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Women often shy away from lifting weights including weight machines for several reasons including:1. Being built too much like a man: This is physiologically not going to happen. Three factors are necessary to build muscle:A. High-quality dietary protein in fairly large amountsB. Correct resistance trainingC. Testosterone and lots of it. While women typically have a testosterone level of around 80 mg/dl of blood, necessary in order to rebuild muscle tissue, a man will produce ten times that amount. That is the reason behind the larger frame and muscle mass of men, women couldn’t be built like a man even if that is their choice.2. Not realizing the necessity of weightlifting or resistance training3. Being unaware of how to do it correctlySince the function of the muscular system is to move the bones to which they are attached, and men and women have the same bones, they have identical muscular systems. Both sexes should exercise all of the muscles in order to:1. Have proportionately developed shapes2. Use glucose properly so as not to develop excess body fat depositsWomen though do tend to concern themselves with certain areas more than men. Individual muscles can be developed by specific training of them as opposed to the loss of body fat that cannot be spot reduced. Therefore, it is essential that the correct exercises are known and performed to target the exact areas desired.Triceps: Back of the upper arm has 3 different “heads”1. Medial or inside2. Lateral or outside3. Long head which is the top portionThe function of this muscle is to extend the arm at the elbow joint. Two exercises are needed to properly work this muscle with both involving extension of the arm.1. The inside and outside head can be exercised by using a weight stack with a pulley at head level in front of you. The beginning position is with your arms bent at 90-degrees and elbows at your side, palms facing in while holding a bar or rope and straighten fully to 180-degrees and then return to the beginning position. It is important to extend fully and not move only part of the way.2. The third head is rarely exercised correctly and yet is the one most connected to sagging upper arms. This head functions to begin the process of straightening the arm from a closed position, meaning your hand or fist is next to your shoulder, and then to open the arm towards the 90-degree position.Lower the pulley to just above your knee, grasping the bar or rope while facing away from the pulley. Your hands should be behind your head as if you are trying to touch your upper back, and then extend the hands upward. It is from this dramatically “closed” position that focuses on the “saggy upper arms”Biceps: Front of the upper armStanding curls: Hold a bar in front of your body with your arms straight and your palms facing up. While keeping your elbows close to the body, curl to 90-degrees and the return to 180 degrees or straight. The important points are to start and finish straight and it necessary to only curl to the half-way point, not all the way to your shoulders.Gluteal Muscles: The muscles of the rear-endSquats: Squatting and then standing works the front of the thigh when standing up and the back of the thigh when going down. But to work the gluteal muscles, it is necessary to:1. Squat as low as possible, going all the way to the bottom while keeping your feet flat on the floor. It is from this lowest position which uses the largest of the gluteal muscles to begin the process of standing. This concept is similar to that of the triceps beginning their initial movement.2. The upper body should be bent forward with the rear-end extended outwards to engage the gluteal muscles.Straight-leg deadliftThis exercise works the gluteal muscles and the hamstrings which are muscles on the back of the thigh.Grasp a straight bar while standing straight up. While keeping your lower back flat,1. Bend at the waist until the bar reaches the middle of the shins2. Keep your knees as straight as possible especially as you stand up straight again. Maintaining this position of your legs is essential to working these muscles.All exercises should be performed for 10 repetitions with a consistent controlled motion. Two seconds spent performing the first part and two seconds performing the second part will yield the best results both for the muscles and the energy used to do so. It is this use of energy that will also aid in the loss of weight, in particular, body fat.
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