Some female trainees make a big mistake when they focus on the lower half or torso of the body, especially for many adults. Whether you enjoy running, dancing, or exercising, not focusing on exercises for the upper body can lead to a hunched posture or the inability to exercise and carry heavy objects. Therefore, it is important not to exclude upper body strengthening from your regular fitness routine.

In this article, we will introduce you to the sections of the upper body specifically, then about the benefits of strengthening the upper body with exercises. We will show you 10 exercises specific to the upper body for women, and we will end with tips to avoid injuries and maintain general safety during exercises. Let’s get started.

The Upper Body Section

The upper part of the body means your arms, forearms, shoulders, chest, and hands. These organs, with the muscles that compose them, form a bridge from the chest, limbs, and torso to the spine.

Upper body exercises can help improve posture, athletic performance, and confidence when performing daily tasks and reduce age-related muscle atrophy.

The Upper Body Muscles

The Upper Body Muscles

This area of the upper body includes muscles such as:

  1. Rotator cuff (an anatomical term that includes a group of muscles and their tendons that stabilize the shoulder).
  2. Deltoid or shoulder muscles.
  3. Biceps and triceps.
  4. Chest muscles.

The Importance of the Upper Body Muscles

When these muscles are in good condition, they are expected to:

1- Improve the strength of your ability to grasp, grip, and hold on to things.

2- Contribute to improving your fine motor skills.

3- It will give you the ability to push, pull, and press with your arms, shoulders, back, and chest.

4- Make sure you have a full range of motion, including moving your arms in all directions.

5- It helps you extend and bend your hands, wrists, and forearms.

6- It helps you move your shoulders up and down.

7- You can move your shoulder blades towards the middle of your back.

The importance of the Upper Body Exercises

The importance of the Upper Body Exercises

Now why should you focus on upper body exercises? Let’s read the following benefits:

First: It helps improve standing:

Muscle imbalances can appear in many people who have long-term desk jobs, as the chest muscles become tight, the back slouches, and the shoulders begin to droop forward, causing you to hunch your back. Therefore, strengthening the back and shoulder muscles can correct this expected imbalance and contribute to increased core muscle strength.

Aside from the effects of desk work, exercises that focus on the upper body may benefit runners and cyclists, as they lean their bodies forward, giving them the ability to develop the strength of their backs.

Second – Improving metabolism:

Strength training is key to targeting upper body muscles and can increase muscle mass. This increase helps raise the metabolic rate, making the body burn more calories even at rest.

Third: Increase physical activity:

A strong upper body can have a ripple effect during the rest of your exercise and physical activity by:

  • Improve coordination no matter the activity.
  • Develop stronger arm muscles, which are essential for swimming, running, and cycling.
  • Reducing the risk of injury, which can increase when exercising with poor posture.
  • Strengthen your arms and core.
  • Help your body burn calories at a faster rate.
  • Increase your speed by pushing your lower body forward.
  • Improve your balance and agility.
  • Build high endurance.
  • Provides better heart health.

Fourth- Maintaining heart health:

Because the upper body also includes the heart, it can work to strengthen the heart muscle, which has a positive impact on blood circulation, the heart, and blood vessels through:

  • Raising oxygen levels.
  • Weight control.
  • Reduce arterial damage associated with high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
  • Reducing the risk of heart attacks and heart failure.
  • Prevention of vascular injuries.

For sporting activities, strong back and shoulder muscles improve your health, which may reduce injuries associated with weak immunity, when it comes to performing daily tasks.

Strong upper muscles help you increase your ability to lift heavy objects, and without strengthening these areas, the lower back muscles often have to compensate in the arms and shoulders, which can lead to strain, undue pain, or overuse injury.

Fifth – Improving self-confidence:

All things considered, having a well-rounded, strong, and fit body, especially in the upper body, improves self-esteem and puts you in the category of absolute confidence.

In a study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, researchers found that women who participated in resistance training three days a week improved their body image more than women who walked three days a week. Don’t get me wrong, walking is great too, but being strong empowers your mind and body significantly. Uniquely, having a strong and fit upper body improves self-esteem and puts you in the category of absolute confidence.

Sixth: The ability to perform your daily tasks with ease:

Although we like to associate strength with lifting weights in the gym, having upper body strength makes everyday tasks much easier.

You can even rearrange your living room furniture without help, carry all your grocery bags in one trip, move boxes without a backache, and so much more! Being strong not only feels great, but it also gives you independence so you can take on your biggest daily challenges with ease.

Also read: Breast Lift Exercises

Approach Taken to Improve the Upper Body Strength

Approach Taken to Improve the Upper Body Strength

If you’re recovering from an injury or preparing your body for physical activity, learn more about our approach to improving upper body strength by:

1. Bone modeling

Bone modeling and remodeling is the process by which the bone adapts to load by changing size and shape and removing weak or damaged bone tissue. This means the bone will become adaptive to the stress it is exposed to.

