The best upper body toning exercises for women are simple, fun, and don't require that you use tons of weight, do tons of repetitions or spend hours lifting weights and doing cardio.
The trick to getting toned arms that don't jiggle when you wave goodbye and a tight toned back with no bra bulge is choosing upper body exercises that work multiple muscle groups. You also have to combine the exercises in a way that makes each exercise more challenging than the previous one. This way you build strength, burn fat, and tone without adding bulk. Below are two upper body toning workouts that do all that and more!
Upper Body Toning Exercises Workout for Beginners
Upper Body Toning Workout Instructions perform each exercise for 45-50 seconds going from one to the next with little to no rest. After one circuit rest for 45-60 seconds then repeat 2-3 more times. You will need a a resistance band, small medicine ball, dumbbells, stability ball, and gymboss timer.
Straight Arm Lat Pulldown Squat works upper back, shoulders and triceps (core, legs, butt too). Keep shoulders down and squeeze shoulder blades together as you pull the band down and squat.
Alternating Side Plank works core, upper back, low back, and shoulders (triceps too). Keep abs slightly contracted as you rotate from side to side. Breathe in as you open up into side plank and out as you come back to center.
Palms Out DB Curl to Overhead Press works biceps, shoulders and triceps (upper/lower back and core too). Squeeze the shoulders blades and stick your chest up and out a bit to keep the arms rotated out and palms up.
Medicine Ball Pullover Bridge works upper back, lower back, shoulders (biceps, triceps, core too). Keep the arms as straight as possible without locking them. Use the upper back to pull the weight up from the floor and arms to lower it down with control.
Stability Ball Hip Extension works upper and lower back and the deep postural muscles of the back that make you look taller and leaner.
Upper Body Toning Exercises Workout for Intermediate/Advanced
Upper Body Toning Workout Instructions Perform each exercise for 30-45 seconds going from one to the next with little to no rest. After one circuit rest for 60-90 seconds then repeat 2-3 more times. You will need a suspension trainer, mega medicine ball, superband, thera band, and gymboss timer.
Mega Ball Pushup to Side Plank works chest, triceps, shoulders, core. The arm on the floor is the one doing most of the work. If you notice that one side is much weaker (like mine) just drop to the knees on that side or on both if you need to. Keep abs slightly contracted for better balance.
Suspension Trainer Single Arm Squat Row works upper back and biceps (legs are minimally involved). Try your hardest not to push with the legs. Focus on squeezing the shoulder blade in and down as you row to keep from using the legs too much.
Hover Press (Child's Pose to Chaturanga) works core, lower back, upper back, shoulders, and triceps. Place your forehead on the ground and extend the arms forward to find the perfect arm position. Try to float into the low pushup position by contracting your glutes and your TVA (deep ab muscles). If you're hardcore you can keep the knees off the ground the entire time to make it more challenging.
Superband Curl to Overhead Press works biceps, shoulders, and back. The superband is about 10 times harder than regular resistance bands so keep the knees slightly bent and use your core to stabilize as you press. Keeping the elbows inside the band helps too. You can make it more challenging by pressing out as well as up.
Mega Ball Squat Thrust to Powerful Pose works core, back, shoulders, and biceps. This is not a burpee so do not add a pushup or a jump. This exercise is about working all the postural muscles of the back that make you look lean and tall. Keep elbows slightly rounded and pick a spot on the floor to focus on. Try not to look up like I did to prevent neck strain.
Thera Band Diagonal Tricep Extension in Warrior 2 Stance works triceps, shoulders, back, and legs. Use the heaviest resistance thera band you can handle and try your hardest to keep the arms in a diagonal position as you extend. Contract the abs to stabilize and keep shoulders back and down.
Upper Body Toning Exercises for Women Tips
1. More reps isn't better. Focus on quality of movement for better results.
2. Add 5-10 minutes of beaded jump rope or weighted jump rope intervals at the end if you need to burn more fat and want to do some extra arm work.
3. Stretch for 5-10 minutes after your workout to prevent soreness and tight muscles.
4. Find the right healthy eating plan for better results from all your fatloss and toning workout routines.
5. Start your workout with 5 minutes of upper body mobility exercises to correct posture imbalances, boost performance and fatloss.