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Should Women Lift Weights?

Want a Strong, Curvy Figure? Work on This 1 Body Part (No, It's Not Your Butt)

As important (and fun) as it is to work on building our butts and strengthening our thighs, we can't forget the importance of working out our whole body from head to toe. If you're looking to shed fat, grow muscle, and accentuate the curves of your body, you might want to consider adopting a weightlifting program that gets you just as toned in your upper body as you are in your booty.

POPSUGAR spoke with Dee (Diksha) Gautham, NASM-certified personal trainer and NPC bikini competitor, who says that it is absolutely possible to build curves through weightlifting. "Muscle adds an amazing toned, feminine definition to the body!" she explained.

Dee urges you not to buy into the myth that weight training will make you "get bulky or look masculine." On the contrary, "it's really hard for women to put on the kind of muscle mass that guys can, because we don't have the hormones for that. What will happen if you train with weights is that you'll get sexy murves (muscle curves)!" OK, where do we sign up?

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Before you get excited and start a 30-day squat challenge, though, keep in mind that it's not all about booty gains. Dee says there is one part of the body that many women forget to train entirely, but it's just as important as your butt in the name of sexy curves: your upper back and shoulders.

"Training your back and shoulders can help build a proportional, hourglass figure all around," Dee said. "It adds to the illusion of a smaller waist." By gaining lean muscle mass in your upper body, not only will you shed fat in that area, but you'll also look more toned and shapely — and that's what will help your waist look even smaller, allowing for your hourglass shape to shine through.

"In addition, training your chest muscles can help enhance your breasts and make them look perkier and larger," Dee added. The pectoral muscles you develop will act as a natural push-up bra, only without the annoyingly uncomfortable underwire.

So don't be afraid to get yourself to the gym and train your upper body! Dee recommends doing compound exercises like the classic chest press or a shoulder press. These will work multiple muscle groups at once, giving you the most bang for your buck.

It's a good idea to shoot for two upper-body sessions a week; although if you can only fit in one, that works too! Just don't be afraid to actually pick up the weights when you're doing strength training. You don't have to go super heavy at first. As long as you feel the resistance and it's a challenge, you're doing it the right way.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kathryna Hancock
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