If you’ve been one those women who has feared strength training because you don’t want to end up looking like a body builder, it’s time to put those fears to rest. Strength training will help you have more energy and endurance to get through your day and can give you a brighter outlook on life. Make sure you talk to your doctor before starting a strength-training program and always stretch before each workout.
Simplest Strengthening Workout
If you’re new to strength training, you may be hesitant to invest your hard-earned money in a plethora of weights and other equipment. You can work your muscles and build strength simply relying on the resistance of your own body, though. Start out lying on your back on the floor or on a mat if you have one. Lift your legs into the air at a 45-degree angle and place your arms at your sides, lifting them about 6 inches off the ground. Raise your head and look at your stomach. Inhale, beating your hands five times, then exhale, beating your hands five more times. Repeat until you get to 100. When you finish, bring your knees and legs into your chest and stretch your arms out at your sides. Slowly bring your legs over to the right, then straighten and bring them over to the left. Straighten again and repeat five times on each side. Lower your feet to the floor, keeping your knees bent. Place your upper arms on the floor on each side of your body, bending your elbows 90 degrees. Slowly sit up, using your stomach muscles and digging your elbows into the floor. Lower your body and repeat 10 more times. Stand up and lift your hands above your head. Bend forward from the waist, placing your hands on the floor in front of you so that you are in plank pose. Hold for five seconds, then move into push-up position and do three push-ups. Raise your butt so that you are in downward dog position. Walk your hands up to your legs until you are touching your toes. Slowly straighten up. Repeat five times.
Upper Body Workout
Hold a 2-lb weight in each hand. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Lift each arm up and to the sides, so that your body is in a “T” shape. Lower your arms and repeat 10 times. Raise your arms up in front of your body so that you look like a zombie. Lower and repeat 10 times. Put one weight down and grasp the other in both hands. Raise your arms above your head and lean forward slightly. Bend at the elbows and lower the weight just behind your head. Lift it up again. Repeat 10 times. Take up the other weight again and place your arms in front of you. Bend from the elbow, lifting the weights towards your shoulders. Lower and repeat 10 times.
Hold weights in each hand and place your feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward with your left leg, bending the knee 90 degrees. Your right leg should bend and lower to the floor. Lift your arms over your head lower, then spring back into your starting position. Switch legs, then repeat 10 times on each leg. Place your hands on a fitness ball so that you are in a push-up position. Bend at the elbows, lowering your upper body towards the ball. Push yourself upwards and repeat 10 times. Shift your position so that you are lying on the ball on your stomach. Place your feet and hands on the floor. Lift your right leg and left arm off the floor and hold for 10 seconds. Switch sides and hold for 10 seconds; repeat four times each side.