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Arm & Chest Exercises for Women

author image Ashley Schwader
Ashley Schwader is a certified personal trainer through ACE and a certified Pilates and group instructor through AFAA. Her background includes personal training, nutrition, weight management, corporate wellness, and health promotion. She earned a Bachelor of Science in health and exercise science, from Colorado State University.
Arm & Chest Exercises for Women
A woman performing a chest press with dumbbells. Photo Credit takoburito/iStock/Getty Images


Women can benefit from strength training the arms, chest and shoulders. A well-developed upper body helps with weight control, building strong bones, reducing the risk of injury and increasing self-confidence. Aim for two to three 20- to 30-minute strength-training sessions a week. Take a day off in between workouts to allow for muscle recovery.

Stability Ball Chest Fly

Sit on a stability ball with your feet flat on the floor. Hold dumbbells in your hands and slowly lean backwards while walking your feet forward until your upper back, shoulders and head are on the ball. Position the dumbbells at or just above chest level. Exhale, stiffen your torso by contracting your core and slowly press the dumbbells upward in a wide arc to a position directly above your chest. Inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells in unison in a wide arc until they are level with or near your chest. This counts as one repetition. Do one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.

Triceps Toning

To tone your triceps, begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms turned backward. Hold your arms straight down at your sides. Press your arm straight back about 2 feet behind you, then return to starting position for one repetition. Perform one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.

High "V" Shoulder Exercise

With your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand and extend your arms overhead in a "V" shape, palms facing out to sides. Slowly lower your arms bend your elbows to your hips and allow palms to face the body. Press back up into "V" shape, counting as one repetition. Aim for one to three sets and eight to 12 repetitions.

Boxing for Arms

Take a starting position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a 3-pound to 5-pound dumbbell in each hand. While bending your knees, hinge forward until your torso is parallel to the floor. Bend your elbows, bringing the dumbbells up toward your armpits. As you exhale, extend your right arm forward with your palm down. Allow your left arm to go back behind you with your palm up. As you inhale, bend your arms, and then exhale as you switch positions with your arms -- moving your left arm forward and your right arm backward, completing one repetition. Continue to alternate arms for one to three sets of six to eight repetitions.

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