Upper Body Training in Women

Health & Wellness

Tips for Living Healthy in South Arkansas

Jason Rogers
Manager, JRMC Wellness Centers

In doing research for this week’s article, I came across some disturbing statistics. In a Framingham Disability Study, researchers found that 40 percent of women between 55-64 years old, 45 percent of women between 65-74, and 65 percent of women between 75-84 were unable to lift ten pounds. I repeat – ten pounds!

So, this is for you ladies who are guilty of upper body neglect. Let’s say you hit the gym, do some squats or lunges in BodyPump, or get in some leg presses out on the floor. Then you try to hit your core hard. But, how often to you do intense upper body pushes and pulls? Things like flat or inclined chest presses, lat pulldowns, and low rows. If you think the effort it takes to build an upper body isn’t worth the payoff, here are a few reasons to reconsider.

In terms of absolute strength, women generally have about two-thirds the strength of men. When you factor in body weight, the lower-body strength of women is comparable to men, but ladies are still lacking in the upper-body department. Taxing the upper body with moderate to heavy loads will help balance out this strength gap between genders.

We’ve talked before about the fact that as we get older, (if we’re not strength training) we tend to get weaker because we start to lose that all-important muscle mass. The good news is that you don’t have to sit idly by while it happens. Start lifting early and stay with it to maintain that strength. Do you want to be the gal who doesn’t have enough strength to pick up her cat or the grandma who’s physically keeping up with her daughter and granddaughter?

What about, heaven forbid, a real-life scenario where some low life decides he wants to mug you or hurt you – extra upper-body strength would go a long way toward being able to defend yourself.

It also has cosmetic benefits. Women generally tend to have more muscle mass in their lower body, so adding a little upper body muscle can balance out the look of their bodies.

As you can see, the reasons for incorporating good upper body training are sound. Make that commitment and come see us at the Wellness Centers if you need any help.

The JRMC Wellness Centers, located in Pine Bluff and White Hall, offer a variety of fitness options for all ages and interests. Free weights, machines, cardio equipment, personal trainers and a full schedule of Les Mills classes are available at both facilities. For more information call the Pine Bluff (541-7890) or White Hall (850-8000) facility.


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