The benefits of lifting weights among women is plentiful. Weight lifting is a form of resistance training which helps to build bone density, and build stabilizer muscles to help prevent future sprains. It is also excellent at raising metabolism and burning body fat. It also increases well being and feelings of overall happiness.
Deciding to incorporate weight lifting into your routine is a big first step. Now is the time to get educated about proper form, technique and routines so you can build your muscles at their optimal level. Simply throwing some weights around at the gym will rarely give you the results you desire.
First familiarize yourself with the major muscle groups of the human body, including the pectorals in the chest, deltoids in the shoulder, biceps and triceps in the arms, lattimus dorsi and trapezus in the back, abdominals in the core, and quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles in the legs.
You will start with compound movements, which is those incorporating two or more major muscle groups. This will introduce your muscles to your new weight lifting routine, help strengthen the stabilizing muscles and will allow you to exercise more muscle groups in less amount of time.
It is best to begin with an all body routine, meaning you will exercise all the major muscle groups of the body in one routine. Choose one to two exercises per large muscle group and do 3-4 sets each with 8-12 repetitions. You will do this workout three or four times a week, resting at least one day between workouts. Here is an example of a full body routine:
Chest – Incline Bench Press
Deltoids- Military Shoulder Press, Side Lateral Raises
Biceps – Bicep Curls, Concentration Curls
Triceps – Tricep Pressdowns
Back – Seated Cable Row, Lat Pulldowns, Bent Over Rows
Legs – Squats, Lunges
Hamstrings – Hamstring Curls
Calves – Calf Raises
Abs – Crunches, Reverse Crunches
After 4-6 weeks, you will notice yourself getting progressively stronger. After the six week mark, you can do a upper body/lower body split routine, which means you work the upper body on one day, and the lower body on a different day. This allows you to work more muscles and perform isolation movements, or those exercises utilizing only one major muscle group.
Do each upper body and lower body workout twice a week. Here is an example:
Chest – Bench Press, Cable Flye
Deltoids- Upright Rows, Shoulder Press
Back – Bent Over Rows, Lat Pulldowns
Triceps – Skullcrushers, Tricep Pressdowns
Biceps – Concentration Curls, Preacher Curls
Quads – Squats, Walking Lunges, Seated Leg Extension
Hamstrings – hamstring Curls, Barbell Romanian Deadlift
Calves – Calf Raise, Donkey Calf Raise
Abs – Crunches on Stability Ball, Oblique Crunches
An upper body workout can be performed on Monday and Thursday and lower body workout on Tuesday and Friday.
After a few months of an upper/lower split routine you can further split your routine into specific muscle groups, and will have graduated onto an intermediate weight lifting routine.