Happy Thursday! I hope the week is going smoothy for you and beginning to wind down. If you’re being pelted by snow right now, I hope you’re warm and with power! When I hear about crazy snow storms, I feel so lucky to live in the south and so silly to ever complain about being cold.
Hopefully, spring is just around the corner for all of us!
But whether you’re stuck inside or able to get to your normal gym you might be looking for some awesome new moves. More specifically upper body moves. It seems that a lot of you want to work on toning up your arms?
Sounds good to me, especially since I am targeting on my arms as well in an effort to get them a bit more “meatier”, lol.
With that being said today’s: Top Ten Upper Body Exercises For Women
I don’t recommend doing ALL of these exercises in a single workout. Doing one of the chest targeted exercises paired with a back targeted is great. And the smaller, more isolated exercises are a perfect way to end a good workout.
Like having sexy triceps? This is just one of my favorite tricep exercises, it’s the one that makes my arms burn the fastest.
Start in a classic push-up position, making sure your hands are shoulder width apart or a bit closer. As you lower down, elbows should go back towards your feet and remain close to the body, instead of going out towards the sides like normal push-ups.
The back of your arms will hate you, but you’ll love the end result. This is just one of many different push-ups! Play around a bit with them.
This is one of my favorite back exercises because no matter what level of fitness you are, this move burns! Of course you have to have some sort of bar in order to lay under.
The higher the bar, the easier the move. The lower the bar, the more advanced you’ll find it. Place your hands on the bar, then walk your feet under it. Pull with your arms and squeeze the shoulder blades together as you aim to bring your chest to the bar.
Make it even harder, by lowering the bar about knee height off the ground and place your feet up on a bench so that your body is in a straight line and your chest is directly under the bar.
I know bench pressing can seem intimidating, its the exercise then men most likely announce their masculinity with (“Oh, I can bench 300 lbs…”), you know you’ve heard it. But aside from bragging rights, the bench press is seriously an awesome exercise.
It works the chest, shoulder complex, arms and even your core. Don’t avoid it.
To get the best bang for your buck, grab for dumbbells instead of the bar. You’ll be able for focus on a balanced workout and work smaller muscles more so than with the bar.
The trick for a good bench press, is to make sure the weight stays above your chest! I’ve seen too many people, let the weight fall back so that it’s over their throat or face, this adds stress to joints AND takes the emphasis off the chest.
Who knew there were so many ways to do a bicep curl? Preacher curls, lateral curls, barbell curls, incline curls (these are tough) and my favorite, hammer curls.
Stand with a set of dumbbells, feet shoulder width apart, legs straight but not locked, core tight and butt tucked in. From here, have your hands (and weights) by your sides, palms facing in. Curl the weight straight up as if the side of the weight will hit the front of your shoulder. Slowly lower back down.
I love love love doing lateral raises. They are a smaller exercise than those above, but do great things for the shoulders. Because this is a more isolated move, it is always at the end of my workout, after I’ve worked my larger muscles.
Because the shoulder complex is made of thin, smaller muscles, it’s important to start off with light weight and proper form.
Start with light weights in each hand palms facing forward, feet shoulder width apart and facing forward. Keep the hands facing forward as you lift the weights up, arms straight (but not locked). Raise the weights to just shoulder height and lower back down. Do not lift them higher than shoulders due to unnecessary strain.
Blast from the past video, I think it’s time to do a new video on these.
Chin-ups (and pull-ups) rock! So few women can do them but it’s not because it’s impossible, it is just something many don’t think to work on. A chin-up is awesome for sculpting the arms, upper back and core.
What’s the difference between a chin-up and a pull-up? Chin-ups hands are facing towards you, while a pull-up has hands facing forward. Most women find chin-ups a bit easier because it uses the bicep muscles a bit more than the pull-up. Which is why I suggest hitting up your gym’s assisted chin-up machine and starting with them.
When you’re able to do a few, you feel like a fitness queen!
A great alternative to bench press if you’re tired of it or a great compliment to it! You decide. Grab just a dumbbell and go lay down on a bench with your feet planted on the ground. From here hold the weight with both hands, directly over your chest, keep your arms straight (never locked) and lower the weight back and over your head. Slowly pull it back up to return it to over the chest.
It’s great for the chest, triceps, and shoulders. Just don’t go too heavy too fast!
Weighted Jump Rope
Okay so this is a bit different, but hear me out. Jumping roping burns serious calories, in fact it burns roughly the same amount as running 6-10 miles/hr each minute. Jump roping is great, but having a weighted jump rope is even better.
These are found at most sporting good stores, the weights are in the handles and range from 1-2 pounds. I recommend jumping with a standard speed rope and then trying a weighted one. You’ll feel the extra burn in your arms and shoulders immediately! Need a jump rope workout?
Looking for a good body weight exercise that isn’t a push-up? Give these a try. Their more affectionate name is an up-down. Start at the top of a push-up position, from here lower down onto forearms one arm at a time.
The elbows should be directly under your shoulders. Keep your core tight, and one arm at a time, push yourself back up to the top of push-up position. The number one mistake I see is the tendency to place your hands way out in front of your face, don’t do this! Keep your hands under the shoulders, push STRAIGHT UP.
Cable Squat Row
I love cables because of the extra balance and core workout you end up getting. With this particular move, you want the cable handle to be low.
Start off about arms distance away from the cable, squat down and as you stand up you will “row” or pull the cable up so that it’s at a straight diagonal line, once standing the handle should be pulled to the outside of your chest. Lower back down into the squat position.
As you pull, make sure to squeeze the shoulder blade back. Complete one set on the right side, then repeat with the left.
Amazing total body exercise!
And now, excuse me as I have to get my booty to the gym! I’ve got a great new workout planned for Fit Women’s Weekly that I have to film.
Do you like working your upper body?
What’s your favorite upper body exercise?