Friday, 13 April 2012
It has become common in many gym cultures that certain rules are set in place. One is that women stay away from free weights. It seems that this tradition has been set in stone, but its time to break away from this.
Some of the common excuses that women have for not lifting weights are that they do not want to bulk up, they want to lose weigh and only do cardio and many do not know how. The latter is the more acceptable answer.
For those who believe that if they lift weight they will bulk up has just been misinformed. Testosterone, the hormone that helps build muscle, mass and body hair is found more in men than in women. As a result it takes a longer period of time for a women to bulk up than men. It should be noted that countless men have problems with building muscle mass.
Many fear that if they begin to lift weights they would look like a female bodybuilder. There is a lot of dedication and discipline in being a bodybuilder, as well as taking supplements. This dedication far exceeds most of the men that you see in gyms everywhere. Majority of women bodybuilders have been lifting for years and have gradually increased in weight. Worry not; no matter how much weight you lift, you will not look like the Hulk.
The health benefits of lifting weights may not be as well shared as doing cardiovascular exercises. Running on a treadmill burns a sweat and keeps your heart rate up at an effective rate. This is common knowledge to anyone who knows about fitness. What is not so widely known is the way that weight training can help burn fat and keep your heart rate up as well.
For anyone who wants to take their workouts to the next level and to add on the cardio that they are doing there are a few weight-training exercises that you can perform. Start with weights that you are comfortable with, but a bit challenging. With every movement keep your core tight and avoid swaying.
Perform a chest press by lying on your back on a bench. Begin by holding dumb bells shoulder width apart and pushing up. Then lower down so your arms and elbows are parallel to the ground. You can also substitute this with a chest press machine.
Perform a shoulder press by holding dumb bells above shoulders. Press up lifting weight above head, and slowly lower it down. This exercise can be performed sitting, on a machine, or standing.
Perform a squat by standing shoulder width apart, knees and toes pointing forward. Slowly push your hips back and sit back until your legs form a 90-degree angle. The lower you go in a squat the more your glutenous muscles are used. Go as far down as you can comfortably. Increase difficulty by adding weight. Decrease difficulty by squatting on a wall to help form.
Bicep curls are one of the most common exercises to tone your arms. Start by holding dumbbells palms facing forward at your sides. Tuck your shoulders into your sides. Slowly curl the dumbbells up, and slowly back down. This can also be performed with a barbell or a bicep machine.
These are only a few weight lifting exercises that can aid anyone with their fitness goals. As starters try performing three sets each for 8 - 12 reps. When done with cardio, before or after, it adds another dynamic to exercising. Try this out and witness the change in your body and fitness level.
What are other ways weight lifting can be beneficial?