Strong women

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On my list to a healthy me from over a month ago you may have noticed I wrote “Do strong women routine”. Did it tweak your interest?

Well, the exercises come from an amazing series of books to build strength for mature women by Miriam E. Nelson.

The books are based on research Nelson did for her PhD into the effect of weight training on the health of post menopausal women. After 40 women lose bone and muscle mass. Yet, after one year the women who did the exercises increased their bone density and muscle mass. This was from just 2 strength training sessions a week.

Key to the Strong Women routines (and there are a few minor differences depending on which program you chose) is. To. Use. Heavy. Weights.

I said that slowly so it would sink in. Most women use light weights and do heaps of repetitions. For Strong Women you are to work at a level where you can do the exercise 8 times but by the eighth one it is really hard and you can maintain correct form, but only just and then you need to rest. You just can’t do anymore reps. And then Nelson says to increase the weight every week or two to keep challenging your muscles.

I am combining exercises from different Strong Women programs. I am currently doing:

    Biceps curl
    Overhead tricep extension
    Overhead press
    Upward row
    Seated fly
    Pec Dec
    Wrist curl
    Abdominal curl

OK, I have added a couple of my own and I am not doing any of the “big muscle” exercises that I should be doing – lunges, knee extensions, squats – but my focus has been on improving my sleep, walking 3 to 4 times a week and getting into the routine of exercising. I am telling myself the walking is working my legs and Pilates is going core and legs. As I progress on my journey I will add more exercises and vary the upper arm work outs in my Strong Women workout.

The books are really worth reading for more than the exercises; the info on physiology and the positive effects of exercise is very interesting and motivating. And the exercises are simple – anyone can do them. (I’ll give more info from Ms Nelson this week.)

Who can’t find 20 to 30 minutes, twice a week? I do the exercises in front of the TV, generally on Wednesday and Saturday. Give it a go.

Buy the books, Or go to your library and borrow the books. Or visit her site: http://www.strongwomen.com/

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