Strength training for women: 10 great exercises to get tighter (2023)

Although men tend to lift heavy weights more than women, it is also important for women to lift weights.

Whether at the gym or at home, incorporating some key exercises into your training sessions is excellent for your health and physique goals and can help you achieve a toned, lean body.

But what are thebestweight training for women? What are the ideal exercises to include in strength training for women?

In this article, we'll discuss strength training programming for women and provide step-by-step instructions for the following exercises to include in your next workout:

  • Imprints
  • Forward lunges with rotation
  • Thrusters
  • Step-ups with an overhead press
  • Jump-squats
  • Lateral Lunges with a Biceps Curl
  • Stability ball circles
  • Stabiliteitsbal Hamstring Curls
  • Romanian single leg deadlifts
  • Side Shelves With Rotation

Let's dive in!

Strength training for women: 10 great exercises to get tighter (1)

Strength training for women: the 10 best exercises to get tight and slim

It is important to note that there is no specific set of weightlifting workoutsfor ladiesthat's necessarily specific to women's strength needs or goals in particular, since gender identity and even biological sex don't really affect the weight workouts you should be doing.

Rather, your fitness level, primary exercise goals, and available strength training equipment are the most important variables to consider when putting together a weight training workout. for each person.

That being said, here are some of the best exercises that can be included in strength training for women due to the effectiveness of the exercises for improving functional strength, physique, and strength:

# 1: push-ups

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The push up is greatbody weight exerciseto include in weight training for women. You can start on your knees or against the wall if you arenot yet strong enough to do full push-ups.

Otherwise, perform full pushups on the floor on your feet.

Keep your wrists, elbows, and shoulders stacked straight on top of each other. Make sure your core and glutes are tight so that your body stays in a straight line from the top of your head to your heels.

Bend your elbowsto at least 90°when you lower your chest to the floor.

#2: Forward lunges with rotation

Itcompound exerciseworks your entire body, helps strengthen your legs, core, shoulders and armsat the same time.

Here are the steps:

  1. Stand up straight, hold a medicine ball or single dumbbell between both hands with your arms fully extended in front of your chest.
  2. Take a big step forward with your right foot.
  3. Bend both knees 90 degrees to lunge down into a forward lunge while simultaneously rotating your arms, keeping the weight all the way to the right. Keep your arms straight and feel your obliques (side of your abs) engage.
  4. Rotate back as you rise back up to the starting position.
  5. Switch sides.
  6. Alternative sides for all your reps.

#3: Thrusters

The thruster exercise is a mainstay in many of the most popularCrossFit-workouts.

Thrusters are a full-body exercise in which acrouchwith a press overhead successively into one continuous movement.

You can use dumbbells, a barbell, kettlebells, or other weights.

Use the momentum of straightening your legs as you rise from the lowered position of the squat to explosively push the weight straight up.

Return the weight to shoulder height as you squat back down.

#4: Step-ups with an overhead press

This is agreat compound exercisethat works all the major muscles in your body.

You'll also increase your heart rate, improve your coordination and balance, and strengthen your core muscles due to the reciprocal, unilateral nature of the exercise.

Here are the steps:

  1. Stand facing a plyometric box at about knee height. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand at shoulder height with your palm facing away from your body.
  2. Step onto the box with your right foot while simultaneously pressing the dumbbell straight up.
  3. Bring your left foot onto the box.
  4. Step back down, leading with the right foot as you return the barbell to shoulder height.
  5. Do all your reps on one side, then switch sides.

# 5: Jump-squats

Jump squats are a plyometric exercise that can be great for strength training for women because the high impact helps build bone density.

Women are prone to accelerated bone mineral loss after menopause due to the changing hormonal profile.

Adding vigorous exercise before you hit menopause (and beyond) can help build bone density to reduce your risk of osteoporosis later in life.

Here are the steps:

  1. Stand up straight with good posture.
  2. Lean your hips back as you bend your knees and drop into a squat while pushing your arms behind your body.
  3. In one fluid motion, throw your hands straight into the air as you push through your heels and launch your body into the vertical jump.
  4. Bend your knees to cushion your landing and transition seamlessly into the next squat rep.

