Best Upper Body Workout Routines for Men and Women

Updated on October 13, 2016
healthbooklet profile image

Trained in dentistry, Sree is currently studying lab sciences. She enjoys researching various health topics and writing about her findings.

These days, getting in shape is not just meant for vanity purposes, but also to make sure that your health is in check, too. After all, you won't be able to live your life well if you keep on wasting time doing things that do nothing good for your health.

One of the ways that can help you get in the pink of health is by finding the best upper body workout routine.

With the help of this post, you'd be able to learn:

  • The connection between connective tissue and upper body workouts;
  • How these develop good form and posture;
  • Why bodybuilding does not build muscles;
  • Some of the best upper body workout routine for men;
  • Some of the best upper body workout routine for women;
  • How to do these upper body workouts;
  • How many reps should you do, and;
  • Why they're good and what they can do for you!

Get in shape! Try this upper body workout routine for women.
Get in shape! Try this upper body workout routine for women. | Source

The Importance of Upper Body Workouts

An upper body workout routine will to help you develop good form and posture, which can prevent back pain. Moreover, if you're going to be doing a lot of running, or if your job requires strenuous physical activity, then you definitely need these workouts to keep you strong.

Of course, a great workout routine will also help you develop agility and speed, so you'll be able to do what you have to do in a fast and more efficient manner.

And most importantly, it provides holistic healing to the body. It makes you feel better, and helps you go forth your day easier. When your body is toned, calories are burnt faster, and thus, you lose weight in a natural and lasting manner.

Workout Routines for Men

For men, a great upper body workout routine will build muscle without sabotaging the other parts of the body, which is the problem with other types of workouts, especially bodybuilding. Bodybuilding only focuses on muscles—not on your whole body. There are two upper body workout routines for men that you should know about, and you'll find them right here.

Intensify Your Body Routine for Men

This routine improves men's strength because it involves both volume and intensity, and is also quite challenging, especially when done in five sets of five, eight sets of three, or six sets of four.

To do this upper body workout routine, here's what you have to do:

  1. Do 5 reps of Overhead Press, with 5 sets, and a 5 second rest. Make sure you're able to grip the bar just right above your shoulders, and squeeze it by bracing your abs. Press it forward until it covers your face.
  2. Do 5 reps of Incline Bench Press, with 5 sets, and 60-90 second rest. Lie back in a 30 to 45 degree angled bench, arch your back, and pull bar off the rack. Drive your feet towards the floor as you lower the bar unto your chest.
  3. Do as many dips as you can for a total of 50 reps, with 60 second rest. Lower your body after suspending from parallel bars until arms and feet are parallel on the floor.
  4. And finally, do as much pull-ups as you can, for a total of 50 reps, with 60 second rest.

Bench Press
Bench Press | Source

Get Stronger Routine for Men

This workout routine is said to be used by footballers. It is quite challenging because you do have to add more weight to the bar that you're using until it reaches the heaviest load you can carry. While you get stronger, your muscles begin to build up more, too.

Here's how you can do it:

  1. Do at least 3 reps of Bench Press and rest as much as you need. Arch your back as you grasp the bar so that there would be enough space between the bench and your back. Pull the bar towards your sternum and tuck elbows at 45 degrees by your side, and then drive feet towards the ground as it touches your body. Make sure to do 3 to 5 reps of warm-ups before doing this.
  2. Do 3 sets of dumbbell lateral raise with 10 reps and no rest. Let palms face each other while holding a dumbbell in each hand and then raise them up to 90 degrees, and make sure feet are parallel on the floor.
  3. Do 4 sets of Neutral Grip Floor Press, with reps of 8, 8, 6, and 5, and with 180 second rest. Use both hands to hold dumbbells while lying on the floor. Keep palms facing each other with elbows on your side as you rest triceps on the floor, and as you lower them, press the weights down your body, and begin next rep after releasing tension.
  4. Do 2 sets of dumbbell rows, with reps of 8, 20, 25, and with 120 second rest. Grab dumbbell with your right hand and rest your knee on a bench, and then retract your shoulder and choose a heavier weight on the second set.
  5. Do 3 sets of Seated Dumbbell Clean, for 10 reps, and with 90 second rest. Do this by using each hand to hold a dumbbell while sitting on a bench. Lean forward while back is flat and then shrug weights while straightening your body with force. Catch weights while flipping wrists to create momentum.

Vote and see what other readers are saying!

Have you chosen an upper body workout routine for yourself? Which of these would you be doing first?

See results
Barbell workout routine for women.
Barbell workout routine for women. | Source

Workout Routines for Women

An upper body workout routine is not just meant for men, women can also benefit from them. Of course, women also need to be strong. Women should also train their upper bodies so they are flexible. he best upper workout for women develops more connective tissues that help them stay in shape and stay strong and also build muscle mass.

There are two types of this workout routine that women can choose from.

High Intensity Workout for Women

This makes use of speed to challenge you and help make your body stronger. Here's what it involves:

  1. Four sets and 6 reps of Barbell Deadlifts with 60 seconds rest. Stand in front of a loaded barrel, bend knees, and keep back as straight as possible. Push with your legs and then lift the bar while getting back to the upright position, and then keep your back straight. Do another rep.
  2. Four sets and 6 reps of One Arm Dumbbell Row, with 60 seconds rest. Place a dumbbell on each side of a flat bench, bend your body, and place your right leg on the other end of the bench. Pick up dumbbell from the floor using left hand and make sure to keep back straight. Keep upper arm close to the side while keeping resistance straight. Make sure to breathe in as you make each step and as you lower resistance. Switch and repeat with other arm.
  3. Four sets and 6 reps of Dumbbell Bench Press. With a dumbbell in each hand, lie down on a flat bench and rest each hand on top of the thighs. Lift up the dumbbells with the help of your thighs, and as you hold them in front of you, rotate your wrists and create a 90 degree angle with your forearm and upper arm. Breathe out and maintain full control of what you have in your hands, and then squeeze your chest out as you lock your arms upwards. Repeat for the said amount of reps.

Pull-ups - Best Upper Body Workout for Women
Pull-ups - Best Upper Body Workout for Women | Source

Low Intensity Workout for Women

While this one is low intensity, you could still expect that it'll help you gain strength in an efficient manner. Why? Well, simply because as the workout progresses, each muscle group gets to be strengthened, and thus, you're able to help your body out in a general manner!

Here's what you should do:

  1. Do 3 sets of pushups with 12 reps and with 75 seconds rest. Place your hands on the floor as you lie down and keep torso at arm's length. Then, inhale as you lower yourself down the floor, and breathe out as you bring your upper body back up. Repeat as much as you can—this becomes easier as you keep doing it.
  2. Do at least 3 reps of Bench Press and rest as much as you need. Arch your back as you grasp the bar so that there would be enough space between the bench and your back. Pull the bar towards your sternum and tuck elbows at 45 degrees by your side, and then drive feet towards the ground as it touches your body. Make sure to do 3 to 5 reps of warm-ups before doing this.
  3. Do 3 sets and 10 reps of Split Squats. Stand, and then jump into a split position, with a leg in front and one in the back. Lower hips as you flex your knees. Reverse direction immediately by jumping and standing up. Then, reverse the position of your legs again by jumping and standing up, but using the other leg for each. Make sure to repeat for at least 5 to 10 times for each leg.

Always Keep Your Health in Check

Even choosing one upper body workout would already be enough to strengthen your body and build muscles. These workout routines are quite challenging, but why wouldn't you want to challenge yourself? Gone are the days when bodybuilding is the only way to build muscles.

Remember, the state of your health always depends on you!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)