Upper body exercises are an essential component of any fitness routine. Women, in particular, should make sure to include upper body exercises in their workout routine as they generally have a weak upper body.


Best Upper Body Exercises For Women

Arms

1) Dumbbell curls

Target Muscles: Biceps

  1. Stand or sit on a workout bench and grab a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your arms at your side and your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. For this upper body exercise, keep your elbows close to your torso, and rotate the dumbbells so that the palms of your hands are facing your body.
  3. Breathe in deeply, and when you exhale, curl/bring the weights upward and focus on contracting your biceps.
  4. Pause at the top position for a second, then lower back to the starting position.
  5. Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps each.

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2) Tricep dips

Target Muscles: Triceps and shoulders

  1. Sit down on a strong chair or workout bench. Your arms should be at your side, and your feet should be flat on the floor.
  2. Grip the front of the seat beside your hips.
  3. Now move your body and get up from the chair while gripping the seat. Keep your knees slightly bent and your glutes hovering above the floor. Arms must be fully extended and support your weight.
  4. Breathe in and lower your body until your elbows form a 90-degree angle with the chair/bench.
  5. Pause for a second or two at the bottom, breathe out, then push your body back up to the starting position, squeezing your triceps at the top.
  6. Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps each.
Tricep dips strengthen your triceps and shoulders (Image via Pexels @Sinitta Leunen)Bake

3) Resistance band pull apart

Target Muscles: Back, biceps, triceps, and shoulders

  1. Stand holding your arms out in front of you at chest height with your palms facing each other.
  2. Grab hold of a resistance band between your hands, and pull it so that the band is stretched and parallel to the ground.
  3. Now pull on the band by moving your arms outward. Start the motion from your mid-back. Both arms should be kept straight throughout.
  4. Focus on keeping your spine and arms straight. You should be able to feel your shoulder blades squeezing together. Pause for a second or two, then slowly return to the initial position.
  5. Perform 2 to 3 sets of 12-15 reps each.

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4) Wall Angels

Target Muscles: Back, neck, and shoulders

  1. Stand next to a wall with your glutes, upper back, shoulders, and head pressed firmly against it. You may keep your feet slightly away from the wall to help position your body correctly. Keep your knees slightly bent.
  2. Stretch your arms out straight above your head with the backs of your hands pressed against the wall.
  3. Slide your arms down the wall until they are slightly lower than your shoulders, and focus on squeezing your mid-back muscles. Your body should be pressed firmly against the wall throughout the movement.
  4. Hold this position for a second or two, then slide your arms back up to the starting position keeping yourself pressed against the wall.
  5. Perform 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps each.

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Chest

5) mountain climbers

Target Muscles: Chest, shoulders, arms, core, and back

  1. Assume a plank or push-up position. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders, with your core and glutes engaged, hips in line with your shoulders, and feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bring your right knee towards the chest in a quick movement. When you drive it back, pull the left knee toward your chest similarly.
  3. Alternate between both legs and try to quicken your pace.
  4. Perform the exercise for 20 to 40 seconds, for 2 to 3 sets.

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Shoulder

6) Dumbbell front raise

Target Muscles: Shoulders, specifically anterior deltoid muscles

  1. Stand with your spine straight and feet hip-width apart. Grab a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. The dumbbells should be positioned in front of your upper legs with your elbows straight or slightly bent.
  3. Raise the dumbbells forward and upward until your upper arms are above horizontal (at shoulder height).
  4. Lower back to the starting position.
  5. Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps each.

7) Deltoid raise

Target Muscles: Shoulders, biceps, and triceps

  1. Stand with your spine straight, feet hip-width apart, and knees slightly bent. Hold the dumbbells along the sides of your body, palms facing your thighs.
  2. Lean forward slightly at the waist to engage your core.
  3. Lift the dumbbells out to the side until they reach shoulder level and form a “T.”
  4. Return to the initial position.
  5. Perform 2 to 3 sets of 10-15 reps each.

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Safety Tips

You need to engage your core while performing upper body exercises (Image via Pexels @Andres Ayrton)

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LIVE POLL

Q. Which upper body exercise do you prefer to exercise your back?

Resistance band pull apart

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Edited by Piyush Bisht

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