I feel bad though. Terrible in fact, that women don't feel as though they should be lifting beside a bunch of men. Women need strength training just as much as men. This comes from a health and physique standpoint as well. This is a message to all women out there, I'm just gonna come out and say it. Strong girls are incredibly attractive and so is lean mass. Ask any guy you know, and I bet each one of them would jump at a chance to take a fitness competitor out on a date. and fitness competitors lift, and lift hard.
I guarantee you Jennifer Stano lifts weights, and good luck finding a guy that doesn't find her attractive.
I hear excuses like, "I don't want to bulk up so I stick with the elliptical." Yeah......Because gaining muscle is so easy (especially for women). Even for most men gaining muscle is difficult, and men's bodies are set up completely different and much more suitable for gaining lean mass. Most women are literally unable to gain large amounts of "bulk", but they do have an incredible ability to build a very nice foundation of strong, attractive, calorie burning lean mass.
In fact most women would benefit from this exponentially. Not only would they be that much more empowered and confident with the strength they've gained but in the long term their bodies will be much healthier. Increasing bone density and metabolism. Along with slowing down the aging process, including decreased skin wrinkles and more balance and strength retained over time. Nice! but I tend to find that most of the time people are more concerned with the here and now, and the here and now is what you see in the mirror and are capable of doing. So, do you look great in a backless dress and can you climb a rock wall or do squats with your best guy friend on your back? Good questions I think, and I know some women that it's true for cause they put in the work.
Here's a video of Donna performing a variation of a farmers walk working on core stability through the hips, trunk and abdomen. The walk creates and instability affect up the chain, the bells offset and pull the body in differing directions forcing the core musculature to contract in a way that will support itself and stay rigid, while also maintaining the change in breathing pattern that will occur.
Don't they look great?
In the background you can also see Janet performing swings, a more dynamic exercise working the core in a different fashion. During the swing the glutes (butt) and hamstrings need to kick on more to produce the force in order to create movement but she's performing them with one arm so the trunk muscles are having to work extra hard on stabilizing at the same time. It's also an extremely heart pumping exercises.
Here's another example of a great exercise being performed by two very in shape women, that have been taking my class 3 days/week for some time now. They really get after it and it shows.
This is a great exercise for the core. Holding the bell on one side forces the trunk to stay rigid and the elevation of the box allows you to lower the hips more than a conventional reverse lunge and use the glutes more. Great for athletes and anyone else that's trying to get their bodies into better shape.
Someday, I'm gonna walk in the gym and see a bunch of ladies doing deadlifts, squats, pushups, pullups and other functional strength training lifts and I'm going to ask one of them out on a date. Just kidding, but that is going to be a great day.