The Best Workout Plans for Women to Get Stronger and Toned
October 11, 2021
Not all workout plans for women are tailored for simply helping ladies lose weight. A lot of workouts for women center more on building strength, getting stronger and more toned rather than simply shedding fat.
Unfortunately, there’s not always as much information about workout routines for women available online. While you could follow other workout routines, it’s often best to develop a workout plan for women specifically so you can be sure that you are able to maximize your efficiency.
In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the best home and gym workout routines for women so you can begin your journey to becoming stronger and more toned.
Table of Contents:
- Difference between workouts for women and men
- Benefits of weight training for women
- 4-week weight training workout plan for women
- The role of the cardio training
- The best cardio workouts for women
- Diet and supplementation tips to further increase your results
Difference between workouts for women and men
Even though it’s far more commonplace to see women in the gym nowadays than it was a few decades ago, this doesn’t mean that men and women need the exact same type of training and workouts. There are lots of things that men and women might be better off doing a little bit differently to maximize the benefits of their workouts, and many things to consider before entering the world of working out.
- Men generally have more testosterone than women. This means that women are generally more prone to gain fat and lose muscle; meaning that men don’t always have to put in as much effort as a woman to become lean or strong. Men also tend to have bigger hearts and lungs with lend themselves to more effective cardiovascular exercise.
- Women tend to hold onto more body fat than men due to the higher amount of estrogen in their bodies. This is of biological importance because it makes a woman a better candidate for child-bearing, but this can be problematic if you’re trying to shed pounds.
- Women are generally more flexible than men. The added flexibility and elasticity in their muscles makes them more effective at doing things like forward folds, pigeon stretches, and squatting with more depth.
- Women tend to recover faster than men after heavy exercise.
- Men and women develop different amounts of muscle fibers when they tire.
Fast-twitch muscles, which are active during sprints and other incredibly intense exercises, are thicker and wear out quicker. Slow-twitch muscles are used more often during running, biking, and other cardio exercises; once these become tired the fast-twitch muscles become engaged.
Men tend to gain more fast-twitch muscles when they are working out, whereas women develop the two different types of muscles in nearly equal amounts.
The above are differences in the physiology of women and men. How this manifests in training itself can vary from person to person:
- Women tend to have stronger, or at least more dominant quads compared to men. This means that they have to be careful doing squats or other similar motions because their knees are more likely to collapse – to prevent this, a workout schedule for women should make sure their glutes and abductors are strong.
- Women who want to improve their fast-twitch muscles should make a point of following workout programs for women that are rich in very high-intensity activities such as sprinting.
- A workout routine for women should make a point of including weight training in their regimen because this will help to combat the lower density of the female bone structure.
Myths & Mindsets for Female Strength Trainers
There are some myths and mindsets that some ladies fall into when they first begin training. These things should be addressed and dealt with without letting them affect you psychologically.
The Myth of Bulkiness
Many fear that workout plans for women will make them become incredibly bulky and unsightly.
In most cases, this isn’t possible unless you’re going to be using excessive amounts of steroids or other drugs for boosting testosterone. Women simply don’t have enough testosterone, in most cases, to develop the same amount of muscle as men.
More likely, you will tone and shape your body to be lean, fit, and attractive – without becoming too bulky.
The Myth of Yoga and Weakness
Some people believe that yoga and stretching are not effective for building strength. Some people – mostly men, but some women as well – believe that stretching and improving flexibility will actually come at the cost of losing strength.
This simply isn’t the case, and any reliable fitness trainer will tell you that it’s incredibly important to make sure that you stretch before a workout.
Benefits of weight training for women
Lifting weights will do a lot more than simply improve your physique. Here are some of the most prominent benefits that you could experience by beginning to lift weights.
- You will become stronger. One of the most important things that you’ll notice after beginning to train with weights is that you’ll become stronger. The cool thing about high-intensity strength training is that you can build a lot of strength without putting on too much muscle – something that many women are worried about.
- You’ll improve your bone density. This is particularly important for women who have higher estrogen levels and lower bone density levels. Weight training can make you less likely to damage or fracture your bones.
- You’ll strengthen your connective tissues. The tissues that link together your muscles, joints and bones will grow stronger, making you less likely to have injuries later in life.
- You will improve your mental health. One of the best things about weight training is that it will improve many facets of your mental health. Anxiety, depression, and mood instability are all known to decrease when someone performs a healthy amount of exercise on a regular basis.
