Let us start with why it is beneficial for women to work with weights doing strengthening exercises. Then we will look at four exercises you can incorporate into a routine that suits you.
The basic concept of weight workouts is using opposing forces to build strength across your body and increase your muscle mass. Doing this means a selection of benefits for young and older women.
Benefits Of Weight Training For Women
Builds bone density – this, alongside improving muscle strength, becomes more and more important as women age, helping to prevent falls and reduce the risk of injury.
Builds lean muscle mass – that gives you that toned sculptured look. From the age of 30, women tend to lose their muscle mass if they are not actively doing something about it and weight workouts are the best way to avoid this.
Improves balance and coordination – the actions of weight workouts, plus the strengthening of bone density and lean muscle mass, all contribute to better balance and coordination.
Helps reduce body fat – something every woman, whatever her age, wants. Plus, reducing body fat helps avoid many health problems that can surface as we age.
Speeds Up Metabolism – again, this begins to slow down as we age, but with consistent strengthening workouts, you can keep your muscle mass. Increase your muscle mass the more calories you burn. So, the sooner you start, the better.
Improved mental health – research has shown that more exercise improves mental health and clinical depression, add that to the above benefits, and it really is a win-win situation.
Improved sleep and energy – regular exercise is the best way to improve your overall fitness, which includes more energy and an improved sleep pattern. Which in turn helps reduce your response to stress.
Weight Training Exercises For Your Workouts
Before any exercise and following a workout, do at least 10 mins of warming up and cooling down. The exercises below use your body weight, but you can also add dumbbells. You need to be able to do 12 repetitions, but if it all seems too easy, up the weights.
The word to achieve the benefits is consistency. No good to go all in for a week and then nothing for two. Make a schedule plan, start with 30 mins and build your routine up two or three times a week. You will be amazed at how quickly it becomes part of your lifestyle and how much better you feel for doing it.
You can do your workouts at a gym or at home but whichever you choose, go for it. Don’t be timid and do enjoy yourself. Don’t push too hard that you hurt yourself. Take your time, set achievable goals and keep to them.
Using Your Own Body Weight To Strength Train
- Start by placing your feet hip wide. Stand up tall with hips, knees and feet pointing forward.
- Bend at the knees and push your bottom out – an action like you are going to sit down.
- Keep weight in both heels
- Keep toes pointed forward
- When you reach your squat limit, pause and raise to the starting position.
- Repeat 11 times. Build up to 3 sets
Full Body Roll-Up
- Lie on a mat, and extend your arms over your head.
- Keep feet flexed towards you, legs long.
- Breathe in as you raise your hands and start to curl your chin to your chest.
- Breathe out as you roll your whole torso up and over, reaching towards your toes.
- Breathe in as you start to roll your spine back. Do this one vertebra at a time.
- Breathe out as the upper part of your back lowers to the mat, and keep your arms over your head.
- Move slowly, and use your abdominals to lift and lower, not momentum.
- Repeat 11 times and build up to 3 sets.
Using Weights For Strength Training
Body Weight Tempo Squats
- Take the same stance as in basic squats.
- Hold hands in front – you could hold a dumbbell or kettlebell as you progress
- Lower your bum parallel with your knees for four counts, sticking it out slightly.
- Hold for a count of two.
- For four counts, raise yourself back to the starting position— squeezing your glutes—as you do so.
- Hold for two counts, then start again.
- Do 11 times, build up to 3 sets.
Bent-Over Dumbbell Row
- Hold your dumbbells in each hand, about shoulder-width apart.
- Hold them out to arm’s length
- Bend at the hips, lowering your torso until almost parallel to the floor.
- Your back should arch naturally, and your knees are slightly bent.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Pull the dumbbells up and to the sides of your torso.
- Slowly return to the starting position. Breathing steadily throughout.
- Repeat 11 times, build up to 3 sets.