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Health and happiness, Fitness and motivation / September 22, 2016

Workout Routines for Women: Finding the Right Fit for YOU

Workout Routines for Women: Finding the Right Fit for YOU

If you’re anything like most women, you can spend hours scouring the internet for information on the best workout routines for women, and still end up feeling lost and confused.

Every site you come across tells you to do something different, so what are you to do?


There is no one-size-fits-all women’s fitness routine. What works for your colleague or even your sister may not work for you. We’re all different, and trying to fit in where we don’t belong never does us any good, right?

That’s what we’re here today to clear up.

Today, you’re going to create the perfect routine that suits YOUR individual needs.

Read on and you'll learn everything you need to know to create a women’s workout routine that you can commit to. One that delivers motivating results and keeps you coming back because it’s what you WANT to be doing.

Are you ready?

Let’s get to it!

 

How to Start Working Out

Before we get to creating the perfect workout routine, we need to look at how to get started working out. A solid foundation leads to the creation of a long-term habit that delivers life-changing results and keeps you coming back for more!

The top 3 ways to get started working out are:

1. Start slow and steady

You can’t go from not working out at all to starting some crazy 30-day challenge without burning out along the way (and going a little crazy yourself). Take small steps to get started and increase the frequency, intensity, and duration of your workouts as your body adapts.

2. Make a plan and stick to it

Creating a workout routine that you can stick to is essential. You need to pick the perfect days, times, workouts, etc., then follow your plan to achieve your goals. Remember to create a plan the keeps your routine full of fun and variety.

3. Just do it

Most women are their own worst enemy. (You know who you are!) There will always be a reason to put off exercising. If you find yourself wondering how to get started working out, make it a point just to get started, and the rest will fall into place.

Trainer’s top tip: Stick with it. The first few weeks are the hardest, but once you start feeling and looking better, you’ll be reinforcing a healthy habit that motivates you to keep coming back time after time!

Picking the Right Workout Routine for Y-O-U


When it comes to selecting the best workout routines for your needs, the first thing you have to determine is, well, your needs!

Before you get started building your perfect routine, ask yourself:
  • How many days do you currently exercise?
  • How many days per week can you make time to exercise?
  • How many days per week can you exercise without feeling burned out?
  • What is your goal? Weight loss? Straight muscle gain? Feel your best?
  • What (if anything) holds you back from working out?
  • How much time can you devote per workout? 30 minutes? 1 hour?
  • Do you want to work out at home or at different gyms?
  • Do you like variety? Would you like the option to incorporate yoga, swimming, strength training, etc., into your routine?

Consider all of these questions before you start building your workout routine. Take some time and answer each of the questions above.

Do you have your answers? The let’s get started!

Why You Should Focus on Full-Body Workout Routines

Too many women focus on targeting specify vanity body parts.

In truth, the miracle workout you’ve been looking for is a well-balanced, full-body workout routine.

There is no “best ab workout” that target just your belly fat, and results don’t come overnight. Doing thousands of leg lifts and crunches will leave you with really fatigued abdominals that are still fighting to poke through that belly you put on last winter.

It’s time to divide and conquer. A well-balanced, full-body workout routine is what you need to look tight and toned from head to toe.

It’s official. You have the foundation for the perfect workout routine, BALANCE!

You may have never thought about strengthening your back or toning your triceps, but in all honesty, the way to looking and feeling your best is by paying equal attention to all of your body parts. If you have a particular body part that you want to target, don’t worry. You can do a few extra exercises that focus on that part each week. The key is to avoid neglecting the rest of the body!

Trainer’s top tip: Burning more FAT. A full body workout routine allows you to burn more calories and shed your excess fat faster. It also gives your muscles more time to recover between workouts. That means you make the most out of each workout and look and feel better with fewer workouts!

