Why should women perform upper body exercises

So how many times ladies will you go to the gym and walk straight over to the squat rack or glute bridge machine? But why are you not walking over to the bench press or the shoulder press machine?

The body is a machine and if you are only training your lower half, then you are only getting half out of your body (machine). But most importantly do you realise that by strengthening your upper body you might actually help your lower body exercises?

When squatting or deadlifting you are not just training your legs but also your lower back. You might also forget about the muscles which are statically working to hold that bar on your shoulders or are supporting you when you lift that bar during a deadlift such as your upper back, shoulders and arms.

Another common issues for women when they train their lower body heavy, is the shock of the weight when they first put that heavy bar on their shoulders or when they first try to lift it. This small but important issues could be easily solved by getting use to lifting heavy weights on your upper body, after all that stress is going through your arms/shoulder first when doing the big lower body lifts, so why not get use to lifting big on your shoulder and chest press and take that fear away.

Next up is the common thoughts about performing upper body exercises….. ‘I will get big and musclely’ NO YOU WON’T! Stop judging yourself to men, both men and women are completely different, their bodies re-act differently to exercise and therefore shouldn’t be compared. No matter what exercises, reps, sets or weights you do, you will build muscle, after all the word ‘toning’ or ‘defining’ still means building. So why not shape, tone, define and develop your body and look amazing! (By the way, they all still mean build muscle)

Last but most importantly is this… IF YOU TRAIN YOUR UPPER BODY, YOU WILL BURN CALORIES, DROP WEIGHT AND LOOK BETTER! It’s as simple at that. By lifting weights you are putting stress on the body, stress on the body causes the body to require energy, to proivde energy the body will burn calories, and when calories are burnt your weight will drop and you will look and feel better.

So hopefully I might of changed your mind about just training lower body, but if not please do at least give one upper body session a go each week, just to allow your lower body to recover.

Ben Stapleton
Aptitude Fitness