Resistance Training For Women Over 40
Post by: Dan Marriott
There are a number of health benefits that females could potentially be missing out on, if resistance training isn’t part of their weekly routine. Even though the mentality is shifting, there is still a high percentage of females, over the age of 40, who aren’t benefiting from lifting on a regular basis.
Over time the body adapts to the needs and demands of the environment. In today’s modern world, where we aren’t on our feet as much, but sitting down, brings about potential postural issues, in both men and women. We operate more or less, with everything in front of us.
We sit at desks, with computers and laptops in front of us. In our cars when we drive, the wheel is in front. Over time, this can be a factor in causing internal rotation of the shoulder. This just basically means that the shoulder girdle is protruding, or sitting more forward than it normally should be. This happens because the pec muscles shorten and the muscles of the upper back are stretched.
Now this isn’t something to be worried about, all of these can be addressed in your training program. Just make sure the emphasis is on loosening up tight areas, such as the chest, in the warmup and prioritise the upper back with both horizontal and vertical pulling movements such as pull downs and rows. Lastly, when performing pressing exercises try using a hammer grip (palms facing each other).
Resistance training will help change your body composition more than any Legs, Bums and Tums class. Although these types of classes still have their place and have a great social aspect to them, they simply won’t change the way you look as much as lifting weights will.
A carefully thought out program that focuses on postural improvements and also getting you stronger will help you to see progress on a weekly/ monthly basis and this can be a great feeling! This tends to then cross over into other aspects of life too, improving quality of life outside of the gym too.
Studies have shown that regular bouts of exercise of between 45-60 minutes, of at least 3 times a week, can have a positive impact on self-perceived health and exercise motivation. (Link here for study).
In addition to all of the above, a carefully thought out program will also:
- Help minimise the physical decline, associated with age
- Boosts metabolism, due to the increase in lean muscle tissue
- Increase in strength
- Help to decrease stress
- Improve self confidence
- Decrease the risk of injury
- Generally, make you feel AWESOME!
However, in order to reap the benefits of all this you have to challenge yourself. The pink 2kg dumbbells aren’t going to change your physique and turn you into Wonder Women I’m afraid. Don’t be afraid to get out the comfort zone and lift heavier… you may even surprise yourself at how strong you really are!
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