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Why are strength exercises for women at home and in the gym so important? Is it just a man thing? Falling into this serious mistake can mean losing the golden opportunity to help you be fit and healthy, as well as look good.
It’s time to dispel old myths about strength training for women. Do you want to lose weight or combat problem areas? So strength training for women is the key to success.
However, some women still make the mistake of thinking only about endurance sports or aerobics classes. The fear of having too many muscles prevents them from training with weights.
This article not only takes away your unfounded fears, but also shows you the concrete advantages of strength exercises for women at home, and especially for you. Learn the best exercises for women to get closer to your best version.
WHY SHOULD WOMEN TRAIN WITH WEIGHTS?
For a long time, intensive strength training was considered the exclusive domain of men. Today we know that this is not the case, because strength training is the key to a toned and healthy body, whether you are a man or a woman.
Strength training helps control body weight and lose weight faster. Because? Muscles burn energy, even at rest. If you manage to increase muscle mass, you increase your calorie consumption.
Of course, strength training itself also increases energy consumption. When you move weights in your training, you don’t just consume energy during the workout. Due to the so-called afterburn effect, energy consumption also increases after training.
Studies also show that strength exercises trigger a more substantial afterburn effect than aerobic training at a constant intensity (1). One more reason that speaks in favour of strength training.
WOMEN AND MUSCLES:
First of all, the most important thing: the fear of having too many muscles is totally unfounded! Women find it very difficult to develop visible muscles. This is mainly because women naturally have a significantly lower percentage of muscle mass than men.
To make matters worse, they have very little testosterone, which is the body-building hormone. And, although men have much better conditions for developing muscle, they also have to train very intensely for a longer period of time to achieve visible results. Bottom line: strength training will not guarantee that you become a manly-looking mountain of muscle, quite the opposite.
After all, firm muscles are clearly feminine characteristics. Are you still in doubt because now you have to think about extremely muscular female bodybuilders? This appearance is the result of years of competitive sports, and strict diet and, very often, is only possible through the use of very special supplements.
STRENGTH EXERCISES FOR WOMEN AT HOME: THE BASICS AT A GLANCE
Strength exercises for women at home or in the gym can be performed with weights such as dumbbells or kettlebells and/or bodyweight exercises without equipment. If you don’t want to go to the gym right away, you can start strength training at home. You can even start without equipment and use only your own body weight.
The stationary bike, elliptical or treadmill are suitable for non-specific warm-up. If you train at home, you can also warm up by simply jumping rope, remember? 5 to 10 minutes of light to moderate intensity are enough to prepare the body for the exercise session.
If you decide to train with weights, before each set of an exercise, you should also perform a light warm-up set with a low training weight to specifically warm up the muscles.
A training plan specifies which exercises should be performed. In addition to the name of the respective exercise, the terms sets and repetitions can also be found here.
Repetition is the number of times an exercise is performed. For example, if you do 10 squats in a row, that’s 10 repetitions.
These 10 repetitions constitute a series. The recovery between two sets is called rest.
It is important to perform the exercises with the correct training technique. Only when the exercises are performed correctly is the training effective? In addition, the risk of injury can be minimized in this way.
To achieve progress in training, a certain training intensity is necessary. Therefore, for some exercises a weight load is useful. Muscle growth is only triggered when the muscles are challenged in training.
Therefore, it makes sense to use a weight load that provides effort. But always pay attention to the correct execution of the exercise. When in doubt, choose a lighter weight and do more reps.
Progression is the key to consistent progress in strength training. Therefore, try to increase the load over time.
Regularly increase the training weight, perform more repetitions with the same weight or shorten the set pause. This way, you always set effective training stimuli that force your body to adapt.
Only if you train regularly will you be able to progress. A study carried out on untrained women shows that it is not necessary to wait years for changes to occur. Already after 3 weeks of training with only 8 training units, progress was achieved in the form of slight muscle growth (2).
THE BEST EXERCISES FOR WOMEN – TRAINING PLAN INCLUDED
The following exercises can be done both in the gym and at home, with or without equipment. This way, you can train effectively regardless of your skill level and the equipment you use. Try to improve from training to training.
The squat is a fantastic exercise for the entire lower body. Squats not only train the front and back of the thighs, but also the large gluteus muscle (buttocks). Therefore, the squat is the perfect exercise for women who want to develop an attractive lower body. The exercise is performed without equipment as follows:
- In the starting position, stand tall with your shoulders apart.
- Now form a slight gap backwards and stretch your arms horizontally forward.
- Imagine that you want to sit in a chair. To do this, she lowers her buttocks towards the floor by flexing her knee joints.
- Make sure you keep your upper body in the same position.
- Stop the downward movement as soon as your thighs are parallel to the floor. From here, use the strength of your glutes and legs to propel yourself to the starting position.
Important tips: Inhale when bending down and exhale when standing up. Your knees should always be level with the tops of your feet, or behind them. During the upward movement, be sure to push through your heels.
Tip: If the exercise is too easy for you without equipment, you can hold a kettlebell with the desired weight in front of your body.
Planks, also known as forearm supports, are an ideal exercise for having a strong core. But not only that, because planks also train the abdominal muscles, arms, shoulders, chest and glutes. In principle, planks can be made without equipment. However, a yoga mat increases the comfort of the exercise.
- To perform the forearm stand, lie prone on the floor and lean on your forearms.
