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Best Beginner Workouts for Women by Muscle Group

We all have different needs when it comes to our health. Check out our tips for the best workouts for women by muscle group here!

Published: 4/28/16

Ladies. This one’s for you. For the strong, intelligent, loving, and beautiful woman you are—we wanted to create a resource that would cover the best beginner workouts for you. And not just workouts for your body either. Exercises for your mind and your heart to help you focus on a little self-care and be one with the present moment. 

Should Women And Men Train Differently?

The truth is you, him, them—all of us are different. Whether you are the ultra-flexible type who can ease into flowing movement, someone who tends to lean into strength training, or an individual who can’t seem to run for long distances but thrives in sprints, we all have different tendencies. But, much like we are different, we are very similar as well. However you identify doesn’t really impact how you can work out. Women and men seem to be able to train with one another in even the toughest of ways. How you may differ, though, is your body composition and hormonal needs. Perhaps you could benefit from an addition of more mindfulness, LISS, or even more rest times between workouts—or the opposite. The trick is noticing. Noticing when a workout feels wonderful, when it doesn’t, and navigating your wellness with your unique body in mind.

Mindfulness

The first muscle group we want to focus on is your mind. As humans, we lead stressful lives. One way to ground ourselves in the present moment and keep some of that at bay is through mindfulness. The mind and body are connected in a powerful way. To ground yourself and sink into the present moment, mindfulness can help. There are several benefits to a mindfulness and meditation practice. One is simply being aware of your surroundings and the miracle that life truly is. People who meditate are often more in-tune with how they feel, making them able to notice when it’s time to rest and when it’s time to push even more. Studies have shown that the stress hormone cortisol actually lowers for folks who practice meditation regularly. Combined with treatment, it can be used to reduce stress overall.

Stretching

Speaking of lowering stress, stretching isn’t just a way to get yourself ready for the day or a workout. Stretching has also been proven to reduce stress. Yep, tight muscles can actually be a reaction to stress. A good, long stretch like a yoga session could be the perfect remedy to making you feel a little more at ease.

Arms and Chest

Toning your upper body might help you feel great in your clothes, but it can also improve your overall strength. Most arm and chest-focused exercises involve your arms and the muscles across your upper body, so you will likely notice a difference in the way your physique looks and feels as you continue to work this area. Some of the best workouts for women to build and tone their arm and chest muscles include bench dips and dumbbell curls. You can find some other great suggestions and learn more about strong upper body benefits here.

If your starting strength can’t lift heavy weights just yet, there are plenty of bodyweight arm workouts you can try.

Back

From lifting those heavy bags, kids, or sitting at your desk, daily tasks constantly stress the muscles in your back. Strengthening those muscles can improve posture, increase flexibility and reduce back pain. If you feel tightness or pain in your lower back, try some McGill curl-ups. The superman is an excellent workout for women to strengthen and stretch the back, glutes, core, and shoulders. There are also many yoga poses that specifically target your back.

Abs

Side planks and leg scissors are some of the best workouts for women when it comes to keeping your core strong. This is important because your abdominal muscles are largely what your body uses to support its own weight, as well as the weight of anything you are carrying. When they are not quite up to the task, other muscles have to try to compensate, leading to injury and imbalances.

Legs and Glutes

There is a lot more to be gained by working out your lower half than simple aesthetics. Running faster and longer will help you improve as an athlete, so if you enjoy sports, make sure to focus on your legs with moves like clock lunges or step-ups. Strengthening your glutes with exercises like hip raises and single-leg deadlifts will also protect your knees from injury and help reduce back pain. Try bodyweight squat variations to workout your entire lower body.

Cardio

While almost any exercise can count as a cardio workout, you need to work hard enough to get your heart rate and lungs working. This leads to improved heart health, lower cholesterol levels, fat loss, a lessened risk for osteoporosis, and a serious calorie burn. Cardio exercises are among the best workouts for everyone. Consider trying various cardio workouts other than the treadmill like jumping jacks, jump rope, or swimming.

Regardless of how you choose to work out, be it on your own in any of our locations, on iChuze Fitness, or in a group exercise class—we have the tools to help you. Everyone’s fitness journey will be different. Choosing among the best workouts for women will help you get on the fast track toward your fitness goals. Pick the ones that most appeal to you and your fitness level, and start feeling and seeing those benefits this summer!