8 Free Weight Exercises Women Should Do Every Day To Get Lean All Over
Like anything worthwhile in life, getting lean requires consistency and hard work. This sentiment becomes especially true as you age, your body starts holding on to more fat, and you struggle to build and maintain muscle mass. Fortunately, one of the best ways to remain diligent in the fight against aging is to do daily strength-building exercises. If you're on the lookout for top-notch strength exercises, we've got you covered. Here, Rose McNulty, CPT, a NASM-certified personal trainer and nutrition coach with Garage Gym Reviews, shares her wisdom on the eight most effective daily free weight exercises for women to get lean. These moves will help you upgrade your routine without breaking the bank or taking up too much of your time.
"Doing the same workout every day isn't recommended, but these exercises are all solid options to include in your daily routine to stay fit," says McNulty. "These include moves for each major muscle group, so if you check these off each week, you'll know you aren't leaving any muscles behind on your fitness journey."
Strength training offers a myriad of health benefits for women. This form of exercise can help you torch calories while sculpting lean muscle and improving your bone density. It also provides a solid mood boost. So what are you waiting for? Keep reading to learn about the best daily free weight exercises for women to lose weight and get lean all over. Then, don't miss these 6 Daily Strength Exercises for Women To Lose Weight.
Weighted lunges are a killer movement that works your quads, hamstrings, and glutes while improving your balance. McNulty says, "Lunges are a well-known exercise to work the lower body, including the legs and glutes. Maintaining good posture during lunges builds lower-body and core strength. Also, overall stability is a significant component of lunges."
Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and take a big step forward, planting your front foot and lowering your back knee toward the floor. Once your front and back legs are at 90-degree angles, push off your front heel to step back to the starting position, then switch legs for the next rep. Do four sets of 12 to 15 reps per leg.
This free weight exercise is an excellent choice for toning your lower body and building core strength. "The goblet squat is an approachable alternative to other weighted squat variations, including the classic barbell back squat," says McNulty. "This exercise helps facilitate good form because holding the weight close to your chest promotes good posture throughout the movement."
Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell close to your chest, keeping your torso upright and shoulders back. Bend your knees and hips to sit into the squat, allowing your hips to shift back as if sitting on a chair. Once your thighs are roughly parallel to the floor, push through your heels to return to the starting position. Perform four sets of 10 to 12 reps.
Single-Leg Dumbbell Deadlifts
Single-leg dumbbell deadlifts are an excellent way to strengthen your posterior chain (backside) and improve balance. "The single-leg deadlift builds strength and balance throughout your hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and core. Start with light weights to get a feel for the move before picking up heavier dumbbells," advises McNulty.
Grab a pair of dumbbells, and balance on your right leg while keeping the left leg lifted behind you. Hinge at the hips, letting your torso lean forward while you lower the dumbbells toward the floor. Maintain a straight back and a neutral spine throughout the exercise. Engage your glutes and hamstrings to return to the starting position. Aim for four sets of 1o to 12 reps per side.
"Bent-over rows build back strength and core stability and work the arms as a secondary benefit," states McNulty.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand or a light barbell with both palms facing you, standing with your feet about hip-width apart. Hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back flat and letting the weight hang toward the floor. Pull the weight toward your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together before lowering it back down. Keep your chest up, your back straight, and your chin facing forward. Do four sets of eight to 12 reps.
Alternating Dumbbell Overhead Presses
Another killer strength exercise, this move targets your shoulders, triceps, and core to help build a toned upper body. "Pressing overhead is a crucial area of strength for day-to-day life, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more straightforward option than the overhead press and its variations. Single-arm alternating presses help mitigate the risk of muscle imbalances and promote coordination and a strong core," explains McNulty.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height. Engage your core, and press one dumbbell overhead while keeping the other at shoulder height, then lower it back down. Perform four sets of 12 to 15 reps per side.
Dumbbell Bench Presses
This bench press variation will engage multiple muscles in your chest, triceps, and shoulders. "The bench press is a classic chest-building exercise that benefits posture and helps tone the pectoral muscles," says McNulty.
Lie on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand at chest level. Push the dumbbells until your arms are fully extended, then slowly lower them. Keep your elbows close to your body throughout the exercise. Do four sets of 10 to 12 reps.
Toned arms aren't just for bodybuilders. This classic free weight exercise will target your biceps for well-defined front and side arms. "Defined arms are a goal for many women in the gym, and biceps curls are a simple, classic move to target the arms overall, especially the biceps," says McNulty.
Hold dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing forward, and curl the weights toward your shoulders. Lower them slowly, and pin your elbows at your sides throughout this movement. Perform four sets of 12 to 15 reps per arm.
Don't neglect your triceps; they're the largest muscle group in your arms. Tricep kickbacks engage the back of your arms and are essential for strong and toned triceps. "As the name implies, triceps kickbacks work the triceps or the back of the arms. This is a spot many women find difficult to tone, but training them regularly can help keep them shapely and robust," says McNulty.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a light dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knees slightly, and hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back flat. Extend your arms back and upward until they form straight lines parallel to your torso. Squeeze your triceps at the top, then return to the starting position. Aim for four sets of 12 to 15 reps per arm.