Thereâ€™s a common misconception that weight lifting for women can make them bulky and manly lookingâ€¦a belief that I also had in the past.Â Â Many of us have seen the women in body competitions with bulky arms and legs walking around the stage wearing heels.Â Â While this is a great accomplishment for some women this is not the look everyone is going for when trying to get leaner.Â Â This is why many women get turned off from lifting weights.Â Â After losing around 20 pounds and not wanting to lose much more I knew I needed to do something to tone and build a little muscle.Â Â So I started looking to weightlifting as a possible solution.Â Â Since starting, my arms have become more shapely and toned.Â Â Iâ€™ve also noticed that my abs have tightened up and Iâ€™m even beginning to see a pack (great accomplishment after having two kids including a C-section!).Â Â So Iâ€™m really enjoying the benefits of weightlifting and encourage other women to try it.Â Â Here are a few tips I suggest based on my research and experience:
- Start small and work your way up
Donâ€™t try to lift something like 50 pounds when youâ€™re just starting outâ€¦you can injure yourself with too much weight!Â Start small and work your way up. What I found worked well for me was starting off alternating between 5 and 10 pound arm weights then working my way up to 15 and 20. Â When I’m at the gym where they have more of a variety than what I have at home I like to work with some of the machines using 30 to 40 pounds. Â And my latest venture at the gym is deadlifting barbell weights!
- Learn the proper techniques
It is important that you learn and utilize proper form when lifting weights to decrease your risk of injury. Â The most common injury resulting from weightlifting is a muscle strain (pulled muscle). Â A muscle strain can range in pain from mild to severe and is often caused by small tears within the muscle as a result of overuse of or too much stress during weightlifting.
- Try to push yourself just beyond your comfort zone
If you can do a set of 10 but start struggling at 8 itâ€™s OKâ€¦just try to get one more in to make it 9 then rest.Â Pushing yourself a little challenges your muscles making for a more effective workout and better results.
- Nourish your body as needed
Many of us know protein helps to build muscle.Â But donâ€™t shy away from carbs (provides much needed energy for your workouts) and fat (cushions vital organs and helps to absorb vitamins).Â Always keep in mind that itâ€™s important to fuel the body with the right foods and that with any eating moderation is key.
So ladies don’t be afraid of lifting weights! Â It can provide a number of benefits…I’m a living witness! Â Building some sexy muscle tone and even tightening of skin in my ab area (perhaps a result of building muscle and decreasing fat) are just a couple of the benefits I’ve enjoyed from weightlifting. Â So give it a try when you think you’re ready…girls lift, too!
NOTE: This blog post is a modified version of a similar one I wrote for the digital magazine, Everything Girls Love, where I am a wellness blogger. Â Check me out there sometimes, as well!