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The 12 BEST Strength Exercises for Women

Our next women's only beginners groups start in November!

Join the movement! 💪

There is an incredible female movement going on at DSC!

It is allowing women to step out of their comfort zone and into a world of better confidence, strength, and fitness.

It is helping women from a variety of fitness backgrounds get into a consistent workout routine. 

That movement is our Women’s Only Beginners Group Training and I could not be more proud. 

Two and a half years ago we started the first ever DSC Women’s Group. 

We knew women wanted to look and feel better. 

We knew they wanted to get into a consistent routine.

We also knew that working out alone or starting a new program can be extremely intimidating.

That is exactly why we created our Women's Beginners Group Training Program. 

Our first group started with 8, hard-working ladies and we had a blast. 

Fast-forward to today and our program now consists of 4 classes and over 100 inspiring women. 

We are so proud of these ladies for stepping out of their comfort zone and they are seeing some incredible results like Kathleen, Colleen, Deb, Ginger, Priscilla, and Barbara. 

One of the biggest reasons our women have been so successful is that we make getting stronger a priority. 

Increasing strength in females is crucial for:

  • Building muscle and tone
  • Shredding fat
  • Improving bone health
  • Building confidence
  • Improving flexibility
  • Reducing injury, aches & pains

To get you started, today we are covering our 10 favorite strength exercises for women.


#1 Goblet Squat

Quite possibly the most important movement you can do. A proper squat demonstrates you have adequate range-of-motion of your ankles, knees and hips and solid lower-body strength. Many women come in thinking they cannot squat because of previous knee pain. By keeping the range-of-motion small and teaching them proper technique, it is not long before they are squatting pain-free, with weights!

Key Points:

  • Start feet shoulder width with toes slightly pointed out
  • Stay tall with stomach braced throughout
  • Initiate movement by sitting back and pushing knees out
  • Go as low as you can with no pain and good neutral spine position
  • Finish tall with glutes squeezed
  • Start with 2-3 sets of 8 reps

#2 Push-Up

One area that most women want to improve upon is upper-body strength. Our favorite exercise to improve just that is the push-up. Focus on this exercise and not only will your arms tone but you will build one solid core! If new to the push-up, be sure to start from and elevated position and work closer to the floor as your strength improves.

Key Points:

  • Start hands directly under shoulders
  • Keep straight line from head to heels
  • Keep glutes squeezed and hips tucked
  • Lower entire body until arms are parallel with body
  • Keep arms back at 45 degree angle
  • Start with 3 sets of 6-10 reps

#3 Wall-Press Dead-Bug

The dead-bug is one of our favorite ab exercises here at Dynamic. It is a great way to build anterior ab strength and is great for all levels. We use them in our warm-ups, strength circuits and even as part of our cardio finishers.

Key Points:

  • Start with hands on wall and low back flat to floor
  • Keep hands pressing into wall
  • Lift legs to 90 degrees, knees bent
  • Slowly reach one leg out, pause and exhale through mouth
  • Press low back into floor as you exhale
  • You should feel abs working
  • Start with 3 sets of 5 reps/leg

#4 Inverted Row

Rows are a crucial exercise for keeping your shoulders healthy and improving the strength of your upper-back. We love the inverted over other traditional rowing exercises because they incorporate your entire body and are also great for building core strength. Talk about a win-win!

Key Points:

  • Start with straight line from head to heals, arms straight
  • Initiate movement by pulling shoulder blades towards each other
  • Pull yourself up, finishing arms in line with body
  • Finish by lowering yourself to starting position
  • Start with 3 sets of 8-10 reps

#5 KB Swing

Kettlebell swings are a staple for many of our members. The dynamic, fast paced motion makes the swing a great exercise for getting your heart-rate up and burning calories. The majority of the work comes from your hips, hamstrings and glutes making the swing a great choice for individuals with bad knees, feet and ankles. The hamstrings and glutes are two of the most important stabilizers of the knee so strengthening these two muscles is a must for improving knee pain. 

Key Points:

  • Before trying the KB swing, be sure to master the Kettlebell Deadlift or RDL first 
  • Make sure all the work is done through your hips
  • Keep posture strong and tall throughout 
  • At the top position, finish tall with glutes squeezed and legs straight
  • Start with 8-10 swings followed by :30-:45 of rest for 6-10 rounds

#6 Anti-Rotation Press

The anti-rotation press is our favorite exercise for that typically tough to hit area of your lateral oblique. By pressing the band out, your lateral obliques need to work double time to prevent yourself from rotating. 

