Resistance training is essential for losing weight, improving bone strength and enhancing coordination. It is not uncommon, however, for women to become intimidated by weight machines and dumbbells that provide resistance in a workout. Enhancing your muscles and health through weight training does not actually require any weights. Weightless workout programs may be performed at home or in the gym with little to no equipment.
The frequency of weightless workouts is similar to that of weighted programs, which includes fatiguing muscle groups within two to three nonconsecutive days per week. The mode in which you train your muscles may vary. For example, you may engage in full-body routines two days per week, or you may focus on the upper body one day and the lower body on another day. However, you must always rest one to two days between training a specific muscle group to give muscles time to recover.
If you are looking to cultivate defined arms, back and chest muscles, try upper-body exercises that use body weight for resistance. These exercises are designed to exhaust muscles through the use of floor exercises and various pieces of equipment. An effective upper-body weightless workout program may consist of the standard pushup, bench dips, pullups and pushup variations to target specific muscles; examples include the stability ball pushup or the close-grip pushup. These movements target trouble spots for women, such as underarm flab, and effectively break down muscle fibers to promote mass and strength gains.
Creating muscular legs does not require the use of heavy dumbbells or weight machines. Weightless exercises for the lower body involve a mixture of squats, lunges and step-ups. An effective lower body weightless workout program may consist of the following exercises: body-weight squats, lunges, combination of lunge/squat movements and body-weight calf raises. No equipment is required. For variation, target leg muscles while simultaneously enhancing cardiorespiratory fitness by running up stairs or performing jump squats.
Sets and Repetitions
Traditionally, sets and repetitions are determined by your fitness goals and the amount of weight you lift. Body-weight exercises are slightly different. While the actual number of sets and repetitions will vary according to your current fitness level, Navy SEAL and fitness expert Stew Smith suggests performing 10 to 30 repetitions of each exercise within three to five sets. When in doubt, follow the American Council on Exercise recommendation of one to two sets of eight to 15 repetitions within each set.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- Women’s Heart Foundation: Strength Training for Women
- Military.com: Avoid the Gym by Using Calisthenics
- American Council on Exercise: When Strength Training, Is It Better to Do More Reps with Lighter Weights or Fewer Reps with Heavier Weights?
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