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The Best Strength Training Exercises for Women

Overview

The best strength training exercises for women will tone and strengthen the most common problem areas: the abs, hips, legs and butt. Strength training exercises will help develop strong bones, control weight and reduce the risk of injury. Strength training can also aid in boosting your self-confidence by improving a woman's body image and decreasing depression.

Plie Squats With Shoulder Raises

Plie squats will strengthen and tone the inner thighs, quadriceps and glutes. Adding shoulder raises will not only work the shoulders, but will also increase the heart rate which will help burn fat. Start by standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with your toes turned out, holding light-weight dumbbells at your sides. Stand tall while keeping your stomach muscles tight and bend your knees to 90 degrees while raising your arms out to a "T" at shoulder height and hold for five seconds. Make sure that you keep your weight in heels and don't let your knees go beyond your toes. Slowly lower your arms down as you lift back to start while squeezing your inner thighs and glutes. Do eight to 12 repetitions and repeat.

Mountain Climbers With Push-ups

Mountain climbers combined with push-ups will give women an intense aerobic workout while strengthening the abs, legs, chest and arms. These exercises will challenge the core. Get into the push-up position with your arms straight but not locked and the balls of your feet on the floor. Lift your right knee straight up towards your right arm, then back down. Repeat with your left knee to left arm. Continue driving the knees up while keeping the butt as low as you can for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and get back into push-up position with your hands a little wider than shoulders and placed directly under your shoulders with feet hip-distance apart. Lower your arms down to 90 degrees, keeping stomach muscle tight and body straight. Do not let your back arch or sag. Slowly lift back to starting position. Do eight to 12 repetitions and repeat the mountain climbers with push-ups routine.

Walking Lunges With Bicep Curls

Walking lunges with bicep curls is an effective way to burn fat and give you a total body workout. This combo exercise will work the butt, hips, legs and bicep muscles. Find a level space and start by holding the weights at your sides while standing with good posture. Take one big step forward with your right leg, leaving about 2 1/2 feet between your feet. Keep your balance by putting your weight in the heel of your right foot and the toes of your left foot. Your left heel should be raised and if your form is correct, you should be able to lift and wiggle your right toes. Slowly lower your left knee straight down to a 90-degree angle as you bend from the elbows and curl your arms up toward your shoulders. Hold for five seconds then gradually lift your knee back up as you lower your hand weights down to starting position. Step out with the left leg and repeat the lunge and bicep curl. Alternate doing walking lunges with bicep curls on the right and left side. Do eight to 12 repetitions, rest and repeat.

Step-ups With Shoulder Presses

Step-ups with shoulder presses are a quick way to blast fat while toning your shoulders, glutes, hip and thigh muscles. This exercise challenges your balance and will work your core abdominal muscles. Start by holding your weights at your sides and stand facing a short step or bench. You should have good posture, meaning that your shoulders are pulled back, your stomach muscles are tight and your feet are hip-distance apart. Place your right foot in the center and completely on the step and make sure you feel balanced. Hold your left hand weight up to your shoulder. Putting all of your weight on the right foot, stand up and lift your left knee up in front of you while pressing your right hand weight straight up to the ceiling. Do eight to 12 repetitions and repeat on the other side.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.