Strength Training for Women: 3 Reasons Dakota Johnson’s Coach Recommends It

Strength Training for Women: 3 Reasons Dakota Johnson’s Coach Recommends It

Strength Training for Women: 3 Reasons Dakota Johnson’s Coach Recommends It

  • Strength training has countless benefits and is important for women.
  • Celebrity trainer Luke Worthington shared three of the biggest with Insiders.
  • Resistance training can be strengthening, help with fat loss, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Strength training is of great benefit to people of all ages, but in the past it was thought to be reserved for men.

Data suggests this is beginning to change as more women try resistance training for both mental and physical health.

UK-based personal trainer Luke Worthington is an outspoken supporter of women lifting weights and has trained high-profile women such as Dakota Johnson, Winnie Harlow, Jodie Comer and Naomi Campbell.

Luke Worthington is a personal trainer based in London.

Luke Worthington is a personal trainer based in London.

Luke Worthington

The qualified sports scientist, nutritionist and strength and conditioning specialist has more than 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry and is launching a strength training app called 3×52 on January 9th. Designed specifically for women, it is based on its unique “3 x 52” philosophy.

Worthington told Insider that about 85% of his clients over the past 10 years have been women, and they all “responded very quickly to strength training and found it very empowering.”

“It’s not that cardio isn’t worth it,” added personal trainer Anna Victoria. “Cardio has an important place in a balanced exercise program, especially when it comes to our overall health, but there are unique benefits of strength training that women in particular could significantly improve their results and quality of life.”

A post by Anna Victoria (@annavictoria)

If you’re still undecided about adding resistance to your workout—whether it’s with a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, or just your bodyweight—Worthington listed some of the top reasons women should do strength training, from reducing the risk of osteoporosis to for fat loss.

1. Being strong makes everyday tasks easier

Just being stronger makes life easier, Worthington said.

When you’re stronger, everyday tasks become easier, whether it’s carrying a suitcase up a flight of stairs, picking up a child or moving house, both experts said.

“Transitioning into everyday tasks, being able to do things you couldn’t do before and feeling empowered while doing it, is key,” Worthington said.

Strength will also make all other activities easier, whether it’s running, tennis or ballet, and reduce the risk of injury from anything else you might be doing, Worthington said.

Consistent weightlifting can help people feel strong and capable both in and out of the gym, Victoria said.

Strength training can not only boost self-confidence but also improve mental health. For example, a May 2018 study in JAMA Psychiatry found that lifting weights reduced the frequency and severity of depressive symptoms and anxiety.

2. Resistance training strengthens bones

Strength training can improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, which research shows is especially important as you age and especially for women, who start losing more bone earlier than men.

According to a July 2011 study in Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research, women are four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis and twice as likely to fracture bones as they age.

“When you lift weights, when you contract and stretch a muscle, it puts stress on the tendons that connect it to the bone,” Victoria said. “The bone responds to this tension by becoming stronger. And increasing stress over time only makes them stronger (just like muscles), it’s called Wolff’s Law.”

Not only can strength training delay the onset of osteoporosis, it can reverse it, and it’s never too late to start, Worthington said.

He trains a 62-year-old woman who actually heals holes in her pelvis, and this has been directly attributed to regular weight training. “She’s stronger than ever,” Worthington said.

3. Strength training helps create a lean, “toned” body

The concept of building muscle is a myth, but looking what many people call “toned” means you’re gaining muscle and are low in body fat to see that, and strength training is essential for that.

If you’ve already built muscle, strength training can help you maintain it, while losing fat by eating in a calorie deficit can reveal muscle definition. If you haven’t already built muscle, strength training — while eating enough — is the way to do it, Worthington said.

Strength training to build muscle can also help change your body composition, or muscle-to-fat ratio, by increasing your resting metabolism, which means you burn more calories at rest, which helps you lose fat, Victoria said. A June 2015 study published in the Journal of Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport found that resistance training increased participants’ resting metabolism after exercise compared to stationary cardio.

If you’re in a calorie deficit to lose weight but don’t do resistance training, you’ll lose both muscle and fat, which means that while you may get smaller, you’ll likely have what’s known as a “skinny fat” physique. said Worthington. To maintain the muscle, you need to use it repeatedly through resistance training, he said.

“While cardio can also help reduce body fat, when compared minute-by-minute, resistance training has a greater effect on age-related abdominal fat than cardio,” Victoria said, citing a December 2014 study in the journal Obesity.

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