Female Gym Exercises

While exercise benefits everyone, men and women often want different results from their workouts. Men tend to want broader shoulders or bigger arms or a bigger chest, whereas women typically want slender arms, a toned midsection, a firm butt and shapely legs. Several exercises are particularly helpful for women.


Lunges are an effective lower-body toning exercise that emphasizes the butt and the back of the thigh. To perform a lunge, take a large step forward with your left leg. Bend both legs and lower your right knee to within one inch of the floor while keeping your body upright. Push hard with your left leg to bring you back into the starting position. Then repeat the exercise, leading with the left leg. Continue alternating leading legs until your set is completed. Hold weights in your hands to make this exercise more challenging.

Tricep Kickbacks

To tone your triceps and the back of your upper arms, bend your knees slightly and bend forward at the hips so that your upper body is parallel to the floor. Brace your right hand on an exercise bench to support your upper body. Holding a dumbbell in your left hand, pull your arm back so that your elbow is tucked in close to your side and your lower arm is hanging down toward the floor. This is your starting position. Without moving your back or shoulders, extend your elbow and lift the dumbbell back toward your hip. Once your arm is straight, slowly return to the starting position and repeat until your set is complete. Change sides and perform the exercise using your right arm.

Hip Bridges

Hip bridges will lift and tone your butt. Lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Pull your feet as close to your butt as is comfortable. With your hands by your sides and keeping your head on the floor, push down through your heels and lift your hips up toward the ceiling. Squeeze your butt as hard as you can and hold this position for a second or two. Slowly lower your hips back to the floor and repeat. You can make this exercise more challenging by holding a weight across your hips or by using one leg at a time.

Side Planks

To tone your abdominals, especially your waist, lie on your side on an exercise mat. Make sure your body forms a straight line from ankles to shoulders. Place your lowermost arm under your body with your forearm flat on the floor. Rest your weight on your arm and feet and lift your hips so that your body is aligned and only your arm and feet are touching the floor. Hold this side plank position for as long as is comfortable before lowering to the floor and changing sides. Make sure you don’t hold your breath when performing this exercise.

Hip Adduction

Your hip adductor muscles, located on the insides of your thighs, are an area that many female exercises want to tone. Sit on the hip adductor machine and place the leg restraints against the inside of your knees. Adjust the machine so that your legs are as far apart as is comfortable. Making sure your upper body remains relaxed, push your knees together until your legs are as close together as possible. Hold this most contracted position for a second before slowly returning to the starting position. Repeat for two to three sets of 12 to 20 repetitions for maximum leg-toning benefit.

About this Author

Patrick Dale is an experienced writer who has written for a plethora of international publications. Also a lecturer and trainer of trainers, he is a major contributor for Ultra-FIT magazine and has been involved in fitness for over 22 years. Other than a five-year service in the Royal Marines, Dale has always worked in health and fitness and never intends to leave.