Building strength and toning your upper body is not just about aesthetics; it’s also about empowerment, confidence, and overall health. Whether you’re aiming to improve your posture, increase your strength, or enhance your athletic performance, incorporating upper-body workouts into your fitness routine is essential. Below, I’ve put together five of my best upper-body gym workouts for women who are looking to build strength.

Incorporating these upper-body gym workouts into your routine will help boost muscle tone, confidence, and overall well-being. Remember to start with lighter weights and gradually increase the intensity as you become stronger. With dedication and consistency, you’ll soon reap the rewards of a stronger, more sculpted upper body.

The next time you head to the gym, rest assured you’ll be prepared with a solid game plan!

Workout #1: Pushup Power

A roundup of upper-body gym workouts would be incomplete without one routine dedicated to pushups.

The pushup is a fundamental upper-body exercise that engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, including the chest, shoulders, and triceps. The workout below helps build strength, improve core stability, and enhance shoulder health.

1. Standard Pushups

illustration of woman doing pushupsillustration of woman doing pushups
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Start in a plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart and arms straight. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Push through your palms to return to the starting position. Aim for three sets of eight to 12 reps.

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2. Incline Pushups

incline pushups illustration exercise to get rid of holiday weight gainincline pushups illustration exercise to get rid of holiday weight gain
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Place your hands on an elevated surface, such as a bench or step, keeping your body straight. Lower your chest toward the elevated surface. Push back up to the starting position. Complete three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

3. Tricep Pushups

Begin in a plank position with your hands close together, directly under your shoulders. Lower your body while keeping your elbows close to your sides. Push back up to the starting position, focusing on engaging your triceps. Perform three sets of eight to 12 reps.

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Workout #2: Dumbbell Delight

Dumbbells are versatile tools for sculpting and strengthening the upper body. This workout targets the shoulders, biceps, and triceps while improving grip strength and coordination.

1. Dumbbell Shoulder Press

illustration of woman doing dumbbell shoulder pressillustration of woman doing dumbbell shoulder press
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Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height. Press the weights overhead until your arms are fully extended. Lower the dumbbells back to shoulder height. Complete three sets of eight to 12 reps.

2. Bicep Curls

illustration, concept of standing bicep curls with dumbbells to tone your arms in 30 daysillustration, concept of standing bicep curls with dumbbells to tone your arms in 30 days
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Hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing forward. Curl the weights toward your shoulders, keeping your elbows close to your body. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. Aim for three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

3. Tricep Kickbacks

woman bent over Triceps Kickbackswoman bent over Triceps Kickbacks
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Hold a dumbbell in each hand, hinge forward at the hips, and extend your arms behind you. Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle. Straighten your arms behind you, focusing on engaging the triceps. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

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Workout #3: Pull-up Perfection

Pull-ups are an advanced upper-body exercise that primarily targets the back and engages the arms, shoulders, and core. While challenging, mastering the pull-up can significantly enhance upper-body strength and muscle definition.

1. Assisted Pull-ups

assisted pull-up exerciseassisted pull-up exercise
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Use an assisted pull-up machine or a resistance band for support. Grip the bar with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull your body up until your chin clears the bar. Lower yourself back down with control. Aim for three sets of five to eight reps.

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2. Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns

Sit at a lat pulldown machine with a wide grip on the bar. Pull the bar down toward your chest, engaging your back muscles. Slowly release the bar back to the starting position. Complete three sets of eight to 12 reps.

3. Bent-over Rows

Woman doing Dumbbell bent over rowWoman doing Dumbbell bent over row
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Hold a barbell or dumbbells with an overhand grip, palms facing down. Hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back flat. Pull the weight toward your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower the weight back down with control. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

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Workout #4: Resistance Band Routine

Resistance bands are portable, affordable, and effective tools for strength training. This workout utilizes resistance bands to target the chest, back, shoulders, and arms, improving stability and flexibility.

1. Band Pull-aparts

Hold a resistance band with arms straight out in front of you, shoulder-width apart. Pull the band apart, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Return to the starting position with control. Aim for three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

2. Band Chest Press

Anchor the resistance band to a sturdy object at chest height. Hold the ends of the band in each hand and step forward to create tension. Press the bands forward until your arms are fully extended. Slowly return to the starting position. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

3. Band Bicep Curls

illustration of resistance band bicep curls arm workoutsillustration of resistance band bicep curls arm workouts
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Stand on the center of the resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the ends of the band with palms facing up. Curl the bands toward your shoulders, keeping elbows close to your sides. Lower the bands back down with control. Perform three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

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Workout #5: Bodyweight Blast

Sometimes, the most effective workouts require nothing more than your body weight. This routine focuses on bodyweight exercises that engage multiple muscle groups, providing a challenging yet accessible upper-body workout.

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1. Pike Pushups

Pike PushupPike Pushup
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Start in a downward dog position with your hands shoulder-width apart and hips lifted. Bend your elbows and lower your head toward the floor. Push back up to the starting position. Aim for three sets of eight to 12 reps.

2. Diamond Pushups

woman doing diamond pushupswoman doing diamond pushups
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Get into a pushup position with your hands close together, forming a diamond shape with your index fingers and thumbs. Lower your chest toward your hands. Push back up to the starting position. Complete three sets of eight to 12 reps.

3. Superman

illustration of superman back extensions exerciseillustration of superman back extensions exercise
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Lie face down on the floor with arms extended overhead and legs straight. Lift your chest, arms, and legs off the floor simultaneously, engaging your back muscles. Hold for a few seconds, then lower back down. Perform three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

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