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There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about women lifting weights. One of the most common myths is that women who do weight training are at a risk of getting hurt or end up looking masculine and bulky. But that’s not true. Instead, there are several advantages of doing weight training every day and using free weights, resistance bands, weightlifting, as well as body weight exercises. It can help step up your weight loss regime!
HealthShots reached out to fitness expert Mukul Nagpaul, Founder of Pmftraining and Fit India Movement Ambassador, to find out the things to keep in mind before trying weight training for women.
Nagpaul says, “Weight training is an effective way for women to reach their fitness goals and build strength. But before jumping into a weight training program, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of how it works.”
Here are 7 key things women should know about weight training:
1. Weights can be adjusted to an individual’s needs
Weights do not come in one size fits all. It’s important to choose a weight that is appropriate for your current fitness level and start with lighter weights as you get used to the movements. Nagpaul advises picking a weight that you can lift 12 to 15 times without feeling fatigued.
2. Proper form is essential
Make sure you are lifting with the appropriate form to reduce the chance of injury and make sure you are getting the most out of your workout. This entails maintaining a straight back, using your core muscles, and making sure that you are not overextending or arching your back. Carelessness might lead to unwanted injury while lifting weights or exercising.
3. Plan it according to your menstrual cycle
When compared to weight training during the luteal phase (it begins around day 15 of a 28-day cycle and ends when you get your period), weight training during the follicular phase (which is when an egg grows in your ovaries) led to greater gains in muscular strength. If you start paying attention to the menstrual cycles, you might discover that the follicular phase is when your strength training is most effective. Before your period or while you are experiencing PMS, take it easy and reduce the intensity of your workout.
4. Weights should be increased gradually
Nagpaul says, “When starting out, it is important to slowly increase the amount of weight being lifted in order for the body to adjust and get used to the new load. Once you have become accustomed to the weight, then it is okay to increase the amount of weight slightly or add additional repetitions.”
5. Weights can be combined with other exercises
Weights are effective for building strength, but incorporating other exercises such as cardio, bodyweight movements, and dynamic stretching can maximise the benefits of weight training.
6. Weights should be used with caution
Weights are effective for building strength, but they can also lead to injury, if not used correctly. Make sure to listen to your body and take a break when needed. It is better to lift safely than risk an injury that could put you out of the gym for a long period of time.
7. It’s a full-body workout
Weight training is a type of exercise that tries to work every significant muscle in a single session. It increases metabolism and aids in calorie burning. Perform exercises including calf raises, bench presses, pull-downs, deadlifts, pushups, squats, and lunges. If you have a pair of dumbbells, you can train your entire body muscles with them.
Women can achieve their fitness objectives and develop strength with weight training, but only if they are aware of these seven key points will they be able to do so safely and effectively. With proper form, gradual increases in weight, and combining weights with other exercises, weight training can become an integral part of a woman’s fitness routine.