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8 Back and Shoulder Workouts for Women at Home

    Are you looking to incorporate upper body exercises into your workout to build your dream physique?

    Here is a complete guide with explanations and directions on eight back and shoulder workouts for women at home that don’t require equipment. I strongly recommend women incorporate these exercises into their workout routine.

    Back And Shoulder Workouts For Women At Home

    Check out the table below if you are in a hurry to see products that can help you with your workouts.

    Working with licensed trainers for the past ten years, while actively testing and applying what I have learned to my workout routines, I have come up with a list of the most efficient body-weight back and shoulder exercises. Remember, no results ever come overnight.

    Training shoulders and back will help you achieve your dream upper body physique. It will also assist in protecting your joints while assuring great posture.

    Women often neglect training their shoulders and back, but incorporating these exercises into your workouts is essential for an overall toned upper body look.

    Many factors influence the overall success of your workouts, including activity level, nutrition, genetics, body type, and many more.

    The one thing applicable to all is that consistency is critical! Having worked with many people of different ages, genders, body types, etc.,

    I realized that people react differently to exercises, and progress happens at different rates.

     

    This post explores the following exercises: 

    • Supine push-ups
    • Up and down plank
    • Pike push-ups
    • Push-back push-ups
    • Rotating side-plank
    • Extended arm flutters and Backward Arm Pulses Superset
    • Snow angels
    • Shoulder taps

    Now, let’s look at why women need to include upper body exercises such as shoulders and back.

    Next, we will look at a list of back and shoulder exercises for women at all fitness levels to do in their own homes.

    No weights are needed- it’s just you, your body, and a strong will to succeed.

     

    How Do I Strengthen My Back and Shoulders at Home? 🦾

    Here are some essential back and shoulder exercises to do at home to tone and strengthen your back and shoulders.

     

    1. Supine Push-Ups

    Supine Push-ups

    Image Source: BladesFitnessLab

    Before you get demotivated by the term “push-up,” as many women do, the supine push-up is almost the polar opposite of classic push-ups.

    Supine push-ups are super-efficient yet straightforward and primarily target the upper back and shoulder area.

    I suggest that you lay down on a yoga mat or anything soft for this exercise.

    Here are our top three recommended Yoga Mats that are soft and won’t slip during exercises.

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    Aim to do three sets of supine push-ups. One set consists of the maximum repetitions you can do in a minute.

    Alternatively, if you prefer sticking to a set number of reps, do 15-20 reps per set, depending on your fitness level.

    It is essential to push yourself to your full potential to ensure maximum results.

    Your step-by-step guide on how to do a supine push-up:

    • Lie down on your back. Pull your knees to a comfortable height and place your feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms outwards to form a 90-degree angle with your body. Bend your elbows so that your fists face the ceiling, but your upper arm (shoulder to your elbow) stays flat on the ground. You should now be in the starting position for a supine push-up.
    • Push down with your elbows and lift your shoulders and torso off the ground as high as possible. Squeeze your arm and back muscles to maximize the engagement of the shoulders and back muscles. Hold still in that position for one count.
    • Lower your body, so your back touches the ground again to conclude one rep.
    • Continue repeating this movement until you complete the suggested reps. Note that you should not wholly relax after each repetition. Only rest once a full set has been completed.

    Check out the video below for a short YouTube tutorial on how to do the supine push-up: 

     

    2. Up and Down Plank

    Up-downs

    Up and down plank targets multiple muscle groups, making it an excellent workout.

    This exercise is a full-body workout as it targets the core, arms, and shoulders and assists in improving your posture.

    Start by mastering your form with the standard plank before moving on to plank-ups.

    If you struggle to hold your body up in the plank position, you can rest your knees on the ground. 

    You might need a yoga mat or something soft under your knees.

    Plank-Ups

    It is essential to tighten your core muscles and ensure that you align your neck and spine throughout the whole exercise. Continue this movement for 1 minute, and repeat it twice.

