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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.