Picking the Perfect Gym or Studio

There are a ton of variables involved in choosing the perfect gym or studio to work out in. There are the obvious things to cover like:

  • Variety of equipment
  • Quality of equipment
  • Classes offered
  • Staff/Trainers/Instructors
  • Amenities

And then there are things that are equally as important that often get overlooked:

  • Location
  • Distance to home
  • Distance to work
  • Class schedules
  • Hours of operation

Before you commit to a single location, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the location you’re thinking about close enough to home to make it easy to get to?
  • Is it close enough to work to give you the opportunity to get a quick workout in on your way home?
  • Do they offer the classes you want? On the days you want? At the times you want?

Multiple-Access Gym Memberships

You may be finding it tough to find a single location that meets all of your needs, but before you start making compromises, you should take a look into Flexible Fitness Memberships.

Multiple-access memberships offer the ability to go to a wide variety of gyms and studios and participate in different types of classes and activities for around the same price as a typical gym membership, and far less than many studios.

If you think that’s interesting, don’t miss the next section.

Mixed Studio and Gym Workout Routines for Women


There aren’t many workout routines like the ones listed below because they require something that most people don’t have—access to multiple gyms and studios.

However, with companies like Move entering the playing field, highly effective, extremely customizable, and fully flexible workout routines for women are becoming more accessible.

These are some of the best workout routines because they include plenty of variety to keep your body adapting to new challenges, which means faster results. They also deliver the flexibility to fit into your busy schedule and ensure that your routine never gets stale or boring!

If you’re looking for the best workout routines. Congratulations, you’ve found them!

Try out these highly effective, supremely balanced weekly workout routines. Select one of the following to try out based on your schedule and experience level.

  • Beginner workout routine
  • 3-day workout routine for strength and toning
  • 3-day workout routine for fat loss
  • 5-day workout routine


Best Beginner Workout Routine

There are tons of workout routines for women, but very few of them focus on what to do if you’re just starting out.

If you’re right at the beginning of your fitness journey, congratulations! You should count yourself lucky because the start of a fitness journey is where the results come the fastest. You’ll be able to transform much quicker than those who have been working out for years. Lucky you!

Remember, though, don't push yourself too hard!

It's important to start slow and light. You can always increase your intensity, add more weights, or bump up your frequency, but get a good baseline routine established first.

Trainer’s top tip: Eat right. You can work out every day and still miss your goals if you’re not eating right. A healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats is one of the keys to a true fitness transformation. Be sure to avoid processed foods and try to cook for yourself as much as possible.

Sample Beginner Workout Routine for Women

This 3-day beginner routine works every muscle group in each training session. The week begins with a focused day in the gym while you’re fresh. It’s followed by a heart-racing kickboxing class where the instructor keeps you motivated and moving. Then you wrap the week up with a yoga practice that gives you a good core workout, stretches tight muscles, and relaxes away the stress of the week.

Monday - Gym Day

Warm up and cool down with 5-10 minutes of walking, jogging, cycling, elliptical, etc.

Perform 2 sets of each of the following exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

Work in cycles of 3 exercises. For example: chin up, leg press, push up, chin up, leg press, push up.

Select a weight that allows you to complete the allotted reps but feeling like you can only do 2-3 more if you absolutely had to. Start with a lower weight if you can’t comfortably do the allotted reps.


Assisted chin up - 10-12 reps
Air squat - 10-15 reps
Assisted push-up (knees) - 12-15 reps

Complete 2 sets in cycles and move on to...

Seated cable row - 12-15 reps
Leg press - 10-12 reps
Seated pectoral fly - 12-15 reps

Complete 2 sets in cycles and move on to…

Wide grip lat pulldown - 12-15 reps
Lunges - 10-12 reps
Overhead press - 10-12 reps

Complete 2 sets in cycles and move on to…

Plank - as long as you can hold it


Trainer’s top tip: While you’re learning these exercises, it’s vital that you focus on doing the movements correctly. What you learn today will stay with you, keep you safe, and make you look like a total pro. The real experts appreciate good form over anything else, so work on your form first!


Tuesday - Rest Day

Rest doesn’t have to mean sitting around all day. A walk, hike, bike ride or some active stretching will help your body recover. Getting your blood pumping helps to deliver what your muscles need and stretch them to keep you from feeling too tight the next day.


