Andie Thueson » Fitness » Workouts » The BEST Back and Bicep Workout, Just For Women.

The BEST Back and Bicep Workout, Just For Women.


When it comes to women and most of the women I have coached, there is this misconception that when you lift weights, you will instantly become bulky and “big,” which is not the case. I think that old belief is starting to be debunked recently. This back and bicep workout has been designed with women in mind. In this outlined workout, I have picked the best exercises to target muscle groups that will help define and tone your back and bicep muscles to help you look sleek and lean, helping to avoid “bulk.”

With that being said, some body types tend to bulk or add muscle mass quickly, and lifting weights can play a part in that, but for most of us, we have a green light to lift weights.

Like I am always saying, you are your own guru. Try things out and see what works for you and your body. I am in a constant state of awe and wonder over our amazing bodies and how each one is entirely different. As a personal trainer, it does not surprise me anymore that what works wonders for one of my clients may cause all kinds of problems for another. So please LISTEN to your body and take what works for you and leave the rest.

Please repeat after me; there is no one size fits all fitness program out there.

Pinterest image of Andie completing bicep curls as part of the back and bicep workout just for women.
Are you ready to tone your arms and back???

Before you get started, I recommend a quick stretch to help loosen up the muscles you are about to work! Check out my quick dynamic stretching routine for some ideas on how to properly warm-up. By doing so, you’ll avoid injury or pulling muscles.

So for this back and bicep workout, you will need a medium pair of dumbbells. Typically I recommend starting with 5-8lbs and working yourself up to 10-12 lbs. This is a toning workout, so we are using a light weight and more reps foundation.

For this workout, you’ll be completing three sets of each exercise with a rep range of 10-15 reps, resting 60-90 seconds before moving onto the next set exercise.

It is important to practice proper form for all of these biceps exercises. You will want to stand upright with your feet hip-width apart; this is your starting position. Pay attention and keep your back straight and your abdominal muscles tight throughout the workout. This will help protect your back and avoid injury.

Let’s get started, back and bicep workout day!

Photo of Andie completing L biceps curls. Andie is wearing a read top and black leggings
L Curls are a unique and very targeted movement

L CURLS – 3 Sets of 10-15 Reps 

  1. For this very effective exercise, start with your elbows close to the body and rotate your arms out to the side, keeping your arms at a 90-degree angle. This unique bicep curl variation is considered an isolation exercise and will help to target small muscle groups in your upper arms. Keep your range of motion tight and controlled.
  2. Keep your back straight and keep your core engaged when completing this exercise. Good form will ensure that the right muscle groups are being worked.
  3. Make sure and rest between sets and stretch out your arms! 
Andie holding ten pound weights while completing 7's a serious of 3 different targeted bicep movements
7’s are one of my favorite exercises for any back and bicep workout!

21’s 3 Sets of 21 total biceps exercise 7-7-7 = 1 set {7×3 = 21 get it? 😜}

21’s are my favorite exercise for toning your biceps again; this exercise helps isolate the smaller muscles within the bicep muscle.

  1. 7 full-range bicep curls. Start with 7 normal full-range bicep curls going all the way down and back up.
  2. 7 Upper bicep curls. Then you’ll do 7 upper biceps curls, where you start at 90 degrees and elbows tucked by your side and curl up. Don’t go below the 90-degree starting point on the bottom. 
  3. 7 lowe bicep curls. To finish off your first set, you’ll start in the same position, then curl down and back up to the starting 90-degree spot.

When doing bicep curls you always want to make sure you are in control of the movement and not letting momentum take control – think slow and deliberate. Whenever I see guys at the gum quickly swinging weights up and down, I inwardly cringe and worry about what I know will soon translate into back issues.

Andie holding ten pound weights while completing a hammer curl.
Hammer Curls, are great for sculpting your biceps!

Hammer Curls 3 sets of 10-15 Reps

  1. Hammer curls are pretty much exactly like they sound. You’ll be moving the weight down like you would if you were nailing a nail with a hammer! Just remember to go slow and be in control of the movement. 

Now that we completed the best bicep exercises to tighten and tone your arms, so you’re on your way to looking hot in that tank top this summer, let’s move on to some back exercises. When working major muscles together, you always want to work on complimentary muscle groups. i.e., back and biceps, chest, and triceps

So now t’s on to the best back exercises for sculpting a lean, toned sexy back. Cue Justin Timberlake’s – I’m bringing sexy back. Back Workout Time!

Andie holding weights demonstrating how to complete a reverse fly as part of the back and bicep workout
Reverse Flys are a great way to target upper back muscles

Bent-Over Reverse Flys 3 Sets of 10-15 Reps

  1. With your feet shoulder-width apart, slightly bent over, keeping a straight back and extending your arms out to the side, keeping them in a “hug-curve,” it does help to envision you are squeezing a quarter between your shoulder blade as you are working your upper back muscles. 
Andie lying on her stomach lifting up into a superman position and holding it.
Supermans, love em’ or hate them they are effective!

Supermans 3 Sets of 10 -15 Reps 

When I started working out, the trainer I had hired made me do these, and I hated them. I felt like a beached whale. They are done in a super unflattering pose to put yourself into at the gym. But I promise they are an excellent exercise and a great way to help sculpt your lower back, and I was grateful my trainer made me do them, no matter how unflattering they were.

  1. So lay flat on your tummy and lift up, then hold for a couple of seconds, lower back down, and repeat the process 10-15 more times! If you are uncomfortable about doing these in a crowded gym, knock these out when you get home, or this whole workout can be done entirely in the solidity of your own home.
Seated rows with a resistance band are another amazing movement for sculpting your back, Andie is demonstrating how to correctly complete the movement.
Seated Rows are a great exercise that can be done anywhere!

Seated Rows 3 Sets of 10-12 Reps 

  1. The first step is getting the proper wrap on your feet. This will help the resistance bands not slide and stay firmly where you want them to be! Go over your feet first, then around!
  2. Keeping your back straight, pull the weights back, squeezing that quarter between your shoulder blades again! 

And that is it, dear friends, you did it! This back and bicep workout focuses on toning and tightening your muscles. So if you are looking to build stronger, bigger biceps, this is not the workout for you.

Some important things to remember for this workout and any other workout routines are constantly focusing on good posture and proper form. As you work different muscles, always remember slow and controlled, making sure you are working the muscle on the way up and on the way down.