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Jul 12, 2011

Strength Training For Women: 4 Exercises To Target Your Problem Areas

You don’t have to be a super-buff gym junkie to enjoy the benefits of strength training. Because muscle mass diminishes as we grow older, an exercise routine without strength training will still cause an increase in the percentage of fat all over your body. Ladies, it is totally possible to add regular strength training to your workout regimen without getting 22-inch guns!
Samantha+Stosur_strength+training+for+women[Strong but ladylike guns like Sam's requires a well-rounded strength training exercise regimen.]
Strength training increases your bone density which reduces your risk of getting osteoporosis. Adding strength training exercises to your exercise routine will help avoid injury. Building up your muscles protects the joints from injury so you don’t have long breaks between your workouts due to injuries.
We know that strength training improves other chronic conditions that may be contributing to your weight gain or providing other obstacles to your weight loss struggle. If you suffer from back pain, diabetes, obesity or depression, regular strength training can decrease the symptoms of these conditions. Do you really need another reason?
Well we here at The Fat Loss Authority of come up with 4 strength training exercises to target those areas that women often complain about. Whether your problem area is your belly, butt, abs, arms, shoulders or thighs, we’ve got a variety of strength training exercises to help you achieve your fat loss goals.

Ball Crunch

The ball crunch allows you the space to do crunches the right way–without an awfully sore neck. In addition, the ball crunch allows several variations for a complete ab strengthening workout!
To begin this strength training exercise, sit on the stability ball so your knees are aligned with your ankles. Your knees should be about hip width apart. Lean back so your upper body is lined up with your knees. As you exhale, bring your upper body up to a 45 degree angle, hold it, and exhale as you return to the lying position.
oblique ball crunch_strength training for women[Take the ball crunch to the next level and twist to strengthen & tone the obliques.]
Remember to exhale up and inhale down to get the most effective ab strengthening workout. Another important point to remember is keeping those stomach muscles tight as you exercise.
Get more out of your stability ball by trying the oblique crunch and the reverse crunch!

Dumbbell Curls

Dumbbell curls are effective strength training exercises for women who need toned arms without the size. Keep your weights small and do about 15-20 repetitions per set if your goal is smaller arms that don’t jiggle. Curls will help tone and tighten the biceps so you can feel confident in tank tops and the ever popular strapless dress!
Grab your dumbbells (10 lbs. or less) in your hand and at your sides with your palms facing forward. Keep your feet right under your hips with your knees slightly bent and shoulder width apart. Exhale as you lift both weights up toward your shoulders. Hold for a second and inhale as you lower the weights back to starting position. Do 3 sets of curls, using enough weight to do as close to 20 reps as you can.
dumbell curls_strength training for women[Dumbbell curls--nature's answer to jiggly tank top-phobic arms!]
Keep your back straight and use ONLY your biceps to lift the weights. Using momentum to lift the weights won’t allow you to improve your strength or enjoy any other benefits of strength training for women.
Tip: Add a bit of variety to your strength training workout by doing hammer curls, or grab your stability ball and do preacher curls or concentration curls. Take those dumbbells in the backyard and get a dose of sun with your workout!

Lateral Raise

Women tend to shy away from exercising parts of the body considered ‘manly’ or ‘masculine’, and they do so at their own peril. There isn’t one particular exercise that’s designed for men or women, it’s all about the size of the weight and the number of repetitions you do, combined with a proper diet. Well-defined shoulder muscles will make your waist look smaller and improve your posture for an overall better appearance.
Holding dumbbells in your hand with palms facing your side, stand with feet shoulder width apart so your feet and aligned with your hips. Lift weights at the elbow up to your shoulder, pause for a moment, and inhale as you lower the weights back to your sides. Your shoulder should be doing the lifting if you perform this strength training exercise correctly.
lateral raises_strength training for women[Well-rounded strength training focuses even on muscles you've forgotten about!]
Other shoulder strength training exercises include the upright row and shoulder press. And the good news is that you can choose where to do them; park, backyard, beach or gym! It’s up to you.

Leg Curls

Every woman I know is on a quest to get her thighs as slim as can be and her butt as round and irresistible as J-Lo’s. Leg curls are the perfect strength training exercise to get you there! Leg curls allow you to focus on strengthening and toning while also improving your overall balance.
Start with your forearms and left knee on the floor. Make sure your knees are directly below your hips and that your head & neck are lined up with your spine. Your right leg should be outstretched. Take your right leg and bend it naturally as you exhale. Hold position for a moment and inhale as you straighten your leg out to starting position.
leg curl with weight_strength training for women[Increase your workout intensity by adding dumbbells to your leg curls. Look as good going as you do coming!]
Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions on each leg and you’ll be sporting your favorite mini skirt just as the snow melts! Increase the burn with the bridge pose. On the floor or on a stability ball the bridge pose is an effective alternative to tone the butt & thighs.
What’s great about strength training for women is that your goals allow you to perform exercises anywhere! Grab your workout buddy and head to your favorite outdoor location to motivate you through your workout. If strength training at the gym makes you anxious and embarrassed, grab your dumbbells and stability ball and find your happy place to burn the fat away.

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