There is a major myth about how lifting weights is not a proper way of exercising for women who want to be lean. But women want a well-shaped body too. Women want a nice butt and shaped legs. Women want sexy curves and well-defined arms. Lets not forget about a flat stomach and a boost of confidence either. Also, people tend to think of women lifting weights as bulky.
These are all misconceptions. Yes, you can become bulky if you want to, but you can stay fit and healthy while lifting weights without gaining excess muscle mass. There are also multiple benefits that women can gain by lifting weights.
Loose Body Fat
Weights will help you gain muscles. The metabolic rate increases at once with the increase in size and strength of the muscles. Obviously, a fast metabolism will definitely help you lose more calories per day.
Certain studies have shown that women who train with weights will loose in 2 months 3.5 kilograms of fat while gaining 2 kilograms of muscle. For each kilogram of muscles, your body will loose between 35 to 50 more calories per day. And that is amazing!
Did you know that weight training can raise your metabolism up to 24 hours after a workout?
Improve Your Posture
One of the greatest benefits of lifting weights is the improvement of your posture. It will make you stand up straighter and look confident, preserving the spine and reducing lower back pain by improving the strength of your back, shoulders, and core. This will give you a beautiful stance, and it will also help you perform other athletic activities better. A proper posture is the key element of any successful exercise.
Yes, you will get stronger from picking up weights but definitely not bulky. Becoming bulky means eating, training, and taking supplements specifically for achieving that type of physique. If you train intensely, take specific supplements, and eat more calories than you burn every day, then indeed, you’ll get bigger.
The tendency with the ‘bulky’ myth is that women are being compared to men. Women don’t naturally have the same level of testosterone as men do, therefore it will be physically impossible to get as bulky as a man is. But if you lift heavy things and eat a balanced diet, you’ll get stronger, your muscles will become denser and you’ll look fit and toned. You’ll grow in strength, not necessarily in size if you don’t want to.
None of us stay young forever, our bones tend to decrease in intensity with time, but we can prevent a debilitating fracture by taking care of ourselves and lifting weights. Almost 16 weeks of old resistance training can increase the hip bone density and can also increase the elevated blood levels of osteocalcin by approximately 19%.
Decrease the Risk of Injury
Training with weights will connect your tissues and joints. Joints are a very important, as much as tendons and ligaments because they can relieve pain from osteoarthritis. Specific isolation movements even improve the mind-body coordination. Warm-ups before workouts help in getting your joints more pliable and your muscles warm and ready to grow more powerful.
Reduce the Risks of Diabetes and Heart Disease
Specialists say that muscle helps remove glucose and triglycerides from the bloodstream, which reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, and hardens the arteries. Weightlifting improves blood vessel functions, increases insulin sensitivity, and if weight is kept constant, it will lead to loss of body-fat.
Lower Blood Pressure
Lifting weights can definitely lower the blood pressure for 10-12 hours after each training session, which of course gives your heart some time to rest. Lifting weights is very good for your body and it is recommended for improving your health and wellness. Many doctors suggest weight training before prescribing medication – just 12 weeks of training 3 times a week can decrease blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
Handle Stress Better
Exercising will make you feel stronger and more confident after an intense workout. Fit people have lower levels of stress hormones (cortisol) than those who don’t work out.
Studies found out that after a stressful situation, the blood pressure levels of people with the most muscle returned to normal faster. Weightlifting also deals well with anxiety. While working out, you shift your focus away from anxiety factors and into your workout. And that is a healthy mental state to be in!
There are plenty of exercises waiting for you at the gym. And you can choose exercises that target specific body parts you want to work on at first. If you’ve never been athletic before, you should try lifting lighter weights at first and do shorter workouts. Increase the weight and length of your training overtime.
BARBELL AB ROLLOUT
A great ab exercise, this exercise strengthens the core, targets the abdominals, lower back and other stabilizing muscles. It's actually a full upper body exercise, rather than just an ab exercise, because it also focuses on the lats, hams, triceps and delts.
- From a push-up position, grab a barbell (5-10 lbs on each side) or an ab-wheel and assume this as a starting position.
- Keep a slightly arched back, lift your hips and keeping your abs tight, roll the barbell towards your feet.
- Hold for a second at the top and then do a negative by rolling the bar forward to the starting position. Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor at all times!
BODYWEIGHT HIP THRUST
Train your glutes, hamstrings and quads with this exercise. To perform it properly keep your neck neutral at all times. Do not let your neck and head off the floor, as that may cause damage to your spine and head. There are many ways you can do this progressively,
- Stand with shoulder blades pressed against a bench and keep your on across the edge of the bench for more stability.
- Drape a chain across your hips.
- Bend your knees in a 90 degrees angle and keep your feet flat on the floor breathing in.
- Breath out, squeeze your glutes, and using only your core lift your hips and hold.
- Lower yourself back down and repeat!
DUMBBELL BICEP CURL
This famous exercise targets, like the name says, your biceps. It is great for ladies who want beautiful and toned arms, with a punch of strength in them. It looks and feel quite easy, especially if you start with a lighter weight, but it’s very effective.
- Hold 2 dumbbells in each hand, with the palms facing in and keep arms straight.
- Raise one dumbbell at a time and raise your forearm vertically until your palm is parallel to your shoulder and no more movement is possible.
- Lower the dumbbell and return to the original position.
- Continue with the other arm and repeat!
Start getting stronger following these exercises! In time you will build strength in your muscles and you will be able to execute more complex exercises and lift heavier weights. Make a plan and train the parts of your body wisely. Once you feel ready to challenge yourself a bit more, aim even higher and set even more goals for yourself.
- Start using heavy weights so that you can reach the full potential of strength. Listen to your body and select the weights that are heavy for you, not the standard ones.
- Mix your exercises and add variety to your training session from compound movements to isolation movements.
- Focus on your weaker muscles too! Train the major muscle groups and then focus on the smaller ones.
- Surround yourself with people who support you on your path and maybe find a gym bestie to workout with!
Weightlifting is the best way to get leaner, but stronger! And in order to prevent any risk of injury or damage to your palms, make sure you check out the proper equipment to wear at the gym: gloves, knee sleeves, compression gear, etc. There are plenty of options on the market designed specifically to protect athletes and boost their performance!
Lifting weights has numerous benefits and could improve your health, strength and your daily habits. Feeling confident is a nice sentiment and it is the greatest accessory on a woman. Half of the charm is in the attitude and weightlifting can help it shine through!