Before Gail Devers won the 100-meter dash at the 1992 Olympics, she spent countless hours on the track. But you know where else she spent her time? In the gym, doing strength training. Not to gain weight, but to keep her muscles strong.
The common fear is that strength training will add bulk and therefore add weight. But this is a myth. Strength training will build lean muscle and burn some of that fat. So in the long run, you not only become stronger, but you can lose weight as well. Women, in fact, are more likely to tone up from strength training rather than bulk up.
So what part of the body should you work? All of it – your upper body, core, and lower body.
Your upper body is made up of your arms, chest, shoulders, neck, and upper back. This is easily the most popular part of the body to work for strength training. Here are some possible exercises for the upper body:
The core is very important because you derive much of your balance from the middle section of your body. Plus a strong core allows you to do other exercises better and more effectively. When it comes to your core, almost everyone takes care of their stomachs with sit-ups. But there is much more to your core, including your obloquies, lower back, hips and groin. Here are a few exercises for the core:
Last but not least is your lower body. While the legs are sometimes forgotten during strength training, they are also very important. The reason for this is large muscle groups like the ones in your legs burn more fat and help you last longer during aerobic exercise. The key is finding exercises that specifically work your quads, hamstrings, calves and tibialis. Here are a few lower body exercises:
Make sure to give your body a rest after a strength workout. Whichever part or parts of the body you work, give it two days’ rest before you work it again. This gives the muscles time to repair themselves and allows your metabolism to do its thing. And before you know it, you will not only be strong, but on the way to hitting your weight goal.