Back at it again, with my four favorite back and arm exercises. I showed you my favorite leg and booty exercises last week. You can still watch that video and read the article for some extra workout inspiration. For this week I’m all about the upper body, with a focus on back and arms. Mainly because I personally love training my back and my arms. When I was heavier I had a lot of back fat and fat upper arms, that wasn’t cute at all! When I found out that just losing weight wasn’t going to help me shape up those body parts, I started training them every week.
Losing fat is one thing, shaping up is another. It’s a good thing to develop some muscle in your back and arms. It’s important for your posture, but it’s also good for that sexy back and defined shoulder line. And yes, I was afraid I was going to look bulky or turn into a female version of the Hulk. I think many women are and therefor rarely do exercises for their back and arms. But don’t you worry, it takes a lot more to become very muscular. Especially for women, who tend to be less ‘top heavy’ than men. So let’s get into my four favorite back and arm exercises right now!
I have to give credit to my little sister here, because she got me into bench pressing. My sister is actually quite good at it and she’s a lot stronger than you’d think. We started bench pressing together and she got me hooked! Bench pressing is really good if you want to work on your upper arms, shoulders and chest. I mainly love this exercise because it works well your chest muscles. For us girls, that means you can train those muscles on the top part of your boobs. It’s the perfect way to give yourself a natural boob lift, and I do not say no to that!
I personally use barbell weight only, since I almost always workout alone. I have no one to spot me, so I usually bench press with the Smith machine. I’m also not that strong yet, so I just use the barbell and that works well for me right now. I do about 10 to 12 reps per set and I do at least 3 to 4 sets. Sometimes I even go up to 20 reps, but that’s when I have too much energy. I also like challenging myself and burnout those muscles as much as I can. I usually do this when I notice that my muscles need an extra challenge.
Low row with a barbell
The low row has quickly become one of my favorite exercises. I try to do this exercise at least once a week, because I really want to create a smoother looking back. The low row makes you work your arms, but it also puts a big focus on your back. I love how I really feel this exercise work the middle of my back and my shoulder blade area. My hips and ribs are really close to each other, which makes my back look ‘scrunched’ together. So whenever I gain weight, you can immediately see my back rolls pop out, oops!
The low row helps me create a stronger back, which helps me with a better posture. I often do the low row with the Smith machine or with a free-range barbell. I do my warm up rounds with barbell weight only and I use 2,5 kg for my last 3 sets. I usually do 3 to 4 sets and I try to at least do 10 to 12 reps. But I often go over that number and I try to get to 20 reps. That’s just me burning out my muscles and challenging myself. It also takes me a few more reps to really feel the burn, so I gladly do some more.
I’ve been doing face pulls with a rope since I can remember. I found out pretty early on, that this exercise helps you shape your shoulders and shoulder blade area. You can also feel your upper arms work, since your using them to pull the rope towards your face. I love wearing tank tops in the summer or dresses with a low back. Which makes it really important for me to work my shoulders and back. I love how a bit of definition can make you look so sexy and elegant. The face pulls helped me do it, love it!
I do the face pulls with at least 10 kg, but lately I’ve been going up to 15 kg. That’s because I’ve been doing them for two years now and my muscles need a challenge. Using just 10 kg was getting to easy, we can’t have that! I always do 4 sets with at least 10 to 12 reps. When I feel extra strong or energetic I will go up to 15 or even 20 reps. I build up the intensity as I go, starting with 10 reps with 10 kg. Then I go over to 12 reps with 12,5 kg and 15 reps with 15 kg. I also do drop sets, which means I go from a lot of weight with less reps, to a lower weight with more reps.
Tricep extension horizontal and vertical
These exercises are the bomb when it comes to shaping my arms. After losing a lot of weight my arms were thinner, but they weren’t in shape. The triceps extensions helped me gain a bit of muscle and some definition. This was very important to me, because my flabby arms were really making me sad, haha! So off to the cable station I went, because I don’t like working out with dumbbells. A cable is easier to work with for me and my back feels much better.
I do the tricep extensions with a very low weight. I always use 2,5 kg, but you can do more if you like. I just don’t have that much strength in my arms yet and I don’t want to gain too much muscles in my arms. I mostly use this exercise to maintain lean looking arms. I often stick to 3 sets with 10 reps each. If I feel extra motivated I go up to 12 reps, but that rarely happens. I’m already struggling with ten reps, haha! I wasn’t lying when I said my arms aren’t that strong yet. You can add more weight, reps and sets if you like.
Boom! Those are my four favorite back and arm exercises at the moment. I have many more exercises I love, but these four will help you of to a good start. Give them a try and play around with sets and reps. If you have any doubts about the exercises, make sure you ask a trainer in the gym to help you. It’s very important to find out if exercises are good for your body and your goals. You also have to watch your form to prevent getting any injuries.
Now of you go to the gym! Let me know what you think of these exercises,