Most women focus on toning their glutes and their stomachs, but a toned upper back is incredibly sexy on a woman. Just imagine all the open-back dresses and tank tops you can rock. A strong upper back can also help you achieve proper posture and eliminate back pain.
Perfect Female Upper Back: Exercise Motivation and Inspiration
While a toned upper back on a woman is beautiful, the physical benefits of a strong back is much more rewarding than aesthetics. Working a desk job does a number on your body.
You probably have tight hamstrings, a sore lower back, and hunched shoulders from staring at a computer screen all day. Toning your back and shoulder muscles is the best way to achieve proper posture.
Secondly, as you age your upper body strength starts to deteriorate making you more prone to injury. Women start to naturally lose muscle as early as your 20s. To help combat muscle loss, lift weights!
Best Workouts for Women: Good Routines, Great Results
If you want to tone your upper back, it’s time to hit the weight room at the gym. If weights aren’t your thing, yoga is always one of the great upper back workouts that can stretch your tight muscles and tone them afterwards.
How to Get the Perfect Upper Back
How to get a strong upper back? It requires two focuses. The first focus is your diet. You should aim to eat a well-rounded healthy diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein. A healthy diet combined with regular exercise will reduce your body fat percentage so your strong, toned muscles will be visible to you and everyone else.
The second focus will be specific upper back toning exercises. The upper back muscles that you should work in your upper back workouts include the trapezius, latissimus dorsi, and rhomboidous major.
Exercises to Get a Beautiful, Toned Upper Back
Wide-Grip Lat Pull-down
The wide-grip lat pull-down is one of the most effective upper back exercises for women and primarily targets the latissimus dorsi muscle. You’ll need to use a pull-down cable machine at the gym for this exercise. To do this exercise, sit down on the pull-down machine with a wide bar attachment. Adjust the knee pad to hold you in place. Place your hands on the bar with your palms facing forward and your hands wider than shoulder-width. With both arms extended above you, lean back about 30 degrees and pull the bar down until it gently touches your chest. While you are doing this exercise, concentrate on squeezing your shoulder blades together.
Trainer Tip: Never bring the bar behind your head. Not only does it cause stress to your cervical spine (neck), but it can pinch your rotator cuff muscles and could lead to injury.
One-Arm Dumbbell Row
Upper back workouts should include pulling movements such as the row. The one-arm dumbbell rows are great back toning exercise to work your trapezius, lats, biceps, and shoulders. Place your right knee on top of a flat bench and bend your torso forward at the hips so your upper body is parallel to the floor. Place your right hand on the bench for support and grab the dumbbell with your left hand. Keep your core tight and your back straight. Pull the dumbbell up to the side of your chest while keeping your arm as close to your side as possible. Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
Dumbbell shrugs are a simple dumbbell upper back exercises for women that target the trapezius muscle. If you have a set of dumbbells, you can do this exercise anywhere. Stand with dumbbells in each hand extended at your side with palms facing your body. Lift the dumbbells by elevating or shrugging your shoulders as high as possible. Hold this position for a second before lowering to the starting position.
A strong, toned upper back looks great in just about anything. Plus, your posture will improve and you’ll reduce your risk of injury and muscle loss. A strong back is a healthy back!
1. Lea Michelle
Glee stars love working up a sweat in a Pilates class.
2. Kerry Washington
Kerry making Prada look good.
Not only does J.Lo have an amazing butt, but her back is pretty great too.
J Law loves to start her morning with a short run to wake her muscles up and probably includes a few back toning exercises too.
5. Gwen Jorgensen
Olympic gold medalist and professional triathlete needs a strong back to swim, bike, and run her way to victory.
6. Reese Witherspoon
Reese does cardio six days a week and focuses on walking while doing strength exercises, like shoulder presses — one of our favorite upper back exercises for women.
7. Heidi Klum
When you’re a supermodel, you can wear anything.
8. Gisele Bundchen
Who do you think has the perfect back – Tom Brady or Gisele?
9. Amy Schumer
Amy has always been criticized for her weight, but we think she’s stunning the way she is!
10. Cara Marie
How to get a strong upper back — rock climb. MTV star, Cara Marie, is 100% muscle.
11. Tamra Judge
Real Housewives of Orange Country reality star rocks her upper back workouts and competed in her first fitness contest this year.
12. Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana is serious about her at-home workout.
13. Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde loves dance-inspired cardio workouts.
14. Julianne Hough
While you might think that Julianne Hough only needs to dance all day to stay in shape, she loves lifting weights, too!
15. Miley Cyrus
Yoga helps Miley keep a strong and healthy back so she dance the night away on stage.
16. Nina Dobrev
Vampire Diaries star says she always carries a volleyball and a Bosu ball in her car.
17. Anna Kendrick
Anna Kendrick loves hiking in the Hollywood hills and taking Pure Barre classes.
18. Nude Yoga Girl
Yoga does amazing things to your body and offers numerous upper back exercises for women.
19. Massy Arias
Massy is showing her 2+ million followers how to get healthy and fit — and her favorite back toning exercises.
20. Tanya Poppett
Sydney, Australia-based personal trainer is a big fan of switching up her workouts.
21. Amanda Bisk
Exercise physiologist, Amanda Bisk, believes in lots of sprints and plyometrics to burn the fat away.
22. Natalie Uhling
Under Armour athlete and creator of NUFit loves teaching fitness classes.
23. Misty Copeland
Just look at that back.
24. Jeanette Jenkins
Celebrity trainer, Jeanette Jenkins, has lots of exercise videos on her Instagram.
25. Tracy Anderson
This lady knows a thing or two about fitness. All the A-listers head straight to her.
Stretching is important to maintaining a healthy back.
27. Casey Ho
Follow Blogilates founder for awesome fitness tips.
28. Sarah Jessica Parker
This Sex and the City star is serious about her fitness. She loves lifting heavy weights.
29. Caitlin Turner
This inspiring yogi is always doing backbends around the globe.
30. Lindsey Vonn
Olympic skier, Lindsey Vonn, does pull-ups even with a broken arm.