I love weight training.  I like it better than swimming, running and biking.  It makes me feel strong, it helps me burn fat quickly, it gives me great muscle definition and my body responds really well to it.

Any woman who is on a quest to lose weight is crazy if she does not include some weight training in her routine.  Weight training activates our muscles and the more muscle we gain, the more fat we burn.  As our muscles repair we continue to burn calories which is the added bonus of weight training over cardio training.

It is also good for maintaining strong bones therefore it is especially important that we continue to lift weights as we get older to keep diseases like osteoporosis at bay.

Weight training coupled with a good dose of cardio and a diet filled with lean protein, low GI carbs, good fats and loads of fresh vegetables is the key to getting that body of your dreams.

My trainer is a huge fan of weight training and here are some of my favourite exercises that she has me perform.

Deadlifts

A great exercise for firing up the glutes, hamstrings and back muscles.

Stand tall and keep your shoulder blades together.  Slowly bend at the waist and lower the weights down past your knees, keeping knees slightly bent and the shoulder blades pulled together.  Hold the tummy tight the whole time and the chin pulled towards the neck.  Slowly lower yourself up to a standing position again.  That is one rep.

I use 5 – 7kg dumbells and perform 20 – 30 reps usually 3 times in between other exercises.

Source: womenshealthmag.com

Squat with Shoulder Press

A great multi-purpose weight exercise that burns the glutes and thighs as well as the arms and shoulders. The more muscle groups you work at one time equals the more calories you burn!  Why do a simple squat when you can work those arms as well?!

Holding the dumbells at shoulder height, palms facing outwards and perform a squat.  Keep back straight, shoulders pulled together and tummy tight.  Your knees should not obscure the sight of your toes and you should be pushing that booty right out like you are about to sit down on a chair.  As you come up from the squat push the dumbells up to the sky.  That is one rep.

I use 3 – 5kg dumbells and perform 15 – 20 reps usually 3 times in between other exercises.

Source: glamour.com

Side Lunge

Inner thigh fat, be gone!  This is perfect for getting toned inner thighs – something most women are constantly working towards!

Stand up right, tummy tight with weights by your side.  Step out to the left.  Keep the left leg straight and the right knee bent and push the butt out as if you were about to sit on a chair.  Keep the chest up and let the weights lower to the ground.  Slowly raise yourself back up and bring the left leg back to starting position.  That is one rep.

I use 3 – 5kg dumbells and perform 15 – 20 reps on each leg usually 3 times in between other exercises.

Source: groupfitnesstoday.blogspot.com

Oblique Twists with Medicine Ball

Trim tummy?  Lean sides? Yes please!  This move will help you gain that svelt mid section you so desire.

Lie down on the ground with the knees bent and feet on the floor (the woman in the image below has her feet raise, this is the harder version).  Raise up slowly until you feel your abs contracted.  Holding the medicine ball, twist slowly from side to side, touching the ball lightly to the ground.

I use a 5kg medicine ball and perform 20 – 30 usually 3 times in between other exercises.

Source: blah.burrp.com

Add these to your next circuit training session and reap the benefits my friends!

What are your favourite weight exercises?  Do you do enough strength training?