- Home Workouts
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Previously seen on Nourish Move Love — we updated this post to include a full length, follow-along at home workout video.
Strength training, weight training, resistance training — call it what you want but listen up LADIES, strength training is so important for women!
Have I convinced you that strength training is important for women yet?
If you want to learn more about the benefits of strength training, keep scrolling.
If you’re ready to grab a set of dumbbells, these 7 best strength training exercises for women are a great place to start!
This 30-minute home workout consists of 7 COMPOUND EXERCISES. Full body exercises that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. So you get an efficient, 30 minute workout.
These 7 dumbbell exercises hit the quads, hamstrings, glutes, biceps, triceps, back, shoulder AND core muscles.
Target multiple muscle groups, increase strength, and build lean muscle with this 30-minute home workout.
Add this strength training workout to your fitness routine 1-2 times a week to bust through fitness plateaus and lose weight.
A medium-to-heavy set of dumbbells.
Or multiple sets of dumbbells if you wish to adjust weights throughout the workout. I recommend 8-20 pound dumbbells, depending on your fitness level.
I’m personally using 10 lb and 12 lb dumbbells in this workout video.
Let me be your certified personal trainer for the day. Follow along with the 30-minute strength training video at the top of this post.
I’ll be sweating with you through each dumbbell strength exercise, providing form cues and motivation.
Alternatively, you can work off the 7 best strength training exercises outlined below (watch the video at the top of this post if you need a demonstration of these exercises).
Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, then take 15 seconds rest before moving on to the next exercise. Once you complete all 7 exercises, take a 1 minute rest. Repeat x 3 sets.
Legs, shoulders and core! Squats are great for building glute strength, the foundation of your lower body and muscles you use daily as you sit down and stand up — legs, butt, thighs, hamstrings and quad.
Add an overhead shoulder press to build upper body strength; strengthening the rotator cuff muscles and anterior deltoid. An effective total body exercise.
Reverse lunges are a great unilateral leg exercise targeting the power generating muscles in the lower body — quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
Add a bicep curl to strengthen both heads of the upper arm (the bicep muscles).
Sumo squats work the glutes, quadriceps and inner thighs (or adductors). Upright rows work the upper trapezius, deltoids and biceps.
Pair sumo squats with dumbbell upright rows and you have a compound exercise that builds muscle in both the lower body and the upper body.
Sculpt and tone your arms, legs and inner thighs with this multi-functional exercise.
Similar to a standard reverse lunge, the curtsy lunge works the quads and glutes. But adding the curtsy, when your leg crosses back and around, requires the hip abductors to work as well.
Add an L-Fly Lateral raises incorporates the medial or middle deltoid shoulder muscle as well. Another legs and shoulders exercise.
Plank and row, also known as a renegade row, is an effective way to build muscle definition in the arms and abs. Simultaneously building upper back strength and core strength.
This multi-functional exercise will challenge your core strength.
Glute bridges are one of my favorite booty burning exercises, targeting the gluteus maximus, thighs, hips, core, and hamstrings. And they are kind on joints; I always recommend them to people with lower body injuries and knee pain.
And tricep extensions are one of the best arm exercises for building tricep muscles.
This multi-functional, full body exercise is a great way to tighten and tone the legs and back of the arms; two common ‘trouble areas’ for women.
Holding a glute bridge is a great way to increase the time under tension of muscles and isolate the gluteus maximus, thighs, hips, and hamstrings.
Add a chest press, an arm exercise with dumbbells for building upper body strength; targeting the chest or pectoralis major muscles.
This compound exercise is a great way to build lower body and chest strength (legs and chest). It’s also a great alternative to squats and push ups.
Strength training is truly for everyone, but especially important for women! I’m an advocate for strength training exercises for many reasons, but two of the main reasons include:
In general, yes! Strength training is the name of the game for prenatal workouts.
That said, I always recommend chatting with your doctor or midwife about what level of exercise may be appropriate for your body and your pregnancy. As always, you know your body best, and it’s especially important that you listen to what feels good to you during pregnancy.
For example, benefits of resistance training during pregnancy include healthy weight gain, reduced risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, and better psychological wellbeing (Strength and Conditioning Journal).
Plus, Parents Magazine says lifting weights is one of the best ways to reduce pregnancy aches and pains.
Strength training is a low impact way to stay active, which is why I especially love it for prenatal and postpartum fitness.
In fact, we originally filmed this workout in my second trimester of my pregnancy with Brody (note my baby bump in the photos above). Then we re-shot this workout with a follow-along video when I was 6 months postpartum after Bella, my second child.
*And if you’re pregnant my most popular prenatal workout is this Strength Training for Pregnancy: 30-Minute Pregnancy Workout Video.