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You might have heard that strength training isn’t something women should get into. The gyms are full of women who want to get “toned” but are worried that

building muscle will be bad for them. If you’re tired of being relegated to little pink weights, now’s the time to take up strength training. You’re not going to hurt yourself, become unfeminine, or any of the other classic – and false – worries that women have had about strength training. Here’s how to get started lifting, get stronger, and have fun.

Is Strength Training for You?

Strength training refers to exercises that require your muscles to exert force against a kind of resistance. Free weights are one common source of this resistance. If you take up performing strength training exercises two to three times a week for just twenty minutes at a sitting, you’ll get amazing results.

Strength training is the fastest way to improve not only the strength of your muscles, but also your endurance. That means that you’ll be able to do every day tasks with a lot less effort, and for longer periods. Strength training can help you feel younger, too. A lot of the muscle tissue changes that happen as we age are actually caused by not using them. If you force your muscles to work regularly, they’ll get better at it. Using resistance training, you can improve your balance and coordination, circulation, and even the strength of your bones and ligaments.

Weight Training myths

Many women are told that weight training will hurt them, or that they’ll develop bulging muscles. However, if you think about how hard men have to work to get muscles that bulge, you’ll realize that it’s unlikely you’ll do it by accident. On top of that, women’s higher estrogen level cause muscles to become toned more easily, and makes it hard to create bulges. Improvements are made in the endurance, strength, and tone of the muscles, but not necessarily in size. As you tone your muscles, you’ll start to lose fat tissue and your body will get firmer. If it’s safe for a man to do, it’s safe for you.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should get into strength training without the right precautions. Stretch before you exercise to get your joints ready for motion. That’ll keep you from getting hurt as you lift. Remember to always stretch until you feel a slight tension, then hold for ten to twenty seconds. However, you should never bounce while stretching, and don’t stretch to the point of pain. Stay relaxed the whole time, and always do your stretches before you lift.

Important Weight Training Tips for Women

There are several important components of strength training. They include having your body properly aligned and using the right breathing techniques. While you can sit or stand while doing resistance training, don’t use anything so heavy you can’t manage at least eight repetitions in a set, since it can damage your joints and skeleton.
In general, each set should consist of eight to twelve repetitions. Limit every work out to one to two sets of a few different exercises to include all the major muscle groups, and avoid more than two or three sessions a week.

Common strength training exercises include the side shoulder raise, front shoulder raise, upright row, bicep curl, one arm triceps curl, and alternated dumbbell press. Talk to an experienced lifter to find out the correct technique for doing these exercises, and be sure to vary your routine.

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