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Why All Women Should Strength Train [and how to do our 5 favorite exercises]

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 of it!

Almost 3 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, but why?

1| It's great for burning fat

Many women who are trying to lose weight believe that what they need to incorporate is cardio, cardio and more cardio.  

And while aerobic training certainly has its benefits, strength training can be a great way to lose weight, while building lean muscle and strength. 

A common myth is that low intensity (i.e. more aerobic) training will burn more fat than high intensity activity (i.e. anaerobic.... Strength training).  When talking straight fuel systems it is true that aerobic activity utilizes more carbohydrates than fats and anaerobic typically burns more carbohydrates than fats.  

A key point to note is that this refers only to what energy system is used DURING the activity.  

However, anaerobic activity, such as strength training, uses more total energy per minute of exercise (i.e. more calories burned), leads to more energy use within the subsequent hours after exercise (called EPOC- Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) and therefore leads to the same and oftentimes more fat burned.  

Additionally, higher-intensity strength and circuit training actually burns more total calories compared to low-intensity aerobic exercise during the work outs.

Finally, it's important to note that muscle cells utilize more energy at rest than fat cells, therefore, the more lean muscle mass a person has, the greater energy they utilize overall.

2| Reduces Risk of Injury as well as decreases Joint/Muscle Pain

In addition to increasing muscle strength, training of this kind will also strengthen the ligaments and connective tissues which are providing support to your joints. 

By also working through a full-range of motion with exercises like squats, push-up, split-squats and rows you will also increase joint mobility which is huge for keeping you moving and feeling good. 

This will help to reduce the risk of injury for women across a broad range of activities; including sports and aerobic activities such as running, cycling, and swimming; essentially allowing you to continue doing the things you love to do!

3| Get Physically Stronger

While this point may sound obvious, I believe the significance of this is often overlooked when women think about their goals/reasons in starting a fitness routine.  

Becoming physically stronger will improve your quality of life across many aspects of daily living. Everyday tasks such as household chores, gardening, playing with your kids and/or animals, etc. all become easier and more enjoyable. 

I constantly hear from my ladies’ group members that they never thought about how much better it would feel to run up and down the stairs a million times doing laundry or chores, going grocery shopping, taking their dogs for a walk, and so on.  

The increase in quality of life from simply being stronger is hard to put a value on.

4| Reduce the risk of Osteoporosis

Studies have shown that over time strength training will help prevent bone loss and may even help build new bone.  

As we age, the risk of osteoporosis increases, so in combining the benefits of stronger bones, stronger muscles and better coordination equals a lower risk for osteoporosis related fractures … break out those weights!!!

5| Strong is Beautiful

Perhaps not a motto I can take credit for, but I love it and am using it anyway!  I firmly believe that as females gain strength and realize that they can lift more than they thought possible or do more in the weight room than they believed, they gain a special kind of confidence that is hard to match.  

Believing in oneself and being confident is a beautiful thing.  It is my absolute favorite part of this job; when I watch women finally realize how strong they are, begin to believe in themselves and finally show the world how beautiful and confident they are!!!

Here are 5 exercises to get you started!

Goblet Squat 

The goblet squat is fantastic exercise to build lower-body strength and mobility as well as master your squat technique. Holding a kettlebell or dumbbell at your chest allows you to properly brace your abs, sit back and maintain a good spine position throughout. This is vital for keeping both your knees and low-back healthy. Finally, improving your goblet squat will allow you progress to more challenge squat variations like the double KB or barbell squat when the time is right. 

Split-Squat ISO Hold

Before jumping into lunges, we like to start our new members with the split-squat iso hold. The iso hold mimics the position of a lunge, just without any movement. This allows beginners to slow things down and master the technique all the while building the coordination, balance, strength and mobility required to properly execute a lunge. Your knees will thank you down the road!

Key Points

  • Start in a long split-stance with front foot flat and back heel in the air
  • Initiate movement by bending back knee directly under your hip 
  • Drop down as low as possible maintaining 90 degree angles with front and back leg
  • Keep majority of weight in the front leg
  • Start with 2-3 sets of :15-:20 holds/leg

Inverted Row

The inverted row is one of our favorite upper-back exercises. It is a great way to properly teach beginners how to row and retract their shoulder blades which is crucial for building strong and healthy shoulders. This exercise also works your entire body, including your core. Finally, the inverted row is a great lead into more advanced upper-back exercises like plank rows and chin-ups. 

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


The push-up is our favorite upper-body exercise and maybe even our favorite exercise for beginners. It is a great way to build the strength of your arms and shoulders as well as the stability of your core. Be sure master technique and work from an elevated hand position. The biggest mistake we see beginners make when it comes to the push-up is progressing to the floor too quickly. This progression will allow you to get stronger over time and keep your wrists, elbows and shoulders healthy. As your strength and core stability improves, work your push-ups closer to the floor. 

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


The plank could easily be number one on our list. Be sure to get really good at these as they transfer to keeping you strong and safe in all exercises. By improving the strength and endurance of your core, you will be better able to stabilize your spine during exercise. This will also set the foundation for more advanced core exercises down the road. 

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 2-3 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 
  • Start with 2-3 sets of :10-:30 holds/side

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