Women are often told that they should do aerobic exercises to get fit. But how often do you hear about doing intensive weight training? This article will focus on how you can get fit by lifting weights at home and why it’s important for you.
Home weight training for women is a bit different from weight training at a gym that has many different types of equipment and some exercises may not have the same focuses the male-oriented exercises have. But this will hopefully lay down the framework that you’ll keep adding onto the more you work out and the more you discover what you can or can’t do as well as what you like or don’t like!
Myths About Women And Weight Lifting
Before going into the different aspects of weight training, I thought it would be good to clear up what some people think will happen when a woman does weight training:
- You can get large muscles/”look manly” – Men have more testosterone than women, which is important for building up a lot of very obvious muscle mass; women can’t gain the same amount of bulky muscles unless they are dedicated bodybuilders
- There are better ways to lose weight – The resistance of weights in weight training is just as good as cardio and aerobics to burn your body fat if that is important to you
- You don’t need to lift heavy weights – You don’t, but keeping up that resistance makes sure that your body is equally strong in your upper and lower body
How Your Lifestyle Affects Your Workout?
As I know you’ve read, dieting and working out often go together. This is because eating better is an important part of working out! Living a healthier life will make the workouts more efficient and improve your general health a great deal as well.
But food and diets are becoming more and more popular every day. Let’s focus on other aspects of your health.
- Better sleep – Sleeping better and having a regular pattern makes it easier to wake up, fall asleep, and not feel tired during the day; it’s not always possible, but a great goal to shoot for
- Stay hydrated – Even if you aren’t doing high-intensity workouts, this is important; it affects every part of your body, so keep a glass or water bottle nearby to fill up
- Relaxation – Make sure you allow yourself a break to zone out or enjoy yourself for at least 10 minutes a day; your brain needs to rest as much as your body does
- Move around – If it’s too cold or you’re sick, you don’t even need to leave the house; getting up and walking around your living space gets your blood flowing and can help motivate you to continue the day
Food and Dieting
There’s a lot of different fads going around: there’s the paleo diet, the pescatarian diet, there’s juice cleanses, superfoods that you should or should not eat and so much more. But these may not actually help you out in the long run. But why?
- Your body needs energy – For your brain, muscles, and even just so you have enough energy to feel ready for the day, you should eat at least 1,500 calories a day; plus, focusing on the calories doesn’t really count in how healthy it really is
- Different foods offer different nutrients – Every kind of natural food has a certain amount of minerals and vitamins your body needs to function; the food pyramid is typically recommended as it is the easiest way to eat everything you need to in a day
- Losing a lot of weight quickly is not healthy – It is a sign that your body is starving or ill; that’s not including how everyone has a different weight range they need to be in to be considered healthy. If you are considering having cheat days in your diet, make sure you don’t make these 7 cheat meal mistakes that can mess up your hard work
- Not all foods are good for everyone – In general though, unless you have an allergy, fresh produce, meat, and homemade meals are perfectly healthy; eating too much of anything is not good for your body, not even a lot of water
Before You Begin
There are a few things you’ll need to do before you can start weight lifting at home or even while you are considering what equipment to buy.
- What are your goals? – Why do you want to lift weights at home? Do you want to build muscle? Lose weight? Keep up your strength?
- How much space do you have? – Should you buy something small you can easily store? Do you have enough room to clear floor space to do ground workouts?
- What type of workouts do you like? – If you like going slow, you’ll need different size weights for your exercises. If you like cardio, you’ll need very light weights. If you want to do high-intensity workouts, you’ll need heavier ones.
Equipment To Get
The easiest way to browse through the different types of equipment you can by is comparing your list with what the equipment offers. For example, you shouldn’t get the large lat machines if you don’t have enough space to comfortably move around it all the time.
However, there are a few things that could be considered essential to weight training. Some basics you should get if you want to get in a good weight training session are:
- Yoga mat/thick padded mat – If you have a chance of lying on the ground, dropping your weights to the floor, or doing other ground workouts, investing in a mat will save your floors and help you feel more comfortable while working out
- Dumbbells, kettle balls, medicine balls and/or weight sets – The first three are small and can be stored in your closet, but weight sets, even taken apart, might be too tall for that; these will be used the most and should be at a comfortable weight for you to use early on
- Resistance bands – These are an alternative to dumbbells if you are looking for something more lightweight and that will still feel like a workout for a long time; you can travel with them and do a lot of different types of exercises
- Stability ball or BOSU ball – a stability ball can be blown up whenever you want to use it and a BOSU ball is relatively thin; the stability ball is an alternative to using a bench while both are great for improving your balance and focusing on different sections of your body
- OPTIONAL: Foam roller – These are excellent for relaxing any knots post-workout; they’re usually used because you can just roll across them, but a pool noodle or other sturdy object works just as well
Exercises to Try
Finally, with the new equipment you have, here are some exercises you should try out! With these exercises, it’s best to start low – 10-15 reps and 2-3 sets – and work your way up to more repetitions and more sets at a time.
- Single-leg deadlift – Use your dumbbells and stand on one foot. Lift your other foot behind you and bend forward from your hips. Lower yourself as far down as you can go and go back to the starting position. Focus on your glutes and core muscles to bring yourself up and down. Keep your chest up throughout the exercise.
- Step-ups – These are typically used for aerobics, but holding light weights allows for an increased difficulty and some arm workouts. Find a stable and flat object that you step onto from the ground, one foot at a time, and back down.
- Lateral raise – This is a workout that really focuses on your shoulders. Step on the middle of your band with one foot. Hold the handles so that you start with your arms at your side and your palms facing in. Slowly raise and lower your arms up to shoulder height.
- Squats – Works perfectly with any hand-held weight, including the medicine ball, and works out all your leg muscles, glutes, and hip muscles. Stand with your feet shoulder length apart and holding your weight close to your chest or away from your body, depending on what difficulty you are looking for. Keep your back straight and go down as far as you can without your knees going past the top of your feet. Straighten back up.
- BOSU ball – This one is on its own as it requires practice until you can balance enough on it to do other exercises. Once you are comfortable balancing on the ball part of the BOSU, you can do common exercises like squats or step-ups on them.
There’s been a lot of information here, so I hope it has been enough information to be new and helpful to you. There’s so many different types of equipment you can use, programs you can try out, and exercises you can do. Look around and see what you can find! Then see what works best for you at home.
Good luck and have fun exercising!