The Best Exercises That Help to Gain Weight for Women

For women who want to gain weight, it is going to require some changes to your eating habits. You should be maintaining a consistent caloric surplus where you are eating more calories than you burn off. In addition to changes to your diet, exercising is just as important. Exercise is not only essential to maintaining good health, but it can also help you to further increase your overall body weight by building and toning muscle mass in different areas.

Strength training exercises consist of various resistance-based and compound exercises that target different areas of muscle. This category of exercise is especially beneficial for those who want to gain weight as it allows you to build, tone, and shape muscle mass to achieve your desired look. An excess of intense cardio exercises can cause you to burn an excess of calories, which is counteractive when trying to gain weight.

** Before making any significant changes to your lifestyle or diet, you should discuss with a health practitioner to make sure it is in alignment with your state of health.

Here are a few of the best exercises that help to gain weight for women:

best exercises to gain weight for women
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SQUATS

Squats are a popular strength exercise as they are simple yet highly effective. In addition, there are an array of squat variations, any of which are going to be a beneficial choice of exercises to gain weight. If you want thicker thighs, bigger glutes, or wider hips, squats are a great choice.

How to complete a regular body weight squat:

  1. Begin standing with your feet placed shoulder-width apart.
  2. Next, bend down at your knees, keeping your back straight and your hands grasped in front of you.
  3. Your knees should not extend past your feet as you bend.
  4. Briefly hold this position, and then return to your starting position. This counts as one repetition.
  5. Repeat your desired number of repetitions.
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Click here to check out 15 additional variations of squat exercises.

PLANKS

Planks are another advantageous yet easy exercise that can help to tone muscle mass. There are various plank forms you can do, and they do not require the use of any equipment.

How to complete a standard forearm plank:

  1. Start with your legs fully extended and your feet spread shoulder-width apart.
  2. Your forearms should be bent with your elbows placed below your shoulders, holding your body up in place.
  3. Hold this position for 30 seconds, keeping your abs tightened.

DUMBBELL LATERAL RAISE

In the effort to gain weight, toned, proportionate arms are also a good aim. The dumbbell lateral raise is just one effective exercise that helps to build muscle mass in the arms.

How to complete a dumbbell lateral raise:

  1. Begin standing with your feet placed shoulder-width apart and a pair of dumbbells held in each hand.
  2. Then, extend both of your arms outwards at your sides.
  3. Briefly hold this position, and then steadily lower your arms back down to your sides to complete one repetition.
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HIP BRIDGE

Hip bridges are a good exercise for increasing muscle mass surrounding the hips and are a great flexibility exercise as well.

How to complete a hip bridge:

  1. Begin lying on your backside on a comfortable surface with your arms at your sides.
  2. Your legs should be slightly extended in front of your body with your knees bent and feet paced flat on the floor.
  3. Next, you are going to raise your hips upwards and off the floor.
  4. Briefly hold this position and then lower your hips back down to the ground.
  5. Repeat your desired number of repetitions.

STEP-UPS

Step-ups primarily target your glutes muscles as well as your thigh muscles. You can do this exercise either at home or at the gym, and it only requires the use of a sturdy stepping object to step up on.

How to complete a step-up:  

  1. Find a sturdy stepping object (e.g. a stepstool or bench) to step up on to.
  2. With your stepping object placed in front of you, step up onto the platform with your right foot, followed by your left foot to lift yourself up. Both feet should be placed onto your stepping object.
  3. Then, step down to the floor on your right leg, followed by your left leg. You should now be at your starting position, and this counts as one repetition.
  4. Repeat the same series of motions, except starting with your opposite leg.
best exercises to gain weight for women
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LEG EXTENSION

This strength exercise is a highly effective way to build body/muscle mass to gain weight. It targets various muscles and is done with the use of a leg extension machine.  With any use of exercise equipment, always be sure you are using a comfortable weight load and have thoroughly stretched beforehand to avoid straining your muscles.

How to complete a leg extension:

  1. Sit down on the leg extension machine and choose a weight that is comfortable for you.
  2. Every machine is different, however, there will be a cushioned bar to place your feet under to lift up.
  3. With your feet placed under the bar, begin steadily raising your legs and lowering them back down, inhaling and exhaling as you do so.
  4. You should be lifting a comfortable weight load so that it is does not cause too much strain to extend your legs.

LUNGES

Lunges are another advantageous choice of exercises that help to gain weight for women. They help to tone and strengthen your legs, core, and glutes. Any variation of lunge exercises is going to aid in building muscle mass.

How to complete a basic lunge:

  1. Begin standing with your feet placed hip-width apart.
  2. With your hands at your hips, take one step with your right leg and lean forward.
  3. Your leg should be bent at an almost 90-degree angle. Hold this position briefly, and then return back to your starting position.
  4. Next, take one step with your left leg and lean forward. Briefly hold this position and then return back to your starting position.
  5. Repeat your desired number of repetitions.
best exercises to gain weight for women
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LATERAL BAND WALK

The lateral band walk is a challenging strength exercise that helps to strengthen and tone the glutes, thighs, and other leg muscles. It involves the use of a resistance band for even more engagement of your muscles.

How to complete a lateral band walk:

  1. Start by placing your resistance band slightly below your knees.
  2. Your feet should be placed shoulder-width apart and your hands grasped in front of you.
  3. Bend down into a squat position, and begin taking steps to your left side, leading with your left foot.
  4. Then, switch and begin taking steps to your right side, leading with your right leg.
  5. Keep your core tightened as you do so.

LEG RAISES/LIFTS

There are multiple different ways to do leg lifts/raises. They benefit a variety of muscles depending on which form you do. A standard lying leg lift helps to strengthen and tone your abdomen area and legs.

How to complete a leg lift:

  1. Start lying on your backside with your arms at your sides and legs extended.
  2. Raise both of your legs upwards off the ground, keeping your core tightened.
  3. Keep your legs elevated for as long as you can, inhaling and exhaling as you do so.
  4. Steadily lower your legs back down. Repeat your desired number of repetitions.
best exercises to gain weight for women
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CRUNCHES

Working out your abs is important as you gain weight, as some of the gained pounds may deposit in the stomach area. Crunches are an effective and targeted abdominal exercise that can help to tone and trim the waistline.

How to complete an ab crunch:

  1. Start by lying on your back on a comfortable level surface.
  2. Your feet should be planted flat on the floor and knees bent.
  3. Your hands can be placed behind your head with your thumbs near your ears.
  4. Raise your shoulders off the ground and lift your body towards your legs – but not all the way like you would with a regular sit-up.
  5. Briefly hold this position, and then lower yourself back down to the ground.
  6. Repeat your desired number of repetitions.

Click here to check out helpful and healthy foods for weight gain:

One thought on “The Best Exercises That Help to Gain Weight for Women”

  1. Hi. Loved your stuff. But I have a problem with doing squats with dumbbells. I think I’m losing weight instead of gaining weight when I use dumbbells to squat. Can u please help me out? Thanks

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