Women's Weight Lifting Workouts for After 40

Women's Weight Lifting Workouts for After 40

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Hit the weights to change your body.

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No matter how old you are, you should be exercising, especially with weights. Changes to your body after age 40 can be offset by working out with weights, resulting in improvements in both looks and health. Even if you've never lifted weights before, this kind of workout is worth the effort. Get the OK from your doctor, then seek guidance from a trainer or other experienced person to get started with your weight lifting workout.

Just Do It

Your life changes as you age, sometimes getting very busy and then quieting down. But exercise should stay consistent to help you stay healthy, look great and function an an optimal level. As women age, their bone density can decrease, leading to brittle bones or even osteoporosis. Also, muscle mass naturally deteriorates, leading to increased body fat, decreased strength and a flabby appearance. Regular weight lifting can help you combat these age-related annoyances, so don't neglect it.

Enough Is Enough

Perform resistance training exercises at least two or three times each week on nonconsecutive days, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Do one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions for each exercise, and rest about 30 to 90 seconds between sets. Use a challenging resistance, but not so heavy that you can't maintain proper technique. Choose at least one exercise for each major muscle group: back, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, abs, hips, thighs and calves.

A Little Bit Of This

Here's a sample workout that will hit each major muscle group that can be done in the gym or at home with some basic equipment. Hold a set of dumbbells and start with a set of front squats for the lower body. Grab a barbell, lean forward and pull up for bent over rows for the back. Switch back to dumbbells and lie on a bench or the floor for a set of pec flys. Stand up and with a barbell across your upper back, perform forward lunges. Then press the bar up overhead and down for barbell shoulder presses. Go back to the dumbbells; lie face down on an incline bench, or hinge forward at the hips, for a set of reverse flyes. Do lateral raises by standing up and moving your arms up and then down to your sides while holding the dumbbells. Kneel down and perform a set of pushups next. Follow up the push-ups with seated biceps curls, then lying triceps extensions. Finish on the mat with a bicycle maneuver for your abs.

Don't Forget

Perform cardio at least three to five times each week for heart health and to control body weight. Exercise for 30 to 60 minutes at a moderate to vigorous intensity. Change your weight lifting workouts every six to eight weeks to see continual progress, and prevent boredom. Even if you are doing the same workout, don't always use the same resistance. Push yourself to lift a little more weight each week to stimulate your muscles for the best results.