There are many specific workout routines for women. However it is important to note that there are no fundamental physiological differences in the way men and women gain muscle mass, the way women’s nutrition works, so as to invalidate the general advice that you will glean from our other articles on strength workouts and weight training routines that apply to men.
The differences in workout routines tend to be much more cosmetic – for example, women tend to want less muscular bodies than men (largely due to socialization). To achieve a less muscular body, but still gain strength, it is recommended that workouts consist of lifting much lower amounts of weights, generally less than 50 pounds per exercise. By lifting smaller amounts, muscles are not broken down to the extent that they are under higher loads and therefore, they do not grow larger under repair.
This can be frustrating to deal with and one way to overcome the lack of large weights is to do more repetitions to compensate for a lighter load. This will lead to gains in strength and endurance and lead to satisfying workouts. Beyond this, many women choose to focus their training on cardio workouts. The benefit to this practice is faster caloric reductions as well, a more slender figure. The best cardio routines include using the treadmill, using the stair master, and using a stationary cycle or elliptical.
To target specific parts of the body, many women focus on muscle isolating workout machines, for example, to tighten and firm the butt, using the glute press is a good idea. Similarly, for toned thighs and legs, the leg press is an excellent option. Other exercises that are tremendously effective are, bridges for the butt, back rows, and shoulder raises for the back. For more core strength choose exercises like ab crunches, floor extensions, or roman twists. These exercises should be done at an alternating high and low intensity between sessions of cardio.
The final step in effective workout routines for women to ensure that muscles do not get disproportionately large is to have variety in training. This simply means that all exercises are spread throughout the body instead of focused in certain areas. In simpler terms, you should not neglect or over-focus on any part of the body, with the possible exception of the butt. A well balanced workout will include parts of the lower and upper body.