The 3 best training tips for women

November 6, 2014

Whether you're gearing up for a race or working on a bikini body, the most important principle of training is having a specific goal in mind. 

The 3 best training tips for women

Here are the best training tips that every woman can follow to achieve her objective.

1. Troubleshoot the Q angle

In terms of function, the biggest difference between men's and women's bodies is the angle of the hip joint, also known as the Q angle.

  • Because a woman's pelvis is usually wider than a man's, women have a higher Q angle.
  • This translates into an increased likelihood of knee pain and an increased risk of knee injury with certain movements.

The good news is that you can reduce your risk of injury by strengthening the vastus medialis, which is one of the four muscles that make up your quadriceps (the big muscle group on the front of your thigh).

  • Try doing wall squats, leg dips or lunges, and sinking only partway down—about a 30-degree bend in the knee.

2. Try the progressive overload method

Men typically have more natural upper-body strength than women, but women can work up to doing anything men can do. If you have a goal you haven't yet met—for example, doing unassisted pull-ups—just scale it down to an easier to build strength over time.

  • For example, to improve pull-ups, you could focus on doing assisted pull-ups or lat pull-downs for the first few weeks of your training, gradually building up muscle strength.
  • Keep shifting up to harder versions of the exercise as you get stronger, and before you know it, you'll be doing full pull-ups right alongside the guys.

This method, known as progressive overload, works for other exercises, too, including a long set of push-ups you might not have thought you could do.

  • Perhaps you can't drop and do 50 on the first day, but with time, you can work up to that number.

3. Do compound exercises

For many women, life is a matter of juggling family, work and exercise. If you're lucky, you might even get a little leisure time now and again.

  • Make the most of your workout time by including compound exercises that target multiple muscles and joints at once.
  • Some great examples are squats, lunges, push-ups and dumbbell rows—all of which have the bonus of targeting so-called "problem areas" such as the backside, back of the thighs, back of the arms and back.
  • Add in explosive exercises such as burpees and swinging kettlebells, and you can pack an elite-level workout into your busy schedule.
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