One of the most common questions we get asked by women is something like, “What’s the best exercise to grow my small butt, hips, calves, thighs, arms, etc.?”
While there are tons of studies looking into what exercises activate the muscles the most, that’s just one factor that goes into deciding what exercises are the best for building muscle.
There are many things to consider. Some are more straightforward, like choosing an exercise that’s appropriate for your experience level.
Some are pretty complex though so there’s a good chance that you haven’t considered all of them. Stuff like including lifts with active insufficiency or passive tension is something hardly anyone knows to do but it can have a real impact on your results.
Below we share our illustrative infographic that highlights some of the best muscle-building exercises for women.
There’s a lot of confusing information out there about vegetarian and vegan diets. It becomes especially confusing if you’re not just looking to be healthy, but also to build muscle.
The moral arguments for eating a vegan diet often bias the health arguments. By the time you get to the muscle-building arguments, the information is usually flat out wrong.
This creates a big issue for those who are struggling to build muscle while eating a plant-based diet for moral reasons.
You can build muscle with a vegetarian or a vegan diet, but your protein sources really do matter big time.
In this article, we’ll first cover what protein is and why protein quality matters. This is important because it will explain why this article will be radically different than every trending article on your Facebook feed.
Then, we’ll cover the best vegetarian and vegan protein sources and go over some strategies that make it easier to get the protein your body needs to grow.
Yes. You were designed to lift. So if you’ve been wondering if women—especially naturally thin women—should be lifting weights, then the answer is an emphatic yes.
There are exceptions, of course. Pregnant women need to take special precautions, for example. Always to talk to your doctor first before beginning any workout or nutrition program.
So you should be lifting weights. But why?
If you’ve ever been curious about the benefits of lifting weights, and if it’ll help you reach your goals, then this is the article for you. We cover 3 main areas: attractiveness, health, and lifestyle, and we’ll break things down a bit further.
And if the little lawyer in your head is already coming up with objections, don’t worry—we’ll respond to those extremely common fears too. You know, the ones about being scared of becoming too bulky or not knowing what to do in the gym. Or how to deal with being too tired/busy/lazy.
There’s this movement going on where people are trying to make it more socially acceptable to have a higher body fat percentage, proportionally thicker bones, shorter limbs and a larger waist. The photo above is a good example, where bulimia.com has taken 10 female video-game characters and transformed their physiques into what they feel better represents the average woman. These “realistic” makeovers have been shared to millions of people via BuzzFeed and HuffPo, among others.
Some people argue that these aren’t supposed to be average women, they’re supposed to be legendary action heroes. Due to their world class genetics and lifestyle focused on training, you could argue that them having a lower body fat percentage is more realistic.
That makes sense, but that’s not my issue with these makeovers. I don’t think the person doing the makeover was really concerned about what made sense for the fictional character, but rather what would have the best impact on the self esteem of her fans. That intention seems good, and if this can help people with bulimia feel better about their bodies, then this is great.
My issue is that this backlash against the thin ideal is making it seem like it’s wrong to be thin.
We’ve given you a fair bit of information about why building muscle is so great, and also about why it can be so hard for naturally skinny women. At this point you might be thinking, okay, yeah, this sounds great—I want more curves, more muscle, and more strength—but how do I actually get started?
In this post we’re going to explain exactly how you can get started lifting, either at home or at a gym, and then give you a routine to follow for your first few weeks. If your diet is on point, you should also be able to gain 2–3 pounds of muscle while doing it!
If you’re a naturally skinny woman who’s trying to build muscle and gain weight, most workout programs aren’t designed for you. Only 3% of people are trying to gain weight, and most of them are men. As a thin woman who wants to bulk up, you’re in such a small minority, and your goals are so diametrically opposed to the average woman’s, that basically everything you read about fitness will be wrong.
Most of women’s workout programs are either oriented around weight loss (everything), improving cardio (such as cycling), or designed to improve flexibility (such as yoga). So you might try the new trendy new workout routine, try harder than everyone else, and you shrink. Shrinking wasn’t what you wanted, but that’s precisely what the program was designed for.
When that used to happen to me, I thought that my genetics were to blame. But our genetics don’t suck. We’re just naturally thin people who are trying to bulk up. We just need a bonafide bulking program that’s actually designed to help us build muscle, gain weight, and build stronger curves.
What does a women’s weight-gain workout look like?
You’ve got some serious goals. Some are fitness related, some aren’t. You know what you want to do, and you might even know how to do it… but you don’t quite feel like tackling it right now. Carpe Diem Cras—seize the day tomorrow. That’s what they say, right?
It’s not just you. It’s actually pretty normal to feel too tired to take on new challenges. In fact, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says women between the ages of 18 and 44 are nearly twice as likely as men to report feeling very tired or exhausted.
In another survey taken at a women’s health symposium, fatigue was rated as the number one and most common health concern. When asked why they thought they were tired, the five most common responses in order were: working both at home and at work, poor sleep, lack of time for themselves, lack of exercise, and financial worries (among a ton of other reasons).
Maybe you’ve got something in common with the women above, feeling overworked and like you haven’t had a decent sleep in weeks. Or perhaps you already feel amazing (right on!) and want to get even more out of your life.
Unfortunately, those “5 quick tips for an instant energy boost” articles likely won’t help with your energy woes. That’s just click-bait, not a solution that properly addresses the root of the issue.
We’re going to cover the three best research-backed ways to actually improve your own energy, wakefulness, alertness, and performance in the short and long-term. They might not be the sexiest or simplest solutions out there, but they’re very thorough, healthy, effective, and long lasting.
…but for fun, we’ll also share a few juicy sizzling-hot-but-still-evidence-based quick-action tips at the end of the article that actually work.