    Alternatively, do 2 to 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps, counting every time both elbows touch the ground, depending on your fitness ability.

    Your step-by-step guide on how to do up and down planking:

    • Start in a plank position by placing your forearms (from the wrist to the elbow) flat on the ground. Your wrists and shoulders should be in a straight line. Extend both your legs behind you and rest on the balls of your feet. Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart.
    • Lift your right arm from the ground and push up with your hand flat on the floor. It would be best to extend your arm beneath your shoulder and perpendicular to the ground.
    • Lift your left arm from the ground and push up with your hand flat on the floor.
    • Bend your right arm to rest your forearm flat on the mat. Do the same with your left arm once you complete your right arm’s movement. You are now back in the starting plank position.
    • Repeat this exercise for the desired amount of reps or time. Rest only after completing a full set.

    Take a look at the following YouTube tutorial for a virtual demonstration of the up and down plank. 

     

    3. Pike Push-Ups

    Pike Push Ups New

    Push-ups are one of the most dreaded exercises amongst women, yet it is one of the most efficient upper body exercises.

    Pike push-ups most prominently target the chest, arms, shoulders, and upper back.

    To make pike push-ups more challenging, you can elevate your feet on a bench, chair, bed, or another object.

    Note that you should keep your back straight and core engaged throughout the entire movement. 

    Try to keep your body in the 90-degree triangle throughout the whole set. Time yourself for 1 minute and push to do as many pike push-ups as possible, rest, and repeat.

    Alternatively, do 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps each, depending on your fitness level.

    Here is a step-by-step guideline to do pike push-ups:

    • Position yourself on your hands and feet. Stand on the ball of your feet with your hands positioned with palms flat on the ground. Push your hips up to form a triangle with your hands and feet. This position is known as the “downward dog.”
    • Bend your elbows 90-degrees, bringing your head closer to the ground.
    • Push yourself away from the floor by straightening your arms. You are now back in the starting position and finished one rep.
    • Repeat this exercise for the desired amount of time or reps. Rest after each complete set.

     

    If you struggle, use the following YouTube tutorial for a virtual tutorial on the correct form for the pike push-up.

     

    4. Push-Back Push-Ups

    Push Back Push-ups

    Push-back push-ups are excellent body-weight exercises that almost mimic a shoulder press.

    They target the shoulders with a secondary focus on many muscles, including the middle back.

    For a more challenging push-back push-up, you can rest your feet on any elevated object nearby.

    Stability balls are great for elevating your feet during various exercises. See our top three recommended stability balls below.

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    It is vital to engage your glutes and core during the entire movement of this exercise and straighten your back.

    When mastering this exercise, the action should almost represent that of a circle.

    Complete 2 to 3 sets of 5-10 reps, depending on your fitness level. Alternatively, continue with push-back push-ups for 1 minute.

    Your step-by-step guide on how to do push-back push-ups:

    • Get down onto your hands and feet. Place your hands flat, fingers facing forward, on the ground with your arms straightened. Your arms should be spread slightly wider apart from each other than shoulder-width.
    • Extend your feet behind you, resting on the ball of your feet to position yourself in the standard push-up starting position, also being the starting position for push-back push-ups.
    • Lower your upper body to the ground by bending your elbows. Try to keep your elbows tucked close to your sides.
    • Move your body backward. Bend your knees and lift your hips as your arms extend instead of pushing straight up as you do with a regular push-up.
    • Push forward on your feet and straighten your legs again while lowering your hips until you reach the starting position again.
    • Repeat this movement until you have finished your reps or the time runs out. Rest after each set.

    Click on the following YouTube video for a virtual demonstration of the push-back push-up.

     

    5. Rotating Side-Plank

    Rotating Side-Plank

    Although the traditional plank and side-plank primarily target the abdominal muscles, adding rotation to the side-plank seriously engage the shoulder muscles, giving the ultimate burn!

