“I’m so weak in my upper body..”
I hear this on a daily from all my new clients coming to me.
Ladies, unfortunately, this is inevitable for us. We like to compare ourselves to the boys on this one. Their genetic make-up allows the boys to be more dominant in this area.
Here are a couple of reasons why this is the case.
- Our bodies do not hold as much muscle mass in the shoulders, chest, back and arms. Visually we can see most males are more built & defined in those areas, even if they do not train or lift a weight. For females, we have to work very hard to build up / tone / develop these areas. We need to be training our upper body frequently & consistently, with varying exercises & challenging loads!
Sometimes it can take us years to get our first pull up (2 years it took me) even with consistent training! Upper body training should be a priority, not just training legs & ass. The plus side of this is, we carry more muscle mass in our legs than the boys do, so generally, we find lower body endurance & high rep leg training easier on us.
Hello, walking lunges! A girl’s best friend, but shouldn’t be your only friend!
2. Hormones. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for building muscle (bless it). We have much lower levels of testosterone flowing through our blood, which is why the theory behind “weight – training makes women bulky” is false. Impossible for us to bulk & get huge, unless we are eating in a huge calorie surplus, taking growth hormone supplements & lifting ridiculously heavy weights.
We NEED to be lifting weights & training upper body!
- To change our body composition – tone & define your triceps /biceps/shoulders/ back
- To look good in a singlet
- To improve physical & mental strength
- To continue to burn calories, even after your session has finished
- To help our confidence, especially our body image issues
- To stay motivated when you see your progress, lifting or doing more than the day/week before.
- To vary & spice up your gym routine.
So, here are my favourite exercises I have found to help build your upper body strength.
For all these exercises can use dumbbells or a barbell. Whatever your preferred method is.
- Overhead– pressing. Strict Press & Push Press
- Bench Press
- Bent-over rows
- Pull up & Chin up progressions
All these exercises are compound exercises, targeting major & minor muscle groups. Safe & 100% effective. Check out my exercise library to see them all being performed correctly!