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The Best Strength Exercises for Women
Strength workouts for women are different from those for men because they are tailored to specific areas of the body that are typically a problem for women.
Arms and Shoulders Workout - 2 sets of 10-15 repetitions using 5lb weights (or whatever is comfortable but challenging for you)
Hammer Curls - To give your biceps a good workout these hammer curls are easier on the wrists than traditional dumbbell curls. Instead of your wrists facing upwards, they will face inside towards each other. Keep your elbows by your sides and slowly lift the dumbbells up towards your shoulders, pausing for a moment at the top, and slowly releasing down.
Tricep Kickbacks - Bend over at the waist and slightly bend your knees. Hold your weights right at your thighs with your elbows slightly bent and straighten them out behind you so that your arms become parallel to the floor. Pause for a moment and return to the starting position.
Shoulder Press - Stand up straight holding your dumbbells at shoulder level. Your wrists should be facing away instead of towards you. Raise the dumbbells straight above you so your elbows straighten out. Pause for a moment and return to starting position.
Push Ups - This exercise will work your arms and chest muscles. Start in a plank position with your feet out behind you and your arms straightened out below your shoulders. Bend your elbows and lower your body until your body is just above the ground and push back up to starting position.
Thighs and Buttocks Workout - 2 sets of 10-15 repetitions using weights as necessary
Leg Curls - This will work the buns and hamstrings. Place your knees on the ground aligned below your hips. Put your forearms on the ground and clasp your hands in front of you. Extend one leg behind you with your toes pointed. Bend at the knee to curl your leg and return to the extended position. When you are finished with one set on one leg, switch.
Bridges - This also works buns and hamstrings. Lie on the floor with your knees bent at hip width apart and your arms on the ground by your sides. Press down through your feet to lift your hips and lower back off the floor. Pause for a moment at the top and return to starting position with control.
Squats - These can be done with or with out weights in your hands. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Bend your knees and lower your buttocks to a sitting position, keeping your back straight. Go as low as you can hold for a moment and return to the starting position.
Side Abductor - This will target the outer thighs as well as the hips. Lie down on the floor on your side with your legs extended and stacked on top of each other. Raise whichever leg is on top as high as you feel comfortable. Slowly lower your leg to starting position.
Abs and Back Workout - 2 sets of 10-15 repetitions (except for Plank)
Plank - Start with your legs extended behind you, as in a pushup, and your forearms on the ground in front of you with your hands clasped. Come up on your toes and keep your forearms down, using your abs to hold the position for as long as you can.
Leg Lifts - Lie down on the floor with your legs in front of you and your arms beside you. Keeping your toes pointed and feet together, lift your legs off the floor using your abdominal muscles to a 45 degree angle from the floor. Hold for a moment and slowly lower to starting position.
Ball Crunches - You can do regular crunches if you do not have a stability ball, but this makes them better. Position the ball under your lower back, keep you legs bent at the knee and your feet at hip width apart. Lower your upper body back over the ball and raise it back up to a 45 degree angle.
Back Extensions - This exercise is perfect to target the lower back. You can use a bench if you do not have a stability ball. Lie with your hips on the ball and your feet extended behind you. Place your hands behind your head and raise your chest and belly off of the ball so your body is aligned in a straight position. Slowly lower your upper body back down to the ball. To make this exercise more challenging you can hold a medicine ball or weights in front of your chest.
Quick Workout - use this workout if you can't find time to work through the others
Any of these strength workouts for women will help you trim the fat and tone those muscles. Remember to pace yourself and know your limits. You will, however, need to push yourself a little bit to make improvements. Increase your repetitions, sets, or weights if you feel you have reached a plateau but wish to keep improving. The combination of these exercises for women will help you achieve a really good workout in a shorter period of time.