I am happy to see that more women are starting to lift weights and making it a part of their normal routine. I still think it's something that many women struggle with wrapping their head around. For this reason, today I wanted to run through the common misconceptions of weight lifting for women and why it's actually very beneficial to pick up and maintain.
- Women are afraid that they are going to bulk up and look manly when they will actually get sculpted and toned. I found this picture online and it hit this point on the head!
- Women feel that cardio is all they need to focus on to really lose weight and stay "skinny". Cardio is a good way to burn calories and lose weight, however weight lifting actually burns more calories since calories are still being burned AFTER the exercise is completed. Also, remember that sculpted and toned statement from above?!?! You can only get that by intentionally working your muscles with weight training. I'm not saying that you should do one or the other, I'm saying there is a healthy place for both!
- There is also a misconception that weight lifting means huge heavy weights. Yes, that can be something people use, but it can also be smaller dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands AND body weight exercises! I personally do a combination of everything...I get bored too easily just focusing on one thing. I'd suggest figuring out what your goals are and then utilizing the strength training equipment that will help you achieve those.
- Lifting weight can significantly improve your posture. Slouched shoulders is usually caused by a muscle imbalance of having stronger chest muscles than shoulder and upper back muscles. A pushed out stomach is normally due to a week core. The best thing to do is figure out what type of bad posture you have and then correct it with specific strength training exercises to target those weak muscle areas.
- Did you know that weight lifting actually increases your bone density?? This will help prevent the onset of osteoporosis as you age and helps with your form, balance and coordination by having stronger muscles. :-D
- It can also be a huge confidence builder! Weight training really pushes you physically which in turn shows you how strong you are mentally. People aren't lying when they say that working out is as much a mental game as it is a physical one, but think of how accomplished you'll feel as you push yourself and start seeing some awesome results! Think of how proud you'll be when you graduate from knee push-ups to full push-ups because you put your mind to building more strength. The more confidence you gain in this area, the more confidence you'll gain in other areas of your life.
What other benefits and misconceptions do you know of? What personal experiences do you have with lifting?