Beginner upper body workout 4 week plan


Last updated on June 28th, 2022 at 09:09 pm

Tone up your chest, upper arm and shoulder muscles with this beginner upper body workout.  It’s a 4 week plan, starting with 3 exercises and adding an extra exercise each week. If you want to continue to progress after the 4 weeks, you can start to increase your weights (see below for more information on what weights to use). For best results, you should do the workout 3 times a week.

Beginner upper body workout female PDF

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Weights for this workout

You’ll need a set of hand weights for the workout. 2lb/1kg is a good weight to start with. After the 4 weeks, you can start to increase the size of your weights to improve your muscle tone further. Adjustable hand weights are a good choice because they’re easier to store.

GET HAND WEIGHTS FOR THIS WORKOUT HERE

Beginner upper body workout – exercise instructions

Before you do this workout, please read these general exercise guidelines.

Also, before you start each workout, warm up your arms, chest and shoulders with some full arm circles. Stand with your feet about hip distance and then rotate your arms all the way round in front of your body. Do 5 circles in both inward and outward directions.
Warm up

Week 1 – wall push up, side arm circles and arm raises

Week 1

Wall push up – 20 reps

Push ups

  1. Stand at arms length from the wall, feet hip distance apart.
  2. Place your palms on the wall at chest height, a bit wider than shoulder distance.
  3. Allow your arms to bend at your elbows as you lean towards the wall, keeping your body in a straight line.
  4. Push yourself away from the wall back to your starting position.

Side arm circles – 10 reps clockwise, 10 anti-clockwise

Arm circles

  1. Stand with your feet about hip distance apart, holding a weight in each hand.
  2. Take your arms up to shoulder height, with your palms facing downwards. Keep your shoulders relaxed – don’t shrug.
  3. Keeping your arms straight, circle them for 10 reps clockwise and then reverse the direction.

Overhead raises – 20 reps

overhead raise

  1. Start in the same position as for arm circles, with your arms out straight to the side.
  2. Keeping your arms straight, raise them to vertical, then reverse the movement.

Week 2 add woodchop – 10 reps each side

Week 2

Beginner upper body workout female wood chop exercise

Use just one weight in both hands for this one. Hold the weight with your palms facing downwards.

  1. Stand with your feet a bit wider than hip distance.
  2. Bend your knees and rotate your upper body towards the right. Reach your arms down towards your right knee.
  3. Then straighten up and swing your arms across your body to reach high to the left. Your right heel should lift as you reach to the left.
  4. Do 10 reps, then repeat to the other side.

Week 3 add side raise – 20 reps

Week 3

Beginner upper body workout female arm abduction

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance.
  2. Start with your arms straight by your side, palms facing inwards.
  3. Keeping your arms straight, lift the weights out to the side (your palms will now be facing the floor).
  4. When your arms are horizontal, stop and lower back down to the starting position.

Week 4 add forward raise – 20 reps

Beginner upper body workout female week 4

Forward raise

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance.
  2. Start with your arms straight by your side, palms facing inwards.
  3. Keeping your arms straight, lift the weights in front of your body up to shoulder height.
  4. When your arms are horizontal, stop and lower back down to the starting position.

Get the beginner upper body workout PDF

Beginner upper body workout female printable PDF

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