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Being married has taught me that women need different things to make a workout and a fitness life successful: friends and socializing, a good plan, encouragement to reach goals, and challenging exercises.
First and foremost though, the best workouts depend on you and what goals you want:) And that’s a liberating feeling! So, I’ll talk about what you can do to have great at-home workouts.
So, here are some of the best at home workouts for women.
YOU ARE ENOUGH!
Oh yes, the devil on your shoulder telling you that you’re’re not good enough to join XYZ group or you’re not doing as much as that other person over there. Let me tell you though…
YOU ARE ENOUGH!
Believe in yourself. Just by working out means that you’re already that much better than you were before. Take things one step at a time, and you’ll see progress. You’re going to be frustrated. You’re going to be mad. And you’re even going to eat a tub of ice cream because the pressure might be too much…
Well, I hope you enjoyed that ice cream, because the real work is about to begin!
Here’s the thing about toning. Unless you’re a professional body builder and do this every day then progress will be slow. Go easy on yourself.
Now, you want to look for isolating exercises. You want exercises that work only one muscle at a time. Here are a few examples of exercises you can do at home with either a few weights or none at all:
-Dumbbell Bicep Curls
–Skull Crushers with Dumbells
–Dumbbell Flys: You can do these standing too.
-Lunges and Reverse Lunges
–Lateral side steps with a band: These can be done without the band too. It’ll be the same form except without the band.
-Box Step Ups
If you’re at a gym, those workout machines are usually set up in circuits. Each machine is meant to work a specific muscle or muscles. So, don’t just do one machine if you’re only intending on working one muscle. Do the whole circuit set instead. Most people don’t know that the machines are set up that way, so use that to your advantage. Maybe do one minute per machine, with no rest in between each machine…aside from you having to adjust it to yourself.
Normally, if you work on muscle you’ll want to work the opposite to balance out. For example, if you work your biceps, you’ll want to work triceps as well. I’ll talk about stabilizers in a second.
If you’re at home, body weight exercises are your friend! I have an article that gives several examples, but the ones listed above are great.
Use these to your advantage:) I also have a post about how to plan out your workout if you want as well.
We love cardio! The quintessential cardio workout is running. But have you considered circuits? Circuits can give you a cardio workout if you do them for 30-45 minutes.
The beauty about circuits is that you can do them with or without weights. Here’s a good circuit to try:
-30 Air Squats
-20 Supine Bicycles
Another great one is bicycling. Most people have a bike in the garage. So, dust that thing off and go for a ride! Usually, a 30-minute ride can get your heart rate up really well. If you can’t leave the house, get a bike stand that makes you stay in place. Now you have a spin bike!
If you like jump rope, do that! I’m usually smoked after about five minutes with a jump rope. I’ll usually do it for a warm-up but some people are super at jumping rope. Bust out that inner child in you and go jump some rope!
I talked about running/walking in another post, but I’ll talk more about it here. Running or walking is a great way to get out and enjoy the outside. If you’re just starting out, go walking at first then move into running. Get some good shoes, and take on the world.
The thing with cardio workouts is that they are really easy to track. How far have you gone? How fast? Then, you can make a goal and see how you improve.
Strength Training For Women
Feeling strong yet? I hope so:)
Here’s where compound lifts come into play. Your big three are bench press, back squat, and deadlift. Men and women compare on form, but sometimes the equipment needs to change for women.
A standard Olympic bar is 45 pounds. However, sometimes the bar is too large for women’s hands, so there are women’s Olympic bars that allow women to better grip the bar. This will come into play more if you’re doing more complex lifts with different grips on the bar that are easier with a smaller barbell circumference. The bar weighs a little less between 33 and 35 pounds as well. Here’s a women’s Olympic bar for your comparison.
It’s not about how much you lift, rather how long you can sustain weight over a period of time. Think reps over weight. If all you can do is 45 pounds on the bench press for 5-6 reps, then that’s OK! If you’re doing 15-20 reps with 45 pounds, then increase the weight. See if you can even yourself out at around 10 reps for 3 sets. Then start increasing weight if you want to do more sets.