    Do two sets consisting of 10 to 15 reps on each side.

    Alternatively, continue with the side-plank motion for 1 minute, switch to the other side, and repeat for 1 minute to complete one set.

    If you struggle to hold the side-plank position, you can lower your bottom leg to rest your knee on the ground.

    It would be an excellent plan to use a yoga mat or anything soft to place under your knee.

    Here is a step-by-step guideline to illustrate how to do the rotating side-plank:

    • Lay on your right side and place your right forearm flat on the ground. Extend your feet straight behind you. In this position, the weight of your body rests on your forearm and the side of your right foot. Your left foot rests on your right. Alternatively, rest your right knee for more support.
    • Lift your left arm and extend it straight above you.
    • Lower your left arm. With a bent elbow, reach as far as you can through the space between you and the ground.
    • Straighten your arm above you to return to the starting position to finish one complete rep.
    • Repeat this exercise until you have finished the desired amount of reps or the time is up. Rest after each set.

    Check out the video below for a demonstration of the rotating side-plank if you are unsure about the correct form or how to do the movement correctly.

     

    6. Extended Arm Flutters and Backward Arm Pulses Superset

    Arm flutters

    The following exercise is simple but works wonders to tone and strengthen those shoulder, arm, and back muscles.

    The following exercise is a back and shoulder super-set workout routine that will maximize your arms, shoulders, and back burn.

    The point of super-sets is to perform two exercises back-to-back without resting before moving on to the second exercise.

    These exercises are simple and look easy, but expect the ultimate burn! Start with 30 seconds of the extended arm flutters, followed by 30 seconds of the backward arm pulses (see the description and directions of each exercise below).

    Extended Arms Flutters

    Image Source: MadFit

    The set is complete when you have completed both movements back to back. Rest no more than 30 seconds between sets, depending on your fitness level. Repeat the exercise for three sets.

    Here is a step-by-step guideline to illustrate how to do the extended arm flutter:

    • Get onto your knees or stand on your feet with your body upright. Extend your arms outwards parallel to the ground, facing your palms backward.
    • Pulse your arms backward with strong movements while engaging your arm and back muscles during the whole exercise.
    • Continue with this movement for the recommended time.

    The following YouTube tutorial virtually illustrated how to do the extended arm flutters if the step-by-step guide seems unclear. See this particular exercise at timestamp 9:00.

    Backward arm pulses are highly sufficient in toning the upper body, with a specific focus on the shoulders, back, and upper arms.   

    Your step-by-step guideline to illustrate how to do these backward arm pulses:

    • Stand on your knees with your body upright. Reach with your arms behind your back- palms facing upwards. You can also do this routine in a standing position.
    • Pulse your arms up and down with solid movements while engaging your arm muscles during the entire set. Keep your arms close to one another to maximize the engagement of your back during the workout.
    • Continue with this movement for the recommended time.

    See the YouTube tutorial above for the backward arm pulses if you are still struggling. Skip to timestamp 9:30 for this particular exercise.

     

    7. Snow Angels

    Snow Angels

    The following exercise primarily engages the shoulders and upper-back muscles.

    For this exercise to work as well as it is supposed to, it is vital to focus the movement on your shoulders and back by making slow, controlled movements and actively “squeezing” or flexing the arm and back muscles.

    Do this exercise on a mat or anything soft to avoid injuring the hips as you press down. 

    It is crucial not to completely relax and lower your arms before you complete the entire set.

    Do 10-15 reps, or your maximum reps in 1-minute intervals for 2 to 3 sets depending on your fitness level.

    Here is a step-by-step guideline illustrating how to do the snow angel exercise:

    • Lie flat on your stomach. Stretch your arms out to your front with your palms facing downwards.
    • Slightly lift your arms, shoulders, torso, and lower legs from the ground.
    • Move your arms outwards and around your body as far as they can reach behind your back with controlled movements. Squeeze your arms together in this position to maximize the engagement of the back muscles.
    • Bring your arm back around to extend them in front of you. You are now in the starting position again.
    • Repeat this movement for the recommended amount of reps. Rest, and repeat until you reach the suggested amount of sets your fitness level allows. Do not lower your arms or legs to the ground until you complete the entire set.