4-week weight training workout plan for women
One of the easiest ways to jump into strength training is to lay out a basic workout routine and begin following it right away. The following workout routine can be followed for as long as you want, making sure that you increase the weight on these exercises to an appropriate amount so you’re always maxing out at the recommended number of reps.
Day 1, in this routine, will focus on your chest and arms:
- Flat bench barbell presses, 4 sets, 8 reps each
- Push-ups, 4 sets, 10 reps each (consider wearing a weighted jacket if 10 push-ups are too easy)
- Inclined dumbbell flys, 3 sets, 15 reps each
- Bicep curls, 3 sets, 12 reps each
- Tricep dips, 3 sets, 15 reps each.
Day 2 will be another upper body day, this day focusing more on the muscles in your shoulder and back:
- Standing barbell military press, 4 sets, 10 reps each
- Seated dumbbell shoulder presses, 4 sets of 10 reps each
- Lateral pulldowns (close grip) 4 sets, 12 reps each
- T-bar rowing, 4 setsof 10 reps each
- EZ bar rows, upright, 3 sets, 12 reps each
The third day will be a good day to focus on cardiovascular exercise:
- Planking for 60 seconds, 3 times
- Running or biking (on machines or otherwise) for 20 minutes
- Burpees, 10
- Crunches, 2 sets, 15 each
- Hanging leg raise, 3 sets of 10 reps each
Day 4 will be a good day to low low-rep, high-intensity workouts to help build your strength. All of these exercises should be done in 5 sets with enough weight to max you out after only 5 reps:
- Inclined dumbbell presses
- Flat bench barbell presses
- Barbell snatches
- Barbell clean & press
Day 5 will be the dreaded leg day that focuses on working your calves, glutes, etc:
- Leg presses (machine) 3 sets, 12 reps each
- Hamstring curl, 3 sets, 15 reps each
- Walking lunges, 4 sets, 10 reps each leg
- Barbell squat, 4 sets, 8 reps each
Days 6 and 7 of this routine should be resting days.
The role of cardio training
If you’re hoping to build up pure strength, cardio might not be the best. However, cardio training is important and should be a part of everyone’s workout for the maintenance of good health.
Cardiovascular training in a workout routine for women provides a number of benefits:
- Increased endurance. You will be able to handle physically demanding tasks for longer periods of time, you’ll be able to walk for longer, and you’ll generally have more energy throughout the day.
- Improved cardiovascular health. Your heart and your cardiovascular system will be healthier if you follow a good exercise routine.
- It helps to shed fat better than simply weight training alone.
- You will improve your lung capacity, allowing you to engage in exercise for longer and to improve oxygenation throughout your body.
- Cardio has been shown to help manage blood sugar levels and prevent or manage symptoms of diabetes from emerging.
The best cardio workouts for women
Most workout plans for women include some degree of cardiovascular exercise. If you’re hoping to build your workout plan with some cardiovascular exercises, these are some of the best for ladies:
- Burpees. Burpees are an exercise in which you squat quickly to the floor, jump into a plank position, then jump back in and stretch tall. These are great for burning quick calories and getting your heart going really quickly, as well as improving your willpower – burpees are tough!
- Using a treadmill or a bicycle machine. These machines are great because they allow you to get a great deal of cardiovascular exercise in without having to actually go out on the town. Those who prefer to exercise outdoors can, of course, use a regular bike or just go for a run.
- Squat jumps. If you think squats are tough, try going for squat jumps. Just do a regular squat, jump as high as you can, and then land back into a squat position. This will get your heart going and will improve your lower body strength.
Diet and supplementation tips to further increase your results
One of the best ways to maximize your performance and the results of your workouts is to take some bodybuilding supplements for women. There are lots of natural and synthetic supplements out there that can help you improve your strength, build muscle quicker, and generally kill it in the gym.
Some of the most popular and effective workout supplements include:
- Creatine. Creatine is known for helping to boost endurance and improve the efficacy of workouts. It’s a popular ingredient in a lot of workout supplements.
- Protein powders. Protein powders are a great way to introduce a bunch of extra protein into your diet. Whey protein is among the most popular.
- DecaDuro, a product formulated by CrazyBulk, is a very effective and well-reviewed supplement that’s useful for helping to provide energy, boost endurance and promote strength. DecaDuro is also developed in mind for people who don’t like to use caffeine as a primary energy source.
If you’re hoping to start a workout plan for women, then you’re starting a journey that’s going to be very rewarding. As long as you stick to your workout and follow the tips that we’ve provided in this article, you should have no problem improving your strength, your physique, and your general quality of life.
Check also our comprehensive female bodybuilding guide >>