Health Benefits of Resistance Training for Women 

Resistance-Training
Elise Foster
PT, DPT
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There are many reasons why resistance training can be beneficial for everyone. Women, as a group, may be missing out on the benefits of resistance training because of false information about how women respond to exercise with resistance.

I am excited to spotlight a few of the benefits of resistance training – also often referred to as strength training or weight training. I choose to include resistance training in my health and fitness routine because it makes me feel empowered, energized, connected with my body, and stronger with running, martial arts, and everyday tasks such as housework and gardening.

What is resistance training?

Resistance training is any form of exercise where your body is working against some outside force. This could simply be gravity (as in body weight), weights such as a bar, dumbbells or kettlebells, or elastic bands. Resistance training should not be treated like cardio; it should be challenging enough so that you aren’t able to repeat a resisted motion in good form for minutes on end. This is why resistance training gets broken into groups of repetitions (sets and reps). It is not true that training with resistance and weights will make women quickly increase in size, bulk up, or acquire masculine traits.

4 truths about resistance training:

While it is false that women will build muscle mass the same way men can with resistance training, if this is a goal of yours, it is possible to achieve it with intentional training and specific nutrition plans.

Overall, resistance training makes women stronger and is the most effective type of exercise to change body composition (decreases body fat, increases muscle), help improve bone density/prevent or limit loss of bone density that leads to osteoporosis and empower women to move through the world with more strength and less pain.

Lady-lifting-weights

Coaches and physical therapists can help you work toward your individual goals (health, competitive lifting, sport-specific performance enhancement). Ultimately, everyone can benefit from resistance training, but seek professional instruction if you’re new to this type of exercise and want guidance. It’s important to know that resistance training should not be painful. If you are training and experiencing any pain, please consult with your local physical therapist so that you can keep training without risk of injury!

Resistance training can be done at home with your body weight, or weighted objects that you have available (full water bottle or gallon, boxes or bags, a friendly pet). Try sitting and standing from a chair (essentially a squat). Adding speed or weight is an easy way to make this more challenging. Pushups on a wall, counter, or the floor (starting on your knees is easier than feet) are a great core and arm exercise. Planks (front and side) are excellent options to strengthen your shoulders, core, hips and legs, and can be done at a wall or counter before trialing knees or feet on the floor.

Even doing 5-10 minutes of simple resistance training can yield big strength results with consistency. Start small and see where you go! 

Start your journey to pain-free living today.

Our experts are committed to providing effective, efficient, and compassionate care to help you live a pain-free, active life. Our passion is to help every patient reach their goals on their journey to recovery and optimal performance.

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