Women’s Workouts Vs. Men’s | Are They Different? | Should They Be?

Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle

Do you work out like your husband? Do you wish you did? Do you try to get your husband to your yoga class and wonder why he hesitates to increase flexibility?

Workouts for women are different from workouts for men.  There are gender differences in the ways that we workout, and some gender differences in the way we SHOULD workout, simply because of how we are made.

So what makes men and women choose to work out differently?

According to studies by Weight Watchers and the scientists at WebMD, men and women have different preconceived notions about exercise in general.



  • More likely to choose weight lifting
  • More likely to choose mind-body exercise
  • See exercise as a competitor’s sport
  • See exercise as a tool to work toward a specific goal
  • Like to push themselves to the extreme
  • Less likely to push themselves, and more likely to make excuses to not workout today
  • Like to sweat
  • Avoid sweat
  • Want to add muscle
  • Fear getting bigger

Now, based on those preconceived beliefs about exercise, men are more likely to make time to workout, work harder, weight lift, and participate in extreme exercise. Women are more likely to make an excuse or allow something else to take precedence over the exercise schedule, are less likely to hit the weights, and are less likely to push themselves.

On one hand, men are more likely to hurt themselves. They sometimes do not listen to body cues to stop. They often do not take advice of professionals before taking on a difficult challenge. They are less likely to add any kind of flexibility or mind-body exercise to their routine.

On the other hand, men are more likely to work harder and get faster results. Women look at their husbands and say “That’s not fair! He got results so much faster than I ever could!” Part of that is the man’s mentality; working harder is better. It is also partly due to the difference in overall body composition of men versus women.

Male hormones allow men to build strength and muscle faster than women, especially in the upper body. The more muscle a person has, the higher their metabolism. Females usually can not lift as much as males can, just because of the difference in body composition. This does not mean that women can not train hard enough to be as strong as men. It does mean that for many women, it is much harder to lift heavier weights.

Because of female body composition and hormones, a woman CAN challenge herself in the weight room without fear of getting “big” or “bulking up.” Lifting a challenging amount of weight for women allows them to create and sculpt a beautiful, well-toned physique, not a manly one.

There are some differences in the way a man and a woman should weight train.

For instance, when looking at the female body, one notices that she is not naturally all in a line like a man. Her waist goes in more, and her hips are out more. This creates a different positioning of the legs for some exercises. For instance, in a squat, a man can stand with feet equidistant apart and feet straight. His knees will naturally not buckle in or fall outward. A woman trying to do the same squat has to see the proportion of her waist-to-knee line and adjust accordingly. She may need to stand wider and turn her toes slightly outward to avoid knees buckling toward the center or bowing out past the ankles.

When in doubt about the right workout for yourself, ask a personal trainer or fitness professional. It is in her scope of practice to understand how the body should align in order to weight train properly.

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