Exercises to Burn Fat on the Upper Body for Women

Sun's out, guns out. Certain dresses, tank tops or off-the-shoulder shirts mean baring biceps and showing shoulders. To lose upper body fat, tone and sculpt with an upper body fat burning workout for females.

For many women, upper arms store fat easily, making an upper body weight loss workout essential. (Image: Javier Snchez Mingorance / EyeEm/EyeEm/GettyImages)

The upper body, specifically the arms, tend to hold onto fat. Good news: Those same areas where the body likes to deposit fat (also think belly, face, thighs) are also ones that quickly gain definition with a regular gym workout.

Lose Upper Body Fat

According to ExRx.net, spot reduction is a misconception and in order to lose fat in any particular area, overall body fat must be reduced. Combining weight training with calorie-burning cardiovascular exercise can help shed extra pounds in the upper body while also building and increasing muscle strength in the major muscles of the upper body.

If you're focusing on your upper body, it helps to understand the anatomy of your arms, notes the National Academy of Sports Medicine. In particular: The triceps is the meaty muscle on the back of the arm, and its main responsibility is the straighten the elbow. The biceps is the muscle on the front of the arm and flexes the elbow. Technically part of the shoulder, the deltoid moves the upper arm forward, back and away from the body.


Try using an increased resistance when performing high-intensity cardio exercises to help simultaneously burn calories while improving muscular strength. This in turn may help muscles appear more toned and with added definition.

Arm Burnout Strength Training

The American Council on Exercise suggests an arm burnout workout that works key muscles of the upper body, such as the biceps and triceps, to the point of fatigue. This workout will also develop chest strength. The concept behind AMRAP (as many reps as possible) is that you do as many rounds of a given set of exercises as you can for a specific amount of time, making it effective and efficient.

Complete 10 reps of each exercise with 30 seconds of rest between. Once you're done, go back through the circuit again. Your goal is to complete as many repetitions as you can within 10 minutes.

Move 1: Wide Push-Up

  1. Start in a plank position, placing your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
  2. Engage your core, activate the quad muscles and slowly lower your body down, bending your elbows until they are parallel to floor. Be sure your body stays in a straight line parallel to the floor.
  3. Push your entire body back up to the starting position by straightening your arms.

Move 2: Triceps Dips

  1. Sit on a bench with your hands close to your sides, fingers facing forward.
  2. Move your feet forward and scoot your hips off the edge with your wrists directly below your shoulders.
  3. Slowly lower your body down, elbows bending straight back, not out to the sides.
  4. Raise your body back up to the starting position by straightening your arms and pushing into your feet; squeeze your triceps at the top.

Move 3: Lateral Boxes

  1. Hold a light dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in at hip height.
  2. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, drop your shoulders down and back, raise your arms straight out to the sides.
  3. Once at shoulder height, keep your palms facing down, bringing your hands toward one another to meet in front of your body.
  4. Lower your arms back down so they rest against the front of your body. Raise your arms straight back up to shoulder height, back out to the sides and down to the starting position.

Move 4: Triceps Swing Backs

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, standing with your feet about hip-width apart.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips so your chest faces the floor; try to maintain a flat back.
  3. Allow your arms to dangle, slightly below knees.
  4. Slowly bend both elbows to raise both arms up until they are in line with your shoulders, slightly above the spine.
  5. Straighten both elbows slowly, extending your arms to reach slightly above the height of your flat spine.
  6. Slowly lower your arms back down to the starting position.

Move 5: Biceps Curl and Shoulder Press

  1. Begin by holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms at sides, palms facing forward.
  2. Keep your elbows close to the sides of your body as you bend both elbows to raise the dumbbells to shoulder height.
  3. Open both arms out to the sides so that your palms now face forward and your elbows are in line with your shoulders.
  4. Straighten both hands straight up above your head, with your biceps now alongside your ears.
  5. Slowly lower your arms down, returning them the starting position with straight elbows.

Combine regular cardio exercise with strength training to burn fat and build muscle that may lead to the appearance of a more toned and defined upper body.

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