Weight Lifting For Women – Necessary Steps to Get Toned
Just like you had to crawl before you walked, and walked before you ran, if you’re new to the world of weight lifting and bodybuilding, it’s important to start at the beginning and not try to jump into anything too fast. Weight lifting can fast become a lifestyle rather than just an activity at the gym; this is partially because it takes real dedication to get your muscles working at their highest capabilities, but also because once you get involved, it can be really addictive in a good way. Although there are plenty of books and websites dedicated to women and their weight lifting journeys, there are a few basic tips that should help you get going.
Don’t Forgo The Stretching
Just like any exercise, you’ve got to stretch out your muscles before you start hitting the weights. It might seem silly because stretching is usually associated with cardio fitness, but if you start lifting weights up to your chest and you haven’t stretched out your back and shoulders you could wind up pulling something, straining a muscle, or just having more soreness than necessary after your workout. It’s also a good idea to stretch after you’ve completed your workout, as it helps to keep blood flowing, and prevents muscles from tightening.
“You wouldn’t launch into an all-out sprint the second you stepped onto a treadmill, so you shouldn’t jump right into deadlifts the instant you hit the weight room.” – Women’s Health Magazine
Try sitting on the floor with your legs out in a “v” shape in front of you, and reach for each foot. Then, place the palm of the hand opposite the side you start on over your leg onto the floor and twist your body in that direction. You’ll feel your back, thighs, and arms gently pulling, this is normal and will feel pretty good when you’re finished.
Get Into Position
Once you’re stretched and ready to go you’d better know exactly how to perform the lift you’re going to get started on. Understanding proper form and position might seem boring, but similar to not stretching not following this could cause injury and pain in the gym. It’s worth it to read up, perform an internet search, watch an instructional video, or get in contact with a personal trainer for at least one session to learn the correct way to position your body during each lift.
“This is crucial; you need to devote some time to learning proper exercise form from the very beginning. It’s much easier to learn proper form initially than to develop poor habits and try to break them later.” – Nia Shank
Once you’ve got the basics, you should be fine to do most lifting exercises, but as tedious as it might seem, you must take the time out to practice. Try performing each motion in front of a mirror without the weight a few times to see how your body looks. Make sure that knees are bent when they’re supposed to be bent and your back is straight when it should be straight.
Don’t Fear The Weights
One problem that many women have with weight lifting is the fear that they may get big in the way that a man does. In fact, there are even entire workouts like Visual Impact for Women that focus purely on getting lean and slim, and not getting big. Women want to get strong, but they don’t want to get huge, and although this is a normal worry to have as there are plenty of big women body builders in the world, it’s unwarranted because unless you plan on changing your entire lifestyle and working toward bulking up, you won’t.
“Here’s the truth: when you pick up heavy things, your muscles get stronger (but not necessarily bigger). If you pump yourself full of testosterone and eat way more calories than you are burning every day, you will get bigger.” – Nerd Fitness
Lifting weights will result in a well-toned, sculpted body that you can be proud of, it will make you stronger, amp up your stamina, and also reduce cellulite.
Finally, in order to fully embrace the weight lifting lifestyle you may need to change a few eating habits. One of the first things you’ll want to do is check your protein levels and be sure that you’ve got enough protein in your diet to support muscle health as you work out so that your muscles don’t deteriorate rather than regenerate. You should also cut back on saturated fats and simple sugars which will get stored in your body as a layer of fat that’s going to hide all that newly sculpted muscle.