Home Medizin Gibt es Übungen, von denen Frauen mehr profitieren als Männer?

Gibt es Übungen, von denen Frauen mehr profitieren als Männer?

von NFI Redaktion

February 28, 2024 – We all know that we need to engage in physical activity. It strengthens our cardiovascular health, builds muscles, and ultimately contributes to our longevity and quality of life. However, according to new research, women may benefit more from physical activity than men. Does this mean there should be gender-specific guidelines for exercise?

It turns out that there is no expert consensus when it comes to recommending different exercises based on gender. For example, strength training should be an essential part of everyone’s training program. But it is especially important for women to integrate strength training into their routine, says Phillip Williams, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Baylor College of Medicine, largely due to their higher risk of osteoporosis as they approach menopause.

„Strength training improves bone density more than any other type of exercise,“ says Williams. „As an orthopedic surgeon, I definitely encourage any woman who may be at risk of osteoporosis to complete a good strength training program where she regularly challenges her muscles.“

The current guidelines published by the US Department of Health recommend that strength training – also known as resistance training – should be integrated into everyone’s routine at least twice a week. There is no specific timeframe for muscle-strengthening exercises, but it is recommended to perform one or two sets of 8-12 repetitions of the same movement. These sets can include bicep curls, deadlifts, bench presses, push-ups, etc.

A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that the rate of premature deaths in women who exercise decreased continuously by up to 24%; for men who trained the same amount, the rate of premature deaths only decreased by 15%.

While it is better to start strength training early, it is never too late to start, said Williams. The benefits of strength training, especially for women, can still be noticeable even if you start at 60 years old.

Although men do not see as high rates of improvement in bone density through strength training as women, Williams said that men with osteoporosis also see significant improvements.

Where men may fall short, according to Williams‘ experience, is in flexibility.

„Men typically suffer from tendon tears because they lack enough flexibility in their training and do not stretch their tendons and muscles,“ said Williams. „Men are more prone to tears of the Achilles tendon, bicep tendons, and the like because of their exercise habits.“

Therefore, men of all ages should experiment with exercises typically dominated by women like yoga and Pilates. Sports and training forms dominated by men typically involve „explosive movements,“ but neglecting the stretching exercises that yoga and Pilates offer can be harmful and lead to more muscle strains and tendon tears.

However, many experts believe that all individuals, regardless of gender, should follow the same basic training routines.

„Everyone should strive to achieve all pillars of fitness, including strength training, endurance, aerobic exercise, flexibility, and balance,“ said David Janke, a certified sports physiologist at the Heart Rehabilitation Center at the University of California, San Francisco. „This applies to both men and women.“

The only difference Janke sees in gender-specific training differences is that men and women tend to maintain their weight and muscle mass. Studies have shown that women tend to have a higher body fat percentage on average than men; they also tend to store additional weight in their gluteal muscles, while men usually store extra fat in their abdominal region.

But even with this knowledge, there is not much data to support the effectiveness of what many call „spot training“ or performing specific exercises to target „problem areas“ on the body.

Janke has seen the same when working with people recovering from a heart attack.

„In my experience, spot training doesn’t seem to benefit people – whether male or female – as much as focusing on training all muscle groups,“ said Janke. He prescribes the same routines to everyone, regardless of gender.

Strength Training Tips for Women:

  • Use your own body weight: Push-ups, squats, and lunges are part of strength training.
  • If you have free weights like dumbbells or barbells, you can add bicep curls, bench presses, deadlifts, and more. You can also add dumbbells to your bodyweight exercises to create an additional challenge.
  • Strength machines may look intimidating at the gym, but they are not as scary as they seem – as long as you listen to your body and focus on proper form. With exercises like hamstring curls, chest presses, lateral pulldowns, and more, you can help target even more specific muscle groups.

Flexibility Tips for Men:

  • Stretching: Making a simple stretching exercise a fixed part of your program before or after training can be crucial in preventing injuries.
  • Yoga covers everything related to stretching exercises, and you don’t have to pay for expensive classes. With online courses and YouTube tutorials, you can achieve the necessary level of stretching through weekly doses of yoga that you may be missing in your fitness program.
  • Pilates: Similar to strength machines at the gym, Pilates reformers may seem intimidating at first. But you don’t have to start with the reformer; you can build up to it by doing floor exercises on a mat. However, if you are able to get on a reformer, classes are the best option to fully understand what the machine can do for your flexibility potential.

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