I can hardly believe it’s already 2013! It’s nuts. Are you one of the millions who have made a New Years resolution to lose weight? Or get fit? Or just generally get healthier? I did! Thankfully, I did the same last year and I actually stuck with it and went through with it. This year, I am making the same resolution and planning on sticking with it as well. I want to get more fit and healthier 🙂 If exercise is of priority to you, I thought this post would be perfect to help out with getting the most out of your strength training. So without further ado, I give you Ken’s article on great strength training tips for women:
If you want a hot body, losing weight is only half the battle. Strength training not only gives you toned muscles, but it can also help your body burn more calories and keep you walking straighter and sitting taller. If you want to tone and strengthen without building huge muscles, here are a few tips to give you a shapely figure without bulking up.
- Lift three times a week to see maximum impact on your muscles. Three is an optimal number – fewer workouts are not enough, but more workouts wont’ give your body time to recuperate between lifting and can lead to injury.
- Choose your weight wisely and be smart about your lifting. Experts say that choosing free weights let you work many muscle groups at once and being more effective with your workout time, whereas weight machines only work one muscle group at a time, which actually lengthens the time of your workout.
- Increase your weight over time. Muscle strengthening works because using weights breaks down the fiber in your muscle, and it rebuilds stronger than before. If you keep the same weight each time, your muscles become conditioned to the weight and will no longer “tear” – which means they will no longer rebuild even stronger. The repetitions you are able to do with your weights should determine if you’re ready to move to the next size.
- Integrate a slideboard workout into your fitness routine. Slideboards are one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in the gym, because they can provide a strengthening workout for hip flexor muscles, groin muscles and upper leg muscles while giving you a great aerobic workout. By utilizing different forms and positions, you can work out a variety of different muscle groups and increase muscle tone and definition in your legs and thighs especially, areas that are often problem spots for women.
- Make sure you learn proper form for using weight machines or free weights before you start a strength-training program. Work with a coach or fitness expert who knows the proper way to use the equipment. Using incorrect form can lead to injury, and it also means you’ll have to work twice as hard to get the same results. It’s much easier to learn the proper form from the beginning than break bad habits later in the game.
- Set goals for your strength training – It can be difficult to stay motivated in strength training when you don’t’ see results right away, so it’s a good idea to set some attainable fitness goals to help you through the beginning of your fitness plan. For instance, commit to being able to do a certain amount of reps, push-ups or chin-ups and improving those numbers. While you’re doing your best to attain small goals, you’ll be working toward a bigger goal of overall body strength, tone and definition – you’ll reach the larger goal before you know it!
- Stay away from traditional crunches. There are much more effective ways to work your abdominal muscles than lying on a cold, hard floor and trying to keep a great form. Another alternative to on-the-floor crunches is to do the same motion on an exercise ball. The ball helps cushion your back while still allowing you to work your abdominal muscles, which will help you stick with it longer.
About the author: Kennith Campbell enjoys reviewing sideboards and other fitness equipment when he’s not blogging or writing for UltraSlide. In his free time he tries to stay as fit as possible and you find him at the gym almost any day of the week.
Kammie wants to know:
What’s your favorite strength training tip from above?
How often do you strength train?
What’s your favorite muscle group to train?
Let me know in the comments below!