Many women avoid weightlifting because they have the misconception that lifting weights will make them big and bulky. In reality, building muscle is not only very beneficial for women but can help them look leaner and more fit. ZOZOFIT has a breakdown on what you should know about the health benefits of building muscle for women and how to get started on your weightlifting journey.
Why Building Muscle for Women Is Important
Muscle building is often thought of as something men do. However, it’s important for women to build muscle strength as well. Building muscles can help women boost their endurance as well as improve wellness in the following ways:
- Manage weight more easily
- Develop strong bones
- Reduce chronic pain
- Improve mental health
- Boost critical thinking skills
With age, lean muscle mass naturally diminishes. Women who don’t regularly strength train may be more likely to lose muscle mass faster than those who work out to build muscle.
How To Build Muscle for Women
There isn’t one “right” way for how to build muscle women should follow. These tips can help you develop the right weight training program for your body’s needs.
Choose the Right Weight
You can start by simply using your own body weight if you’re worried about being able to lift dumbbells or barbells. Great bodyweight exercises include lunges, pushups, planks and pull-ups.
Once you get comfortable lifting your own weight, you can try using resistance tubing or free weights to increase your resistance. Weight machines are another option. They’re great for women who are beginners at building muscle because they’re often designed to help you maintain good posture while you lift weights.
Increase Your Weight as You Can
A vital part of building muscle for women through weightlifting is to choose a weight that you can lift without injuring yourself. Ideally, you should be able to repeat sets of between eight and 12 reps each with the weights you choose. By the end of each set, it should be a challenge to lift the weights, but you should still be able to do so with good form.
As your muscles become stronger, you need to challenge them by adding more weight. Too often, people continue lifting the same weights for months at a time. Your goal should be to slowly and steadily add weight as you can. This is one of the best methods for noticeably increasing muscular strength.
Focus on Reps and Sets
Keep track of the reps and sets you complete for each weightlifting exercise. This will help you get more consistent results. Some women like to lift heavier weights for eight reps per set, while others like to do 12-15 reps per set. It doesn’t matter how many reps you choose to lift with each set as long as you’re consistent.
If you want noticeable results from your weightlifting efforts, you need to train regularly. Training just once per week isn’t going to deliver the best outcome. Instead, aim to do weight training at least three times per week. After a few weeks, you should begin to notice improvements in your appearance and strength.
Work Different Muscle Groups
To get the best benefits from building muscle, you should work different muscle groups regularly. You might focus on building upper body strength twice per week and focusing on your lower body two days per week (or vice versa).
Popular Muscle-Building Exercises for Women
Now that you know how important it is for women to build muscle, it’s time to come up with a good strength-training workout to do at home or at the gym. The following muscle-building workout sample can help you get started on your weight-training journey.
A basic dumbbell press is great for women who are beginning to focus on building muscle. It can help you build strength in your shoulders and traps. To do a basic dumbbell press, stand tall with your core pulled in tight and your legs about hip-width apart.
While holding a dumbbell in each hand, raise your arms to either side of you with the forearms bent upward at a 90-degree angle. Take a deep breath, then exhale as you press your arms toward the ceiling. Hold your arms straight for a second, then slowly return them to the bent, 90-degree angle before repeating again for your preferred number of repetitions.
Squats are great for building lower-body strength. They can shape and tone your glutes and quads. To do squats, begin by standing straight with a dumbbell in each hand and your feet a little wider than hip-width. Slowly jut your rear backward and bend your knees as if you’re sitting in a chair. Lower your body to where you feel comfortable, then return to a standing position. Keep your core tight throughout the entire exercise.
When building muscle for women, it’s common to forget about the triceps. Those are the little muscles in the backs of the arms that are responsible for extending the elbow. When the triceps are weak, they can look flabby. Triceps kickbacks can help you tighten up these muscles.
To begin, bend forward at the waist with your knees slightly bent. Keep your core tight so you don’t arch or bow the back. You can also rest one knee and hand on a weight bench for added support while keeping the other leg and working arm off the bench.
With a dumbbell in one hand, squeeze your working arm next to your ribcage and pull it back (while bent) to a 90-degree angle so your elbow, shoulder and hip are in a straight line. Then, flex your triceps as you straighten your arm backward. Hold it there for a second, then return to the starting position and repeat.
Track Your Progress While Building Muscle
Building muscle is hard work for both women and men. To keep yourself motivated, it’s important to track your progress. One easy way to do this is by investing in a ZOZOSUIT and using the ZOZOFIT app. Together, these tools provide accurate 3D body scans that can help you track your fitness results over time. Buy yours today!