4 Weight Lifting Routines Women Need to Be Fit and Toned

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Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Many women are missing out on an important workout that can help reduce overall body fat, slim inches around the waist, and speed up the metabolism. What is this magical workout? Weight lifting. Women’s Health writes that only 21 percent of women strength train two or more times a week. This is something everyone should be doing! The benefits are endless — just two weight lifting sessions a week can reduce your overall body fat by about three percentage points in ten weeks without cutting a single calorie. Ready to start lifting your way to a slimmer waist? Try one of these four great routines.

1. Follow this routine created by personal trainer Rachel Cosgrove, per Women’s Health. Each move works multiple muscle groups, so you’ll not only burn a bunch of calories, but you’ll rev your metabolism into high gear for 24 to 48 hours afterward.

  • Back Row: Aim for two sets, doing 10 reps on each side. Tie an exercise band to something sturdy at shoulder height. Grasp the band in your right hand and get into a lunge position with your left foot forward, until your arm is straight and the band is taut. Pull the band while rotating your body 180 degrees, until both feet are facing forward and your right hand is at chest-height, touching your shoulder.
  • Deep Step-Ups: Do two sets of eight to 12 reps. Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand on a 16- to 20-inch step. Take a giant step back with your right foot and drop your right knee until it’s a few inches from the floor and the left knee is bent at about a 90 degree angle. Squeeze your glutes to push your body up, then slowly return to the start position.
  • Split Stance Alternate Rows: Aim for two sets and 10 reps. Loop an exercise band around something sturdy, and stand facing the band, holding an end in each hand. Position your feet shoulder-width apart and squat slightly. Contract your abs as you row your right arm back until your elbow passes your torso. Repeat with the other arm – that’s one rep.
  • Weighted One-leg Squats: Grab a pair of eight- to 10-pound dumbbells with your feet hip-width apart. Raise your left leg so you’re standing on your right. Squat down until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Push back up to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do two sets of eight to twelve reps per leg. If that’s too hard, you can skip using the weights and place your hands on your hips instead.
  • Push-up to One-Leg Lift: You’ll want to do two sets, and you’ll continue alternating sides for 30 to 90 seconds (that’s one rep). Place a mat about two feet from an exercise bench or at the bottom of a staircase. Kneel on the mat and position your palms slightly wider than your shoulders on the bench. Straighten your arms and legs so you’re in a plank position. Brace your abs and push up onto your toes. Do a slow push-up while lifting your right leg. Repeat the push-up raising your left leg.
  • Crescent: Try to do two sets, with 10 reps on each side. Secure an exercise band at chest-height and hold it tight with both hands. Position your body so you’re at a 90-degree angle from the band, and your feet should be shoulder-width apart. With your arms straight, simultaneously pull the band across your body and rotate your torso to the left. Go as far as you can without moving your feet. Return to start – that’s one rep.

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