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Nutrition & Fitness Tips

How Women Can Lift for Tone, Not Bulk

How Women Can Lift for Tone, Not Bulk

Not all women are big fans of the weight machines at the gym. Some of those machines are downright frustrating to use. The guys lurking around the dumbbells are potentially creepy. And you don’t won’t to end up bulking up into some kind of She-Hulk.

The result? Many women shy away from doing any kind of strength training. They stick to the cardio machines, hoping that these will help them both lose weight and maintain a feminine figure without concern of big arms.

But there’s a problem here. You could be getting far better results in losing weight and building lean muscle if you were to add strength training to your routine. And, unless you go all out for years with a complete lifestyle change, you don’t have to worry about getting bulky or muscular. In fact, resistance training may be the secret to maintaining a feminine figure and managing a healthy weight.

Simple Resistance Training

You don’t have to hit the big weights to see results. Just adding a few basic resistance training moves to your weekly fitness routine will help you build lean muscle. Start with light loads and low reps, gradually moving on to harder moves and higher reps. Here are a few examples of exercises for beginners:

Single-Leg Squats

Squats are amongst the best exercises you can do for health and muscle growth. They work your entire body and help improve your fitness. For this move, put one foot behind you on a bench and squat with one leg. Start with just a barbell and slowly increase the weight as you get stronger. This move strengthens your legs, butt, abs, hips, and back.

Calf Press

This move strengthens you calves for powerful, toned legs. Use a leg press machine, slightly bending your knees and keeping the balls of your feet flat on the platform. Then, lift from your toes, bending your ankle, and engaging your calves.

Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extension

Start on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, your arms extended up directly in front of your face. Slowly lower your arms, tucking your elbows, until the dumbbells are near your ears. Then lift again to the starting position. This move tones your arms and triceps to eliminate dreaded arm sag.

One-Arm Kettlebell Swings

Place one kettlebell in your right hand, bend slightly at your knees with your back flat, and push back with your hips. Start with the kettlebell between your legs, then lift it straight up in front of you. Swing back down to the starting position and complete your reps. Then switch to the other hand.

Toning Your Body Takes Time

While you shouldn’t expect to see overnight results, these moves can help you get started with an effective toning routine. You shouldn’t worry about packing on muscle either. It all comes down to a matter of hormones.

Testosterone plays a major factor in muscle gain and bulking. Since women have much less testosterone than men, it is significantly more difficult for you to pack on muscular weight and get a masculine look. The women you see in body building competitions with huge muscles and masculine features have been working at it for years. You won’t end up looking like that just by doing some simple weight training.

Combine resistance training with cardio and use the best supplements for women for top results. A whey protein supplement is a great way to ensure your body gets plenty of protein and remains fueled for your workouts and recovery.

Starting a new approach to fitness can be intimidating. But don’t be afraid of bulking up. Instead, introduce weight lifting into your routine with some simple moves that will tone your features. Soon you’ll notice amazing results that make all the hard work worthwhile.

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