Women's workouts and female exercise programs should not be much different than men, if you want to burn fat. Many times when I visit a gym and watch others workout, the form was just dreadful in so many exercises, with the worst being the deadlift form.
In my last trip to the gym, I watched two women round their backs like a rainbow as they lowered the bar. So sad to see a great exercise ruined because someone didn't properly teach this exercise. (And magazines are to blame sometimes as well, I've written articles where we've had to toss some of the accompanying photos because the fitness model was doing the exercise with brutal form).
Whatever you are doing in the gym, never round your back. So when you squat, deadlift, or do dumbbell rows, maintain a slight arch in your low back.
And don't stop using good form once the exercise is over. If you're picking up dumbbells off the floor (or picking up toys at home), squat down and avoid rounding your back.
I also recommend avoiding sit-ups and an excessive amount of crunches. The benefits aren't worth the risks.
Back to my gym visit. . . about 20 minutes through my workout, a young woman of about 45 came in and started doing a superset of split squats and dumbbell chest presses.
I was very impressed. AND she had a training journal to record her sets, reps, and weights.
You know what, I bet this woman succeeds and meets her goals. As we've said many times before, recording your workouts is a key to success so that you can refer back to what works and what doesn't. Plus, it keeps you on track.
Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed when she started doing dumbbell triceps kickbacks. I think these are one of the most useless dumbbell arm exercises in the world. You'd be far better off doing some version of the pushup - that would give you more total body results.
So today's 3 lessons were. . .
i) Don't round your back when lifting.
ii) Keep a training journal for motivation and direction.
iii) Avoid isolation exercises, and choose total body movements to get more results in less time.
By doing this, you will burn lots of calores after training. Add in intervals in place of slow cardio, and you should be able to get all of your results in only 3 sessions of 45 minutes per week. Much less time than you spend now with slow, boring cardio.
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Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit http://www.TurbulenceTraining.com