Ladies, today’s fitness tip will be short and sweet. If you avoid the exercises that “men do” because you think they are too hard for women, or because you think they will “bulk you up”, you have been had. If you think it just isn’t possible for you to build up the strength and stamina to do deadlifts, pushups, and chin ups, and all the other impressive stuff you see the guys having fun with, you are wrong. If you think doing these exercises will give you bulging muscles and a “manly” physique, you are also wrong.
Lifting weights (heavy weights) and really challenging our bodies with movements that keep us mobile and agile, is a necessity. And the older we get, the more important these practices become.
If you have been sedentary or are just starting out with a strength training program, you can probably do a lot of the exercises with just your body weight and be plenty challenged. But over time, as you get stronger, adding resistance will be necessary, in order to prevent physical adaption, and to keep seeing results. Those results can include weight loss, fat loss, a leaner physique, a shapelier figure, tighter, better toned muscles, greater strength, speed, and response time, as well as recovery time.
There is no such thing as spot reduction and there are no exercises that can change the body type you were born with. So embrace what you have and focus on being the healthiest, most fit variation of “you” possible!
Do not be afraid to really challenge and push yourself. Women and men can perform all the same exercises the same way. One exercise women often tend to modify is pushups. When I initially work with women and have them do pushups, often times they will put their knees on the floor. The problem with “knee pushups” is that you never have to fully engage all of your core muscles if your legs are not extended. This makes it very unlikely that you will ever progress to real pushups because you won’t ever fully strengthen the areas that need strengthening.
The best way to progress your pushups is to start with your hands elevated and then gradually work your way down to the floor.
To learn more about this and other push up variations, hop on over to my Real [Fit] Life page and watch the how-to videos for this week’s portion of my “Be progressive” series.
Now get out there!