Weight Lifting for Women: The Benefits and Best Methods
If you have been working out regularly and still fail to see any transformative results, it is time to change your exercise regimes. Weight training is one promising option. Unfortunately, the benefits of weight training for women have been consistently devalued over the years in favour of cardio workouts such as aerobics, dancing, and running. As a result, most women avoid weight training because they believe they will bulk up quickly. But, that isn’t the case. Lifting weights has several advantages that are not limited to men or young individuals. Many women also believe they cannot involve themselves in weight training after a certain age. However, it is never too late to start weight training. As we get older, weight training can help us maintain muscle strength and mobility while improving our mental health.
For women of all ages and stages of life, strength training is essential to a well-balanced fitness regimen and a healthy lifestyle. You should integrate both strength and cardio training into your fitness programme to become healthier, stronger, and leaner.
This article discusses the advantages of weight lifting and how to get started.
Understanding Weight Training
Weight training is a sort of strength training that incorporates the use of weights as a form of resistance. Like aerobic training improves heart health, weight training stresses muscles, causing them to adapt and grow stronger.
You can use free weights, such as barbells and dumbbells, or weight machines for weight training. Other resistance workouts, such as utilising your body weight or resistance bands, can also help you gain strength.
Weight Lifting Benefits for Women
The advantages of weight training for women are numerous, and it can assist you in achieving your weight loss goals. In addition, weight training helps build your muscles and adds much more value to your life.
The following are some of the most common advantages of weight training:
Most women rely only on cardio to reduce weight. While it is a good fat-loss strategy, weight training is much more time-efficient and effective. This is because weight training burns calories while simultaneously building muscular tissue, which enhances metabolic rate and improves body form, whereas cardio only burns calories. According to a study, strength-training activity increases your metabolic rate for up to 72 hours. It implies you’re continuously burning calories for hours even after you finish your workout.
Makes You Stronger
Weight training is one of the most effective strategies to enhance core, leg, lower back, and upper body strength. As a result, a woman’s ability to complete daily tasks at work and at home improvess.
According to a study, women who perform strength training are better and considerably stronger.
Improves Bone Density
Bone formation necessitates strength training. Weight-bearing activities cause temporary stress on your bones, signalling bone-building cells to respond and rebuild stronger bones. Strong bones lower your risk of osteoporosis, fractures, and falls, particularly as you age.
According to a study, maximal strength training can be a straightforward, time-efficient method for optimising peak bone mass in early adulthood. It’s also one of the finest workouts for women starting their fitness journey because it combats the natural decrease of bone density that occurs during and after menopause.
Supports Heart Health
By strengthening the heart and blood arteries, frequent strength-training exercise helps lower blood pressure, total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, and enhances blood circulation.
According to a study, strength training can help you maintain a healthy body weight and regulate your blood sugar levels, which are crucial risk factors for heart disease.
Increases Mobility and Flexibility
Strength training can make you more flexible, contrary to popular assumptions. It also improves joint mobility and flexibility by increasing joint range of motion. A study found stretching and strength training equally helpful at increasing the range of motion.
Relieves Back Pain
Strength exercise helps to treat back pain by strengthening essential body muscles and increasing the range of motion available to your spine. You’ll activate your core muscles and the ones around your abdominals with proper form, strengthening that area and providing better back support. As a result, your posture will improve, and your pain will subside.
While bending down to pick up massive weights may seem strange, a heavy-load lifting programme can decrease lower back discomfort by retraining the body’s movement habits.
Reduces Injury Risk
Muscles, ligaments, and tendons benefit from strength training because it improves their strength, range of motion, and mobility. As a result, it can help strengthen the muscles around your critical joints, such as your knees, hips, and ankles, and protect you from damage. In addition, strength training can help you avoid injury by reducing your time exercising.
Helps Manage Stress and Improves Mood
Have you had a long day at work or home with the kids and need to unwind? It’s time to start lifting those weights. According to a study, strength training, like any other exercise, can improve your mood by generating feel-good hormones called endorphins. Weight training makes you feel stronger and builds the back and neck muscles most directly related to stress, making it a mood booster.
Improves Sleep Quality
After a workout, our bodies need to rest to recover. If you have difficulties falling asleep or want to improve the quality of your sleep, strength training is a good option. The strenuous activity might help the body relax into a deeper slumber, which is essential for restoration. According to research, sleep and exercise significantly positively impact one another.
Boosts Self Confidence
Strength training can increase your self-esteem significantly. It helps in overcoming obstacles, achieving goals, and appreciating the strength of your body. In addition, it can increase your confidence by improving your self-efficacy, the belief that you can succeed at or complete a task. One study found a link between strength training and high self-esteem, physical strength, and self-worth.
