Resistance training for women
If you think weights are just for guys, think again. Resistance training is for everyone, and women can benefit hugely from these types of workouts with weights and machnies.
Resistance training is one of the three main pillars of all around fitness - the others are cardio training and flexibility - but many women miss out on this essential part of fitness because they think it is just for guys.
This is because many people are stuck with an image of resistance training that involves huge, steroid-fuelled guys bench pressing massive amounts of weight, eyes and blood veins bulging. Fortunately, this image represents only a tiny percentage of those who lift weights.
These days, resistance training has become an essential part of the preparation for athletes from all different sports, from rugby to ice skating, rock climbing to football. What all these athletes have learned is that there are tremendous benefits from including resistance training as a regular part of their workouts.
These benefits apply equally to men and women, and include:
Increased Functional Strength :
Functional strength isn't about developing huge muscles, it is about having the strength you need to perform everyday tasks - for example, the strength you need to carry a sleeping child up the stairs, get in and out of the car, or unload the groceries
Losing Weight :
That's right, resistance training can help you to lose weight. When you increase your strength you will also increase the amount of lean muscle mass you have. While this won't make you look big and bulky, it will help the body to burn more calories. The muscles are the biggest consumer of calories in the body, and they burn calories 24/7!
Losing body fat :
As you add muscle, you will lose body fat - you may weigh the same, but you'll look far better. Most women who train with weights find that they develop less of a pear shape, with a better balance between the upper and lower body. In addition, this will improve your overall health, as excess body fat is associated with many health problems.
Strength training will improve endurance, which makes it easier to get through a busy day
Improved Posture :
Stronger muscles will help to improve your posture. This will not only help you look better, it can also reduce pain in areas like the low back and shoulders
Better Relaxation :
When you are in better shape physically, you are more relaxed, and able to sleep better
So are there special exercises women need to do? Actually, no. Basic exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and shoulder presses will help to improve overall strength, fitness and health.
Be sure to include core exercises every time you work out, and allow at least one day of recovery between each strength training workout. The rest is up to you!