Beginning Strength Training for Women: Exercises and Benefits - Step To Health

Beginning Strength Training for Women: Exercises and Benefits

Strength training helps maintain muscle mass, fitness and a healthy weight. Check out some recommended exercises.
Beginning Strength Training for Women: Exercises and Benefits

Last update: 10 December, 2021

The practice of physical exercise has very interesting health benefits. Strength training, in particular, stands out for its impact on muscle health, endurance, and body weight. However, did you know that it’s not exclusive for men?…. That’s right. These activities are also ideal for promoting wellness in women.

However, it’s important to put aside those myths that suggest that this form of training makes you “lose your femininity.” In no way is this true! On the contrary, it contributes to shaping your figure and improving fitness and health.

Here are some recommended exercises.

Beginning strength training for women

The first step to start strength training for women is to develop a plan of activities according to the time you can devote to strength training. Generally speaking, the best option is to do it three times a week, on alternate days. This way, you can rest each day.

However, it’s recommended that you work the lower body one day, i.e., the muscles from the waist down. On another, you should focus on the upper body, from the waist upwards. Finally, you should dedicate a day to combining exercises to work your whole body.

It’s always important to warm up before each day. Let’s take a look at the types of exercises you can do to gain strength and get all the benefits of training.

Warm-up activities

A good warm-up is essential before any physical exercise. It works your joints and makes you more flexible.

  • First, you can do static exercises, such as neck, shoulder, foot, wrist, and wrist stretches.
  • Next, you can do dynamic phases, including jogging, treadmill, or cycling.

A general warm-up can last ten to fifteen minutes. This prepares the body for the activity and reduces the risk of injury.

Strength training for women: Lower body exercises

Entrenamiento inicial de fuerza para mujeres
Exercises to work the lower body have multiple benefits. In addition to strengthening the legs, they help burn calories and increase endurance.


  • This exercise requires strength and stability.
  • With your feet wide, in line with your shoulders, bend your knees. At the same time, keep your torso upright and slowly lower yourself to a 90-degree angle.
  • Then, return to the initial position and repeat the sequence until the series is completed.
  • Depending on fitness level, it’s possible to use bodyweight or add weights (e.g., dumbbells). It works the quadriceps, glutes, adductors, and hamstrings.


  • This can be done with a barbell or dumbbells.
  • The position starts with your feet apart and the bar held at shoulder height.
  • Then, bend your knees a little, take your buttocks backward and let your body fall while your arms remain extended.
  • Regular practice helps to strengthen the buttocks, hamstrings, and lower back.

Leg Push-Ups

  • This can be done seated on a machine or mat lying down.
  • The first method is to strengthen the quadriceps, while the second exercise focuses on the hamstrings and muscles of the back.
  • Another alternative to working the leg muscles is to use a leg press.


  • To begin with, your legs should be shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips.
  • From this position, keep your torso straight and take a step forward.
  • Now, bend your knee and keep your weight on that leg. Then, return to the starting position and repeat the movement until the set is complete.
  • You can work the legs alternately or do a series with one leg first and then the other. This way, the quadriceps are worked. A backward stride is also possible to focus on the hamstrings.

Strength training for women: Upper body exercises

Ejercicios para tren superior
Upper body training is key to complementing your workout routine. The intensity of the exercises can be varied by adding weight.

Chest Bars

  • This is done on a machine.
  • First, you take the bar with your hands open, more than shoulder-width apart.
  • Then, the bar is lowered towards the chest and slowly raised until your arms are extended again. Your back should always be straight.
  • Another option for the chest is dumbbell lunges on a straight or inclined bench. This works the pectoral muscles.

Dumbbell rowing

  • To begin, support one knee on a bench with the hand from the same side of your body. Place your opposite foot with the toe on the floor, and your body must remain in a straight position.
  • Then, with your free hand, take the dumbbell, lift it, and raise your elbow. The working arm should always be close to the body and not open.
  • Finally, repeat the movement until the set is complete. Then, change position to work your other arm.
  • Another option is on a rowing machine with a low pulley. These exercises strengthen the dorsal part of your body – that is, the back muscles.

Shoulder presses

  • This exercise can be done sitting on a bench with your back straight or standing.
  • A dumbbell is held in each hand for this exercise.
  • Raise your arms until the dumbbells are above your head.
  • Then, pause a little and lower them in a slow movement. In particular, the shoulders, triceps, and upper chest are worked with this exercise.

You might like: Relieve Back Pain with a Simple Breathing Technique.

The benefits of strength training for women

Strength training for women has important benefits that are reflected in all daily activities. Of course, you must have patience and perseverance at the beginning and do not give up.

It’s always ideal that a good diet and adequate rest accompany the training. For best results, it’s key to lead a healthy lifestyle.

As stated in a study published in Current Sports Medicine Reports, some positive effects of strength training are as follows:

  • It increases muscle mass
  • It improves your posture
  • Strength training improves your metabolic function
  • It decreases your risk of injury
  • It promotes body fat loss
  • Strength training helps reduce cholesterol
  • It reduces stress
  • It improves the quality of your sleep

Greater strength, better health

Undoubtedly, strength exercises are key to increasing your feeling of well-being. In the case of women, you should lose the fear of developing super muscles, as this requires specific training. On the other hand, strength training is also important to improve your posture and achieve your desired figure.

The important thing is to adapt your routine to your current physical and health. Therefore, the general recommendation is to have a medical check-up before starting these activities. In addition, it’s advisable to be guided by a professional trainer to achieve the correct technique for each of these exercises.

It might interest you...
Ginger and Lemon, a Perfect Combination for Weight Loss
Step To Health
Read it in Step To Health
Ginger and Lemon, a Perfect Combination for Weight Loss

By combining ginger and lemon, you get an amazing natural remedy that you can use as an aid for weight loss and the digestive system.

  • Nestler K, Witzki A, Rohde U, Rüther T, Tofaute KA, Leyk D. Strength Training for Women as a Vehicle for Health Promotion at Work. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2017 Jun 30;114(26):439-446. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2017.0439. PMID: 28705295; PMCID: PMC5523796. Disponible en:
  • Westcott WL. Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2012 Jul-Aug;11(4):209-16. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e31825dabb8. PMID: 22777332.
  • Burrup R, Tucker LA, LE Cheminant JD, Bailey BW. Strength training and body composition in middle-age women. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2018 Jan-Feb;58(1-2):82-91. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.06706-8. Epub 2017 Feb 8. PMID: 28181774. Disponible en: