Best Upper Body Toning Exercises for Women

Has that amazing strapless dress you bought last time out in the sales just sat there hidden away in the closet? Do the toned arms you’d love to show off in it, seem a far-off dream as you don’t know where to start putting an effective workout plan together? Then read on.

Best Upper Body Toning Exercises for Women

We’ve put together a quick but comprehensive guide to the Best Upper Body Toning Exercises for Women, to make it easier for you to get started. Then, it’s time to make that fancy dance or dinner reservation, and take that dress off its hanger for its long overdue first outing!

Getting started

Before you begin, two things are required to get a toned upper body and reduce fat. Now, be realistic. We all know that there is no such thing as fat spot reduction – so besides doing this workout, you will probably want to implement regular cardio and a healthy, balanced diet.

For the workouts below which involve weights, use weights of five to ten pounds (two to five kilograms), and for every exercise complete between 15 and 20 reps, moving from one to the next with very little or no rest in between. The descriptions are for one full rep.

Following this cycle, two or three times a week should mean you see results quite quickly. As you begin to lift a certain weight with no trouble, increase the load, bit by bit.

The exercises:

Biceps curl (Tones upper arms)

The bicep curls tones the biceps which are the top part of the arm, this exercise is easy to do and can be done at home with a set of dumbbells.

Take a dumbbell in each hand and place your hands at your side, palms facing forward. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping your back straight and chest up. Bend your elbows and pull the weights up, curling them towards your shoulders, without moving your upper arms. Slowly, with control, lower your arms to their original position at your side. Repeat. Try and make sure your elbows are as close to your sides as possible.

Triceps kick-back (Firms the back of the arms)

Take a weight in your right hand, kneel down on your hands and knees. For the starting position, raise your right elbow until your upper arm is level with your back. Raise your right arm until your hand forms a straight line with your elbow and shoulder. Do this without locking your elbow. Slowly, bring your right arm back down to the starting position. Repeat and then change to your left side once you’ve done the required amount of reps with the right side. Make sure you keep your elbow steady and in the same position for the whole movement.

Bench press (Tones triceps and chest muscles)

Lie on your back on a weightlifting bench, placing both feet firmly, and flat, upon the floor. Reach up and grasp the barbell with both hands, then pull it down towards your chest before pushing it away from you. Repeat. Try and do bench presses with as much weight on the barbell as you can manage.

Reverse fly (Tones and strengthens back of arms and upper back muscles)

Take a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet hip-width apart, then bend your knees. Bend forward from your hips, allowing your arms to hang straight down from your shoulders. Your palms should be facing. Raise both arms to the side and your shoulder blades will be squeezed together. Return slowly to the start and repeat.

Horizontal row with dumbbells (Firms and strengthens bicep and upper back)

With a dumbbell in one hand, rest on the other hand and a knee on a bench, keeping your back straight. Align your bent knee with your hips and your hand under your right shoulder. The elbow of the hand with the weight should be slightly bent with the palm of that hand facing inwards. Tighten the stomach muscles and squeeze the shoulder together, lifting the weight until the upper arm is parallel to the floor and the elbow slightly to the rear of you. Return to start slowly and repeat. Then switch sides.

Lying position triceps extension (Back of arms “triceps”)

Lie on a bench and hold a pair of dumbbells above your head, keeping the arms straight and palms facing. Bend your elbows, lowering the dumbbells until they are either side of the head. Pause in this position, before lifting the weights back to the start position. Repeat.

Triceps push-up (Back of arms “triceps”)

On a mat, adopt a push-up position, straighten the arms but put the knees on the floor and feet in the air. The hands should be under your chest, close together. Bend your arms and tighten your abs, bringing your chest to the floor. Keep your back straight and the upper arms close to your sides, with your elbows pointing behind. Straighten the arms back to the starting position, and repeat.


In our opinion these are some of the best upper body toning exercises for women, these exercises will help tone your arms, upper back, and chest which will give you an toned upper body, a firmer bust, and toned arms. If you have never done these exercises before, please ensure your warm up properly and begin with light weight and gradually increase the weight slowly after you become used to doing these exercises.

Leave a Comment