Key Points:

  • Set up in athletic position, feet shoulder width apart
  • Start cable handle or band at chest level with fingers interlocked
  • Brace abs throughout
  • Press handle or band out front so arms extend straight
  • Hold for a long exhale and feel abs tighten then return to starting position
  • Start with 3 sets of 8-10 reps/side

#7 Split-Squat

Our second favorite lower-body strength exercise is the split-squat. Like the squat, the split squat is great for improving lower-body strength and mobility. We increase the challenge here by putting you on one leg which helps to improve balance and flexibility and strength. Our women’s group members master this exercises before moving on to more advanced exercises like lunges. 

Key Points:

  • Start in a long lunge position with front foot flat and back heel up
  • Lower yourself straight down, keep straight line from back knee to head
  • Keep weight in front foot
  • Without allowing front knee to drift forward, go as low as possible without 
  • pain or losing position
  • Push through front foot to return to starting position
  • Start with 2-3 sets of 8 reps/side

#8 Planks (front and side)

When is comes to ab training, the plank is number one on our list! It challenges your abs and obliques to work to stabilize both your spine and pelvis.  This is a great teaching tool for how to brace and how your posture should be while doing just about every other strength and cardio exercise. Getting good at planks will have a great impact on your posture, strength and performance. 

Key Points (front plank)

  • Start on elbows with fists directly under your eyes
  • Keep straight line from head to heels
  • Keep hips tucked under and glutes squeezed
  • Focus on long exhales through your mouth
  • Start with 3 sets of :10-:30 holds/side

Key points (side plank): 

  • Start on side with elbow directly under shoulder
  • Keep hips squared and high 
  • Keep straight line from head to heels
  • Keep hips tucked under and glutes squeezed
  • Focus on long exhales through your mouth 
  • You should feel lateral ab or side
  • Start with 3 sets of :10-:30 holds/side

Ready to take your planks to the next level? Click HERE for 5 new and challenging plank variations!

#9 Sled Push

The sled push is one of our FAVORITE lower-body strength exercises. It is great for our members who come in with bad backs, knees and/or shoulders. The controlled, concentric-only leg action places much less stress on the knees than traditional lower-body exercises like squats and lunges. They are great for getting your heart-rate up and burning fat, but also great for building some serious lower-body strength -- a great way to improve and prevent lower-limb pain. 

Key points:

  • Keep arms straight and straight line head to back foot
  • Keep body leaning at 45 degree angle 
  • March forward one step at a time keeping head and upper body still
  • Start with 3-5 reps of 15-25yd march with :30-1:00 rest between reps

#10 Ball Rollout

Get ready for some ab soreness! These are one of the toughest exercises for your core as you have to work extremely hard to hold your spine in a good position as you rollout. If you are new to these, start with a small range-of-motion and work to a larger motion over time. 

Key Points:

  • Start on knees with forearms on ball
  • Have hips tucked under, glutes squeezed and abs braced throughout
  • Start motion by letting ball rollout up arms
  • Your hips and head should move together towards the ball
  • Maintain a straight line from head to knees throughout
  • Go as low as possible without losing spine position and return
  • Start with 2-3 sets of 6-10 reps 

#11 Farmer Carry

The farmer carry is a favorite amongst our members. Think of these as a weighted and moving plank. Walking with weights is a great way to improve the strength of your grip, shoulders, core and hips. Carries challenge you to control your spine and aid in improving core stability and even improve cardio and fat-loss by elevating your heart-rate.

Key Points:

  • Start with 2 kettlebells or dumbells in hands
  • Squeeze weights hard and stay tall
  • Keep shoulders back and abs braced
  • Do not allow weights to move around
  • Start with 3 sets of 40-50 yd walks

#12 Pause Bear Crawl

Think of the pause bear crawl as a more challenging, moving plank. We love crawls here at Dynamic as they work to strengthen and stabilize the entire torso. The movement at your hips and shoulders challenges your abs to stabilize your spine, rib cage and pelvis. Not only do these work your abs and shoulders but they are great for getting your heart-rate up and burning some serious calories! Be sure to master the front plank before adding the bear crawl to your routine.

Key Points:

  • Start on all fours with hands placed under shoulders and knees under hips
  • Start by lifting knees off ground
  • Progress forward by moving opposite arm and leg at same time no more than 3"
  • Pause in between each rep 
  • Keep abs braced and do not let low back or trunk move
  • Also move backwards to increase the challenge
  • Start with 2-3 sets of 5-10yds

Our Next Women's Only Beginners Groups start in November! 

Click on the "green button" below to get started! 

Join Our Next Women's Group Program!

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