3-day Workout Split for Women: Upper, Lower and Full Body Exercises for Long-Lasting Results!

by Stephanie Yankova

Are you just starting your workout journey and don’t know where to begin, or what parts of your body to work on to reach your goals? Well, you’ve taken the hardest and most important step already, which is committing – congratulations! Now, it’s key to understand that pushing your body to extremes does NOT guarantee you quicker or better results. If you’ve never worked out consistently in your life up until this moment, it’s best to ease your body into a more serious regime, if that’s what you’re aiming for. Or maybe you have a busy schedule, and you want to commit to exercising more, but 5 days a week seems completely unrealistic. Well, the good news is that you don’t need to commit so much of your time to have a well-built and strong figure! Today, I’m going to share with you a simple 3-day workout split that focuses on your whole body and gives you visible and long-lasting results! 

3 day workout split for women

3-Day Workout Split for Women

The 3-day workout split is perfect for beginners or those who don’t have much spare time to spend in the gym. The top priority is to train every muscle twice a week to achieve visible results. With the following plan, you will be able to put on muscle, lose body fat, and get a toned figure, but first, we’ll go through some basic principles that will give you clarity and order.

  • Define your goals – When you’re doing something for the first time, it’s of utmost importance to set realistic goals for yourself. This will help you avoid both disappointment and overworking your body, which can lead to trauma and therefore hinder your exercises.
  • Begin each workout with compound movements – Try squats, bench presses, or a barbell row (you can switch them up). They exercise multiple muscle groups simultaneously, which saves you time.
  • Leave the isolation movements for last – Those focus on only one muscle group and require less energy, so it’s best to leave them for the end of your workout routine.

There are 2 ways for you to plan your 3-day workout split – either have 3 full body workouts or 1 upper, 1 lower, and 1 full body one. For me, the second split is optimal as it gives your body more time to rest, which is favorable for beginners.

If you choose the 3 x full body routine, allow yourself 1 day of rest before each session.

For the second routine, start with the upper, follow up with the lower with 1 day’s rest between each session, and finish off with a full-body workout. You can give yourself a 2-day break after this one since you’ll be training more muscles.

Read also: What to Wear to the Gym: A Comprehensive Guide for Curvy Women

Day 1 – Upper Body

woman doing pull ups upper body 3 day workout

As mentioned above, we’re starting with compound movements. Personally, I like to add a core workout, too, but if you’re a newbie you can add it to your routine gradually.

  • DB bench press – 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Assisted pull-ups – 3 sets (until failure)
  • Push-ups on knees – 3 sets (until failure)
  • DB shoulder press – 3 sets x 8 reps
  • Seated row – 2 sets x 12 reps
  • Lat pull downs – 3 sets  (1 x 8 + 1 x 8 + 1 x 12)

Core Workout (optional)

  • Sit-ups – 12 reps
  • Russian twist – 12 reps
  • Reverse crunches – 12 reps
  • Plank or hollow hold – 3 rounds x 30 seconds

Day 2 – Lower Body

woman doing squats lower body3 day workout

For your lower body, choose 3–5 workouts from the list below. You can either stick to them if you feel like they’re giving you the desired results, or switch them up every week – it’s entirely up to you!

  • Hip thrusts/ KAS glute bridges – 4 sets x 15 reps
  • Bulgarian split squats – 3 sets x 10 reps
  • RDLs – 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Reverse lunges – 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Walking lunges – until failure
  • Gluteus medius kickbacks – 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Step-ups – 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Sumo dumbbell squats – 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Leg extensions – 4 sets x 10–15 reps
  • Seated leg curls – 3-4 sets x 10 reps
  • Lying leg curls – 3–4 sets x 10 reps
  • Calf raises – 3-4 sets x 10 reps
  • Barbell back squats – 3 sets x 8 reps
  • Hamstring curl – 2 sets x 10 reps

Day 3 – Full Body

full body workout routine for women 3 days a week

For the full-body workout, we’re also going to start with the upper body and then move to the lower body part.

  • Dumbbell shoulder press – 3 sets x 10–12 reps
  • Lat pull downs – 3 sets x 10–12 reps
  • Cable rows – 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Cable lateral raises – 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Cable bicep curls – 3 sets x 12–15 reps
  • Tricep rope push-downs – 3 sets x 15 reps
  • RDL – 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Leg press – 3 sets – 15 reps
  • Calf raises – 2 sets x 15–20 reps

Cardio (Optional)

If you decide, you can add an extra 30-45 minute cardio session over the course of the week. You can choose to do it in one day or split it into 2 15-minute long sessions at the end of your upper and lower body workouts.

Read also: The 4-1-1 Workout Method: Fitness Excellence for Everyone


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