You’ve seen women weight lifters before. You know, the 250 plus pounders who do it professionally. They look a little strange; a little unfeminine; a little like Bob, your next door neighbor; a little scary, to tell the truth. But not all women who lift weights look like that. There is a happy medium. Is there a way to add strength training and healthy weight lifting to your exercise routine, without transforming into Brian Urlacher?
As the President would say: “Yes, you can!” The women who you see on ESPN are professional weight lifters. They train for hours each day, and they have specialized diets that are super high in protein and help them build great amounts of muscle mass.
To even keep up with those women you have to do a lot more than just lift weights-you have to lift very heavy weights very often, and supplement heavily. Unfortunately, the fear of overdeveloping your muscles and bulking up keeps many women from including weight training in their fitness routine. Luckily, there are tips from healthy weight lifting women that will ensure you will get the strength you need – and still appear feminine and gorgeous, just like you want.
Don’t be afraid to use the heavier weights. There is no truth to the adage that says very low weights plus high repetition equals muscle tone. Sure, it’ll get you there eventually – but it takes much, much longer and the health benefits just don’t compare to using heavier weights and less reps.
By using some of the weight machines at your gym, you can build the strength your body needs to stay in shape and make it easier for you to do your cardio work. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular exercises.
1. Use the leg press machine. This is the one that you lie down on, with your knees bent and your feet up against the vertical surface. Then push back using your legs until they are extended. Be sure not to lock your knees, and keep your back flat against the bench. Hold the extended position, and then slowly come back to the bent-leg position.
2. To work your biceps, use one-hand dumbbells. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and the dumbbells at your sides, palms facing your hips. Keep your elbows in, and raise the dumbbells to your shoulders. If you need to use your body in order to complete the lift, the dumbbells are too heavy. Hold in the upper lift position, and then slowly lower the dumbbells back down to your sides.
3. Triceps exercises firm up the “fat” part of your arms-the part underneath that tends to swing like a turkey gizzard when your arms are raised. And who doesn’t want to tone those up? Stand in the same position as for the biceps exercise, but with one hand on the hip and the other raised above your head and then bent, with the dumbbell behind your head. Then, without moving your arm from the shoulder to the elbow, raise the dumbbell up until your arm is straight – but not locked – and hold for five seconds before lowering slowly back to behind your head.