Fed up with dieting, but getting zero love
Tired of sweating over your gym’s cardio equipment, but still seeing no results?
Then you need strength training!
As counter-intuitive as it seems, building muscle will actually give your body a calorie-burning boost!
Here’s what strength training can do for you…and how to get started with the 6 best exercises without building bulk.
Why is Strength Training for Women Important?
According to Livestrong.com, a healthy woman’s BMI is typically a little over 30% of their body weight. That’s roughly a third of your body weight!
And increasing this percentage through strength training is your ‘secret weapon’ to burning more calories…even when you’re at rest!
This is because muscle tissue is ‘metabolically active’, that is, it burns fat even when you’re sitting still!
The Bad News.
According to Mayo Clinic, lean muscle mass declines with age.
This means that you’ll increase the amount of body fat, if you don’t do anything to replace the muscle you lose over time.
The Good News!
Strength training reverses the inevitable loss of healthy, functional muscle and reclaims your body’s ability to slash calories more efficiently.
It is nature’s weight loss pill. And unlike questionable fat loss products, strength training is 100% natural and has no adverse side effects.
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The Heavier You Lift, the Greater the ‘Afterburn’.
Whilst strength training may be the closest thing to a blow torch when it comes to melting fat, many women are still doing it wrong.
Rather than heading over to those puny pink dumbbells, you need to lift heavy!
Heavy is a relative term however.
So what does this mean for you individually?
Simply put, you need to lift a weight that’s heavy enough for you to grind out no more than 12 reps.
In fact, a great rule of thumb is to use weights that allows you to lift between 8 – 12 reps.
And according to a study in the journal ‘Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise’, women burned nearly twice as many calories in the two hours after their workout by using 8 reps compared to those performing 15 reps.
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But I’m Too Old to be Lifting Heavy Weights!
According to the ‘Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research’, post-menopausal women who reduced strength training to below the recommended twice-weekly frequency, compromised increases in muscle mass, “important in counteracting the effects of aging”.
In fact, strength training studies involving women aged 70 and over, have conclusively shown to improve balance thus preventing falls and strengthen bones therefore offsetting osteoporosis.
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Will Strength Training Make me Bulky?
Many women falsely believe that strength training will have them looking like the cover model of Muscle & Fitness!
However, this is a horrible myth that you need to dispel right now!
Women simply do not have the biology and hormones to achieve such conditioning.
Rather than bore you with more dry statistics, here’s a list of household names who regularly practice strength training:
- Oprah Winfrey
- Gwyneth Paltrow
- Ellie Goulding
- Michelle Obama
- Kate Upton
- Cameron Diaz
- Jessica Biel
I’m sure you’ll agree they all epitomize feminine power and beauty!
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6 Best Strength Training Exercises Without Building Bulk.
1. The Deadlift.
This one of the best explanations on the net. Many other tutorials are actually explaining how to perform stiff-leg deadlifts. This variation requires straighter knees and whilst arguably a better butt builder, it places more strain on the lower back.
2. The Bench Press.
This is a super video as they advise to perform the bench press with a ‘spotter’ which many tutorials omit.
A spotter is simply someone to watch over you and give you an extra boost should you need it.
If you work out at a gym, you’ll find most members more than willing to ‘spot’ you and it’s a great way to reciprocate and make friends!
Keep your arms angled around 45 degrees to your body and watch your head from smacking into the bar when you lean back into the bench!
3. The Squat.
The squat is a great all-rounder and an excellent booty builder!
Take your thighs to around parallel with the floor and never round your lower back!
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4. Bent Over Rows.
Bent over rows are great for toning and strengthening your entire back muscles and biceps.
Remember to keep your knees bent, spine aligned and don’t lean forwards more than 45 degrees.
5. Standing Barbell Press.
Also known as the ‘Military Press’ or ‘Overhead Press’.
Not only does this move sculpt and tone your shoulders and triceps but it will strongly activate your core and tummy muscles.
NOTE: please do not press the bar behind your neck!
I still see many beginners and advanced trainers performing this dangerous variation. Pressing behind your neck places your shoulder joints in a vulnerable position.
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6. Barbell Curl.
Top Tip: if you find this exercise hurts your wrists, swap out the straight bar for an E-Z bar which relieves the stress on your wrists.
An E-Z bar looks like it’s been mangled as the bar has two diagonal portions, allowing your palms to adopt a 45-degree angle.
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Not only are these 6 best strength training exercises extremely satisfying but they’ll give you a new-found confidence in your ability to do, well, just about everything!
And if you’re a cardio Bunny, keep up the good work but now try adding a little strength training.
You’ll build strong, lean curves and love your body even more!
Thanks for reading. What do you think? Please leave your comments below!
And if you need any more reasons to start strength training, check out this infographic.
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