Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Gender Based Exercise Preferences.


In the last column, I looked at the misbelief that men and women need to do different exercises but that doesn't mean there are not gender based exercise preferences.  I know I prefer doing exercises that don't have me pushing myself to total exhaustion and have me going from standing to the floor and back.  I prefer dancing, aerobics with resistance, yoga, and tai chi but I sometimes throw in more intense forms of workouts.

Many gyms have discovered that men and women tend to prefer different workouts.  It has been found that men in general prefer using dumbbells, hand weights, barbells, resistance machines, rowers and stationary bikes, all equipment oriented.  Women on the other hand prefer participating in group exercise sessions such as pilates, yoga, dance, or step all activities which are. choreographed.  Thus exercising is based on social interaction preferences, men tend to work independently while women love being in a community.

It has been noticed that these trends are changing because younger people are veering towards fitness focused exercise in smaller groups so they get both social aspects.  This type of exercise, functional exercising is growing in popularity which decreases the need for age specific groups or gender based machines.  Furthermore, there is also a shift to using body weight in workouts because it cuts down on the number of machines needed and can be used as people age into their 60's and 70's.

In addition to this change, there has been a change in attitude towards exercise in general so people are being the use of weights as good for all rather than male based or high intensity aerobics are not as female oriented as once perceived.  Although these perceptions are changing, there are still gender differences in how various exercises are done.

For instance, both men and women the used of weights as part of a workout is strongly recommended but men are more likely to lift heavier weights as they work out the chest, arms, and shoulders while women prefer to focus on their legs and shoulders.  It's known that men are more comfortable with gaining muscle mass so they "bulk" up while women fear "bulking" up which won't happen due to the minimal amount of testosterone found in the female body.

Due to women have less upper body mass naturally which makes doing push-ups or pull-ups much harder.  It is important for women to do more exercises to help build upper body mass but that does not mean becoming bulky, it means building strengths.  On the other hand, men often focus on their upper body because they see more immediate results in that area but they really need to build their back muscles and core  since they don't pay enough attention to their core.  Men should do more Pilates, yoga, or other exercises designed to help increase core strength.  

Although men still prefer solitary activities that build visible muscles while women still tend to participate in group activities focused more on core and back.  As stated earlier, it is important that women spend more time working the upper body while men need to work more on core strengthening but no matter what, it is important to find the workouts that give people the best overall workout for building muscle, strength, and health.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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