Wednesday- Kickboxing Day

Now that you’ve put in the extra effort mapping out your gym routine on Wednesday let the instructor take you through a fast-paced kickboxing class. Be sure to select a beginner’s class or ask the boxing gym what they recommend for you. By the end of the class, you’ll be wiped out and feeling extremely accomplished.

The moves in a beginner class will be simple, and the instructor is only there to push you to the limits of your comfort zone. If you need to rest, rest. If you need to go slower, that’s O.K. too!

Thursday - Rest Day

Once again, rest doesn’t necessarily mean sitting around watching the grass grow (but it can). Walk the dog a little longer, ride your bike to work, or wrestle with your kids (or dog). The more you can keep moving, the better you’ll feel going into the next day’s workout.

Friday - Yoga Day

Yoga gives you the opportunity to take an entirely different approach to your final workout of the week.

While yoga can provide a heart-pumping, sweat-inducing workout, it also gives you the chance to take a more mindful approach to your fitness, and your life in general. Your typical practice warms up and cools down through a flow of movements that engage the whole body, the mind, and your spirit.

Give yourself to your practice and follow your teacher through your practice. Even those who aren’t much for meditating enjoy the energy and stillness at the end of a yoga practice.

Saturday, Sunday - Rest Days

If you want to do nothing on the weekend, do nothing. You’ve completed an awesome beginner workout routine and deserve it. If you get the itch to be active, try going for a light swim or take a dance class to get things moving!

Trainer’s top tip: Variation. The more variety you add to your routine, the more fun it will be. The more fun you have, the more likely you are to stick with it. That’s why it's highly recommended to add different activities to your routine throughout the week.

If kickboxing isn’t for you, try a beginner, CrossFit class.

Not a fan of yoga? Maybe swimming will be a better end of the week activity for you.

The whole point of this post is to help you find what work for you. Kickboxing, spin, yoga, pilates, CrossFit, climbing, etc. You never know where you’ll find your next passion. Keep looking until you do!

 

Best Beginner Workout Routine

 


 

3-Day Workout Routine (Strength)


The 3-day workout routine is probably the most common of the workout routines for women because it allows us to maintain a healthy balance of fitness and, well, the rest of our lives. This routine is focused on building a stronger, more defined body that looks and feels great
Sample 3-Day Workout Routine for Women


Monday - Crossfit Class

Start the week off strong with a killer CrossFit class that will get you sweating and perk you up for the week ahead. CrossFit focuses on functional movements that will get you strong and help shed any extra weight you may be lugging around.

While you may have had a mellow weekend at home, one of the best parts of CrossFit is how your fellow crossfitters will help get you moving again and kickstart your weekly fitness routine.


Tuesday - Rest Day

Remember that rest doesn’t have to mean lying on the couch all day. It could be adding a walk to start your day or doing a bit of stretching while watching evening TV; it’s about giving your body time to recover and getting it ready for the next day or exercise.


Wednesday - Pilates Class

Most of the men in your life probably think of Pilates as something girly and wouldn’t be caught dead in a studio. The truth is that it’s an excellent way to strengthen and tone the body and most of those guys probably couldn’t keep up with a proper pilates class. Get your strong and sexy on with a mid-week pilates class.


Thursday - Rest Day

Once again, rest only means sitting around if you don’t feel up for activity. Walk the dog a little longer, ride your bike to work, or spend some time playing with your kids outdoors. The more you can keep moving, the better you’ll feel going into the next day’s workout.


Friday - Gym Workout

Wrap up the week with a strength training session in the gym that will make you happy it’s the weekend. You get 2 days to recover after this, so hit it hard and make your body happy!

Warm up and cool down with 5-10 minutes of walking, jogging, cycling, elliptical, etc.

Perform 3 sets of each of the following exercises with 20-60 seconds rest between sets.

Select a weight that allows you to complete the allotted reps feeling like you can only do 1-2 more if you absolutely had to.


