With an array of strength exercises for women to choose from, it can be overwhelming working out which one’s are worth your time and should be incorporated into your training. We’ve compiled this list to help you ensure you get the most out of your fitness routine by practising what we consider the best strength training exercises out there.
1. Russian twist
Benefits: This exercise is incredible for your abs and obliques.
How to do it: Start by sitting on a matt with your legs bent at a ninety-degree angle. Bring your arms to your chest in a prayer like position and interlock your fingers together. Rotate to the left side of your body, ensuring your back remains straight and feet stay firmly planted on the matt. Return to centre position and repeat the movement on the right side of your body.
Repetitions: Depending on your own fitness, we recommend doing three sets of fifteen repetitions. If you feel you need more of a workout, you can increase that number up to three sets of twenty repetitions.
2. Reverse plank
Benefits: The reverse plank is a great exercise for training your back, glutes, hamstrings and core.
How to do it: Start by placing your feet together at the far end of your matt. Place your palms on the other end of your matt facing your feet and positioned just outside the line of your hips. Lift your body towards the ceiling so you are making a flat line from the top of your head to the bottom of your heels. Elevate your head towards the ceiling and keep your toes pointed as well as your legs and arms straight.
Repetitions: Hold for one minute with three repetitions. Between each repetition, pause for half a minute to allow your body to recover. If you are struggling to hold the reverse plank for a minute, you can adjust the time to ensure your body is not under excessive strain. As always, listen to your body and practise the exercise in a way that works for you.
3. Slide plank
Benefits: This is a total body exercise that works your abs, obliques, arms and wrists.
How to do it: Start by lying sideways on your matt. Place your palms on the matt so they are resting underneath your shoulder. Ensure your ankles are touching one another. When you feel balanced, take a deep breath in and lift your body completely so your side is being pulled up to the ceiling. Keep your freearm resting on your legs. Your body should be making a straight line from your head to your heels. Once completed, turn over and repeat the exercise on the other side to ensure your strength training is balanced.
If you would like an extra challenge, this exercise can be varied in several ways to increase the challenge. Raise your free arm to the ceiling so you are creating a T-shape with your body. This will make the exercise harder as it requires more balance and strength from your core.
Repetitions: Hold this position for thirty seconds and repeat the exercise three times with a pause of thirty seconds between each exercise.
Benefits: Squats are an endlessly rewarding exercise. This exercise works your hamstrings, glutes, rectus abdominus, quadriceps, lower back, abs and calves.
How to do it: Ensuring you have the right form for a squat is vital to allow you to get the most out of this exercise.Place your feet hip-width apart. Whilst keeping your back straight, bend your legs and sit back as if you are sitting in a chair. Go as low as you can with your legs parallel to the floor and then return toyourupright position.
Repetitions: Practice this exercise with three sets of fifteen repetitions.
Benefits: The bridge exercise works on your hamstrings, abs, obliques, rectus abdominus and adductors.
How to do it: Lay on your matt facing upwards. Bend your knees so they are around thirty centimetres from your hips. Place your arms and palms so they are resting flat on your matt. When you are ready, squeeze your glute muscles together and raise your hips to the ceiling so you make a slanted table top position with your body. Hold the position for three seconds and then return to the ground.
Repetitions: Practice this exercise with three sets of twenty repetitions. Remember to squeeze your glutes to ensure the bridge exercise is strengthening your rectus abdominus and core.
What’s essential to remember when practising these strength training exercises is listening to your body. If you feel as though you’re struggling to meet the sets and repetitions we have advised, lower the numbers down to suit your body and its needs. Similarly, if you feel you need more of a challenge, you can always increase the repetitions and sets.
It’s always helpful to be guided in your training by an expert in the field. A CALIBER online fitness coach can assist in ensuring you get the most out of your training and the best results possible. With extensive experience, professional advice and a deep understanding of what strength training exercises work for women, the benefits of opting to choose an online fitness coach are endless.