Weight Lifting for Girls
Is lifting weights a good idea for girls?
The short answer is, yes! Lifting weights is a great idea for girls. Both boys and girls can benefit from a regular exercise program including aerobic activity, weight training, and stretching. Lifting weights can help build muscle strength and tone. Lifting also works to boost your energy levels and self-esteem. If you are an athlete, lifting weights may improve your performance. But, even if you don’t compete, lifting weights is an excellent part of an overall plan to get and stay healthy!
How will weight training affect my weight?
Exercising will burn calories, and gaining more muscle will help you continue to burn calories even after the workout. So, lifting weights is a core part of a workout plan to lose weight which also includes aerobic exercises (dance, running, cycling, etc), and eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein,
If your goal is to gain weight, then you will need to increase the amount of calories you eat.
What do I need to do to get started?
Before you start, go to see your health provider for a sports physical. Let your doctor know that you want to lift weights and he/she can check to make sure you are ready to begin an exercise program. You’ll want to work with an adult or a friend who has weight lifting experience to make sure you learn the right way to lift weights, so you get the results you want and also to avoid getting hurt.
Start by lifting light weights a few days per week, with a focus on proper form and technique. You may want to focus on your upper body one day, and your lower body the next. Once you learn a set of exercises that you can do with the right form, you can slowly add weight, a few pounds at a time. Rotate through different muscle groups during the week, and give yourself at least two days to rest during the week.
After a few weeks you will start to see results, and you’ll probably like the results you see! You can enjoy the health benefits and also encourage your friends to get involved if they’re interested in working out as well.
Do I need a lot of equipment or an expensive gym membership?
Not at all! You can pick up basic equipment, like dumb-bells or kettle-bells from stores like Modell’s or Target or Walmart. Get the light weights to start, like 3 and 5 lbs.
Check out this video for easy weight-lifting exercises you can do at home.
Or, if you are on a tight budget, you can even just start off by using water bottles!
If you want to go to a gym, try low-cost options like the YMCA or Planet Fitness. You can also log onto BeFitNYC to find a recreation center near you. Membership is free if you are under 18, or $25 for a year if you are 18-24)
Where can I go if I need more advice?
And if you would like more fitness tips, or are wondering how to find a trainer who can teach you to lift weights, feel free to talk to a BeWell staff member. BeWell staff are trained on a wide range of health topics, including weight lifting, and they would be happy to connect you with the people and resources you need to reach your fitness goals.
Tips for avoiding weigh-lifting injuries