Squat - 10-12 reps
Dumbbell sumo deadlift - 12-15 reps
Standing calf raises - 15-20 reps

Lat pulldown - 12-15 reps
Seated cable row - 12-15 reps
Rear delt fly - 12-15 reps

Overhead press - 12-15 reps
Tricep dip (free/assisted) - 12-15 reps
Plank - as long as you can hold it


Saturday, Sunday - Rest Days


The weekends are the perfect time to do some active recovery. Active recovery means doing less strenuous exercises but still keeping your body active. This could mean a leisurely hike or day at the lake. It’s also a great time to spend some time outdoors!

If Pilates isn’t for you, work in a rock-climbing session.

Not sure about the gym? Try hitting one of their boot camp classes instead.

The whole point of this post is to help you find what work for you. Kickboxing, spin, yoga, pilates, CrossFit, climbing, etc. You never know where you’ll find your next passion.

 

3-Day Workout Routine for Women

 


 

3-Day Workout Routine (Fat Loss)


Three-day workout routines are very popular because they allow you to get fit while still managing the rest of your life along the way. This routine, in particular, is all about burning fat and losing that excess weight.

When most women think of fat loss, they think of hours on the treadmill or elliptical. You’ll be happy to learn that a large number of studies have proven that high-intensity exercise is more effective for fat loss than steady state cardio.

That means you get to have fun, get strong, and lose weight all at the same time. Now get out there and start burning those calories!


Sample 3-Day Workout Routine (Fat Loss) for Women


Monday - Kickboxing Class


Kickboxing is the perfect way to start the week because you’ll have the instructor pushing you to push yourself. It also gets you using your body in a way that you probably don’t very often (unless you’re that rough-and-tumble type). New movements make for faster progress, and the intensity of a kickboxing class is up there with the best of them.


Tuesday - Rest day

Schedule on your rest day some stretching and foam rolling to relieve some of the tension in your muscles. This is a great habit to get into especially when you start incorporating more workouts into your routine.


Wednesday - Spin Class

Spinning is an excellent way to get an intense workout in a short period. The instructor will push you through peaks of intensity and valleys of rest, a proven formula to accelerate fat burning. Plus they’ll keep you going harder and longer than you might on your own.


Thursday - Rest day

Once again, rest only means sitting around if you don’t feel up for activity.


Friday - Gym Workout (High Intensity)

Wrap up the week with a strength-training session in the gym that focuses on keeping your heart rate up and your body burning tons of calories.

Warm up and cool down with 5-10 minutes of walking, jogging, cycling, elliptical, etc.

Perform 3 sets of each of the following exercises with 0-60 seconds rest between sets. The less rest, the better!

Select a weight that allows you to complete the allotted reps feeling like you can only do 1-2 more if you absolutely had to.


Medicine ball wall toss - 15-20 reps
Medicine ball slams- 12-15 reps
High box jumps - 10-15 reps
Plank - as long as you can hold it
Jump rope - 30 seconds

Work through cycles of 4 exercises and keep moving!

Pushup - 12-15 reps
Kettle bell dips - 12-15 reps
Burpees - 10-15 reps
Swiss ball roll ups - 12-15 reps


Saturday, Sunday - Rest Days


If you want to do nothing on the weekend, do nothing. You’ve completed an awesome workout routine and deserve it. If you get the itch to be active, try going for a light swim or take a dance class to get things moving! 

 

3-Day Workout Routine (Fat Loss)

 


 

5-Day Workout Routine


If you’re ready to work out 5 days a week, power to you!

This routine gives you a power-packed workout every day of the week and two days to rest on the weekend. This type of routine can be overwhelming to the newly initiated and I highly recommend taking beginner level or lower-intensity classes until you can go through this weekly workout routine still wanting more.

This routine was created to be customizable.

If you’re ready to go hardcore, this is one of the most powerful workout routines for women!

Trainers top tip: Participate in activities that focus on compound movements, or exercises that target multiple muscle groups in the same movement. The result is more calories burned and more muscles sculpted in less time.

Now that you're ready…


Sample 5-Day Workout Routine for Women


Monday - Gym

Warm up and cool down with 5-10 minutes of walking, jogging, cycling, elliptical, etc.