- Your upper body should be in a straight line parallel to the floor. The legs are straight and only the tips of the feet touch the ground. The upper arms form a 90° angle with the forearms.
- It is important to keep your back straight (without bowing your back!).
- During the exercise, look at your hands or the floor so that your head is aligned with your spine.
- The exercise is static, which means that the position is maintained with the strength of all the muscles involved.
- Start by holding this position for 10-20 seconds. In subsequent training sessions you can try to increase the hold time by five seconds.
Tip: If you find this type of execution difficult, you can simplify the exercise by resting on your knees first and not on the balls of your feet.
The pelvic raise not only trains the leg, biceps and glutes but also puts pressure on the extensors of the lower back. Also, in this case, a yoga mat is ideal to increase the comfort of the workout.
- In the starting position, lie on your back. The arms are stretched out to the sides of the body and the palms of the hands touch the floor.
- Now bend your legs so that the tips of your fingers almost touch your heels.
- Now start raising your hips. Focus on transferring force through your heels.
- Stop the upward movement when your spine forms a diagonal line with your legs.
- Hold this position for two seconds before slowly lowering your hips again.
- The ideal is 10 – 12 repetitions.
Tip: If this exercise is too easy for you, you can do more repetitions. Alternatively, hold it for another second or two before starting the downward movement.
To discover the world of strength exercises for women at home, you can follow this plan for beginners. It only contains exercises that can be performed at home and without equipment.
- Warm-up (e.g. 5 – 10 minutes of light jumping rope; if necessary, also imaginary without rope).
- Squats: 3 sets of 10 – 12 repetitions
- Planks: 3 sets with 10 – 20 seconds of retention time
- Glute bridge: 3 sets of 10 – 12 repetitions
You can do this training program for women three times a week (for example, Monday, Wednesday and Friday). Make sure you take at least one day of rest between workouts.
IMPORTANT NUTRITIONAL TIPS TO OBTAIN OPTIMAL RESULTS IN TRAINING
Training lays the foundation for your physical change. However, sport alone is useless if you don’t have your diet under control. Make sure you follow a balanced and varied diet.
If you want to lose weight, you need a calorie deficit. In other words, you should eat fewer calories than you consume. However, crash diets with severe calorie restriction are not only counterproductive but also unhealthy. It is best to set your energy intake to 10% below actual caloric needs.
You can approximate your energy needs using a calorie calculator or, alternatively, keep a 14-day food diary where you weigh yourself at the beginning and end. Depending on the increase or decrease, you will know approximately how much your actual calorie needs are.
The optimal nutrient distribution of daily calories varies considerably, so only approximate reference values can be given here:
- 45 – 65% Carbohydrates
- 10 – 35% protein
- 15 – 35% fat
Since protein contributes to the formation and maintenance of muscle mass, you should also make sure you eat enough protein. A scientific meta-analysis of 49 studies with 1,863 subjects suggests that the daily goal should be approximately 1.6 g of protein per kilogram of body weight. (3)
Foods rich in protein include:
- Dairy products such as curd, milk and cheese
Carbohydrates should preferably come from whole grain products. It also makes sense to determine the amount and timing of intake based on your activity. At night, carbohydrates are usually unnecessary since no other effort is made after the meal.
Fat is an important component of a healthy diet. Especially important is sufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or herring are ideal foods for providing omega-3s.
Also, make sure you eat enough fruits and vegetables. Experts recommend five servings a day to absorb important vitamins, minerals and fibre.
THE EXTRA ENERGY THAT YOUR BODY ASKS FOR
By choosing to exercise regularly, you are choosing a healthier, more balanced life. Sport not only strengthens your body, but it can also improve your self-esteem and promote the necessary balance in your life.
Cordy-Sin Sport has been specially developed to provide the energy you need when you start a new training routine in which you are going to ask more of your body. This natural formula only contains Cordyceps, known as the energy mushroom in Eastern culture.
This supplement in 100% vegetable capsules provides beta-glucans, provitamin D, essential amino acids, linoleic and linolenic acid, cordycepin, cordycepan acid and adenosine; which make it a unique supplement with high value, especially for training.
CONCLUSION: STRENGTH TRAINING TAKES YOU TOWARDS YOUR BEST VERSION
Strength exercises for women at home or in the gym promote your health and help you lose weight. The important thing is to train regularly and intensely. And don’t worry, strength training won’t make you gain too much muscle.
Remember: muscles burn energy, even at rest. So better body composition helps you control weight and body fat percentage. Plus, toned legs and muscular buttocks are very attractive.
- Start with bodyweight exercises that you can do without equipment at home.
- The most effective exercises to start with are squats, planks, and glute bridges.
- Train regularly, challenge your muscles and improve with each workout. This will ensure that the training results follow you.
- Also make sure you follow a healthy, balanced diet that meets your needs. Fruit and vegetables not only provide important vitamins and minerals, but also contain fiber.
- If you want to lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than you consume (calorie deficit). Determine your calorie needs and eat 10% less than you need. Consult a professional if you have questions, it is usually the best option.
- Crash diets with very low calorie intake do more harm than good!
- Sufficient protein helps build and maintain muscle mass. Aim for about 1.6 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Some good sources of low-fat protein are low-fat cottage cheese, cottage cheese, tuna, and chicken breast.
Studies carried out on untrained women show that all efforts pay off in a short time: The first results are observed after a few training sessions.
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