Squats are similar. See how many reps you can do with a lighter weight, and increase as necessary. Watch your form carefully!
Deadlift took me a while to figure out. To be honest, I’m still not the most confident with this lift, but it is very important. So, form is another factor here. Pay close attention to your form and you’ll do great! If you have tight hips, do hip bridges prior to a deadlift set to loosen up. You might want to put the bar on some smaller platforms before lifting.
Here’s a basic workout set for your bench press, squat and deadlift:
-3 sets of 10 reps
-Rest for 2 minutes between each set
I also found a great video on hip strengthening exercises. Give it a look.
If you can go for more, then do more:) The point is to get you to improve.
Stabilizers are exercises that every needs to do to avoid injury. Doing Yoga is a great way to ensure your core is strong and your hips are loose. Both men and women need this, and I think women are better about taking care of themselves by doing stabilizers than men.
Stabilizers will make sure you have more range of motion when you move. Have you seen someone who can’t reach their back because they’re shoulders are so tight? They probably did too much bench press without stretching afterward or neglected to engage in mobility exercises.
If you’re going to do compound lifts or circuits, make these stabilizing exercises part of your warm-ups. Sometimes, I’ll use these when I’m cooling down and stretching too. It makes for a nice transition to doing something else. And say yes to Yoga!
Here are some stabilizers to do:
–I-T-Y for your shoulders
You Can Do It!
Keep going! I know it’s hard to work out after a long day or it’s tough to get out of bed. It’s understandable. But don’t quit! If you keep asking yourself why you’re doing this, then you’ll find your purpose in making a healthy life for yourself.
Let me know what you think! Do you have a favorite exercise? If so, what do you do? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks so much, Garage Gym Goers, and I’ll see you next time!
Thanks for the article! It was helpful! I workout with a bunch of other moms and it’s so much more motivating than doing it alone. I’d say some of my favorite exercises are snatches and reverse burpees. Being a runner, yoga has definitely become my best friend!
That’s awesome you workout with other moms in your area! Snatches and reverse burpees are great exercises to do for a tough workout. Thanks for your comment!
good read and many good tips that I will be sure to pass on! What makes this such a good read for me (apart from the content being relevant) is your playful tone in your writing. I very much enjoy that!
Keep doing the research your obviously doing, and I’ll be back for more good reading!
Thanks! I’ll be sure to keep that up. I appreciate your comment!
This is very informative and there are a few exercises here that I want to try because I had not tried before.
I was glad to see you starting out talking about toning. Many times I see people get in the gym and they go too fast too quickly instead of having a true regiment that they can slowly build on and you have provided that here.
Anyone can take this article and know what steps to take to have success working out male or female in my opinion. Thanks for sharing
Thanks so much! We do need to slow down a little during our workouts to get the impact we want to have. I appreciate you bringing that up. Thanks for your comment!
Thanks for the post. I enjoyed reading it. Figuring out an exercise routine thats best for me and my schedule is what I have been trying to work on lately. Reading your post gave me different ideas on what to try. I walk all the time and jumping rope is my thing at the moment but I would like to include some of your toning ideas and stabilizers.
I’m glad you enjoy walking and jumping rope! I think just going out and exercising is half the battle. The other half is that plan. Let me know if you have more questions about those stabilizers! Thanks for your comment!
Wow, this is a very informative article! I’m a guy, but I may take some of these tips for myself haha! I will be sure to share this with any female that I help with her workouts.
Thanks for your comment! Most of this can be applied to men and women for sure.
Wow I just absolutely love your website!! You have everything broken down so well, I know exactly what I need to do, and where I have been lacking in my routine. I love the idea you gave of circuits because I for one hate running, so I’m all about getting my cardio in other ways!
You have provided so many tips specific to women, which can be a rare find, and you nailed it on the head with just how different men and women are in the gym. I can appreciate the feeling of not being good enough and that my progress is going a little slow, so the motivation this post offers was much needed. I can’t wait to come back and read your future posts, I love this site! great work.
Thank you! It’s interesting how men and women have different fitness needs. And I’m glad that you found the circuit training useful! Let me know how that goes! Thanks for your comment!