Typically women tend to avoid exercises that revolve around muscle building, and instead focus on activities that are associated with weight loss. Instead of doing more explosive exercises such as lifting weights, it is more common to see women doing long periods of cardiovascular exercise in an effort to lose body fat.
Doing a series of cardiovascular exercises is good if the goal is actually to improve the cardiovascular health. Long periods on the exercise bike or treadmill can strengthen the heart and lungs tremendously, but are not the most efficient exercise for reducing body fat.
One of the typical reasons why women tend to avoid undertaking an upper body workout for women is that it is thought that a direct workout will make the body more bulky rather than slim. This is a quite false way of thinking about these workouts. There are many men who carry out an upper body workout and are unable to achieve a bulky frame. Women, who do not have the quantities of testosterone as men do, would find it even more difficult to have a bulky upper body unless they used performance enhancing drugs. In fact, the most likely outcome of an upper body workout for women is to have a toned upper body, and reduced body fat.
A workout that is focused on weight lifting will increase the amount of muscle – but this will barely be notable. The muscles in the body will become hungrier for energy and will consume more carbohydrates and fat, so that overall, a woman is likely to lose body fat and have a slimmer appearance.
As well as cosmetic improvements from an upper body workout for women, having stronger muscles in this area improves the posture, reduces the chances of back pain and injury, and improves strength for everyday life.
A typical upper body workout for women should focus on the major motions of the upper body. The workout should include push exercises for the chest and shoulders, pull exercises for the back and rear shoulders, and bicep and tricep exercises. You can also include a series of core exercises to improve the strength around the stomach area. Workouts for the upper body need only take around 30 minutes to complete, and only needs to be done once to twice per week to give the body plenty of time to recover. You can also add a cardiovascular element by reducing the time spent in between lifting, and adding more repetitions.
Workouts should be composed of around 6 exercises, with 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per exercise. Each set should be fairly demanding to complete the last few repetitions without having to resort to bad form or cheating weights up. A sample of a typical workout is given below:
Warm up and stretching 2-3 minutes
Bench Press 10-15 repetitions
Barbell Row 10-15 repetitions
Shoulder Press 10-15 repetitions
Assisted Pull ups 10-15 repetitions
Upright rows 10-15 repetitions
Bicep Curls 10-15 repetitions
Tricep Pushdowns 10-15 repetitions
Repeat routine for final circuit and then warm down. This can be done in addition to cardiovascular exercise for optimum weight loss and losing stomach fat.
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