HEALTH

Switching 'Gender' Roles in the Gym
If you are a woman, shake up your workout while adding some “aesthetic”—stronger upper body and some power—strength and speed—to your workout. For men, dive into the “application”—meaning to focus on multi-joint movements that emphasize the leg, core, and overall satiability along with hip strength exercises, which will not only make you look better from behind but also accomplish daily physical tasks and/or sports activities with less effort and reduce injury risk.
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Hip Bridge

When lifting up the bar, use your glutes and the hamstrings not your lower back. Raise the hips as high as you can while keeping your back straight and torso stable. When up, contract the muscles of the glutes for a couple of seconds before lowering the hips. Keep the contraction at all times and don’t release the hips when going down. They barely touch the floor.  If you want to increase the intensity, place your feet on a physioball to add more instability (see images below for placement). Do 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps.  (NOTE: To increase the range of motion, thus making the exercise harder, place your upper back on a bench and let the rest of your body fall, then place the bar on your lap, foot on the floor, and do the same movement.)

Hip Bridge:

When lifting up the bar, use your glutes and the hamstrings not your lower back. Raise the hips as high as you can while keeping your back straight and torso stable. When up, contract the muscles of the glutes for a couple of seconds before lowering the hips. Keep the contraction at all times and don’t release the hips when going down. They barely touch the floor.  If you want to increase the intensity, place your feet on a physioball to add more instability (see images below for placement). Do 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps.  (NOTE: To increase the range of motion, thus making the exercise harder, place your upper back on a bench and let the rest of your body fall, then place the bar on your lap, foot on the floor, and do the same movement.)

Unilateral Dumbbell Deadlift to Back Row:

Hold the dumbbell close to your body and lower it while keeping the core tight and back straight. The movement initiates at the hips not at the back so push back and feel the stretch in the hamstrings. When your back is parallel to the floor, perform a dumbbell row. Return to standing position and try not to rest the leg that was extended on the floor to keep the tension on the working leg. Switch legs. This is not an exercise of showing off your strength, rather your “body functionality”—joint stability, flexibility, overall balance, core, upper and lower body strength. Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

Barbell Chest Press:

Work on pure upper strength and hit the free weights. When benching, make sure that your head, hips, and foot are all locked. Lower the bar while keeping a 90-degree elbow angle until the shoulders are parallel to your elbows. Any further of this point and you may increase the risk of injury at the shoulder. Do 2-4 sets, 10 reps. Women don’t need to “burn the fat around the chest,” but you need to strengthen these muscles so go heavy on this exercise as you make progress.

Deadlift to High Pull:

This exercise works on transferring the strength from the legs to the upper body in a powerful move. It should be performed as only one move and not two. The position of the bar in front differs from the squat in that this taxes the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles more, while the high pull will not only work the anterior part of the chest, but also the upper trapezius and other superior muscles of the back, which are overlooked by women. Do 2-4 reps, 10-12 reps.

Switching 'Gender' Roles in the Gym

If you are a woman, shake up your workout while adding some “aesthetic”—stronger upper body and some power—strength and speed—to your workout. For men, dive into the “application”—meaning to focus on multi-joint movements that emphasize the leg, core, and overall satiability along with hip strength exercises, which will not only make you look better from behind but also accomplish daily physical tasks and/or sports activities with less effort and reduce injury risk.

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