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Strength training should be part of and exercise routine. Whether you want to lose weight, prevent disease and illness, tone up, increase the strength of connective tissue, increase bone density and reduce the chance of injury both in everyday movements and sports.
Don’t be confused by the myth that strength training will make women bulky – very few women have the genetic capability to bulk up, and even those that do need to work at a professional level to make this happen. Rather, for the vast majority of women strength training will give the muscles the appearance of tone. Many parts of the body (under arms for example) appear flabby. Often this flabbiness is just muscle that lacks any tone. Strength training will improve this. Here are some rules for strength training.
Exercise selection – promote muscular balance.
In strength training it’s important to work all of the major muscle groups equally. This ensures that the body will progress as a whole unit as opposed to a group of isolated muscles. Focusing on a small number of “glamour” muscles (biceps for the boys, triceps for he girls) is counterproductive in the long term as it promotes imbalance within the body. These imbalances can promote dysfunction and adverse postural issues that will not only reduce the rate of progress but also lead to poor posture and ongoing injury risk. Many men who focus on the chest muscles, for example, end up with these muscles overpowering the muscles of the upper back, causing a hunched over neck less posture. Not a good look.
So if you push, pull. If you kick forwards, kick backwards too.