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What are Different Types of Weight Training Exercises for Women?

Weight training for women encompasses a variety of exercises tailored to build strength and tone muscles. From squats and deadlifts that target the lower body to bench presses for upper body strength, each routine is designed to empower women's fitness journeys. Wondering how to sculpt your physique with these workouts? Let's explore the best weight training exercises for women together.
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

Weight training exercises for women are an important part of any total fitness plan. Though once seen as an exclusively masculine activity, weight training exercises for women may be just as important, and help ward off common conditions such as bone density loss or osteoporosis. There are many excellent weight training exercises for women that can help lead to a fit, trim physique at any age.

One important myth that must be dispensed with immediately is the idea that weight training exercises for women will make a feminine body appear masculine and bulky with muscle. In the first place, few women produce enough testosterone to be able to put on the sort of bulky muscle seen in body builders. Secondly, even body builders sometimes resort to dangerous steroids to increase muscle mass because big muscles are incredibly hard to build with even the toughest genetics. Generally weight training exercises for women will create tone, strength, and increased firmness, not bulk.

Tricep kickbacks tone the back of the arms.
Tricep kickbacks tone the back of the arms.

Most fitness experts agree that spot reducing fat is impossible, meaning that full body weight training is the best way to tackle problem spots. Full body training ensures that no muscle group is left behind, and often involves combination moves that work several areas at once and give the core body additional work to help it strengthen. Consider doing two or three full body weight training workouts per week, even if only light weights are used.

Women should consider doing two or three full body weight training workouts per week, even if they only use light weights.
Women should consider doing two or three full body weight training workouts per week, even if they only use light weights.

Many weight training exercises for women use free weights or machines. Machines have the advantage of being easily adjustable and helping correct posture problems, but free weights are generally less expensive and can improve balance and flexibility. If a gym membership is out of the question, consider doing free weight workouts at home using one set of light and one set of heavy weights. Women who already have a workout routine should try beginning weight lifting with a 3 lb (1.36 kg) set and an 8 lb (3.86 kg) set of free weights. For those who are just starting, consider a 2 lb (.9 kg) and 5 lb (2.26 kg) set, or purchase adjustable weights that can have extra weight added.

Weight training can help women lose body fat and tone muscles.
Weight training can help women lose body fat and tone muscles.

Water resistance workouts are a great way to get in weight training exercise without using weights. Performed in a pool or hydrotherapy tank, this type of workout uses the resistance of the water as a weight. Some gyms and community centers offer water training workouts on a daily or weekly basis. One of the major benefits of this type of weight training is that it reduces the chance of injury or incorrect posture.

Men tend to be able to achieve more muscle mass than women.
Men tend to be able to achieve more muscle mass than women.

Weight training group classes can be a fun and even competitive way to pump iron for women. Generally performed with free weights and other equipment like resistance bands or stability balls, these classes typically provide a sincerely motivated instructor and a fun soundtrack. Learning to keep up with classmates and meet class goals can be extremely motivating for some people.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a TheHealthBoard writer.

Learn more...
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a TheHealthBoard writer.

Learn more...

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Discussion Comments

Laotionne

Women, when you start those weight training exercises be sure to drink plenty of water. Even when you are not thirsty, drink water. Weight lifting causes the muscles to break down or tear and they need lots of water to rebuild and remain strong and healthy. When you start to get sore, stiff and feel your muscles cramping, this is most likely because you are experiencing some level of dehydration.

Drentel

I think more women should consider body building as a preventative health measure. As this article states, women's bodies are not designed to build a great deal of muscle mass, so, as a woman, you don't have to worry about becoming too muscular or drastically changing the appearance of your body when you are weight lifting.

One of the biggest benefits you get from a strict body building program is a good healthy diet and all that comes with it. Once you get on a weight training program, the combination of exercise and a healthy diet will do wonders for your overall health and conditioning, not to mention your physical appearance and confidence.

Sporkasia

You do not have to love weight training or be a fanatic about weight training to recoup benefits from the activity. I spend about an hour and a half in the weight room at my gym each week. Under normal circumstances, I do three 30-minute sessions a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

I lift weights because the strength I gain from the training helps me perform more efficiently when doing activities I do enjoy, such as playing tennis or playing with my children. I use light weights and work my upper and lower body and I can feel and see a significant difference when I stick to my schedule as opposed to when I take time off from the weight training.

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    • Tricep kickbacks tone the back of the arms.
      By: Tijana
      Tricep kickbacks tone the back of the arms.
    • Women should consider doing two or three full body weight training workouts per week, even if they only use light weights.
      By: Monkey Business
      Women should consider doing two or three full body weight training workouts per week, even if they only use light weights.
    • Weight training can help women lose body fat and tone muscles.
      By: hartphotography
      Weight training can help women lose body fat and tone muscles.
    • Men tend to be able to achieve more muscle mass than women.
      By: Christopher Howey
      Men tend to be able to achieve more muscle mass than women.
    • Many weight training exercises for women involve using free weights.
      By: George Dolgikh
      Many weight training exercises for women involve using free weights.
    • Weight training will not make a woman appear large and bulky.
      By: s_l
      Weight training will not make a woman appear large and bulky.