Working On Your Fitness: The Best Exercises for Women
When Michelle Obama started the Let’s Move campaign, suddenly her body and the bodies of women of color all over the nation came under scrutiny. Whether it was because their booty was too wide or they weren’t muscular enough, it was enough to turn us black women off of exercise altogether. Fortunately, there are many women who promote a healthy lifestyle and want to share exercises for women that can shape our bodies and help us achieve both the look we want and the health we need.
It’s important to keep in mind that every woman who starts her fitness journey must begin at the beginning, which means she has to work to get the muscles and definition she wants. So, if you want to get yourself fit, healthy and happy, add these exercises to your routine.
The Single Arm Row is Simple and Effective
When it comes to workouts for women, being sure to incorporate strength training and cardio is important for burning fat and creating muscle definition. The single-arm row is ideal because you can do it at home or at the gym and it simultaneously works your upper arms and back.
To do the move, place your right knee and right hand on a weight bench, holding a dumbbell in your left hand, arm down. Bring your left elbow up pulling the dumbbell toward your torso. Lower to complete one repetition. Do 8 to 10 reps, then switch sides.
Squats are one of the Best Exercises for Women
Why? Because they tone and slim the muscles in your legs and butt, giving you the booty you want. Squats also burn calories and stretch your muscles so you become more flexible and stronger at the same time.
To do a squat, simply stand with your feet apart a bit wider than your hips. Point your knees outward, squat down as close to the floor as you can. Using your glute muscles, return to standing. Repeat 15 to 20 times.
Do Side Planks for Your Belly
If your tummy is your trouble zone, you aren’t alone. Many of us women report having a hard time keeping the fat from settling around our middle. That means you’ll need to do both calorie-blasting cardio and strength training so you can burn fat and tone your abs at the same time. This move is ideal for targeting all the muscles of your core, even the ones deep inside.
To do a side plank, lie on the floor on your left side, keeping your knees straight. Prop yourself up on your left forearm and elbow. Raise your hips to create a straight line with your body. Hold the move for 30 seconds. Do two repetitions, then switch to the right side.
Get Better Boobs With The Dumbbell Press
You might not give your breasts as much thought as your booty, but you definitely want your front side looking as great as your backside. This move helps tone your chest, giving you lift and definition. At the same time, it also targets your triceps so you can build muscle there too.
Lie on your back and hold a pair of dumbbells straight up over your chest. Then, slowly bend your elbows and bring the weights down on either side of your chest, then back up without resting. Do 3 sets of 15 reps each.
Pushups are Always a Great Option
You can’t really go wrong with a few sets of traditional pushups. They work your arms and shoulders, but also challenge your core so you’re building strength and toning several areas at one time. Adding pushups to your regular routine can help lift your breasts, create definition in your arms and tone your midsection.
To do one, start on all fours, with your hands just slightly wider than shoulder width. Bring your knees up and straighten your legs until you’re resting on your hands and toes, your body a straight line. Slowly lower your body by bending your elbows, keeping your hips lifted and your stomach braced. Return to starting to complete one push up. Repeat 15 times.
You Can’t Go Wrong with High Intensity Interval Training
High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is one of the best choices when it comes to workouts for women. It combines working out at a regular pace with short bursts during which you go all out as hard as you can. You can incorporate HIIT into many of your workouts, including running, biking, and jump rope. Try adding HIIT to your workout a couple of times per week to burn extra calories.
You’ll Love What Step Ups Will Do for Your Body
Strength training for women is an important aspect of your exercise routine and step ups with weights are the ideal choice, both for beginners and experts.
To do the move, hold a pair of dumbbells, one in each hand. Leading with your weaker leg, step up onto an exercise stair and then return to your starting position without pausing at the top. Repeat 12 times. Do 3 reps a couple of times per week to build up your booty and legs.
Add Bridges to Your Repertoire
The great thing about bridges is that they sculpt your buns, but also help strengthen and tone your core.
To do the move, lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips up to create a straight line from your shoulders to your knees, pause, then lower your hips back to the floor. Do 20 repetitions several times per week. Use an exercise mat or yoga mat so that you don’t hurt your back as you lift and lower your hips.
The best exercises for women are those that combine cardiovascular movements with weight training. Because our bodies differ from a man’s, it’s important to create a workout routine that is customized for your body type and fitness needs. We advise you to always talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program, but in general, aim for 30 minutes or cardio most days of the week and two or three strength training sessions.
Creating the body you want isn’t always easy, but you’ll love the way you look and feel when you make your fitness a priority and get in shape. Check out more fitness articles on our blog. Here’s to a healthy future!