Best Arm Toning Exercises & Upper Body Workout Tips

Sculpting lean toned arms and a sexy upper body is about more than just working your trouble zones.

The best arm toning exercises, and how to lose arm fat, or back fat solutions are the ones that will address your unique body issue vs. just your problem area.

There are actually so many options when it comes to sculpting your best upper body but all the experts ever seem to recommend are the same set of boring exercises: kickbacks, dips, pushups, etc.

The real secret to getting the results you want from your upper body workouts is to focus on what your body needs most right now.  Here's 3 options for 3 common arm toning issues:

1.  Best Arm Toning Exercises for Women at Their Desired Weight & Bodyfat

Toned arms (and a toned body) is a result of lean muscle and lower bodyfat levels so if you still have a lot of weight and bodyfat to lose skip this for now and go to the next two tips.

If you are at your desired weight and bodyfat then nothing beats push and pull movement patterns for lean toned arms and a healthy functional body. Pushing and pulling are actually essential to our survival but the tricep kickback, tricep pressdown, bicep curl and shoulder press are only a very small component of these key movement patterns. To sculpt your sexiest arms ever you need to get busy with a variety of push pull exercises that target your arms and entire upper body from every possible angle.

Below are two lists of arm toning exercises. The first one includes exercises most women do for toning upper arms and the second includes many exercises women need to start doing to actually get toned arms.

Try switching out your exercises every 4 weeks for better results and be sure to do both both isolation and full body exercises. Check out the video for examples of both.

Basic arm toning exercises most women already do:

  • pushups
  • db curls
  • db kickbacks
  • db overhead presses
  • close grip pushups
  • bench dips
  • db side raises
  • db rows
  • pullup bar pullups
  • machine pullups
  • machine presses


More arm toning exercises that get better results:

  • hover presses
  • inverted pushups
  • rotating planks
  • yoga arm balances
  • spiderman planks
  • tabletop variations
  • pilates band pulls
  • resistance band pulldowns
  • medicine ball tosses or slams
  • sandbell slams or swings
  • hindu pushups
  • too many others to list

2.  Best Upper Body Workouts for Women Who Need to Lose Arm Fat

There are many upper body workouts that build lean muscle and tone the back, arms, and core but only high intensity interval training burns excess fat during your workouts and for 48 hours after your workout.

The reason this is so important for lean toned arms and a sexy upper body is that low bodyfat and lean muscle are what is required to look tight and toned. If you just work on toning or building lean muscle without burning off excess fat then you will get fit but you won’t look fit and you may even get that bulky arm look that so many women fear.

High intensity interval training, especially the bodyweight kind forces your body to burn stored fat so be sure to get busy with fatloss workouts more often and only focus on more targeted arm workouts once a week.  Both videos on this page include fat burning intervals that also target the arms back and core.

3.  Best Upper Body Exercises for Women Who Need to Lose Back Fat

One of the biggest problem areas for many women is the back. Excess fat is often stored in the upper or lower back plus a weak back and poor posture can make a person look as if they’re 10-20 pounds heavier than they really are.

One of the best arm fat and back fat exercises is the bodyweight row. It builds overall back strength, improves posture, and burns more fat than regular db rows. The bodyweight row looks very similar to a pullup but unlike pullups everybody can do it and unlike machine or bench db row it is not an isolation exercise so it burns even more fat and calories plus it works the entire core.

Be sure to incorporate this killer total body exercise into your fatloss workouts if you want to correct postural imbalances, strengthen, and burn the fat too.  More ways to use a rope or exercise straps for bodyweight rows on the how to lose back fat page.