalphotos.net, knee push-up image courtesy of marin / freedigitalphotos.net, couple pull-up image courtesy David Castillo Dominici / freedigitalphotos.net