I’ve seen it too many times… back when I worked at gyms and still now when I work out at my local commercial gym: alot (not all) of women are neglecting the big old compound exercises. The reasons could be many:
- Lack of knowledge: not knowing how to correctly perform the exercise
- Intimidation: some women feel intimidated walking into the free weights section because of all the testosterone around. I say OWN it.. do your thang girl!!
- Have been misinformed: some women might still believe that these big lifts are just “too manly” for them, totally not the case.
I could continue, but then this would turn into a looonnnggg rant.
Ok, so moving on… these lifts I like to refer to them as the “Build-A Body” group, because when implemented correctly can help ‘build’ your lady bumps and humps 😉 and who wouldn’t want that?!
- The Deadlift: A foundational lift. This exercise mimics everyday movements like bending and lifting (ex: picking up your little one). This one is my ultimate favourite lift. With so many different variations, I incorporate the deadlift in almost every one of my workouts. Muscles worked include:
- entire posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, hips): equals a beautiful backside
- engages your core musculature (internal girdle): a strong core increases overall strength, protects your back, and lets you wear those crop tops without thinking twice
- biceps and forearms: develops your grip strength so you can lift more heavy SH*T!
- Here’s a great article on deadlifting written by Tony Gentilcore (who is only the world’s deadlifting god)
- The Squat: Another foundational lift as you do this movement every time you sit and stand. With many variations to choose from, you can never get bored of this one.
- helps build and shape nice thighs
- helps build glutes
- builds overall strength
- The Hip Thrust: This one is a great glute builder/ isolator exercise. Remember that your glutes are pure muscle and in order to grow them you need to learn to fire the glutes and stimulate them properly using heavier loads, varying rep ranges, etc. You can increase or decrease the intensity level by doing body weight hip thrusts, adding bands, doing singe leg variations.. possibilities are many.
- Pull-ups: This is the ultimate upper body exercise as it builds incredible strength. As a multi joint exercise:
- works & strengthens entire back musculature, shoulders, biceps, grip strength
- creates a tapered effect of the back making your waist look smaller
- different hand positions target the muscles a little differently/ changes difficulty
- Vertical/ Horizontal Presses: These include push-ups & variations (horizontal press exercises); military press, push-press, shoulder press, etc (vertical press exercises). These exercises:
- increase upper body strength (women have less muscle mass compared to their lower bodies.. we gotta work harder at it!)
- work your chest, shoulders, triceps and core
- Band assisted push-ups (beginners)
- Awesome push-up variations (advanced)
- Military Press helps build amazing shoulders
- Push Press helps build raw strength. Improves shoulder stability. And can I just say it look badass when a woman does it!!
So here it is ladies.. a short list of some lifts to definitely include in your training. Don’t be intimidated or embarrassed of walking into that gym and grabbing some iron. Your body will thank you 😉
Happy Training 🙂
Ok so there are SIX weeks till showtime. I must admit I haven’t been 100% on top of my game. This week has proven to be the most difficult yet. Due to unexpected occurences I am home all week. My workouts have been totally modified. I have had to make due with the little equipment I have in the basement.
My arsenal includes:
- a TRX
- 40 pd kettlebell
- 15pd dumbbells
- old school bench and weights ( by old school..I literally mean it; cement weights, that bench with the attached leg curl/extension)
- a punching bag
- skipping rope
- yoga mat
I did legs on Tuesday. Was able to get in sumo deadlifts. Instead of leg curls for the hamstrings I did single leg RDL with the kettlebell. Then I did bulgarian split squat with 30pds superset with trx piston squats. I threw in a mini circuit of rear delt flies, pike pushups, 40pd weighted crunches & leg raises..(since I missed shoulders on monday). I am feeling the results of that workout today..good old DOMS!
I sent my biweekly report a day late (monday) which I hadn’t ever done. I was expecting to get a lecture from coach..but to my surprise she responded very positively to my picture update. She said I have noticeably tightened up & leaned out. This brought a huge smile to my face. It just goes to show how your perception of things changes when you’re feeling down in the dumps. Mind you, I had been getting lots of comments from my clients on how my arms are looking so much more defined or how much smaller my waist looks. But one bad week totally threw me off.
Then last night I got a new workout plan from coach. Nutrition will be the same (yay :s) and every 6th day I am going to be doing a heavy carb day. By heavy I mean HEAVY.
Workouts are including a lot more cardio…15min of skipping as soon as I wake up on some days. I do lower body twice with one of those days finishing off with a killer lower body circuit.
I will start this new workout schedule on sunday. Will see how it goes.
Today I will manage to do back & biceps. I will also throw in some bag work along with my skipping intervals.