Strength Training

Strength training for women has come a long way. Even though the 1950's are fifty plus years ago now, it seems like there are still a lot of hang ups when it comes to women and weight training. Women are able to do intense muscle building workouts just like men are - although, contrary to popular belief, working out is unlikely to cause a lot of muscle buildup unless you are taking a muscle building supplement. In fact, weight lifting will have the biggest effect on your muscle tone, over any other workout activity.
First of all, when it comes to strength training for women, you should forget about those tiny dumbbells that are sold in stores. These dumbbells might be marketed toward women, but the tiny 1-2 pound dumbbells will have very little effect on your actual muscle tone. This does not mean that you need to lift huge weights - but you should feel the resistance in your arms when you pick up the dumbbells that you're going to work out with.

A resistance training program will involve the use of various exercise equipment and machines like the bench press, dumbbell or barbell. The muscles of the body will be pitted against the weight. The cells of the body will then adjust to the extra weight. The result known as hypertrophy or the enlarging and increasing of the nerve cells to help in the muscle contraction.

Resistance training can also be done without using equipment. Doing push-ups or pull-ups are good example. You can do it just about anywhere as long as there is enough space for you to move. This time it is your own body weight that will be the resistance against the muscles. You do not have to spend money to develop a resistance training routine.

Here are the benefits of resistance training.

1. Increase bone mineral density

2. Increase strength

3. Increase the range of activities

4. Reduce the body fat

5. Improve heart condition

This kind of training must be properly done. Your athletes need to be commitment and it should be done routinely. If done incorrectly, the benefits of the program are less productive and it can even result the injury. The key here is to take your time. Do things one step at a time correctly. As your body strength improves, then systematically move on to more challenging weight.

Studies have shown that when you are just beginning a workout program, you will gain strength the fastest when you train each muscle group three times per week.

Weight training involves controlled lifting and exercising with weights. Two terms used in weight training are “rep” and “set.” A rep (repetition) describes the complete act of raising and lowering a weight one time during a single act of exercise. A set describes the number of times a specific exercise is performed.

A better explanation is when a person does five reps of a squat, they squat down and stand up five times, continuously, before stopping to rest for a couple of minutes. The five squats would equal one set. A balanced weight-training session would include several sets of different exercises.

Your goal as a weight lifter should be to exhaust your muscles in the shortest time frame - that simply means that when you lift a weight, you should lift a heavy enough weight to exhaust your muscles doing only 10 - 15 reps.

It is also important to fit some cardio workouts into your week also. We recommend fitting three 30 minute workouts into your week. Cardio will help you to burn extra calories and also helps you with muscle recovery as it helps muscles to get rid of lactic acid build up that occurs from weight training. Muscles cannot properly rebuild themselves unless all lactic acid has been removed.

You may also do some stretching and warm up exercises to allow the blood nutrients go to the muscles and joints of your body. Muscle stretching also helps in lessening the risks of injuries and muscle pains after the work out. Muscles tend to sore and get strained if you are not well warmed-up and do the proper stretching techniques before the work out.

In addition, muscle stretching also gives you more flexibility. You will be able to execute exercises comfortably and effectively. It is advisable that you do repetitive stretching and warm ups. Repetition of exercises makes your muscles and joints more enhanced and more adapted to the motion you are executing.

When you are ready to lift weights, you should first work on your larger muscles then the smaller ones. You may then finally go to the muscles that are isolated. You may execute push-ups that can enhance the upper muscles of the body. Before doing triceps extension exercises, you should first focus on the larger muscle groups such as the muscle found in your butt. You may execute exercises like repetitive squatting, box step-ups, and lunges.

You may also work on your quads which is the muscle found on the front thigh. You may perform repetitive squatting and lunges as well. You may also use the leg extension machine and the leg press machine for a well-executed exercise.

You should always remember that you work on the opposite muscles. Muscles tend to get imbalanced especially if the amounts of exercises you do are not equally distributed. When performing triceps extension, it is advised that you also do bicep exercises. If you work out on the chest and the stomach area like crunches, it is important that you do back extension exercises to get a balanced upper muscle toning.

Always take a rest after your resistance training work out. Allow your muscles to cool gradually so that you will not feel any sore or strained muscles. After the resistance training, you will see that you are more ready and physically fit for many kinds of sports.

From Strength Training Return to Conditioning
Fron Strength Training Return to Coaching-Fastpitch Home

You Are Important

The coach is the person who communicates with parents, players, umpires, other coaches and your local associations. You facilitate the team by making sure all the equipment is there when it is needed. Most important are the players. You are teaching more than the skills and strategies of fastpitch. The ability to gracefully deal with success and failure, the persistence to keep trying and the confidence that these young ladies learn from you is priceless.

You’re Part Of

Contribute your articles, drills and comments by filling out the form on the “Coaches Input” page located on the left hand menu. Your input will keep fresh and you will receive the by-line for anything that you submit that gets published.

Founded in 2000, Crow River Sports offers you the resources and service that you need to market your company, promote your organization or outfit your sports team without breaking the bank. Crow River Sports prints graphics on a wide array of apparel and accessories including t-shirts, polos, duffle bags and more. We're happy to work with any organization or individual, no matter how small or large the order. Visit them by clicking on the Crow River Sports logo above.

Crow River Sports offers a complete design studio on their website. Design your uniforms or other apparel using hundreds of stock designs or upload your own custom design and Crow River Sports will provide you a quote on your project. Try it today at