Grab a long loop band and a set of dumbbells and let’s get to work! This 30-minute upper body workout can be done from home and it focuses on working your back, chest, and biceps - 3 major muscle groups in the upper body!

This workout should take you around 30 minutes to complete, not including your warm-up and cool-down.

Purpose of This Workout

The purpose of this workout is to build strength in your upper body, specifically, your back, chest, and biceps. At the end of this workout, you should feel strong, accomplished, and capable.

Many women neglect to work their backs, however, a strong back provides the stability we need to execute daily tasks with ease and with a reduced chance of pain and injury. Plus, a strong, sculpted back and chest will essentiate and slim your waistline!

Equipment Required

  • For this workout, you will need a long loop band like this one and a set of dumbbells.
  • Beginners: 5-10 lbs dumbbells
  • Intermediate: 10-15 lbs dumbbells
  • Advanced: 1520 lbs dumbbells

Can This Workout Be Done Without Equipment?

No, you’re going to need at least a band to create some resistance for this workout.

Dumbbell Only Upper Body Movement Breakdown

Rear Delt Squeeze With Band

Rear Delt Squeeze With Band - in position
Rear Delt Squeeze With Band - out position
  1. Hold a long loop band in front of your body with your arms straight across your chest.
  2. Push your arms out away from your center while slightly pulling down and squeezing your back.
  3. Keep your head straight and think about squeezing a pencil between your shoulder blades.

Banded Wide Grip Lat Pulldowns

Banded Wide Grip Lat Pulldowns - up position
Banded Wide Grip Lat Pulldowns - down position
  1. Sitting on the floor with your loop band attached to a high anchor point, position your hands wider than shoulder-width apart on the band.
  2. Starting with your arms positioned over your head, pull down on the band, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the bottom of the motion.

Banded Single Arm Lat Pulldowns

Banded Single Arm Lat Pulldowns - up position
Banded Single Arm Lat Pulldowns - down position
  1. Kneeling on the floor with your loop band attached to a high anchor point, hang onto the loop band with one arm with your shoulder close to your side.
  2. Keep a slight arch in your back and core engaged as you pull the shoulder back and down.
  3. Bring the handle down to just below the level of your chin before allowing the band to come back up.

Dumbbell Reverse Flys

Dumbbell Reverse Flys - out position
  1. Begin in the standing position with a slight bend forward in your hips so that your torso is almost parallel to the floor with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Allow your dumbbells to hang straight down from your shoulders with your palms facing each other and your arms slightly bent.
  3. Keeping your back flat and your torso still, raise your arms straight out to your sides until they are in line with your body before slowly lowering them and returning to the starting position.

Lying Chest Flys

Lying Chest Flys - out position
Lying Chest Flys - in position
  1. Begin by lying on your back on the floor with two dumbbells, one in each hand over your chest with a slight bend in your elbows and palms facing each other.
  2. Slowly lower dumbbells in an arm motion until they’re in line with your chest. Do not drop your arms lower than your shoulders.
  3. Slowly press the dumbbells back up using the same arc motion.

Narrow to Wide Bicep Curls

Narrow to Wide Bicep Curls - up position
Narrow to Wide Bicep Curls - down position
  1. Holding two dumbbells, one in each hand, perform a regular bicep curl in front of your body.
  2. At the bottom of the bicep curl, rotate your arms to a 45-degree angle and perform a wide bicep curl (arms outside) keeping your elbows locked at your side throughout the whole movement.
  3. One regular + one wide bicep curl counts as 1 rep.

Hammer Curls

Hammer Curls - down position
Hammer Curls - up position
  1. Start in the standing position with one dumbbell in each hand, holding the dumbbells vertically with your elbows tucked in close to your sides. 
  2. Slowly lift the dumbbells up towards your shoulders, but stop before you reach them.
  3. Slowing lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

Dumbbell Only Upper Body Workout for Women 

Now let’s put it all together into a 30-minute upper body workout that will target your chest, back, and biceps all at once!

Single Exercise 1:

  • Rear Delt Squeeze With Band 3 X 10-12

Single Exercise 2:

  • Banded Wide Grip Lat Pulldowns 4 X 10-12

Single Exercise 3:

  • Single Arm Kneeling Lat Pulldown 3 X 8-10 each side

Superset 1: 3x

  • Dumbbell Reverse Flys 3 x 10-12 reps
  • Laying Chest Fly 3 x 12-12 reps

Superset 2: 4x

  • Narrow to Wide Bicep Curls 4 x 6 reps
  • Hammer Curls 4 x 10-12 reps
About the Author
Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

Tami Smith is a certified Macro Coach, Nutritionist and an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life through proper nutrition and exercise!

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