There is no denying the fact that a woman’s body is one of God’s greatest creations. I mean all those soft curves, exotic lines and elegant features stand out like the brush strokes on the Mona Lisa – a masterpiece unlike any other.
A true gift from God to (man)kind.
Now, with bikini season just around the corner, you’re probably looking to sharpen up those brush strokes a bit.
Well, to celebrate a day of appreciation for the woman’s body, Bloom to Fit has put together the ultimate upper body workout for women. If you’re looking to build, shape, and tone your ultimate upper body, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s get to work.
This workout for women focuses on developing muscular balance, functional strength, and ideal definition in the upper body. The exercises will challenge you in unique ways. Always remember to continue pushing yourself because most of your results will come when you are outside of your comfort zone.
The workout consists of two different sessions. You will alternate between Workout A and Workout B, leaving 2 days of rest between each workout.
Here are the exercises:
Exercise 1: Inverted push-up to row
Muscles worked: Biceps, back
This is one of my favorite exercises for targeting the biceps. I think of it as kind of my own unique variation because I’ve NEVER seen anyone doing this push-up variation. You’ll need a set of light (5-10 lbs) dumbbells. Place the dumbbells with the handles angled 45 degrees to the outside. Grab the handles with your palms facing up towards your head.
Now perform a push-up. Each time you come up, pull one of the dumbbells up to your chest, retract your shoulder and squeeze your bicep (this is the ‘row’). Bring the dumbbell down to the same spot and perform another push-up. Do the same thing for the other arm on your way up. Keep alternating the arm performing the row. Each push-up is one repetition.
Focus on coming down slow and forcefully pushing up (with control). Aim for 2-3 seconds going down and 1 second coming up.
Perform: 4 sets of 10 repetitions (1min rest between sets)
Exercise 2: Alternating dumbbell chest press on the stability ball
Muscles worked: Chest, shoulders, triceps, core
This exercise is great for building functional strength in the upper body. You will also be engaging your core each repetition as you force your body to balance and stabilize on the stability ball.
Grab a set of dumbbells (10-15lbs) and lie back on a stability ball. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor. Bring the weights to your chest and press them both up above your head, arms extended. Your palms should be facing forward (towards your feet). Lower the right dumbbell down to your chest and press it back up to the starting position. Do the same thing for the left side. That’s one repetition. Continue alternating arms throughout the set.
Always be in control of the weight. Aim for a 2 second lowering period and 1 second pressing period.
Perform 4 sets of 12 repetitions (1min rest between sets).
Exercise 3: Lying tricep extension
Muscles worked: Triceps
This is an excellent exercise for building strong, defined arms. You’ll need a bench and a set of dumbbells (10-12 lbs).
Lie down on the bench face-up and bring both dumbbells straight up. Keep your arms fully extended and your palms facing each other. Slowly, without moving your upper arm, bring both dumbbells down to the side of your head by bending your elbow. Pause for a second and, again without any movement of the upper arm, bring the weights back up to the starting position. Remember to inhale as you bring the weights down and exhale on the way up.
Perform: 4 sets of 10 repetitions (1min rest between sets)
Exercise 4: Bent-over barbell row
Muscles worked: Upper and lower back, biceps
This exercise is great for building a strong, defined back. You’ll need a barbell (25-35lbs).
Grab the barbell slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with a supinated grip (palms facing up). Note that in the picture the girl uses a pronated grip – I prefer to use a supinated grip to increase bicep engagement. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Sit back and don’t allow your knees to go past your toes. Keep your upper body completely aligned (no spinal flexion) and at a 45-degree angle forward.
Bring the barbell up until it touches your abdomen. Retract your shoulders and squeeze and tighten your body. Lower the barbell down to starting position. That is one repetition. Remember to inhale as you bring the weight up and exhale as you bring the weight down.
Perform: 3 sets of 12 repetitions (1min rest between sets)
Exercise 1: Sliding push-up (wide)
Muscles worked: Chest, shoulders, triceps
This is definitely one of my favorite push-up variations. It will help you blast through any plateau you may be going through.
Find a low-friction surface (carpet or hardwood floor works best). You’ll need something that can slide easily across that surface – paper often works well but a towel on a hardwood floor works well too. Start off in a regular push-up position with your hands underneath your shoulders. Place the piece of paper under one of your hands. As you go down, slide the paper out so your hands are spread wide. As you push back up, slide the hand back underneath your shoulder. That is one repetition. Perform the same motion with the other arm.
Perform 3 sets of 12 repetitions (1min rest between sets).
Exercise 2: Assisted pull-ups
Muscles worked: Back, biceps
This is the ultimate exercise for building a strong and defined back. For this exercise, you’ll need to find an assisted pull-up machine.
If you’ve never used the machine before, there are typically instructions on the equipment showing you how to set it up. Set the assisted weight to that which will allow you to perform the desired number of repetitions. It might take a few sets to figure out what this weight is. A rule of thumb – by the last repetition you should be struggling.
Lift yourself up, pause for a second and bring yourself down. That is one repetition. Then prepare for overwhelming compliments for your new back!
Perform: 3 sets of 10 repetitions (1min rest between sets)
Exercise 3: Arnold press
Muscles worked: Shoulders
Don’t let the name intimidate you. The exercise won’t leave you looking like Arnold, but it will give you the most incredible shoulders of your life.
Grab a set of dumbbells (10-15 lbs). Sit down on a bench that has lower back support. Bring the dumbbells to your shoulders with a pronated grip (palms facing away from you) and press them above your head. Then slowly bring them down to starting position. Next, immediately bring your elbows in as if they’re to touch and twist your forearms so your palms are facing you. Reverse this movement to bring the dumbbells back to their original position. That is one repetition.
Be warned. This is a tough exercise. Start with a lighter weight if needed.
Perform 3 sets of 8 repetitions (1min rest between sets).
Exercise 4: Plank to extension
Muscles worked: Core, triceps, shoulders
This is by far my favorite exercise to recommend to clients. It’s a complete upper body exercise that will leave your arms and core aching the next day.
Find a matt that you can lie on face down on your stomach. Bring yourself into plank position. Now, by extending one arm at a time, bring yourself up to where both arms are extended. Right away, bring yourself back down to a plank. Continue bringing your body up and down for a set period of time. Prepare for the burn!
Perform: 2 sets of 45 seconds (45s rest between sets)
There you have it – the ultimate upper body workout for women. Alternate between Workout A and Workout B with two days of rest in between each workout and prepare to see some incredible results within 4 weeks.
If you’re looking for a full-blown workout for women, I suggest you take a look at Visual Impact for Women program. This is the most complete program I’ve seen for developing that slim, feminine physique. It was created by my good friend Rusty Moore and I give it my best recommendation.
What are your thoughts on my ultimate upper body workout for women? What upper body exercises have given you the best results? Share in the comments below.