Strength Training: Great For Women

April 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Strength Workouts

Article by Sarah Elena Elliott

So many women who are looking to lose weight and get in shape avoid strength training out of fear of bulking up. They don’t want the masculine appearance of muscles and assume that their bodies will look just like that of a man’s if they participate in strength training on a regular basis. This is a myth!

In fact, not only will you not bulk up you will actually increase your metabolism, look slimmer, feel better and even lose weight much quicker than you would without it. The common fear is that gaining muscles will cause you to gain weight, but the opposite is true. The more muscle you gain the more calories your body burns even while resting. Adding just 5 lbs. a muscle is an extra 250 calories a day that your body will burn.

Muscle replaces fat and takes up less room in your body. Two women can weigh exactly the same, but one woman can be dramatically thinner even if they are the same height. The difference is, the more muscles a woman has in place of fat the smaller and tighter her body is. Extra muscle is the path to truly changing the way your body works in a positive way.

What should you be working on? Specifically your body is broken into three regions for strength training. Your upper body, core and lower body all need to be worked in order to gain overall muscle with maximum benefits.

Your upper body is made up of your arms, shoulders, upper back, neck and chest. You can work with free weights or machines to target these specific body parts. The bench press is one obvious method for targeting your chest muscle.

Your lower body is made up of your hamstrings, quads, calves and tibialis and these parts can be worked with lunges, squats, the leg press machine, and leg raises. The more muscle you have in your legs the easier it will be to accomplish rigorous aerobic exercises.

And finally, your core is made up of your lower back, obliques, hips and groin. These areas can be worked with crunches, back extensions and other machines that target these regions. Core strength is essential for preventing injury.

Always remember to give your body time to rest in between strength training sessions so that you can build new muscles. New muscles cannot grow if you continue to break them down, the healing process and the aches you have after a workout are actually good things!

Your body is building new muscle and growing! Each time that you do strength training try to push yourself using weights that actually challenge your body. It’s a big mistake to lift light weights many times instead of heavy weights a few times. A higher weight lifted combined with fewer reps will ensure muscle growth. Make sure that you always increase the amount of weight you are lifting to challenge your body and always separate your regional workouts. Never do two upper body workouts in a row, it is important to mix them up.

Sarah Elena Elliott reads http://www.myallnaturalweightloss.com each and every day. It’s her favorite weight loss blog.










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