When muscles contract against bones, they create stress that causes bones to strengthen against the contractions. As your muscles become stronger, your bones will become stronger to handle muscle contractions. Bone modeling helps prevent fractures and reduces the chances of developing osteoporosis.

2. Connective tissue

Ligaments, tendons and cartilage hold your bones together, and these joints are at risk for injury when they become unstable and weak. Upper body resistance exercises strengthen the connective tissues in the elbows, shoulders, neck, spine, wrists and hands. This improves joint integrity and stability and helps prevent injury.

3. Muscle growth and fat loss

Strength training increases lean body mass while reducing fat stores. The higher the ratio of lean body mass to fat mass, the more metabolically active your body becomes. A metabolically active body will have an increase in metabolic rate, fat oxidation, and energy expenditure in the form of Calories, meaning you burn more calories and fat once you grow more muscle!

Also read: Cardio Exercises Types

10 Upper Body Exercises for Women

You can follow Sara’s PopFit upper body program for free to achieve the fastest benefits and get the body of your dreams:

These exercises are specific to women and are very important for strengthening the upper body. They are:

Arm exercises – back exercises – chest exercises – shoulder exercises

Resistance training, also known as strength training, is an essential component of any fitness routine, especially the upper body, and despite what some people may tell you, it won’t give you huge, bulging muscles.

In fact, regularly exercising your arms, back, chest, and shoulders is vital to maintaining upper body strength and muscle definition, as the benefits of strength training extend beyond defined and toned muscles, especially for women.

According to Rebecca Miller – founder of Iron Fit Performance – building upper body strength not only makes performing everyday tasks easier, but also helps prevent osteoporosis and improve overall body health.

And the best news? You can perform resistance exercises in the comfort of your home, without having to go to the gym.

To help you start toning your upper body, we’ve rounded up some of the best exercises you can do anywhere, anytime with only basic equipment.

Strength training at home is very simple, and here is the equipment you need to practice these exercises:

  1. Exercise mat
  2. A few resistance bands of different strengths
  3. Two or three sets of dumbbells of different weights
  4. Start by warming up first

Warm up before Upper Body Exercises

The easiest and most effective way to prepare your body for exercise is to warm up first by doing exercises that increase blood circulation and target the muscles you will be working.

For an upper-body workout, this might mean doing arm circles, windmills, arm swings, and spinal rotations. Performing light cardio exercises like walking or jogging in place can boost your heart rate and stimulate blood flow.

A complete warm-up takes 8 to 12 minutes on average. After completing the warm-up, you can begin to focus on specific exercises for your arms, back, chest, and shoulders.

First – Arm Exercises

First - Arm Exercises - Upperbody

1. Dumbbell curls exercise

Targets: Biceps

  1. Stand or sit with a dumbbell in each hand, arms by your sides, and feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keep your elbows close to your torso and rotate the dumbbells so that your palms face your body, this is how you start.
  3. Take a deep breath, and when you exhale, lift the weights up while contracting your biceps.
  4. Pause at the top, then lower to the starting position.
  5. Repeat 10 to 15 times, doing 2 to 3 sets

2. Triceps kickback exercise

Targets: Triceps

  1. Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other, keeping your knees slightly bent.
  2. Keeping your spine straight, hinge forward at your waist so that your torso is approximately parallel to the floor.
  3. Keep your head parallel to your spine, your upper arms close to your body, and your forearms bent forward.
  4. As you exhale, stabilize your upper arms as you straighten your elbows by pushing your forearms back and engaging your triceps.
  5. Pause, inhale, then return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat 10 to 15 times, doing 2 to 3 sets.

3. Triceps dip exercise

Targets: Triceps and shoulders

  1. Sit in a sturdy chair, place your arms at your sides and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your hands facing down next to your hips and hold the front of the seat.
  3. Move your body off the chair while holding the seat. Your knees should be slightly bent, and your glutes should be hovering above the floor. Your arms should be fully extended, supporting your weight.
  4. Inhale and lower your body until your elbows form a 90 degree angle.
  5. Pause at the bottom, exhale, then push your body back up to the starting position, pressing your triceps at the top.
  6. Repeat 10 to 15 times, doing 2 to 3 sets.

Second – Back Exercises

Second - Back Exercises - The Upper Body

4. Resistance band pull apart exercise

Targets: Back, biceps, triceps, and shoulders

  1. Stand with your arms in front of you at chest height.
  2. Hold the resistance band firmly in your hands so that the band is parallel to the floor.
  3. Keeping your arms straight, pull the bar toward your chest by moving your arms outward. Start this movement from the middle of your back.
  4. Keep your spine straight as you press your shoulder blades together, pause briefly, then slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat 12 to 15 times, doing 2 to 3 sets.

