Many women are hesitant to pick up a set of dumbbells and strength train. But strength training for women not only adds and tones lean muscle, but increases your metabolism and bone strength as well. Grab your exercise mat and a pair of dumbbells and let’s get started.
Find a fixed pull up bar or use a door mounted bar, grab the bar with your palms facing forward and hang at arm’s length. Squeeze your shoulders together as you pull your chest up toward the bar, pause briefly at the top and then slowly lower yourself back down. Perform one to two sets of 15 repetitions each.
See also: How To Do The Perfect Pullup
Dumbbell Push Ups
From a normal pushup position, start with your hands each resting on a dumbbell. Perform a single pushup and pause at the top of the movement and pull one dumbbell up to the side of your chest. Lower slowly and repeat with the opposite dumbbell, alternating left, right, left. Perform one to two sets of 15 repetitions each.
Dumbbell Bent Rows
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Now bend your knees as you push your hips back as you lean forward with your back held straight. Pull the dumbbells straight up to your sides while bending your elbows. You are only moving your arms when rowing. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, point your elbows to the ceiling and slowly lower the dumbbells to the start position. Keep your back flat throughout the movement. Perform one to two sets of 15 repetitions each.
Back Extensions (Cobra)
Start face-down on your exercise mat or well-padded floor, with your arms straight by your sides, your palms up and your forehead toward the floor. The fronts of legs and feet should also be flat against the floor. Lift your head and both shoulders off the floor lifting your arms, pause and hold for 5 seconds as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Perform this exercise for one to two sets of 15 repetitions. This exercise will strengthen your lower back.
Lie on your back on the floor, or a sturdy bench if you have one, bend your knees and keep your feet flat. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and extend your arms directly above you. Lower the weights behind your head until your arms are parallel to the floor and pause and hold. While keeping your arms straight, return them to the start position. Do one to two sets of 15 repetitions each.
Strength training can shape your body and raise your self-esteem, improve your health and physical image. Add resistant and strength training, and these back exercises to your training program.