Why Men and Women Should Switch It Up At the Gym

Why Men and Women Should Switch It Up At the Gym

What do you do to exercises? Your answer to that question might be predictable based on your gender. While there are of course exclusions, men are much more likely to say weight training or working on strengthening machines, while women are much more likely to be in a yoga class. But sticking to your preferred routine could be depriving you of several fitness benefits! Get a little bit closer to your superhero physique with these tips.

Men should switch it up by doing the following:

  • Focus on the legs. Most men want to get ripped at the gym – which generally means big pecs, arms and shoulders. But overworking your arms doesn’t just give you “chicken leg syndrome!” Unbalanced strength in your upper and lower body can increase your risk of injury. Plus, exercising your legs actually means you build upper body muscle faster too. So be sure not to skip leg day.
  • Get flexible. Many men scoff at the idea of heading to a Yoga or Pilates workout, but they’re chock-full of benefits men can use. Workouts like these improve your range of motion and flexibility – which helps you in basically every exercise you can do. They also target the whole body, so you might work muscles you didn’t even know you had…and then there’s the benefits mind-body workouts like yoga have on your stress levels. If you still think you’re too macho for these workouts, check out Pure Barre, which has many yoga- and ballet-inspired moves and will surely make you sweat, as this man can attest. (Warning: Link includes explicit language.)
  • Try dance cardio. If you’re used to long runs, why not try a dance class for your cardio routine instead? You’ll burn just as many calories while working your brain as you learn a new skill and improving your hand-eye coordination – and we naturally work harder when someone else is watching us. Plus, you’ll add some fun into your exercise routine.

Men may make mistakes at the gym, but women do too! Women, improve your workouts with the following:

  • Lift weights. Thinking you’ll bulk up by lifting weights is a big fat myth all women need to unlearn. You’ll only bulk up if you use too much weight – and even then, you probably don’t have enough testosterone to get big. In fact, weight lifting is essential for burning fat and building muscle.
  • Focus on your back. Some women don’t understand why push-ups seem so much harder for them than for guys. As it turns out, women tend to have a harder time with exercises like pull-ups and push-ups because of their upper body structure. Both sexes will benefit from working their mid-back muscles for better muscular balance and posture, but women especially given their biological disadvantage.
  • Get more intense. Some women treat gym sessions as catch-up bonding time. While it’s great that you’re getting to the gym with your social circle, be careful! You need intense workouts to really get the exercise you need, which means you shouldn’t be able to talk. In addition, women also need less rest between sets than men do – so you’re better off picking fast-paced workout routines to avoid getting bored.

Ultimately, we’re all humans made up of the same physical material. While there are obviously differences between the genders, any exercise that benefits one sex will offer the same benefits for the other. So widen your fitness routine and try something new. Your body will thank you.

Liked this? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Feet!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: JBLM MWR Marketing via Compfight cc

What do you do to exercises? Your answer to that question might be predictable based on your gender. While there are of course exclusions, men are much more likely to say weight training or working on strengthening machines, while women are much more likely to be in a yoga class. But sticking to your preferred routine could be depriving you of several fitness benefits! Get a little bit closer to your superhero physique with these tips.

Men should switch it up by doing the following:

  • Focus on the legs. Most men want to get ripped at the gym – which generally means big pecs, arms and shoulders. But overworking your arms doesn’t just give you “chicken leg syndrome!” Unbalanced strength in your upper and lower body can increase your risk of injury. Plus, exercising your legs actually means you build upper body muscle faster too. So be sure not to skip leg day.
  • Get flexible. Many men scoff at the idea of heading to a Yoga or Pilates workout, but they’re chock-full of benefits men can use. Workouts like these improve your range of motion and flexibility – which helps you in basically every exercise you can do. They also target the whole body, so you might work muscles you didn’t even know you had…and then there’s the benefits mind-body workouts like yoga have on your stress levels. If you still think you’re too macho for these workouts, check out Pure Barre, which has many yoga- and ballet-inspired moves and will surely make you sweat, as this man can attest. (Warning: Link includes explicit language.)
  • Try dance cardio. If you’re used to long runs, why not try a dance class for your cardio routine instead? You’ll burn just as many calories while working your brain as you learn a new skill and improving your hand-eye coordination – and we naturally work harder when someone else is watching us. Plus, you’ll add some fun into your exercise routine.

Men may make mistakes at the gym, but women do too! Women, improve your workouts with the following:

  • Lift weights. Thinking you’ll bulk up by lifting weights is a big fat myth all women need to unlearn. You’ll only bulk up if you use too much weight – and even then, you probably don’t have enough testosterone to get big. In fact, weight lifting is essential for burning fat and building muscle.
  • Focus on your back. Some women don’t understand why push-ups seem so much harder for them than for guys. As it turns out, women tend to have a harder time with exercises like pull-ups and push-ups because of their upper body structure. Both sexes will benefit from working their mid-back muscles for better muscular balance and posture, but women especially given their biological disadvantage.
  • Get more intense. Some women treat gym sessions as catch-up bonding time. While it’s great that you’re getting to the gym with your social circle, be careful! You need intense workouts to really get the exercise you need, which means you shouldn’t be able to talk. In addition, women also need less rest between sets than men do – so you’re better off picking fast-paced workout routines to avoid getting bored.

Ultimately, we’re all humans made up of the same physical material. While there are obviously differences between the genders, any exercise that benefits one sex will offer the same benefits for the other. So widen your fitness routine and try something new. Your body will thank you.

Liked this? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Feet!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: JBLM MWR Marketing via Compfight cc

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