Hey there, mama, it’s time to reinvent the way we workout. If you’re like me and you’ve been craving something a bit more out-of-the-box when it comes to your workout routine, you’re in luck! Thanks to movie franchises such as Marvel and DC, women have started to embrace the idea of a more muscular figure. Strong women are now seen as sexy and desirable rather than the butt of a joke or masculine, and I’m all for this movement!
Depending on your comfort level, there are a variety of sports and activities you can try to help build muscle while pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. We’ve curated a list to help get the ideas flowing and get you inspired to get moving. Some of these ideas you may have already tried in the past or heard of, so this might be fate telling you to give it a second look. Whatever interests you, it will only grow you both mentally and physically, so why not!
This is something you may or may not have already tried at your local gym. Building muscle gradually through weightlifting can be a great beginner sport for women of all ages. When I talk about weightlifting, I am referencing things such as deadlifts and squats over at the squat rack. The bar at the rack itself weighs 45lbs, so simply using the bar without weights can be a great start.
Be sure to do a little bit of homework ahead of time, and watch some instructional videos on form. Whenever you are introducing something new to your routine, it will take a bit of time to perfect the movements. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself, and back injuries are common when it comes to weight lifting.
If you feel like you need a buddy in this process, hire a personal trainer or convince your fit friend to be your gym buddy. Not only can they help you with things like form, but they can be there to spot you when you start to lift heavy enough to need a spotter. This does not need to turn into anything serious, but weight lifting can be the introduction to lots of strength focused activities. You may want to join in on a competition one day once you have reached a level of confidence. For now, focus on small, personal wins and getting comfortable at the squat rack.
Water Focused Sports
Have you always wanted to try surfing or kayaking but been too nervous to try? Now is the right time! Water sports are centered around good muscle strength, so this is a great opportunity to give it a try. The sport of surfing requires a lot of leg muscle due to the time you are balancing on your board. It also requires upper body strength because you are lifting yourself onto the board each time you try to ride a wave.
Kayaking is a great way to build both your arm and back muscles, while getting a great tan! Both allow you to be outdoors and get fresh air, which is always a better choice than an indoor gym. If you have always wanted to try something like this but have been too afraid to, focus on the goal you are trying to achieve. Tell yourself that signing up for surfing lessons will allow you to build the athletic body type you have always wanted. Maybe kayaking is a great opportunity for you and your older son or daughter to bond, so focus on that rather than the fear. You will build muscle regardless of why you are doing the task.
Martial Arts/Self Defense
One activity that is excellent in building muscle while getting you in incredible shape is the world of martial arts. From boxing to jiu jitsu, kickboxing and Krav Maga, there are countless options for you to try. Fight-specific gyms like UFC offer classes that are martial arts focused, so depending on what gym you belong to, you may already have the option to try out these classes free of charge.
Most classes offer a free first session, so you can see if it’s a good fit for you. These are designed for you to give it a chance without any risk. As a woman, knowing how to defend yourself in moments of trouble is a skill set that is worth spending time on. And let’s not forget about what a great stress relief hitting a boxing bag really is! Martial arts is a great way to build muscle on your body, while relieving stress from your mind.
When was the last time you went to a rock climbing center? Better yet, when was the last time you actually went rock climbing in nature? Yeah, I don’t know either. Rock climbing is great for both the body and mind. It sharpens our decision making skills, while building muscle in both the upper and lower body regions.
Regardless of where you live, there is a big chance there’s a rock climbing center available near you. This is a fun activity to do as a family or simply to do by yourself to push your boundaries and build those quads and biceps. After some time practicing indoors, it certainly would be fun and challenging to rock climb outdoors as well. Incorporate this workout idea into your existing routine and it might be just enough of a change to activate those muscles!
Just as being in the water can really build out those muscles, so can snow sports! Whether you are skiing or snowboarding, hitting the slopes and riding that fresh powder can really do a number on your muscles.
To begin, the snow gear always weighs at least five pounds. Walking up a mountain or having your legs slightly bent as you are going down can really do a number on your quads. If you are fortunate enough to live around snow, utilize your environment to build some lean muscle.
To All The Other Good Mom Exercises
As I mentioned in the beginning, I only listed a handful of ideas to get you inspired. There are countless ways you can build muscle while moving your body, and we’ve only scratched the surface. What you need to know is the exercises that build resistance will be your biggest helpers. Playing a game of beach volleyball in the sand, or taking a jog on the sand will tire you out faster because of the resistance the sand is creating.
Water sports will build muscle quicker overall because of the resistance your body is utilizing from the water. Remember to increase your protein intake while trying to build muscle. The biggest mistake anyone can make while building muscle is that it is done only during your workout. If you are in “bulking season” your diet needs to reflect that. Love your proteins, love your carbs.
Prioritizing this new activity in your life needs to happen in the beginning, so you stick with it. It will be so rewarding to feel stronger and have done something you have probably always wanted to do but have never given yourself permission to try. Watch yourself meet new people and make new friends that share common interests with you, and see this shift in life hits a variety of areas in yourself.
Be proud of your wins, both big and small. Be patient with yourself, but don’t be afraid to admit that something is not for you. Whatever happens, be proud you are prioritizing yourself enough to give something new a chance!
Tell us about your workout routine in the comments!
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