5. Two-arm dumbbell row

Targets: Back, biceps, triceps, and shoulders

  1. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend your knees slightly and push your torso forward by bending at the waist. Your arms should be extended with the dumbbells close to your knees. Keep your core engaged throughout the movement.
  3. Keeping your upper body stable, engage your back muscles, bend your arms, and pull the dumbbells to your side.
  4. Stand and return the pressure at the top.
  5. Slowly lower the weights to the starting position.
  6. Repeat 10 to 12 times, doing 2 to 3 sets.

6. Wall angels exercise

Targets: back, neck, and shoulders

  1. Stand with your butt, upper back, shoulders and head pressed firmly against the wall. Your feet can be slightly away from the wall to help you position your body correctly. Keep your knees slightly bent.
  2. Extend your arms straight above your head with the backs of your hands against the wall. This is your starting position.
  3. Squeeze your mid-back muscles as you move your arms toward your shoulders, keeping your body pressed firmly against the wall throughout the movement.
  4. Move your arms down the wall until they are slightly below your shoulders. Hold this position briefly, then move your arms back to the starting position while continuing to press against the wall.
  5. Repeat 15 to 20 times, do 2 to 3 sets.

Third – Chest Exercises

7. Chest press exercise

Targets: Chest, shoulders, triceps

  1. Lie on an exercise mat with your knees bent and holding a light dumbbell in each hand. You can also do this exercise on a bench.
  2. Take a deep breath, and when you exhale, extend your arms up until the dumbbells are almost touching in both hands.
  3. Pause, then return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat 10 to 15 times. Performing 2 to 3 sets.

8. Mountain climbers exercise

Targets: Chest, shoulders, arms, core and back

  1. Get into a plank or push-up position, keeping your hands under your shoulders, your core and glutes engaged, your hips in line with your shoulders, and your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Quickly send your right knee toward your chest, and as you drive backwards, pull your left knee toward your chest.
  3. Switch back and forth between the legs at a rapid pace.
  4. Repeat for 20 to 40 seconds, performing 2 to 3 sets.

Fourth- Shoulder Exercises

9. Dumbbell front raise exercise

Targets: Shoulders, specifically the anterior deltoid muscle

  1. Hold a light dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Place the dumbbells in front of your upper legs while keeping your elbows straight or slightly bent.
  3. Lift the dumbbells forward and up until the upper arms are above horizontal.
  4. Return to starting position.
  5. Repeat 10 to 15 times, doing 3 sets.

10. Deltoid raise dumbbell lateral flutter exercise

Targets: Shoulders, biceps, and triceps

  1. Standing with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent, hold the dumbbells along your body, with your palms facing your thighs.
  2. Bend forward slightly at the waist and engage your core.
  3. Raise your arms out to the side until they are at shoulder level and form a “T” shape.
  4. Return to starting position.
  5. Repeat 10 to 15 times. Performing 2 to 3 sets.

Safety Tips

1- Warm up and cool down:

Warming up before doing any resistance exercise not only gets your body ready for exercise, but also reduces the risk of injury. Spend at least 5 to 8 minutes doing some form of cardio or dynamic stretching. When you finish your workout, take some time to cool down your muscles.

2- Focus on your exercise form:

When you first start a particular exercise routine, your focus should be on your exercise form or technique. Then as you build confidence, endurance and strength, you can begin to increase weight or perform more different exercises.

3- Stop if you feel pain:

Upper body exercises will challenge your muscles and may cause slight pain, but you should not feel pain. If this happens, stop and evaluate the problem. If the discomfort is caused by improper exercise, consider working with a personal trainer. If the pain persists, after your condition is corrected, follow up with your doctor or physical therapist.

In conclusion, upper body resistance or strength training has a long list of benefits. It helps you enhance muscle strength and gives you endurance in your arms, back, chest, and shoulders. In addition, it helps you burn calories, reduce the risk of bruises and tears, and build healthy and stronger bones and resistant to osteoporosis.

In order to get the best results, try to do upper body exercises several times a week. Start slowly with a smaller number of repetitions and sets, then gradually increase the intensity of the exercise until your physical strength increases and your fitness increases to the point that makes you able to perform your exercises and daily tasks without any trouble or fatigue. Stay well.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Upper Body Exercises

What is the cause of weight gain in the upper body?

The reason is overeating and sugary foods.

Does walking slim the upper body?

Of course, walking is necessary to slim any part of the body.

What is the first area of the body to fatten in women?

Neck, abdomen and buttocks.