Running, aerobics, and team sports are all great for building up your fitness level and helping you to lose some weight, but there is a missing ingredient if you’re hoping to build your dream body; weight training. Underneath the layers of fat in your body, is a lot of muscle just waiting to be sculpted. Most women leave out strength training because they don’t want to look like body-builders, but this isn’t as likely to happen as it is with men. According to the Women’s Heart Foundation, high levels of estrogen make it very difficult for women to become overly muscular. All that awaits you at the end of the strength building tunnel is a lean, strong, and well-toned body. Here are a few exercises to help you achieve this goal.
When you first sign up for a yoga class, you might be expecting a lot of sitting, emphasis on breathing, and working to improve your mental health. However, any seasoned yogis will know that yoga can be a really intensive exercise. When your posture is correct, and you engage all the correct muscles, even the most basic poses can leave you feeling breathless and weak after 30 minutes. But each time you hold a pose for a few more breaths, you can feel yourself getting stronger. After a few months of yoga, you find it easier to support your body in Downward Facing Dog, or stay upright when doing Eagle pose. Every plank lasts a little longer, and sooner or later you will see that your biceps and abdominal muscles are a little bit more defined in your body. The best part about yoga is that you don’t have to do it for an hour each evening. Just 10 or 20 minutes will provide an effect strength training workout.
A more obvious way to incorporate weight training into your workout is to actually use weights. One piece of equipment growing in popularity are rep fitness kettlebells, because they can also improve motion and stamina, and they have a better grip for beginners. However, if you want to gradually increase your weight training, adjustable dumbbells give you a lot of different weight selections for less money than a bunch of individual weights, and they take up a lot less space than a full set. If you can’t afford dumbbells yet, a resistance band will provide the same effect in a full-body workout.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Even with your added weight training, you should make sure you don’t neglect your cardio. An excellent way to combine the two is through HIIT classes, which combines 30 seconds of weights and 30 seconds of cardio in three minute increments for a 30 minute workout. It’s intense, but it can fit into even the busiest schedules, targets all your muscles, and has been shown to zap more belly fat than steady-paced moderate workouts. HIIT also helps to boost your metabolism, so you keep burning fat even after your workout is complete.