Who says bodybuilding is only for men? We’re firm believers that women can do anything men can do, and more! After all, there are plenty of super-famous female bodybuilders out there.
On our team alone, we have three strong women who are top bikini pros. Their names are Angelica Teixeira, Janet Layug, and Lauralie Chapados, check out their bios when you get a chance. In fact, Angelica has recently been #1 in the world, in the Bikini Division class.
In the Bikini Division, women work for an overall highly toned, athletic look. They’ve got laser focus on sculpting their glutes, legs, and abs with a modest amount of muscle. But, without any visible muscle separation.
To look good enough to place in the Bikini Division, the best exercises for women bodybuilders are as follows. Even if you don’t intend to compete, there’s a lot to be learned in this list that might directly benefit your own regimen. Have a look!
Walking lunges can be performed either with dumbbells, a barbell or with plates. But avoid weights that are too heavy and challenging. Your focus should be on stretching the hamstrings, activating your glutes, and hitting the quads — all at the same time.
Start on your forearms, with your shoulders over your elbows. Engage your core by tucking your toes and butt as you lift your legs. Keep your butt down, in-line, lower than your head.
Start with your feet together or shoulder-width apart. With a slight bend in the knees — while gripping the middle to top of the dumbbell — lift the dumbbells upward just past 90 degrees. Keep your arms engaged by maintaining your elbows slightly in front of your hips. Once you get up to 90 degrees with your arms, pause and lower to your starting position. On the way up, breathe out. On the way down, breathe in.
This is a lower body exercise you can do several ways: 1) With only your body weight, or 2) With extra, added weight. Start with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Keep your chest up, then put your weight on your heels and lower your body like you’re sitting down in a chair.
You’ll work your chest, shoulders, and triceps with this one. Since you’re able to lift the most weight while doing it, this is the most effective upper body exercise to help you build muscle and strength.
According to Stronglifts.com, here’s how to Bench Press with proper form:
- Lie on the bench with your eyes under the bar
- Grab the bar with a medium grip-width (thumbs around the bar!)
- Unrack the bar by straightening your arms
- Lower the bar to your mid-chest
- Press the bar back up until your arms are straight
(Note that it’s good to have a spotter assisting you.)
To learn more Bench Press tips, read more at https://stronglifts.com/bench-press/.
Start with your feet under your knees and pushing the pad on your thighs, so you feel pressure on your legs. Grip the overhead handle shoulder-width apart (or where comfortable). Hold tightly and pull down the lat bar to even with your chin, while keeping your chin up, chest and elbows back. You should feel like you’re squeezing at the bottom and feel it all the way back to the top.
Side Lateral Raises
Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of you. Pinching your shoulder blades tight the whole time, slightly arch your back while moving the dumbbells out to your shoulders, chin high.
This exercise primarily targets your hamstrings, lower back, quadriceps, and glutes. When you work out these muscles, you help improve your strength and stability.
Stand with your feet under the barbell. Keeping your back straight, bend over and grab the bar with a shoulder-width grip. Bend your knees, lift up your chest, and straighten your lower back. Then stand up with the weight.
Read more about deadlifts at https://stronglifts.com/deadlift/#gref.
Pull-ups can be challenging, but are a great muscle builder! They’re a good exercise for your back and biceps. Face your palms outward on the bar, keep your arms shoulder-width or further apart on the bar, and pull your body up on the bar.
If you’re interested in learning different ways to do a pullup, visit https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a27559651/pullups-guide/.
These primarily train the triceps. Start with your arms straight down and shoulders over your hands. Then, lower your body to a 90 degree angle at the elbows. Then, lift your body up while returning to the starting position.
Now that you’re laser focused on getting in great shape, too, consider adding these bodybuilding essentials to your daily routine. You may also find this article helpful: Top 9 Best Foods For Muscle Building and Growth.