Women may not always go straight for the weights when they enter the gym, especially if there are sweaty, burly dudes taking up too much space in front of them while they work out.
But, weight lifting and strength training are crucial for women to build muscle and strengthen their bones… That’s why creating a regular routine and establishing workout goals for yourself can be so rewarding!
But, we understand that diving headfirst into working out can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before, so here are six tips you can follow to make your workout a success.
- Always Warm Up: One of the best ways to hurt yourself during your workout is by jumping straight into your weight lifting without stretching and warming up your body. By warming up first, you increase your circulation and improve your range of motion, which readies your body for whatever you might put it through later.
- Perfect Your Form: Another sure way to injure yourself is to go about the weight lifting process all wrong. And it’s understandable – sometimes you might be in a hurry and want to go through your whole routine, feel the burn, and get out of there without much thought. But this could lead to disaster – some studies have even shown women to be at higher risk for workout injuries than men. If you aren’t sure how to follow proper form, check with a trainer before continuing your workout… better safe than sorry!
- Pay Attention to Your Body: When you’re targeting specific muscles in your workout, be sure you’re feeling the burn in those muscles, not elsewhere. Also, realize that when your body has had enough, you have had enough. There are always more days and more workouts ahead of you, so pace yourself and enjoy the knowledge that next time you work out, you’ll be able to push even harder.
- Start Small: The best way to avoid torn ligaments, tendinitis, or excessively sore muscles and connective tissue is to gradually work your way into tougher routines. You may want to put everything you have into your first work out, doing as many reps and sets as you can at the highest weight your body can manage, but you may not be doing yourself a favor by doing so. Instead, start with weights you know your body can handle, and increase them over time.
- Take a Break: You may start wanting to spend every waking moment weight training, but it’s wise to take strategic breaks. Ideally, weight training should be performed 3 days a week. It’s best to put around 48 hours between working out each muscle group. And during that 48 hours, you’re guaranteed to feel that awesome soreness that indicates your muscles are becoming firmer, stronger, and more toned.
- Don’t Give Up: Working out with weights on a regular basis can sometimes feel like a full-time job, but don’t let it stress you out. Working out isn’t an obligation – it’s a gift you’re giving to yourself that pays off with a better, stronger body. When you aren’t lifting weights, spend time on the other days of the week performing cardio exercises. That way, you’ll begin seeing the results you want!