women: weight training
By Martha Lourey Bird  |   MSpSC, BSpSC (ExSc), DipRT

Weight training can tone you up and define your body shape. So don't be put off if you've never tried it before.

Before you begin, make sure you are warmed up (try going for a walk first). Perform all three of the following exercises one after the other, trying not to rest too much in between. At first, do just one set of each exercise, without using handheld weights. As you improve, try to do three sets of the whole routine with a set of dumbbells (or weighted objects). Always be careful not to grip the weight too tightly — firm, but not tight.

These three resistance exercises are for problem areas often neglected in basic exercise routines: shoulders, back and triceps.

1. lateral raises
To begin, stand up straight with a dumbbell (or weighted object) in each hand and your arms straight down by your sides. Keeping your wrists straight and elbows slightly bent, slowly raise your arms to shoulder height, as shown. Gently lower your arms down again to return to the starting position. To keep movements under control, count slowly to four on the way up and again on the way down. Aim for between 10 and 15 repetitions.
2. seated row
Sit upright, away from the back of the chair, and begin with your arms straight out in front of you and your hands at shoulder height. To work your back muscles, gently bend your elbows, bringing them back behind you, as shown. At this point you should be squeezing your shoulder blades together. Release and straighten the elbows so your hands return to your front at shoulder height (at starting position). You can perform this exercise with one arm at a time or both arms together, whichever you prefer. Aim for between 15 and 20 repetitions.
3. tricep extensions
To start, sit upright on a chair with your spine away from the back of the chair. Have one hand resting on your leg and the other bent behind your back, as shown (in picture a). Keep looking straight ahead to avoid dropping the head down. To do this exercise, straighten your bent arm, bringing the hand up from behind your head, towards the ceiling (in picture b). Bend and straighten this arm slowly and use just one arm at a time, remembering to perform the same number on each side. Aim for between 10 and 15 repetitions with each arm.

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Safety Tips
It's always a good idea to check with your GP before taking up exercise for the first time.
 safety tips for women
 safety tips for men