If scrubbing the pan after meal prep is your idea of an upper body workout, it’s time to rethink your approach to strength training. Sure, you never miss a leg day and haven’t skipped a squat rep or hamstring curl in years. You’re religious about your reverse lunges and live for glute gains. But what about giving the same TLC to your traps & shoulders? There’s a heap of reasons why women should start embracing training their top half, which is why we recruit women’s health expert Dani Bulian to preach the positives of upper body training for women!
1. Don’t Believe The Bulk
The belief that you’ll look masculine & bulky if you train your upper body is one of the biggest myths in fitness. Women’s hormones and physiology are what decide your strength and muscular development, and women don’t possess anywhere near the same sized muscle fibres or amount of lean muscle tissue as men. Women also don’t have the same level of testosterone, meaning that hitting a few shoulder & back workouts every week won’t ever make you grow like a man.
2. Let’s Keep Things In Proportion
Want to define your arms, carry the shopping bags in one trip or just feel as strong as you do in your lower body? Upper body training is vital for creating shape and muscle proportion in your body, as well giving you the confidence and independence to take on daily challenges and activities with ease!
3. Muscle Growth & Fat Loss
Embrace upper body training, and you’ll burn more calories! By increasing your lean body mass, you’ll increase your daily caloric burn. The greater your proportion of lean mass to fat mass, the more metabolically active your body becomes (meaning you can help yourself to that second serving of protein pudding). A metabolically active body will have an increased metabolic rate, fat oxidation and consume more energy in the form of calories. This means that by gaining some extra muscle in the upper body, you’ll burn more calories and fat throughout the day!
4. Kick Ass, Every Day!
Why wait days for your legs to recover before you hit the gym again, when you can train on alternate days by including upper body workouts. You’ll spend more time in the gym surrounded by the community you love, you’ll feel better and the increased strength in your core, arms and back can level up your lower body training!
5. Age Gracefully
Upper body resistance training strengthens connective tissue in the elbows, shoulders, neck, spine, wrists and hands. This will improve joint integrity, stability and help prevent injury, especially as you get older. The stronger your muscles get, the stronger your bones must become to handle muscle contractions. Increasing your bone density prevents fractures and reduces your chances of getting osteoporosis as you age - studies have shown that 40% of women between 55-64 years old and 65% of women between 75-84 were unable to lift ten pounds. If you want to keep living your best life as you age, upper body training is vital!
Before you start your upper body journey, it helps to have gym gear that lets you move your top half without restriction, wicks away sweat and lets you flaunt those gains with confidence. Here’s our best picks your next upper body workout.
WILD SLINKY T-BACK
Tackle your wildest workouts without restriction. The lightweight fabric lets you move effortlessly to help you embrace upper body day. This is the perfect functional piece, in playful colourways to complement your training.
FREESTYLE SEAMLESS LONG SLEEVE CROP
Discover luxury without limits, no matter how you move. The Freestyle Long Sleeve Crop delivers a weightless, unrestricted feel, with a super flexible seamless knit fabric providing freedom of movement so you can crush your workout at home or in the gym.
NKD SPORTS BRA
The ultimate sports bra to support every upper body move without compromising on barely-there comfort. The NKD sports bra features our most luxurious, buttery-soft stretch fabric.
Keep it casual in this gym bag classic. The Motion T-Shirt features a relaxed fit and lightweight cotton fabric to keep you comfortable from the stretching area to the squat rack. With nine vibrant colours, this is also the perfect throw-on for your post-workout activities.