#6: Lateral lunges with a biceps curl

One of the important programming considerations in weight training for women is to train the body in different waysmovement planes(sagittal, frontal and transverse).

This helps prevent muscle imbalances and strengthens the joints in all directions of movement.

The lateral lunge is an exercise in the frontal plane because it involves moving back and forth. You strengthen your glutes, quads, adductors and abductors, the muscles on the inner thighs and other glutes, respectively.

Here are the steps:

  1. Stand up straight with good posture and hold a dumbbell in your left hand.
  2. Take a big step to the right with your right foot, bend your right knee and lean into that leg as you form a side lunge. At the same time, perform a biceps curl with the left arm by pressing your upper arms tight against your ribs and curling the weight up by bending your elbow toward your shoulder.
  3. Step your right leg back to the standing position as you lower the weight back to your side.
  4. Do all your reps on the right side, then switch sides.

#7: Stability Ball Circles

Strength training for women should include functional core exercises to train your core muscles to stabilize your body, even when parts of your body are moving.

This exercise is a version of aplank, but it's more challenging because your arms are on an unstable surface and you're deliberately moving, which helps target all the muscles in your abs.

Here are the steps:

  1. Get into a forearm plank position with your elbows on top of a stability ball and your toes back. Make sure your body is in a straight line from your head to your heels.
  2. Keeping your core and glutes tight, dig your elbows into the stability ball and make small circles in a clockwise direction. Try to keep your whole body stable, except for the arms that move the ball.
  3. Do 15 circles clockwise, then do 15 circles counterclockwise. Move as slowly as possible to maximize your time under tension.

#8: Stability Ball Hamstring Curls

Weight training for women should also strengthen the muscles of therear chain, such as the hamstrings and glutes, to prevent muscle imbalances.

Here are the steps for this strength exercise for women:

  1. Lie on your back with only your heels on a stability ball. Place your hands next to your body on the mat.
  2. Engage your glutes to bridge your body all the way up so that it is in a straight line from your heels down toward your shoulder blades.
  3. Use your hamstrings and glutes as you bend your knees to bring the stability ball to your butt.
  4. Slowly roll the ball back to the starting position. Keep your hips up all the way instead of dropping all the way down to the mat.

#9: Romanian Single Leg Deadlifts

The Romanian single-leg deadlift is another great posterior chain exercise to incorporate into strength training workouts for women.

Start with just a light kettlebell or dumbbell, as this exercise requires excellent balance and core control.

Here are the steps to perform this weightlifting exercise for women:

  1. Stand up straight and hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in your right hand.
  2. Hinge from your hips to reach the barbell toward your left foot, while simultaneously extending your right leg all the way behind your body for counterbalance.
  3. Press through your heel to return to the standing position.
  4. Do all your reps on one side, then switch sides.

#10: Side planks with rotation

One of the general goals of strength training for women is to improve core strength.

This challenging, dynamic plank exercise helps strengthen your body in both the lateral and transverse planes, improving core strength, hip and glute strength, and even upper body strength.

Here are the steps to perform this strength training workout for women:

  1. Lie on your left side with your feet stacked together and your left elbow and forearm resting on the floor beneath your stacked shoulders. Hold a dumbbell in the right hand.
  2. Press up so you're in a side plank position, with weight on the left forearm and the side of your left foot. Make sure your body is in a straight line with your hips in line from your shoulders to your heels.
  3. Reach the barbell under your torso in the space created between your body and the mat, then slowly rotate your entire torso as you extend that arm all the way overhead and follow the arc of motion with your gaze.
  4. Hold the top position for 2 seconds, then slowly rotate all the way back until the barbell reaches back under your body for the next rep.
  5. Complete your reps, then reset your side plank on the other side and perform the same movement with the dumbbell in the left hand.

Perform 2-3 sets of each exercise. Use a weight heavy enough that you can do it alone8-12 reps before resting.

If you're an older woman looking to do strength training, check out our weight training guide for adults over 55here.

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