    The video below at timestamp 3:50 explains how to do the snow angel exercise adequately. Don’t hesitate to double-check the form and movement before starting.

     

    8. Shoulder Taps

    Decline Shoulder Taps

    Shoulder taps frequently feature in core workout routines, yet with the intense engagement of the shoulders, it becomes almost a full-body exercise, targeting the arms, shoulders, back, and core.

    Slow controlled movements are necessary to ensure that you reach the exercise’s full potential—complete 2 to 3 sets of 1 minute each.

    Do not try and rush this exercise; instead, ensure that you engage your shoulders to the best of your ability.

    You can elevate your feet to make the exercise more challenging if you want and can.

    Your step-by-step guide on how to do shoulder taps:

    • Get down onto your hands and feet. Place your hands flat, with your fingers facing the front, on the ground. Your arms should be straightened and spread shoulder-width apart. Extend your feet behind you, resting on the ball of your feet. 
    • You should be in the starting position of a standard push-up.
    • Lift your right arm from the ground, bend your elbow and touch your left shoulder with your right hand. Try to hold it there for two counts to maximize the tension on your shoulders.
    • Place your right hand back on the mat to take on the standard push-up starting position again.
    • Repeat step 2 with your left arm by lifting and bending your elbow to touch your right shoulder with your left hand. Keep it there for two counts.
    • Return to the standard push-up starting position to complete one repetition.
    • Repeat this movement for the recommended time while keeping your body in one straight line during the exercise.

    Check out the following video to see how to do shoulder taps.

     

    Yoga blocks are great for elevating your feet. See our top three recommended yoga blocks here.

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    Why Should Women Strengthen Back and Shoulder Muscles?🤸‍♀️

    Why Should Women Strengthen Back and Shoulder Muscles

    The deltoids are the main muscles in your shoulders and surround the shoulder joints. When exercising shoulders, the deltoid muscle group is the main target.

    Strengthening the deltoid muscle group helps the shoulder area and overall upper body take on a more defined shape, ultimately contributing to the “perfect” upper body.

    Training the shoulders and the back contributes to a better and healthier posture, lowering the chances of daily posture pains and long-term problems. 

    Why Should Women Strengthen Back and Shoulder Muscles2

    The deltoids are also the muscle group surrounding the shoulder joints and assist shoulder mobility.

    Therefore, strengthening the deltoids will protect the shoulder joints and decrease the likelihood of serious injuries.

    The girls who go to the gym, train the upper body, and gain strength in the arms, shoulders, and back also benefit from other exercises.

    Having more upper body strength will ensure stabilization during workouts and enable you to perform, for example, heavier squats, making leg days more efficient.

     

    Conclusion 🤗

    No equipment back and shoulder workouts for women

    Many women avoid training shoulders and back because they fear becoming “bulky” and looking too masculine.

    Still, it would not be easy to achieve an overall well-toned upper body physique without a defined back and shoulders.

    Training the back and shoulders also benefits women in the long run by making them stronger in general and contributing to a safer, higher-quality lifestyle.

    We hope that this list will give you an excellent and straightforward guide on which exercises you could include in your workout to strengthen your shoulders and back.

    Although the exercises mentioned above have proved to work wonders for many, including myself, it does not necessarily mean that you will benefit to the same extent as someone with a different body type, genetics, and lifestyle.

    Before attempting any workout, especially if you have previously experienced problems within these regions, we suggest researching it and talking to a health professional first.

    It is equally important to ensure that you maintain the correct form when attempting any workout to avoid injuries.

    Last update on 2022-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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    James Wright

    James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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