Beyond “strong is the new skinny”

Beyond “strong is the new skinny”

Train for strength and a healthy relationship with our bodies

“Strong not skinny.” It’s a familiar phrase among female fitness enthusiasts. You’ve likely noticed it creeping into discussions at the gym, in posts on fitness-focused social media accounts, or displayed on women’s workout tops. It’s a positive change—a productive development for women’s body image, right? Not so fast.

There’s no one-size-fits-all definition of “strong.” “Strong” could mean keeping up with your kids at the playground and having the ability to do the daily activities you enjoy without fear of injury.

Here’s a workout for a holistic vision of “strong.”

Strength workout

Complete as a circuit. Aim for three rounds of the circuit, performing 15 reps of each move (per side).

Med ball mountain climber

Target: abs and shoulders

This move improves core and shoulder stability. Both are important for injury prevention!

  • Start in a plank position with your hands on a medicine ball (fingers pointing toward the floor).
  • Bring one knee toward your chest. Hold for a second, then bring your leg back to the start position and repeat on the other side.

Med ball Russian twist

Target: abs

Fire up your entire core musculature, focusing on your obliques.

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet off the floor, leaning back slightly. Hold a medicine ball at waist level.
  • Lightly touch the ball to the floor next to your left hip, then repeat on the right.

Med ball push-ups

Target: triceps, chest, shoulders

A challenging push-up variation that improves your strength and balance. To practise this move, perform negative reps: start in the top position and lower yourself slowly (3 to 4 seconds). Then start back at the top.

  • Start in a plank position with your hands on a medicine ball (fingers pointing toward the floor).
  • Inhale and bend your arms, bringing your chest to the ball. Exhale as you push yourself away from the ball and back to the start position.

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