Strength training may be regularly thought of as a masculine activity. Weight benches are often occupied by men and when you think of weight rooms, you probably imagine a lot of guys hanging around working on their triceps, biceps, calves, and quads.
However, weight training is certainly not just for men, and women can engage in this exercise and enjoy the various results. Whether in the gym or at home, women can start their own strength training routine that can help tone muscles, increase endurance, burn fat, and of course, enhance strength.
Why Strength Training
While many think of strength as having big muscles and the ability to lift tons of weight, it is actually much more than that. Strength is represented by your endurance, your ability to keep going both mentally and physically, your sense of purpose, and of course, the power of your muscles and how much you can lift. Weight is equivalent to growth, meaning that the more you practice, the more you can take on, and the better you become.
For women, strength training is a skill of freedom, power, safety, and control. It gives them a sense of independence and allows them to better themselves both mentally and physically. Strength training is also the fastest way to improve your muscles and your physical endurance, and it can help you perform everyday tasks. However, the very best part about strength training is that it helps you to use muscles you never have before, which helps you strengthen your body even in the places you didn’t need toning up.
Strength training for women is incredibly useful and impactful. As a woman, there’s a lot of heavy lifting in your life. You work, you create, you lift your children into the air for an embrace, you carry briefcases to and from the office, and you do so much more. Even everyday activities that seem mundane like cleaning or reaching up to grab something off of a shelf or bending low to put something away can work muscles you didn’t know you had, and strength training supports this type of functional fitness.
Also, keep in mind that the more lean muscle mass you have, the more fat you will burn, even when at rest!
Strength training also supports and promotes healthier aging, since the human body loses about 1% of a 1/3 pound of muscle mass every year after the age of 30. One study also showed that quality of muscle degrades, meaning that strength declines faster than actual muscle mass.
Whether you choose bodyweight exercises, weight machines, or free weights, a ripped toned body, healthy weight management, functional fitness, healthier aging, strength, and endurance are waiting for you!
Try these moves and search for others to continue your strength training and journey and discover just how fit you can really be.
Moves To Strengthen Your Mind And Transform Your Body
- The Side Shoulder Raise: You perform this by beginning with your arms hanging in front of your thighs with elbows slightly bent and your palms facing one another. Then, raise both of your dumbbells outward to the height of your shoulders while still keeping your elbows bent. Lower to the first position and start again. Do this 5, 10, 15 times in row, slowly working your way up as you build strength and muscle.
- The Upright Row: This one helps to tone the shoulders, neck, and upper back. To begin, take a stance similar to the one for the side shoulder raise: arms in front of your thighs with palms facing towards the thigs and hold the free weights close together. From here, you keep your palms close to your body and slowly raise the dumbbells up until they are touching your chin. Lower and repeat.
- The Biceps Curl: To build up your biceps, begin with your arms hanging at your sides with your palms facing away from you. Make sure that you keep your elbows tucked close to your sides and curl the dumbbells upwards to your shoulders. Lower and repeat—you should feel a slight strain or pull in your upper arms to tell you that it’s working.
- Alternating Dumbbell Press: This last move is designed for your front and outer deltoids. To perform, sit on the weight bench with a straight back. Raise your dumbbells to your shoulder height while keeping your palms and elbows in. Then, press one dumbbell straight up by extending your arm completely. Lower, and do so with the other arm. Be sure not to lean or swat with the motion, but rather stay rigid and be sure to move with your breath: inhale as you raise the arm up, exhale as you bring it back down. Be sure to do the majority of the work using your shoulders and arms and keep your body planted and strong as you work.