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WHY WOMEN NEED TO STRENGTH TRAIN

MAGGIE O'MEARA

A common reason women tend to avoid strength-training is because of the belief that it will make them “bulky” from building muscles. However, this is a myth, and this type of exercise is one of the most empowering ways women can reach their health goals along with getting those toned Michelle Obama arms. It’s vital to build muscle for those daily instances in our lives where we need strength on our own, such as to move furniture, go up a flight of stairs, or open pesky jars. But also practicing regular strength training 2-3 times a week will reduce the risk of injury in these daily moments where we are using our muscles. As we grow older, muscle mass naturally declines to make it harder to perform daily movement. So it essential to continue building strength to slow this muscle loss and age gracefully. Strength-training is also a great form of exercise to help with weight management, decrease stress, improve mood, and ward off disease.

So how do you get started? Lifting weights at the gym may seem overwhelming if it’s your first time getting started. For a beginner at-home workout, try this no-equipment strength-training workout:

 

 

At-Home Strength Training Workout: *3 rounds of 10-12 reps of each exercise (adjust accordingly)

Jump Squats

  • Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Inhale as you bend your knees into a squat position while maintaining a flat back and engaged core
  • Exhale and quickly straighten legs to jump in the air
  • Land back into the squat position to repeat with remaining reps
  • Modified version: Straighten legs to stand after squat without jumping into the air, and return into a squat position

Lunges With Kick

  • Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Step one foot behind you bending both knees into a lunge position
  • Drive back leg up back into a standing position and kick into the air in front of you
  • Repeat with remaining reps on the same leg, then switch to the other leg
  • Modified version: After lunge, drive back leg into starting standing position without kick and repeat

Tricep Dip

  • Sit on the ground with knees bent and feet on floor hip-distance apart
  • Place hands behind you with palms down and fingers facing towards the body
  • Lift hips off the ground and bend elbows, so your glutes are hovering just above the ground
  • Straighten arms to return to starting position, repeat with remaining reps
  • Modified version: Keep hips on the ground as you perform tricep dip

Glute Bridge

  • Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on floor hip-width apart, and arms stretched out at your sides
  • Squeeze your glutes and push through heels to lift hips a few inches off the floor
  • Pause at the top and slowly lower hips down to the floor. Repeat with remaining reps
  • Modified version: Hold glute bridge as long as possible and repeat as necessary

Raised Legs Crunches

  • Lie on back with arms at your side and legs stretched out long
  • Lift legs towards the sky and place hands behind head
  • While keeping feet in the air with legs as straight as possible, lift head and upper shoulders off the ground to perform a crunching motion, and lower back towards the ground. Repeat with remaining reps
  • Modified version: Keep feet flat on the floor, should-width apart, and knees bent while performing the crunching motion

     

     

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