Sleeve-less season is right around the corner so today I’m sharing the best upper body exercises for women.

These are my go-to moves to tighten and tone everything from the waist up.

If you’d like to see more definition in your upper body these exercises are for you!

 

 

When paired together into an upper body workout they burn calories, build strength, and target every muscle in the arms, shoulders, back, and chest.

 

Trainer Christina Carlyle demonstrating 8 upper body exercises with dumbbells

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Upper Body Workout Instructions

 

  •  First, warm up with some arm, back, and chest stretches.
  • After you’re warm start the first exercise.  Do 15 reps.
  • Once you’ve finished move on to the next exercises and do 15 reps and so on until you’ve finished all 8 exercises.
  • Once you’re done with 1 full round of all the exercises you’ve completed 1 set.
  • Do 3 sets of all 8 exercises to finish the workout.
  • When you’re done, repeat the same stretches you did to warm up.

After you’ve had a chance to go through the exercises leave a comment and let me know which upper body exercise you like the most.

 

Upper Body Exercises for Women

Alternating Squat pulls upper body exercise being done by trainer Christina Carlyle

SQUAT PULLS

Squat down, with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull one of your arms upwards, leaving your other hand down by your side. This is your start position. Breathe and pull up with your lower arm as you lower your other arm down. Alternate pulling the dumbbells up and down, on opposite sides while breathing. Do the same number of reps with each arm to complete one set. MODIFICATION:  Perform the upper body movement while sitting.
 

overhead press exercise being done by trainer Christina Carlyle

OVERHEAD PRESS

Stand, holding your dumbbells, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart in line with your shoulders. Your arms should look like a wide “W.” This is your start position. Exhale and push the weights up until your arms are extended overhead. Inhale and lower the weights back down to your shoulders to complete one rep.
 

upright row upper body exercise being done by trainer Christina Carlyle

UPRIGHT ROW

Stand with your dumbbells in front of you with your palms facing your body. This is your start position. Exhale and pull the weight upward to shoulder height. Keep the weight close to your body as you lift your elbows up and out to the side. Then slowly lower the weight back down to the start position to complete one rep.
 

trouble u exercise being done by trainer Christina Carlyle

TROUBLE U’s

Stand holding dumbbells. Lift your elbows up, until they are in line with your shoulders, with your knuckles facing up. This is your start position. Exhale and rotate the weights down until your knuckles are facing the ground. Next, kick your hands out to the side. Reverse the movement and bring your hands back in, then flip your knuckles back up to the start position, to complete one rep.
 

chicken wing upper body exercise being done by trainer Christina Carlyle

CHICKEN WINGS

Stand with your elbows close to your sides with your arms bent. Your weights should be pointing straight out in front of you, with your wrists facing each other. This is your start position. “Flap” your wings, by drawing your elbows out to the side and up until they’re at shoulder height.  Slowly return back down to the start position to complete one rep. Tip: As you’re flapping, keep the weights pointed out in front of you. Only your elbows should move the weights up and down.
 

arnold press exercise being done by trainer Christina Carlyle
ARNOLD PRESS

Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand, but with your palms facing in towards your shoulders. This is your start position. As you push the weights up overhead, exhale and rotate your hands so your palms end up facing away from you. Inhale and lower the weights back down, rotating them back to the start position to complete one rep.
 

modified pushup exercise being done by trainer Christina Carlyle

MODIFIED PUSHUP

A modified pushup is like a regular pushup, except you’re only pushing up on the knees.  Start in the modified plank position with your wrists stacked under the shoulders. This is your start position. Keeping your elbows in close to your sides, lower your chest to the floor as you inhale. Don’t arch or sag your lower back or pitch your butt upwards. Exhale as you push up back into the start pushup position to complete one rep.

 

Back row exercise being done by trainer Christina Carlyle

BACK ROW

Stand with your knees slightly bent, holding dumbbells. Keeping your back flat, bend forward at your hips at a 45-degree angle. Bring your weights down in front of you with your wrists facing each other. This is your start position. Exhale and pull the weights up towards your chest, lifting your elbows up and back as far as you can. Reverse the movement and return to start position to complete one rep. Tip: Keep your elbows close to your body and squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.
 

around the worlds exercise being done by trainer Christina Carlyle

AROUND THE WORLDS

Stand with dumbbells in each hand down in front of your legs with palms facing away from you. This is your start position. Exhale and lift your arms out to the sides, and upward until they’re overhead. Inhale as you return the weights back down to the start position to complete one rep.
 

That’s it!

What’s your favorite exercise?  My personal favorite is the Arnold press.  Tell me your favorite move in the comments.

As always these exercises only work, when you work them.  So work it!  You’re worth it.

Your Coach and Biggest Cheerleader –

 

 

If you liked this workout you’ll love my brand new Workout Vault Program!

It’s a collection of all of my grid workouts plus workout schedules that target every single trouble area women struggle with most.  Learn more about the Workout Vault and sign up before enrollment closes.

 

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