6 Daily Strength Exercises for Women To Lose Weight
Whenever you're looking to lose weight, it mostly revolves around what you're putting into your body—aka, your diet. You need to consume fewer calories than you torch every day in order to melt fat and shed excess body weight. Exercise is another key player in the game, but if you're not following a calorie deficit, simply the act of working out won't help you achieve your weight loss goal. Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM, a member of our Medical Expert Board and a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, shares some of the best daily strength exercises for women to lose weight, so listen up.
"When you are on a weight loss journey, strength exercises are a good choice for what to do at the gym," Dr. Bohl tells us. "Overall, it can be beneficial to follow a full-body strength exercise routine, targeting and challenging all of the main muscle groups in the body."
Note that when you lose weight, your body burns fat mass, and you can lose muscle mass, too. That's why performing muscle-strengthening exercises is so beneficial. "Strength training is an important way to keep your muscles engaged so that you minimize muscle loss (and potentially even gain some muscle) while trying to shed pounds," Dr. Bohl adds.
For the below exercises, your goal should be to complete three to six sets of at least 12 reps. In order to complete that many reps, you might have to work with a lower weight, but Dr. Bohl points out that this kind of strength training (lower weight and higher reps) is excellent for torching calories and muscular endurance. Keep reading to learn all about Dr. Bohl's best daily strength exercises for women to lose weight. And when you're done, don't miss these 11 Exercises Women Should Do Every Day for Weight Loss.
"Starting with the upper body, do these [first] two exercises that focus on your 'push' muscles," Dr. Bohl tells us. "Both the chest press and shoulder press target your triceps, but the chest press specifically also targets your chest muscles, and the shoulder press specifically also targets your shoulder muscles."
Lie down flat on a workout bench, plant your feet on the floor, and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Position the weights by your chest, then press them up until your arms are extended. Then, use control to lower the dumbbells back to your chest.
Begin the shoulder press by standing tall and placing your feet shoulder-width apart. Have a dumbbell in both hands, holding the weights up by your shoulders. Your palms should face forward. Engage your core as you press the dumbbells overhead until your arms are straight but not locked out. Use control to gradually lower the weights back to shoulder level.
"Continuing with the upper body, do these [next] two exercises that focus on your 'pull' muscles," Dr. Bohl instructs. "Both the row and lat pulldowns target your biceps, but they differ in how much they target each of the upper back muscles."
To start rowing, get seated at a rowing machine, placing your feet on the footrest and bending your knees. Hold onto the handle using an overhand grip, and extend your arms. Then, push yourself back using your legs and bring the handle to your chest. Make sure your elbows stay close to the sides of your body. Then, straighten both arms and bend your knees in order to return to where you started.
Set up for lat pulldowns by getting seated at the machine and positioning your thighs under the pad. Your feet should be planted on the floor. Grab onto the bar using an overhand grip, placing your hands just outside shoulder-width. Maintain a tall chest as you bring the bar down toward your upper chest. Make sure your elbows remain close to the sides of your body. Then, bring the bar back up to the start position, extending your arms.
"Crunches target the abdominal muscles and can be a good transition between exercising the top half of the body and moving on to exercising the lower half of the body," explains Dr. Bohl.
Crunches start with you lying flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet planted on the floor. Place your hands at the back of your head. Keep your chest open as you slowly crunch up, and then return back to the floor. Breathe out as you lift and breathe in as you come down.
"Leg presses and leg flexion are two powerhouse workouts for your legs, targeting the glutes and the many muscles in your thighs (the quadriceps and hamstrings)," Dr. Bohl tells us. "These also happen to be the largest muscles in the body, meaning you could be burning slightly more calories during this part of the workout."
You'll finish these daily strength exercises for women to lose weight with the leg press. Set yourself up at a leg press machine; sit down and plant your feet on the foot pad. Press through your heels in order to extend your legs without locking them out. Then, bend both knees in order to return the weight to the start position.