Many women want to build strength because it makes day-to-day tasks such as carrying groceries or laundry, easier. It also helps make exercise easier. Strength training exercises are ideal for increasing strength in your muscles and with the many options available, you're sure to find some that you enjoy. However, the exercises you choose to get stronger faster are just as important as how you set up your routine.
Body Weight Exercises
Using your own body weight is a convenient way to fit in some strength training when your schedule allows. They don't require any equipment or a lot of space so you can do them in your office on your lunch break, while you watch television or wait for dinner to cook. Lifting your own weight helps build muscle in your arms, legs, butt, back, abs, chest and shoulders. Squats, lunges, pushups and ab crunches are effective options to get stronger fast. Also, Yoga and Pilates are specific forms of exercise that utilize several body weight poses and movements during each session.
Hold free weights while you do body weight exercises, such as squats and lunges, to increase how much you weigh. This makes your muscles work harder. You can also use dumbbells and barbells to do exercises that target specific muscle groups. Bicep curls, rows and triceps extensions work your arms, bench presses work your arms, shoulders and chest and leg extensions work your thighs and calves. Shrugs, shoulder rotations, kickbacks, deadlifts, snatches and side bends are other ideal choices for working your whole body.
If you regularly head to the gym for your workout, machines offer you an excellent opportunity to build strength fast. Use cable machines to work your arms, chest, shoulders and back. They work well for bicep curls and triceps extensions. The chest press machine is ideal for building strength in your pectorals. Use the leg press machine or the cable machine to strengthen your thighs and calves by doing presses, curls and leg lifts.
The exercises you include in your strength training routine are important if you want to get stronger faster. However, the way you do them also plays a role. If you're using weights, choose one that allows you to do 12 repetitions with good form. If this is too difficult, you likely need a lighter set of weights. If it's too easy, however, move up to heavier weights. Once a move with your current weight feels too easy, go up to a heavier load. As you do this, your muscles get stronger without the risk of an injury. MayoClinic.com recommends two or three strength training sessions each week, with a day of rest between each.
- Fitness: Make the Most of the Weight Machines at Your Gym
- Sports Injury Clinic: Free Weights Exercises
- American Council on Exercise: Lift your Body Weight to Get in the Shape of Your Life
- American Council on Exercise: Three Things Every Exercise Program Should Have
- MayoClinic.com: Strength Training: Get Stronger, Leaner, Healthier
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.