Best Home Gym Exercises for Women
So, you have a home gym and want to get in shape? Great, you’re in the perfect position to start getting fit. Now, you just need the motivation and the right workout program to get started. Motivation you have to find yourself, but in this article I’ll let you know ideas about the latter. Enter the best home gym workout for women!
But some things to consider before
First, do you think men and women should train differently just because one is a man and one is a woman? Not at all. The muscles of both sexes respond to same stress in a same way. Furthermore, there are many (even the majority?) of girls who think that “training like a man” will suddenly give them big muscles. This is not true – you will not get big muscles overnight. It requires constant effort, and you can easily gauge your progress over time because changes in your body happen so slowly.
So, men and women can train exactly the same way. But should they? The keyword here is your goal. If you are a woman who is interested in building strength, train like a powerlifter: not many repetitions per set and keep the weight heavy. However, if you’re primarily interested in muscle mass (which can be different thing than strength), train like a bodybuilder: many repetitions pet set, don’t keep too heavy weight, find mind-muscle connection, and don’t rest too long.
Those being two extremes, I still think most ladies just want to get in shape. To tone that body. Actually, body toning means nothing but decreasing fat and increasing muscle. In fact, any term you might hear like toning, leaning down etc. always comes from the combination of those two things only: amount of fat and amount of muscle in your body.
With that out of the way, getting in shape for women usually means more emphasis on the fat loss and less emphasis on the muscle mass. When you know the goal, it’s easy to tailor your choice of exercises:
3×8 Squat / Leg press
3×8 Leg curl
3×8 Leg extension
3×8 Bench press / Butterfly press
3×8 Dumbbell shoulder press
3×8 Cable row
3×8 Tricep pushdown
3×8 Bicep curl
So, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday you work out. The first day concentrates on legs, second day and third day for pushing and pulling. The 3×8 means sets and repetitions, known as sets and reps in the gym circles. It means: you lift the weight eight times, rest 2 minutes, lift the weight eight times, rest 2 minutes and lift the weight eight times again.
Now let me tell you shortly why I chose the above exercises.
Squat – I would have said squat only. But the thing is, most home gyms don’t have Smith machine or holders for an Olympic bar. Thus, you can not do squats. But if you can, do them! Squats are the best leg and butt builder and I guess women are after developing those parts. If you can’t do squats because the lack of equipment, do leg presses. They are similar and work that ass too.
Leg extensions and curls – Good accessory exercises for legs (hamstrings and quadriceps to be exact). Combining these with squats and/or leg press is a good way to put some “definition” to your legs. I said “definition” because remember, everything is about either fat or muscle percentage in your body. Definition means increased muscle percentage and probably decreased fat percentage.
Bench press and shoulder press – They are excellent upper body builders. The bench press is for chest (the pectoralis muscle) and shoulder press for, uh, shoulders (the front, back and middle deltoid muscle). Many women want a nicely-shaped shoulders, so these two exercises should do the trick in that regards. Just keep in mind, if you don’t have Smith machine you can’t do bench press. But you probably have at least a pec deck which is good for the butterfly press.
Chin ups – Chin ups are in my (and many people’s) opinion the best upper body strength builder! They hit so many muscles in your upper body, mainly the latissimus dorsi and biceps. Also your core (= abs) will get their share of the load. Chin ups will help you develop muscle definition for your back which you can then show off in a dress or beach. The only bad thing about them is, chin ups are very, very, very hard to do for women. You probably can’t do even one. If that is the case, jump all the way to chin up top position and lower yourself slowly. Do these – also called negatives – for some weeks and you should then have strength to perform one real chin up.
Cable row – A back builder like the previous one. Cable row complements chin ups. Is an effective back exercise, however if I had to choose, chin ups were the number one. But cable rows are possible with any home gym with low pulleys, so they are a very accessible exercise.
Tricep pushdowns and bicep curls – These are for your arms. Do not be afraid, you will not get bulging biceps (the top side of arm) and big triceps (the back side of arm) by just doing these in a home gym. Well-developed arms look good on everybody, that’s why I definitely recommend them for ladies as well!
Beyond the workout
Now there is one topic this article didn’t really deal with. And it’s nutrition. Because the best workout is only 50% effective reaching your goal if you neglect eating well. Generally speaking, you need more protein and fats you are currently having and less carbohydrates than you’re currently having. But it’s a big subject and will be discussed in another article. For now, just eat as healthy as you can.
Now you have a good example how to work out at home. If you follow the advice laid out here, eat well and make progress in weights, you will surely see the difference in mirror as well. It will take around three months to see the first changes in your body. But it will happen, trust me. Once you’re familiar with these basic movements you can move on to some other exercises/program. Yet for now, stick to the basics, shed that fat and grow some muscle girl!