Strong is Sexy

Are you the girl that spends countless hours on the treadmill or elliptical only to be frustrated when you can’t meet your fitness goals? Cardio is great exercise for the heart and vital to any great fitness routine, but women often stop there. Not wanting to “bulk up” and look to manly many women skip the weights when it comes to trying to lose weight or get healthier. This is a huge mistake. Read on to see how adding strength training to your life is a huge must for the body you want.
First, let’s debunk all these myths around strength training. You will not become too muscly! Women body builders look the way they do because they often consume extremely large amounts of protein or even steroids compared to the average women. Also, remember that the women who get super large workout for hours a day, again much more than the average woman. Your thighs will not get “thick” from squats, but your butt will get tighter and more lifted. Your arms won’t look like humongous guns from tricep pushups, but the amount of upper arm fat you have will greatly reduce. Another myth, to get the health benefits and look super toned you have to go to a gym and lift heavy weights, again, not true. Great muscle toning exercises can be done in your own home with your own body weight or if you do enjoy the gym, you don’t have to lift massive amounts to look great and improve your health.
Now that it’s clear that strength training doesn’t cause all these awful things we are afraid of as women trying to attain our desired body, let’s focus on what’s great about it. First off, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn just sitting throughout the rest of the day. Muscle is metabolic tissue, meaning your metabolism has to run to use it and maintain it. This allows you to eat more without gaining weight, or eat the same amount and lose weight faster, who doesn’t want that?! Second, you look WAY hotter, thinner, and more toned weighing 140 with muscle mass than 120 with no muscle at all. Muscle weighs more than fat, so when you strength train you can burn fat, replace it with muscle, and gain weight, all while shedding inches around your body. Since muscle is so much denser than fat it takes up less space, making you smaller, but weighs more, making the number on the scale higher. It doesn’t tell you anything about the actual make-up of your body and really, when does it every make you feel fantastic about yourself? To track your progress get a flexible measuring tape and take your measurements every week. This can keep you aware of your progress just like a scale without the mind games.
To start strength training try some simple moves at home. Do standard squats with 3 pound dumbbells in each hand. When you squat down push your hands above your head into a shoulder press. When you return to standing lower your arms to shoulder height again. This move works your hamstrings (back of your thighs), glutes (butt), and your shoulders. Another great move is a plank, which works the entire front portion of your body, not just your abs. Lay down with your stomach on the floor, prop yourself up on your elbows and tip toes, and make sure to keep your entire body straight. Pay special attention to your butt and make sure it doesn’t go higher in the air than your back, taking the focus off your abs. These are two examples of the endless amount of strength training moves that are easy to do for beginners and can be done right at home.

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