There are many different female strength training techniques on the market today. This overview will help you choose the right program.
Weight training is one of the best methods of strength training! If you want to start weight training safely and effectively, with the best info, diet, and routines, check out the 5 Day Beginner Weight Training Course!
Some exercises are good, some are effective, and some don't really work for building strength. Killer bun-blasters instead of weight training, anyone?... Anyone?... Anyone? ;-)
Free-weights, or training with barbells and dumbbells, is an excellent way to build strength. This is very intense and also requires proper instruction to use correct technique.
Also, free-weights work balance and finer muscle control than machines because you must control where the weight goes. You have to control the path of the weight and keep your body aligned, which will give you enhanced strength and coordination. Overall, an excellent way of building functional strength!
Correct instruction is important so that you don’t hurt yourself. Also, you have to think a little to tailor your own program to you needs.
Kettlebells are similar to free-weights because you do all the balance and control the path of the kettlebell you're lifting. With nothing to stabilize the weight your body works to compensate for it; both coordination and balance are improved.
However, there are two major drawbacks. First, since you are working with heavy weights skilled instruction is needed which, unfortunately, is not available all around the country yet. You will be lucky to find an instructor in your area.
Second, since kettlebells only began gaining in popularity recently it's hard to find a gym that stocks them. This is changing, but in the meantime you will have to buy kettlebells yourself.
So, kettlebells can be excellent but unless you are committed to buying them yourself and taking responsibility for your own training, it's a real pain. Frankly, there are female strength training techniques out there that are much easier find and practice, even though kettlebells are a great workout.
The major benefit of bodyweight exercises is that they can be done anywhere: in your living room, dorm room, at a jungle gym in the park, etc. The whole world is your gym!
Also, with a little imagination you can do some pretty intense exercises, like pistols, plyometric pushups, or 1 arm chin-ups. Versatility and intensity make this one of the best female strength training techniques.
Bodyweight exercises lend themselves more to endurance training than strength training. It’s easier after you start to do more pushups rather than try to work toward 1-arm pushups.
It takes continuous effort to get to the advanced movements and you get little or no feedback at times (slowly shifting more weight to one arm to do 1-arm pushups). This can be frustrating if you like watching yourself improve on a weekly basis.
Machines are easy to use even if you have little idea what you are doing. They guide you through the movements and are adjustable depending on your height and build.
Also, with circuit training and other forms of combined machine work it's relatively easy to find a set of machines at a club that will work your whole body. They are simple and easy to use.
First, machines are expensive. Joining a gym or club is almost always a prerequisite to using them because of the expense and the space they take up.
On top of that, because you don’t control the path of the weights or balance your body when working out, machines don't build much functional strength. All your body parts are worked in isolation, and thus you need many different exercises for a full body workout. There are other female strength training techniques much better suited to building full, unified body strength.
-- 2-4 Stars (varies widely)
Yoga classes are now taught in many places, and are one of the most widely practiced female strength training techniques. This practice uses your body weight in complex postures to build strength, flexibility, and endurance. Some of the advanced postures can be very strenuous to hold and will build unified, full body strength.
There is a wide spectrum of yoga out there. Some classes focus on strength and increasing ability & others just focus on relaxing and stretching. The more traditional spiritual aspects of the practice are emphasized in other classes. Sorting through the chaff and finding what’s right for you can take time.
I hope this overview of female strength training techniques helps you choose the right one. There are many ideas and methods out there and the best practice is to look into them, choose the one that fits, and then run with it.
Oh, and be sure to sign up for the e-zine Starting Strong to get monthly strength training, exercise, and diet tips e-mailed to you - and access to the free e-book Train Smart, Eat Smart: Exercise Nutrition Hacks!
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