Strength Training for Women
If you give your body a challenge with a good strength-training program,
three times a week aerobic exercise and a sensible diet, your body will adapt
to that challenge by getting stronger, fitter and leaner.
MEMBER QUESTION: When I lift heavy weight at high repetitions, my
legs get huge. Should I remedy this by not lifting quite so heavy?
LINGUVIC: First of all, what exercises are you doing? If you're doing
things like leg presses, they tend to just give you overall strength and
I would recommend you do exercises like lunges and squats, with moderate
weight. Single leg exercises such as a lunge, will be better for you if feel
like your legs bulk up quickly, but priority is doing aerobics three times a
week and a sensible diet.
Please don't be afraid of strength training. If you do it correctly, it will
not bulk up your legs. If you want the shape of your legs to change, you need
to give them a challenge. Exercises like lunges and Swiss ball squats will
challenge your body to react and your body will get leaner, longer and
MEMBER QUESTION: I am a 59-year-old woman and I'm looking for help in
gaining back muscle strength that I appear to be losing with age. Any
LINGUVIC: Absolutely. We lose muscle every year as we age, which is
why strength training should be a priority for women. We also need to keep our
bones strong and the best way is to do weight bearing exercise. The muscle
pulls on the bone and the bone gets stronger and stronger. You can increase
your bone density at any age.
I would recommend a basic full-body program to increase your muscle mass.
Three times a week would be ideal.
MEMBER QUESTION: I have back fat where the bottom of my bra lies. How
or what do I do to get rid of this?
LINGUVIC: That challenge is common in a lot of women. You need to
tone up the muscles of your upper body. I would recommend you do exercises like
dumbbell rows, but please remember to work your whole body even though you want
to firm up your back. You can certainly have a leaner upper body with a
MEMBER QUESTION: I had a C-section and I am having a hard time
getting rid of that bulge. Any suggestions?
MEMBER QUESTION: As I am getting older my stomach area is getting
flabby. I do sit-ups, but what else could I do to flatten my stomach?
LINGUVIC: Ah, the elusive abs. First of all, make sure you're totally
healed from your C-section and you have your doctor's approval before working
Again, sit-ups alone aren't much for the abs. You want to hit your abdominal
muscles from a couple of different angles. I would recommend starting off with
Swiss ball crunches. You lie on the ball doing a crunch, bringing your ribs
closer to your hips. Another great exercise is the plank, where you're actually
lay face down in a push-up position.