Upper Body Muscles

Upper Back Muscles


This is a large triangular shaped muscle that runs from the centre of your back up to the neck, running across your shoulder blade. Working the trapezius will help to sculpt the back of your shoulders. As a bonus, strengthening this muscle will also help to ward off back and neck pain - the sort of dull ache you get from sitting at a desk or computer all day.


These are small muscles in the centre of your back, running up to just below the base of your neck. Working the rhomboids will help to hold your shoulders back and maintain good posture.

Shoulder Muscles


These muscles wrap right around the top of your shoulders. They are split into three areas - the front/anterior deltoid, the side/lateral deltoid, and the rear/posterior deltoid. It is these muscles that give your shoulders their versatility and great range of movement. Toning these will help to give a more defined silhouette; less rounded and sloping and a little more sharp a shape.

Rotator Cuff (Rotators)

Four small muscles beneath your shoulder that help to hold your arm in place. Firming and strengthening here helps to pull in your underarm. Think roll-on deodorant ads, and having a smooth looking armpit when raising your arms and getting down on the dancefloor.

Chest Muscles


These are two large, flat muscles that run across the surface of your chest. These muscles generally come into play when pushing something or hugging someone. The benefit of working the pectorals is somewhat different for men and women. For men, exercising these muscles will increase chest size and definition. For women, these are the muscles underlying and providing support for the bust, so toning them will help to lift the bust.

Arm Muscles


The muscles at the front of your upper arm. You use these when you bend your arm or pick things up. These are the ones you flex when showing someone how big (or small) the muscles in your arms are. Toning these will give shape and definition to your upper arm.


These are situated at the back of your upper arms. They oppose the biceps, and come into play when you straighten your arm or push something. Toning your triceps will help to get rid of the flabby bit that hangs down when you hold your arm out.

Forearm Muscles

These are the muscles that run from your wrist to your elbow, and there are quite a lot of them lurking under there! Working and building these will not only help that overall toned look on your arms (which is what we're going for) but will also help with/ward off conditions such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other wrist complaints.

Start a Free Trial Today

Track your exercise and diet with Weight Loss Resources' tools and databases. You can keep online exercise and food diaries, see how many calories you burn and how many you consume. Try it free for 24 hours.

Take our FREE trial »

Back to top | WEIGHT LOSS | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Lose a Stone for Christmas Challenge

If you enjoyed this article, try our newsletter. It's free.

Receive the latest on what works for weight loss straight to your inbox. We won't share your email address. Privacy policy