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UNDERSTANDING YOUR BODY
SKINNY OR STRONG
Okay ladies, now we understand that not all girls are naturally slim, but that should not be an excuse to not work towards a healthy body composition. A common misconception with healthy body composition, is that size means everything, especially what is written on the tag when buying new clothes. A drop in dress size can be a landmark achievement for many women, but it should not be the only aim. By focusing solely on your dress size, you may end up moving in a direction that is just as, if not more unhealthy than being overweight.
As stated above the end goal should be healthy body composition, which means a good body fat percentage, sensible muscle for your frame and maintainable overall body weight. Quite often, simply losing weight will be an integral part of getting healthier and moving towards your ideal physique. However, making sure that resistance training makes up a good part of your training will ensure that good muscle development will help you to tone up and give your body shape, which is especially important if you have a lot of weight to lose and a soft and saggy appearance is to be avoided.
Social pressures and the “ideal womanly figure” changes over time, differing greatly over the modern era. But there is a new wave in the social conscious, one that has women in the gyms alongside men, lifting weights, gaining strength (and confidence), and developing a healthy and strong body that is still unmistakably feminine. The days of fuller figure or waif-skinny model appearances dominating the magazine covers seems to be over.
TOO MUCH WITH THE SKINNY!
The Fashion industry has long been under fire from the general population that their models are too skinny, maintaining an unhealthy body weight, deemed to be nothing more than coat hangers by some. The defense has always been that the models are required to be somewhat “formless” so as not to detract from the clothing they are wearing. But even the top of the heap, like the ladies from Victoria’s Secret have begun to tout the benefits of weight training, endorsing resistance training and flaunting a six pack here or there. And good for them we say!
STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY!
The fight for equality of women in society begun decades ago, but still we see the results pulsing fresh through today. Women have taken to gyms, once the sweat soaked domain of men-only, and women pound the sidewalks amongst the guys, glowing with pride with every man they overtake. It is no secret that women are enjoying a new found confidence that comes with feeling stronger, healthier and independent. By incorporating strength training with weights into their exercise routine, women are breaking the stigma that “lifting weights will make you big and muscly”, but what women are discovering is that it can give so much more.
HOW TO JOIN THE NEW ERA OF LEAN LADIES
To join in on the fun and discover the healthier, stronger and leaner physique start by incorporating these basic movements into your workouts to mix things up. And forget about your relaxing stroll on the treadmill, it is, literally, getting you nowhere.
- Squats – Squats in any variation will have a huge impact on how your body develops, it can boost the metabolism for hours afterwards and is fantastic for tightening and toning the legs and butt. Body weight squats are a great way to start, developing the balance and flexibility required for when you start to add weights to the movement.
- Dumbbell chest press – This movement will engage the chest, shoulders and triceps, helping to tone these muscle groups.
- Deadlifts - A deadlift will tighten up your glutes and lower back, keeping your back straight and head up while in movement is very important. Also it will build up a more stronger overall physique.
Ladies don’t be afraid to get sweaty, dirty and be sore. What you put into your workout is what you will get out of it! Always keep up your nutrition daily and prepare yourself like a professional. Realistically lifting weights will burn more calories than walking on a treadmill or doing few sit ups, so give it ago and don’t give up.