Image: Mark Adriane via Unsplash

Here’s Why Women Should Train Differently to Men

It has to do a lot with our hormone levels.

QWhile there is no doubt that women can stack up against women in every single way, naturally, men and women are built differently and therefore need to train differently accordingly to hormones, anatomy, and physiology. When we look at the differences between men and women we can see that generally, females have higher levels of estrogen, therefore, have less reliance on glycogen affecting how fat can burn. Women also have a hormonal cycle throughout the month which can impact how they train, for example in the first half of a cycle females will often feel strong and able to respond to heavier lifting however in the second half they may be feeling more fatigued or suffer from changes in their mood.

In many cases, women can feel out of proportion in particular areas of their body if they undertake exercises that are not suitable for their body type. So while women can do anything they set their minds to, here are the five exercises that the personal trainer and founder of ZADI Adala Bolto would limit, and what she suggests to replace them with that would suit the female body best. 

Image: Courtesy of ZADI

The Best Training Exercises for Women

1) Sit-Ups Versus Planks

Sit-ups, although are a great way to engage your core can often isolate the abdominals which for females may not be the best workout. Replacing a sit-up with a plank can work out the abs. However, they can target the stomach and hips through its extension. This type of training is key for upper body strength. 

2) Isolated Leg Exercises

Isolated leg exercises can in itself lead to building muscle in one area rather than two in symmetry. Replacing isolating leg exercises with a lunge for example can practice the balance of the muscle. However, it can also engage the entire body, whilst leaning our legs! 

3) Superwoman

Superwoman has always been a favorite way for women to stretch and engage a handful of muscle groups. However, this particular movement is often practiced incorrectly which can actually cause more bad than good. Replacing superwomen with a pelvic tilt for example can engage similar muscle groups whilst supporting our lower backs.

4) Bicep curls using lightweights

Bicep curls and light weights seem to be a go-to for women however using light weights in an abundance of repetitions can actually prevent your muscles from reaching their full potential. Introducing a heavier weight, every second day even can ensure your movements are slower and therefore more effective. We love this type of training. 

5) Single leg squats

Single leg squats with weights can in particular cause disproportionate muscle building in our legs. Replacing isolating leg squats with something like a donkey kick can not only engage your upper leg however reach your glutes giving you an even more effective movement targeting more than just one muscle.

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