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Women Exercise

Women Exercise

Can women exercise in the same ways that men can? (And should they?)

Muscles do not know how to distinguish between a man and a woman. They are identical in both sexes, as is their growth potential. So why do men usually have greater muscle mass and faster development than women? Anatomical, hormonal, nutritional, and behavioral differences between the sexes affect muscle mass.

For example, men typically produce more testosterone, an anabolic hormone (builder), which affects muscle mass development, so it is naturally easier for them to build muscle and strength compared to women. For women to gain muscle mass like men who perform the same workout, they will have to put in a lot more effort and challenge themselves with strength training and a steadily increasing degree of effort.

In terms of nutrition, throughout the day women tend to consume fewer calories and less quality protein, which also affects muscle building and glycogen stores (the glucose found in muscle and liver and designed to create available energy).

The small body structure of women, which contains low muscle mass and a smaller muscle cross-section, causes them to produce only about two-thirds on average of the maximum power and strength of men.

According to the National Council for Strength and Fitness (NSCA), there is no reason why a resistance training program for women should be different from that for men. Both sexes will benefit from anaerobic activity, strengthening muscles and bones, body shaping, delaying osteoporosis, increasing caloric burning at rest.

For all the women who are afraid of being the female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger as a result of weightlifting, it is time to relax. The low testosterone levels in your body will naturally limit the amount of muscle you can develop.

A 2012 study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology comparing high- and low-load training in women and men found that women achieved better results with heavier weights and fewer repetitions (6-10 repetitions), while in men the number of repetitions did not change the results.

Muscular strength of men is found mainly in the upper body, and in women - in the lower body

Men tend to build muscle in the upper body and arms faster compared to the lower body. In women, the situation is reversed - their muscle mass is relatively large in the legs and so is their ability to develop strength in this area. There is an evolutionary explanation for this: men were more forced to fight, work and exercise their upper body. Women needed a stronger lower body and a wide pelvis to give birth.

Lower body exercises, such as squats or deadlifts, have relatively small differences between the sexes, compared to upper body exercises, such as recumbent chest compression, upper bump pulling, and push-ups, where there is a significant advantage for men.

Can women exercise longer than men and at the same intensity - and get less tired?

A 2016 study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise showed that women maintain more strength in their legs after running a marathon or prolonged cycling. Another study published in the same journal and in the same year showed that women were able to hold isometric contractions (static contraction of the muscle, with no movement visible at the angle of the joint) for longer than men.

Are men’s aerobic capacity higher than that of a woman?

Women have smaller hearts and many of them tend to suffer from anaemia due to menstruation and lower consumption of meat affects. This affects aerobic capacity and gives men an advantage.

Because most men have higher muscle mass and a lower fat percentage, their muscle tissue also consumes more oxygen (energy), which gives them higher values of maximum oxygen consumption (about 15% -30% more than in women) and the ability to spend more Energy both at rest and effort. For this reason, their maximum aerobic capacity is typically higher compared to women who perform the same workouts in the same timeframe.

Men also have a higher level of haemoglobin, that causes the direct transport of oxygen to the tissues. In women, however, less oxygen reaches the tissues at any given blood volume. The fewer oxygen carriers there are in the body, the less energy there is to produce energy. Hence the physiological advantage of men manifested in a faster ability to carry oxygen within the tissues, or in other words: higher aerobic capacity.

Women will need to have a balanced diet rich in iron sources - meat, chicken, legumes, green leaves - and monitor their iron economy and B12 levels, as well as ensure adequate protein intake and energy intake that is appropriate for increasing muscle mass. It is of course also important to make sure to do intense strength training as part of the weekly fitness program.

Are women more flexible than men?

Flexibility expresses the range of motion in the joint. The greater the range of motion in the joints and muscles, the greater the flexibility of the body. The average woman is more flexible than the average man, and there are several reasons for this. First, the choice of training - men tend to focus on building strength and opt for exercises that increase muscle mass at the expense of exercises that improve flexibility.

Women, on the other hand, in gross generalization, are usually less muscular and tend to incorporate stretching exercises and classes to improve range of motion such as yoga and Pilates into the training program.

Hormonally, high levels of estrogen during women's growth years lead to a wider hip structure, which contributes to greater pelvic mobility.

Yes, Women are more flexible than men but… Their more flexible tendons and ligaments increase their risk of injury.

With the help of stretching exercises on a daily basis, and the practice of yoga and Pilates, designed to gradually increase the range of motion of the hip, pelvis and leg joints, most men will be able to achieve equality in flexibility. In short, leave the male ego next to the weights and go to a stretching or Pilates class. Flexibility will improve range of motion and allow you to move your joints at greater ranges and more easily.

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