Perform 3 sets of each of the following exercises with 20-60 seconds rest between sets.

Select a weight that allows you to complete the allotted reps feeling like you can only do 1-2 more if you absolutely had to.


Bent over overhand row - 12-15 reps
Squat - 10-12 reps
Seated pectoral fly (butterfly) - 12-15 reps

Pull ups (free or assisted) - 8-15 reps
Leg press
Kettle bell dips - 12-15 reps

Overhead press - 12-15 reps
Standing calf raises - 15-20 reps
Swiss ball roll-ups - 12-15 reps


Trainer’s top tip: Proper form will allow you to make the most your of your workout. Fewer reps of the correct movements are going to give you results faster than more reps of incorrect movements.


Tuesday - Swimming

Swimming is an excellent way to use the entire body during your workout. Alternate strokes to give yourself the variety you need and stretch out the muscles after a day in the gym. If you’re new to swimming, focus on your breathing and form, and you’ll have a better time as you become more advanced.


Wednesday - CrossFit Class

Time to get back to lifting heavy and sweating! Now that you’ve had some alone time in the pool you’ll be ready for the group training environment that CrossFit provides. Work yourself hard (your fellow crossfitters don't have it any other way) and you’ll leave feeling like you can take on the world...tomorrow.


Thursday - Yoga Class

You’ve pushed yourself pretty hard this week. It’s time for a peaceful yoga practice to help balance things out. Focus on your form and breathing to make the most of your practice. Take everything that the week has thrown at you and let it go; the weekend is near!


Friday - Spin Class

Are you ready to sweat? It’s time to get your heart racing and legs burning with the high intensity of a spin class. You’re working on your lungs as much as you’re focusing on strength and fat burning. The endurance you’re building in a spin class will help your other workouts become easier over time. Plus you’ll be shedding any unwanted fat along the way.


Saturday, Sunday - rest days

After an intense week of working out make sure you schedule some time to relax. You may not feel like taking a break once you on a good fitness groove but listen to your body and take the weekend to rest.

 

5-Day Workout Routine

 


 

Tips to Feel Comfortable in Any Fitness Situation


Most gyms and studios are friendly, helpful places. Try a few of the following techniques to help you feel comfortable in new surroundings:

1. Ask for assistance - If you don’t know how to use a specific piece of equipment, do one of the poses, or if you ever feel like you don’t understand what’s going on, ask for help.

It’s the staff’s job (and usually their pleasure) to help you use the equipment correctly, and the fitness community is all about helping others to do their best. Everyone wants to see you succeed!

2. Make friends - Say hello to people as you exercise and sooner or later you’ll find yourself feeling more comfortable with the other regulars. The more familiar your environment, the more fun you’ll have and the better your workouts will be.

3. Zone out - While it’s always a good idea to meet people and say hello, many people treat workouts like meditation. Enter your own world and ignore the fact that anyone else is there.

Trainer’s top tip: There is never anything to be self-conscious about, but this is where most women feel themselves being judged by others around them. The funny part is that everyone else is so wrapped up with what they look like that they aren’t even paying attention to the people around them!


Wrapping up

This post is all about picking the workout routine that is going to work for you. The one that will deliver the results you’ve been after all this time. The one that keeps things fun and exciting, so you keep coming back. The one that turns into a healthy, long-term habit that you can’t go without.

After all, we need something we can stick to, and that means keeping it fun.

Are you ready to take on the world? How about your workouts?

This article outlines some awesome workout routines for women of all experience levels. Now you have everything you need to realize your fitness goals. Share your experiences and feedback with these routines in the comments below.

Here’s to an awesome new you!

 

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Tags: Health and happiness, Fitness and motivation

Laura

Written by Laura

After 3 years of excess at uni took a serious toll on my waistline and wellbeing, I found that a love for strength training, HIIT and spin classes were key to keeping me healthy and happy. I'm at the forefront of finding out and creating awesome stuff about health, fitness and happiness for our Movers and when I'm not at work I love nothing more than pizza and prosecco in the sun with friends. What motivates me? Knowing that life is short...

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