Improves Brain Health
Strength training may improve brain health and protect against age-related cognitive decline. Resistance training provides several neuroprotective effects, including increased blood flow, reduced inflammation, and increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein connected to memory and learning.
The current study found that regular resistance exercises can help older women build significant upper and lower body strength while improving their cognitive abilities, resulting in improved life quality.
Make You Live Longer
You can strength train for the rest of your life if you do it correctly, all while growing and retaining the strength you need to enjoy your days. Moreover, research shows that strength training makes it simpler to stay flexible and independent. In addition, it can improve the quality of life, defined as a person’s perception of physical and mental well-being.
How Much Weight Training Do Women Need?
According to experts, you should add at least 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise, 75 minutes of more intense workout per week, or a combination of the two.
You should be lifting weights at least three days a week. Your current fitness level determines how you plan your workouts and how many days you commit to strength training.
If you are a beginner, 2 to 3 days a week of full-body strength exercise is better. If you’re an intermediate, commit to three to four days of strength training each week, broken up by body area or upper/lower body. An advanced exerciser might structure your week with three days on and one day off routine, totalling 4 to 5 days of weight training per week.
You must ensure to give your body enough time to recover between strength training sessions. Performing the same amount of exercise daily might stifle recovery and lead to muscle loss. If you find taking a day or two off each week difficult, consider treating these days as active rest days. Spend extra time stretching or attend a mild yoga class.
Weight Lifting for Women: Getting Started
If you’ve decided to try weight training, you should be aware that the basic concept is to use resistance, whether in the form of resistance bands, weights, or simply your body weight. Weight training is a great way to build your muscles, lose weight, and speed up your metabolism, but you need to know what to do before you start. As a beginner, here’s all you need to know about lifting weights.
Set Weight training Goals for Yourself
Weight training accomplishes various outcomes, so it’s crucial to determine what you want to achieve before you start. In addition, you should set both short-term and long-term training goals. For example, a short-term objective might be to improve your balance, while a long-term goal might be to strengthen your thighs or make it easier to lift your carry-on bag into the overhead bin.
Learning Proper Techniques
When you first start lifting weights, taking the time to learn appropriate techniques can save you a lot of pain.
For example, you may not have noticed a difference between pushing and pulling in your workouts and that both activities engage your muscles differently. The same motion can give you two completely different workouts. However, not all exercises focus on allowing both types of execution. Therefore, it’s a good idea to work with a fitness coach to master basic techniques to avoid injuries
Choice of Equipment
Some strength training exercises, such as pushups and lunges, don’t require the use of weights; instead, your body weight serves as resistance. You can use dumbbells to supplement your at-home workouts. Another popular piece of equipment is kettlebells, which are weighted balls with handles. Many kettlebell movements hit many muscle groups at once, making them ideal for a full-body workout, especially if you’re short on time. Resistance bands can also be a beneficial addition to your training gear. When tugged and stretched, these colour-coded elastic bands create varying resistance.
Essential Tips for Newbies
Remember the following tips when you’re ready to start a weight-training programme.
- Warm your body up. Taking a 5-minute brisk walk or a light jog will increase blood flow to your muscles and prepare them for a good workout. Warming up for a few minutes by skipping rope or doing jumping jacks is also a good idea.
- Lift lighter weights first: Begin with a weight that you can lift 12 to 15 times without losing form. Begin with one or two sets of 12 to 15 repetitions and gradually increase to three or more sets.
- Increase the weight by a small amount at a time. For example, increase the weight by 5 to 10% after you can comfortably complete the specified number of sets and reps. Then, before beginning a full workout, double-check that this is your proper weight.
- Take a 60-90 second break between reps. It will help you avoid muscle fatigue.
- It’s advisable not to exercise for more than 45 minutes. Longer workouts may not produce more significant benefits and may put you in danger of burnout and muscular exhaustion.
- Stretch your muscles after your workout. Stretching improves flexibility, relieves muscle tension, and lowers the chance of injury.
- Take a day or two off between workouts. Rest allows your muscles to recover and refuel.
Starting a weight lifting routine can be easy if you take the right approach and follow the necessary precautions. In addition, doing so will help you observe significant changes within a few days. However, if you want to do it right, it is best to seek help from a fitness professional. They will help you understand the techniques and get your postures right.
Weight training can provide various health benefits, including reduced heart disease and diabetes risk, stronger bones, enhanced brain health and mood, and increased self-esteem. For women of all ages and life stages, a regular and appropriately structured strength training programme is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Combine your lifting routine with a balanced diet and lifestyle.