September 15, 2015
Last updated: September 20, 2022
If you’re looking to improve both your physical and mental health, strength training can be a great way to get in shape and boost your endorphins. You may have previously assumed strength training and weight lifting is for men in the gym, but strength training for women is a popular form of exercise that can improve everything from self esteem to bone density.
We’ve covered the best strength training for women and the benefits of incorporating weight liting into your workout routine.
Strength training, also known as resistance training, is a type of training that helps you to increase your muscular strength by using opposing force to build strength across your body. It involves the performance of physical exercises that are designed to improve your strength and endurance, usually by lifting weights.
Weight or strength training for women can help to improve bone density and fight osteoporosis. It can also help to maintain general physical health as we get older, including relieving back pain, improving posture and reducing the risk of injury. Strength training not only benefits your physical health, it can also boost your mental wellbeing and be a great stress reliever.
Squats test your lower-body strength. Here’s our top tips to perform the perfect goblet squat:
– Start with your feet shoulder width apart, with your toes slight pointed out
– Keep your stomach braced throughout and initiate movement by sitting back and pushing your knees out
– Go as low as you can with a neutral spine position and no pain
– Start with 2-3 sets of 8 reps
A push-up is a great way to improve your upper-body strength, and build a solid core. If you’re new to push-ups, it may be easier for you to start from an elevated position and work closer to the floor once you’re feeling stronger. Here’s our tips:
– Begin with your hands directly under your shoulders
– Keep your glutes squeezed and hips tucked
– Lower your entire body until your arms are parallel with your body (and keep your arms at a 45-degree angle)
– Start with 3 sets of 6-10 reps
The anti-rotation press is performed with a cable machine and can hit the area of your lateral oblique. Here’s our tips:
– Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hips straight with your knees bent
– Grip one handle in both hands with your fingers laced together and your elbows by your sides
– Keep your back straight and tall while pressing the handle forward
– Hold for 2-3 seconds before slowly pulling your elbows back to the sides
– Start with 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Personal trainer and fitness blogger Carly Rowena covers the benefits of strength training for women:
Lose Body Fat
Forget the scales; I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been, but also the smallest. As your lean muscle increases so does your resting metabolism, helping you burn more calories throughout the day. Generally speaking, for each pound of muscle you gain, you burn 35 to 50 more calories each day, burning calories even after your workout.
Goodbye Arthritis, Back Pain, Heart Disease, Diabetes & Osteoporosis
Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density (and enhance bone modelling) by 13 percent in six months. Strength training not only builds stronger muscles, but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability. This acts as reinforcement for the joints and helps prevent injury. Weight training can also increase glucose utilization (improving the way the body processes sugar) which can reduce the risk of Diabetes.
I have several clients and friends who are battling with depression, these women all now do strength training and often tell me that they feel more confident and capable day to day as a result of their program, all important factors in fighting depression. Cardio plays a big role in combating Depression, a run outside in the fresh air for most is better than counselling, clears the head and gives a feeling of release.
The reason why most women are yet to pick up a weight is confidence. Gym weights zones are traditionally a very male orientated area where nipples poke from tiny vests, loud grunting is heard and stares put people off. My biggest advice, get your female clients in the weight zone. Feeling powerful, sexy and confident, they’ll never go back.
To hear more from Carly, follow her on Twitter @CarlyRowena. We’d also recommend looking at her blog and YouTube channel.
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