13 Upper-Body Exercises That Trainers LOVE For Strength and Muscle Building

As a trainer, one thing I’ve noticed is that women avoid doing upper body like the plague. The two most common reasons I hear are that they’re afraid of getting bulky and that they aren’t strong enough.

First, bulking up won’t happen because women don’t produce enough testosterone, according to a 2006 review in the Journal of Sports Medicine. And as far as strength is concerned, in order to get stronger, you’ve got to actually train those muscles!

If your goal is to get stronger and tighter arms, ahead are a few moves I love to do. Don’t do them all in a single strength session or you will be insanely sore. Instead, choose four to six push/pull exercises (an example of a push is a push-up and an example of a pull would be a pull-up) to create an upper-body workout. To build muscle, consider doing three to five sets of six to 12 reps with a weight that’s between 75 to 85 percent of your one-rep max.

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