Let’s talk a little about balance in the third part of my Female Training Faults series…
Female Training Fault #3: Too Much Legs, Not Enough Chest and Back
So now you’re definitely off the elliptical (Fault #1) and lifting heavier in the weight room (Fault #2), but you’re mostly lifting legs and arms and neglecting your chest, back, shoulders, and traps. I get it, we all like a nice booty (myself included 😉), but we can’t neglect the rest of our bodies. If you neglect certain body parts, it will lead to muscular imbalances that may possibly cause injuries in the future.
Chest is probably the most neglected body part for women. Ladies fear the bench press, while men hover over it like it’s the shrine of lifting weights (sorry, guys, but you know it’s true!). Women avoid benching and other chest movements out of fear of “losing” their breasts. However, the opposite is true. Breasts tend to get perkier and more firm after a woman has trained, and continues to train, the pectoralis muscles. You aren’t going to “lose” your breasts. What women are seeing when their breasts get smaller is a decrease in body fat. Doing the bench press isn’t going to spot reduce the fat on breasts – it’s the same rule that applies to the rest of the body: You can’t spot-reduce body fat.
Most women also think they’re too weak to do push-ups and that it’s only a man’s exercise. This is absolutely NOT TRUE! Yes, women tend to have weaker upper bodies when we compare absolute strength to men, but when comparing relative strength, a lot of times women are stronger! Point being, women can and should do push-ups! If you can’t do regular push-ups, start at an incline — hands on an elevated surface, like a bench, and your feet on the floor – and work your way down to hands on the floor.
I think women neglect back training out of ignorance a lot of times. Don’t fall prey to this! Back training is very important for spinal health, and it keeps the back strong during pregnancy when carrying a heavy load on the anterior part of the body. Deadlifts, rows, and pull-ups are three of the best exercises for overall back strength. If you can’t do a pull-up with your own bodyweight, check out my previous blog on how to get better at pull-ups. (Here’s a link to that article: Pull-Up Pointers.)
Ladies, training your back will also show off your muscles (rhomboids, traps, rear delts, etc.) when you wear strapless dresses and tank tops! Show off your hard work! Back training is important for everyone.
In modern days, people have become very anterior-dominated from constantly sitting and hovering over computers and steering wheels. We’ve lost strength in our postural muscles, making it harder to get in certain positions for main lifts as well as occurrences that happens in daily life. It’s imperative to train the posterior side for better mobility and spinal and postural health, especially as we age.
So ladies, make sure you’re training ALL muscle groups properly with a program that includes progressive overload (as seen on jimstoppani.com – all of his programs are well-balanced and train the entire physique properly). Your body will thank you!