In most instances, the immediate picture that comes into your head when someone mentions weight training is that of bodybuilders with hulk-like physiques. This leads a lot of women to think that weight training is something for men only. However, this can’t be further from the truth, so don’t put those weights down just yet! As a woman, you can also make weight training part of your workouts. This will not only help you become strong, but it also has several other health benefits. Here’s what you need to know about weight training for women.
How to Start Weight Training as a Women
If you are looking to get into beginner weight lifting for women, you need to first get the basics right. It can be quite tempting to look for the most complicated exercise thinking they will help you progress faster. However, that’s not really how it works. Why? Think of it this way – what is easier, solving complicated college-level mathematical equations or learning how to count? Obviously, the elementary stuff is easier and quicker to master. It also gives you a good foundation to tackle more complicated problems later on.
This is the same approach you have to take with your body when you are starting weight training. Your body will be able to learn a few easy movements much more quickly. Do yourself a favour, try to master technique and boost strength first before attempting more complicated exercises. Here are a few basic exercises that you can start with:
- Overhead press
- Reverse lunges
- Glute bridges
- Horizontal rows
That’s a total of eight exercises to keep yourself busy for the first few weeks or months. There is a general misconception that you need a lot of exercises to hit different areas of your body. That’s just not true. When you are starting out, the focus should be on a few basic compound exercises. You should also spend some time mastering your form and getting stronger.
The Importance of Form
Learning the proper form is crucial. You need to set aside time to learn the proper form from the start. It’s generally easier to learn how to do things properly than to try and unlearn poor habits. The best way to learn proper form is to work with a knowledgeable strength coach. However, if you can’t afford one, you can also try and learn from reputable demonstration videos.
Learning proper form enables you to train safely. It also enables you to get the best results from your exercises. For instance, if you perform squats improperly by only doing a quarter-squat with all the weight on your toes, you will likely not benefit a lot from the exercise, and you also risk getting injured. By learning proper form and keeping the weight centered on your feet, you will get to work out your hamstrings and glutes. Apart from that, the risk of injury will be significantly lower.
Benefits of Weight Training For Women
There are a lot of reasons why you should get into weight training for women. Here are some that might spark your interest.
1. Improved Muscle Tone
Weight training is great for women looking to improve muscle tone. By working out your muscles, you will get to have a lean and toned look even if you are managing your weight. Alternatively to trimming down, if one of your fitness goals is to gain weight, strength training is a great option.
2. Increased Metabolism
Weight training helps boost your metabolism and therefore helps you lose fat. As long as you continue with regular workouts, your body will always be burning calories even at rest. This is because weight training activates your muscle fibers, and this keeps them slightly activated even when you are resting. This will help you burn more calories and keep the weight off in the long term. Additionally, having more muscle mass will require more calories to maintain, meaning you will be able to consume more calories while staying the same weight.
3. Reduced Risk of Injury
Weight training can help reduce your risk of injuries. Strong muscles will act as support for your joints, and this will help reduce your risk of developing injuries, especially in your lower body. This is because strong muscles will help you maintain good posture and form, preventing the chances of overstretching or straining your joints unnecessarily.
4. Better Functional Body
Most people turn to exercise to burn fat. However, there is much more to it than just losing weight. Weight training can help you build the muscles you need for daily movements and tasks. Research shows that having more muscles can help you burn more fat. Apart from that, it also improves your resting metabolic rate.
Most women are scared that lifting weights will make them look too bulky. Fortunately, that’s not likely to happen. Women generally have low amounts of testosterone, so there won’t be a lot of muscle hypertrophy going on.
5. Better Bone Health
As women approach menopause, the levels of estrogen start to fall. This can result in loss of bone mass. Such conditions can put you at great risk for diseases like osteoporosis. Unfortunately, women tend to lose bone mass at a faster pace than men and at a younger age. This is why you need to include a weight lifting workout for women as you exercise. Weight lifting helps with bone remodelling. The strain that weights put on your muscles and connective tissues not only grows muscles but also causes bone growth.
6. Lower Risk of Heart Disease
There is a direct link between physical activity and heart health. If you stick to your weight training and cardio, your cholesterol levels will improve, and this decreases blood pressure. Over time, this has the effect of lowering your risk of heart disease. To enjoy this benefit, you need at least two days of resistance training per week.
“If you are just starting out, you just need to make sure you throw in a day of weight training every week. With time, you will get comfortable, and it will turn into a habit. Once that happens, you can move on to the recommended two days per week.
7. Weight Training Boosts Your Self Esteem
Feeling a bit self-conscious about your body shape and weight? Strength training might help! Apart from improving the way you look and boosting your self-esteem, regular strength training is associated with decreased stress levels. Repeated muscle actions will help you release negativity. It has also been found that weight training helps to reduce anxiety.
One of the most significant benefits of weight training is improved self-esteem. It has been found that women start feeling better about their bodies when they notice an improvement in strength, which is what weight lifting is all about. After all, it’s called strength training. Therefore, it can be beneficial to find exercises that will help you gain the most strength as you are starting out.
Strength training for women is quite beneficial. However, it’s important to ensure that you do it right. Learning the wrong techniques is not only going to limit your progress, but it can cause injuries. If you can afford one, it’s advisable to get someone who can coach you, especially when you are starting out. A coach will help you master proper form, and your strength will improve faster as well. Apart from getting some help, you also need to watch what you eat and figure out the best foods for faster results.
Weight training has many benefits for women. It helps you burn fat, build muscle, and improve your posture. Weight lifting also helps with bone health and decreases the risk of heart disease. In addition to all that, weight training can give you a boost of self-esteem. If you want to enjoy these benefits, make sure you find the right coach and eat the right foods. Weight training is an excellent way to improve your overall health, so make sure you give it a try!