FITNESS: Strength Training | Great Health Guide
FITNESS: Strength Training

FITNESS: Strength Training

‘Strength Training’ by Michael Dermansky published in Great Health Guide (Aug 2016). Most women underestimate the importance of strength training as a major component of their exercise program to be fit and prevent injuries. Fitness expert Michael has some great tips to help you build strength. 
Read other Fitness articles on Great Health Guide, a hub of expert-inspired resources empowering busy women to embody health beyond image … purpose beyond measure.

FITNESS: Strength Training

written by Michael Dermansky

Most women underestimate the importance of strength training as a major component of their exercise program, to be fit and prevent injuries. Where ever women want to take their fitness training in the long term, be it to run a marathon or just to lose weight and be more toned, the starting point should be strength training.

Without a good base of body strength, particularly in the major postural muscles, you put additional and unnecessary load on the joints and other structures that cause injury and prevent you obtaining the most from your exercise program. It is important to check with your medical practitioner before beginning any new exercise program.

These three muscle groups are most important:

1. Strengthen your gluteus maximus (your bottom) musclesThis is a major muscle group that helps keep you up straight, keeps the pelvis stable and supports the lower back. It is the major muscle group that should work when you walk, run or climb up stairs. If they are not strong, it increases the load on the back and hips, which may cause injury.

My favourite exercise to work on gluteus maximus is bridging:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent 

  • Lift one leg in the air 


Want your own FREE COPY of Great Health Guide

& delivered to your inbox each month?

Look to your right…


  • Lift your bottom up so that your body is straight


  • Hold for 3 secs, then lower your bottom down 

  • Repeat 10 times per leg

2. Strengthen your quadriceps (front of thigh) musclesThis is a major muscle group that supports the knees and is also a major postural muscle used for movement. Lack of strength in this muscle group reduces your ability to run, cycle, do aerobics and most forms of cardio exercise. 

One of my favourite exercises to work on this muscle is lunges:

  • Stand with one leg in front of the other, shoulder width apart 


  • Lower your body down, bending both knees and ensuring your front leg does not go over your toes 


  • Hold for 2 seconds and come back up again 

  • Repeat 10 times

3. Core stability Improving your core stability is the first step in restoring your normal abdominal muscle tone and improving the control of your lower back. It is important that these muscles are strengthened in a controlled manner that doesn’t encourage too much load on the lower back by working at a level that you cannot control. 

The following is a great starting point for training your core stability:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent 


  • Draw your stomach muscles in gently, just below your belly button, without flattening your back 


  • You should be able to slide your hand in under your lower back without getting it squashed 

  • Maintaining this abdominal contraction, lift your leg up in the air and out to the side 

  • Bring the leg back into the starting position 

  • Repeat 10 times per side

Seeing a well-qualified trainer, Pilates instructor, exercise physiologist or physiotherapist specialising in exercise, even for a few sessions, can help guide you to your ideal exercise program and help achieve your goals.

Author of this article:
Michael Dermansky is a Senior Physiotherapist and Managing Director of MD Health Pilates, with 17 years’ experience of treating clients from all walks of life, from 6 year-old children all the way to the age of 92. He can be contacted through his website.

To get your FREE MAG each month CLICK HERE.

Love this? Your friends probably will too. 

Why not share the love & forward this article.  

Author Great Health Guide

More posts by Great Health Guide

Leave a Reply