Strength training for women; the secret to an amazing body at any age

Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Strength training for women; the secret to an amazing body at any age

The facts

  • Strength training does not make you 'big'. To get big muscles you need to train a lot, very hard and with very heavy weights and you also need testosterone. This is hard enough for men and extremely difficult for women.
  • Muscle is denser than fat, as it stores water and energy. Pay more attention to body measurements or clothing size than weight.
  • Muscle is an ‘expensive’ tissue; it raises your metabolism and burns more energy (and fat) all day, which is great for weight loss.
  • Protein builds and repairs muscles and carbohydrates provide exercise energy, so eat enough quality sources of both.

    Gallery: 12 exercises for strength training at home

  • Strength training works only the specific muscles used in an exercise and not fat stored on top. There is no such thing as spot reduction; strength training makes you tighter, firmer, stronger and shapelier. Fat loss is a result of negative energy balance, that is using more energy than you eat and genetics and hormones determine the pattern in which fat is lost.
  • Strength training gives women, gorgeous firm curves, toned limbs, lots of energy and prevents bone density and muscle tissue loss which otherwise decline after mid twenties.
  • Resistance training, strength training, weight lifting are all similar terms meaning pushing or pulling against a force which could be water resistance, body weight or dumbbells against gravity or pulleys or hydraulics on a machine.

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Tips for effective training

  • You can do a huge range of exercises just with your body for starters. Some of the best bodies in the world are trained mostly with body weight; those of dancers, gymnasts and martial artists.
  • Basic equipment enhances training effects. Start with light weights and more repetitions for safety.
  • You can use dumbbells or plastic milk bottles with handles filled with water or sand.
  • Always lean proper form to prevent injury; try books, the internet or ask an expert.
  • Perform exercises in front of a mirror to ensure proper form. If anything hurts stop and seek medical advice.
  • Always do strength training slowly and under control. Speed and swinging risks injury.
  • Don't hold your breathe while doing exercises.
  • For fast, effective workouts, mix exercises up, rest less and perform more than one at a time, such as a squat with a bicep curl. It raises your heart rate and burns more kilojoules.
  • Remember to stretch; Flexibility training is essential for range of motion, injury prevention and relaxation.

YOUR SAY: What body type are you and are you happy with your shape? Tell us below...

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