We as women are concerned with big thighs, saggy triceps, and of course, the bulging middle. Okay, it may not be bulging but you get the idea. Women work very hard but find it even harder to make time to work out. Children, husbands, jobs and a plethora of different reasons are readily available as the reason why we just can’t do it. Or, perhaps you have a gym membership and have grown tired of your regular routine. Your regular weight bearing exercises have started to bore you and the sight of a cardiovascular machine is down right nauseating.
Although the lower body is often a trouble area for women it can be overcome. Here is a routine with a combination of exercises to break the monotony and to tone the upper body as well. While working out it is important to train both the upper and lower body for growth and symmetry.
Always begin with cardio before stretching because you want the muscle to be warmed up and pliable so injury does not occur due to stretching. Five minutes of cardio is ample to get your body warmed up. Then after a good stretch you will be ready to move on.
Seated Wall Squat with Side Lateral Raises: Use a set of dumbbells that you are comfortable with. While standing against a wall lower yourself until you look like you are sitting in a chair. With your arms by your sides raise each arm up at the same time until they are parallel to the floor working the medial deltoid. Bring the weights down slowly and repeat. Stay in the squatting position and remember to contract and hold in your abdominal muscles through the exercise. Sets: 3 Reps: 12-15
Bosu Ball with Kick-backs: Placing the Bosu ball on the floor, ball face down, place your hands on each side of the Bosu. Extend your legs until your body is in a push up position. This may take some balance because the ball will roll from side to side until you are used to holding yourself in this manner. Hold your abs in tight. Lifting one leg, bend your knee into a ninety degree angle and lift it up (kick-back). Then repeat with the other leg. Sets: 3 Reps: 12-15
Squats with Dumbell Curls: Stand up straight with shoulders back, abs held in tight to strengthen back, and legs shoulder width apart. Turn the toes and knees out to get a greater range of motion and squat down as low as you can go. Once in the squatting position your arms should be in the supinated position. Raise your arms upwards and contract the bicep muscle at the end of the movement. Extend the arm downwards and repeat the exercise. Sets: 3 Reps: 12-15
Traveling Lunges with Ball Twist: Standing with abs held in tight and legs shoulder width apart take a step forward and bend the right knee and extend the left. Step forward with the left knee to alternate the movement. Holding a medicine ball in front of you twist your trunk in the direction of your bent leg. Sets: 3 Reps: 8-10 lunges per leg
Plyometric Box Jumps: Adjust aerobic steps to a height that you are comfortable with. Stand in front of the steps and squat down to jump onto them. Either hop or step down, which ever one is more comfortable for you. If you are new to this exercise and the steps seem a little intimidating you can squat down and jump strait up as an alternative. This exercise is great to increase your heart rate and can be done between the other exercises to give you a very intense workout. Sets:4 Reps: 15
Remember, once you have finished the workout it is very important for you to stretch again. This will allow your body the proper cool down time and to minimize soreness from the exercises. As always pain should not be a part of your program so if any of these exercises hurt do not continue to do them. Lastly, this routine can be done as an entire workout or you can incorporate these exercises into your daily routine.