The 10 Best Exercises For Women, According To A Trainer

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when starting to work out (or jumping back into exercise after taking a break), is that they want to go right into the 2.0 level stuff they see people doing on Instagram or at the gym.

They think that if it doesn’t look like it’ll kill you, how can it make you stronger?

The truth is, though, that you need to learn how to plank before you burpee; otherwise you can hurt yourself or cause imbalances in your body.

Start, instead, by building a solid foundation, and for my female clients, that means focusing on their hip area and core, which includes your abs and back. These muscle groups combine to form the powerhouse of the female body, so any strength-building workout for women should target them both.

Focusing on the basics does NOT, however, mean you aren’t going to get in a stellar workout. Some of the best exercises for women are foundational movements that will sculpt, strengthen, and challenge your total body big time just by using your own bodyweight.

So, if you’re looking for a workout plan for women that is good for all levels and will help you get stronger from head to toe, master these exercises. As you get stronger, you can increase the challenge by adding weights into the mix. Start strength training three to five times per week and you’ll be ready for power cleans and Turkish get-ups in no time!

Time: 15 minutes

Equipment: none

Best for: total-body strength

Instructions: Do all sets/reps for each move before continuing to the next exercise. These are some of the best exercises for women, and as such, I’d recommend performing this total-body workout two to three times per week. If you’re looking for a longer workout, you can start the sequence over again from the top once you finish and repeat it one to two more times. Just make sure to rest for two to three minutes in between rounds.

Dead Bug

How to: Start lying back with arms extended over chest, legs raised and bent at 90 degrees (knees above hips and shins parallel to floor). Keep low back pressed to the floor, brace core, then slowly and simultaneously extend and lower right leg and to hover just above mat.

Pause, then return to start and repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible, with control, in 30 seconds.

Leg Lowers

How to: Start lying on back with legs extended straight toward ceiling, feet over hips and arms by sides. Lower left leg down as low as you can go without lower back arching up off the mat. Return to start, and repeat on the other side.

That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible, with control, in 30 seconds.

  • The weight here is optional. Feel free to ditch it and place hands, palms down, under butt for added support.


How to: Start lying on stomach with arms and legs extended on the floor so body forms one long line, forehead on mat. Engage abs, squeeze glutes and lift all four limbs, plus chest and head a few inches off the ground, keeping your neck neutral by gazing at top of mat.