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Supported Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Supported Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, place your left hand on a bench in front of you, and assume a staggered stance, left foot forward. Hold your elbow in as you row the wight to the side of your torso. Do 10 reps, switch arms and leg positions, and repeat the movement.

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Grab a pair of dumbbells, bend your knees and lean forward so your torso is nearly parallel to the floor. Tuck your upper arms next to your sides, bend your elbows, and hold your forearms about parallel to the floor, palms facing up. Simultaneously extend your arms straight back and rotate the weight so your palms end up facing each other. Return to the starting position. Do 15 reps.

Dumbbell Hammer Curl and Press

Dumbbell Hammer Curl and Press

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a pair of dumbbells at arm's length by your sides, palms facing each other. Without moving your upper arms, curl the weights to your shoulders, and then press them overhead until your arms are straight. Reverse the move to return to the starting position. Do 10 reps.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Women's Weight Training for Greater Fat Loss and Muscle Tone

Weight training routines as popularized by women’s fitness magazines tend to look very different from weight training routines in men’s fitness magazines. Photographs of models lifting small, brightly-colored weights are commonplace, as are suggestions to lift weights that allow for a high number of repetitions, often 15 to 20, or even more.
On the other hand, men receive recommendations for routines lifting more weight with fewer repetitions, a technique that research has proven to be effective for gaining strength, muscle mass, and consequently, improving muscle tone in both men and women. The key elements to a successful weight training program in both men and women are the same, and a training program for women should look no different than a training program for men.

Increased Muscle Tone

A primary reason that women strength train is to increase muscle tone, but rarely do people think about what the term really means. Increasing muscle tone involves reducing the layer of fat covering muscle tissue, while maintaining, or increasing muscle mass. Weight training has been shown to increase fat loss, but only in training programs using lower repetition ranges and higher weights than women are typically prescribed.

Fear of Bulking Up

A commonly held belief is that women who lift heavier weights will become bulky and look like female bodybuilders. On the contrary, lifting weights at recommended intensity levels has been shown to increase fat loss and decrease muscle loss while dieting. Since, muscle is more dense than fat, women who strength train while attempting to lose weight actually get less bulky. The fear of becoming bulky and looking like a female bodybuilder is largely unfounded as women do not naturally have the testosterone levels to achieve such a high degree of muscularity.

Weight Training for Women

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that beginning trainees do a variety of exercises working all major muscle groups 2 to 3 times per week using weights in the 8 to 12 repetition range. Beyond the first 6 months of a training program, the recommendation changes to also include some heavier work at lower repetition ranges. As trainees increase strength and are able to lift one or two repetitions more than the goal range with the same load, more weight should be added to the exercise in question.

Weight Training Potential In Women

Women have the same potential as men for gaining strength and greater strength means more muscle tone. Women have less absolute strength then men, simply because they have an average of 40% less muscle than the average man, but relative strength increases occur at the same rate as for men under the same training recommendations.

If women’s fitness magazines targeting a mainstream female audience are any indication, it is not as culturally acceptable for women to lift heavier weights as it is for men. Increased fat loss and muscle tone are awaiting women who are willing to break out of the cultural norms and increase weight training intensity levels to research-proven levels.

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