Friday, July 23, 2010

Girls should lift weights?

I have to say that the fitness industry is probably one of the most sexist industries out there. Walk into any “fitness” facility and you’ll see what I’m talking about. The men have the entire free weight section, while the women are told not to lift weights, that the weight lifting will make them bulky, or, if they do decide to lift weights, they are told to stick with the circuit machines and only do one set of twenty per body part with minimal weight. Anything other than this would turn them into the female version of the incredible hulk.

Obviously, this isn't the case.  Most of my adult clients come to me for two reasons - they want to lose weight and move pain free.  Basically, they want to look better naked and be able to pick up their child without having a disc explode.  So, what's the difference between men who want to look better in the buff and women who want the same thing?  Should there really be that much of difference in their programming?  No...sort of.  The biggest difference in programming women versus men is women are more likely to tear/sprain an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or subluxate a patella (kneecap).  This is due to the Q - angle of the femur.  Basically, a typical females hips are a little wider and shorter than a males.  This causes a natural valgus of the knees.  Valgus knees are the primary cause of the ACL and kneecap injuries.

Another important thing to remember when working with females is that, in many cases, if they've had children, their abdominal and pelvic floor musculature may be weak.  You may have to take the core progressions a bit slower with them.

So, keeping these two things in mind, there is no reason why women shouldn't use resistance training to achieve their goals.  That is losing fat, maintaining or increasing muscle mass, and increasing bone density.  Girls lift weights too, check it out:

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