Why ALL Women Should Strength Train! (and how to get started!)
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 support, confidence, strength, and fitness.
It is helping women who have never worked out before or women who haven't been in a consistent workout routine in a while finally feel their best!
That movement is our Women’s Only Beginners Group Training and I could not be more proud of it!
Four 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 workout routine.
We knew they would THRIVE in a supportive community filled with other women who have similar backgrounds and goals.
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 -- to help women feel their best in the most fun and supportive workout environment imaginable!
We are so proud of these ladies for stepping out of their comfort zones and committing to change!
They are seeing some incredible results now, like:
Shelley (down 65lbs)
Cheryl (down 45lbs)
Dawn (down 90lbs)
Checkout the list of our Top Women's Group Transformations, HERE!
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 and how?
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 tone 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 aka strength training). When talking strictly about fuel systems, it is true that aerobic activity utilizes more carbohydrates than fats to get you through your training.
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.
This means that during your workouts, with strength training circuits you will burn MORE total calories.
This also leads to more energy use within the subsequent hours after exercise (called EPOC- Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption).
Simply put, with strength training, you will burn more calories during and after your workouts than cardio alone!
Finally, it's important to note that having more muscle means you actually burn more calories at rest!
2| Reduce risk of injury and joint 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 and flexibility which is huge for keeping you moving, functioning and feeling good.
Yes, getting stronger with the right exercises can even increase your flexibility.
This will help to reduce the risk of injury for women across a broad range of activities.
In addition to daily tasks, this includes sports and aerobic activities such as running, hiking, cycling, and swimming, essentially allowing you to continue doing the things you love to do and do them better!
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, going for walks, gardening, playing with your kids, grandchildren 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, go on grocery shopping hauls, take 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.
And your workouts will be that much better!
Yes, getting stronger will improve your fitness.
As you build strength you'll be able to walk or jog faster.
You'll be able to complete more push-ups, more squats, and more of your favorite exercises.
This means you'll be able to workout at higher intensities, dramatically improving your overall results!
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.
The key to this though is progressive overload.
This simply means we need to continually add resistance to our bones to force them to strengthen.
If our bones are only accustomed to our own body-weight, they will never have enough stress placed on them to allow them to get stronger.
This is why continually challenging yourself with resistance like kettlebells, bands, and dumbbells is so important.
As we age, the risk of osteoporosis increases, therefore the combination of the benefits of stronger bones, stronger muscles and better coordination equals a lower risk for osteoporosis related fractures…so let's break out those weights!!
5| Strong is beautiful, strong is confident
Perhaps not a motto I can take credit for initiating, 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.
I see it everyday when women complete a push-up or push a heavy sled down the turf.
The smile on their face is priceless!
Believing in oneself and being confident is a beautiful thing.
It is my absolute favorite part of our Women's Groups: when I watch women finally realize how strong they can be, see them begin to believe in themselves, and show the world how beautiful, strong, and confident they are!!!
Ready to get your strength training started?
Here is a step-by-step guide to our 5 favorite strength training exercises for women!
1| KB Goblet Squat
The squat is a fantastic exercise to build lower-body strength and mobility.
Holding a kettlebell or dumbbell at your chest with the goblet squat 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.
Improving your goblet squat will allow you progress to more challenging squat variations like the double KB or barbell squat when the time is right.
2| The Push-Up
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 to master the technique and work from an elevated hand position or your knees.
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.
3| The KB (kettlebell) Deadlift
The KB deadlift is one of the best exercises to strengthen and shape your glutes and hamstrings.
This is one of the most important aspects of keeping your knees strong and healthy.
Start with a 8-12kg KB and slowly increase your weight overtime.
3| The Front Plank
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 basically all other exercises.
By increasing the strength and endurance of your core, you will be better able to stabilize your body in both working out and daily life.
This means not only a better workout performance for you but also a SIGNIFICANT decrease in injury, especially at your low-back.
Even your posture can be improved and corrected by building a strong core!
Front planks will also set the foundation for more advanced core exercises down the road.
5| The 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.
These also help to fight against chronic bad neck and shoulder posture from our often rounded or hunched position!
The inverted row also works your entire body, including your core, so you get to target multiple areas with one awesome exercise!