QWA FACT SHEETS
Females Fact Sheet
It is arguably the most spectacular of all Olympic and Commonwealth Games sports
in which athletes perform two lifts – the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk. It is an
exciting and healthy sport enjoyed by both men and women of all ages (from 12 &
up) and of different shapes and sizes. Although commonly seen as a test of
strength, Weightlifting is a sport that relies heavily on correct technique,
concentration, speed and flexibility in its participants.
Could you be a future Olympian?
Would you like to compete for your Country, your State or your club? To
celebrate the success of Queensland's female Weightlifters the QWA is offering
opportunities to all females to “have a go” in this sport previously seen as a
"male's" domain. Female weightlifters are holding their own in Queensland with
Cougars Weightlifting Club and Queensland Weightlifting Association leading the
way in providing safe and effective strength training for women.
The sport of
Weightlifting has much to offer female participants. Weightlifting builds
healthy bodies with strong bones, flexible joints, and good co-ordination. More
women and girls are getting involved for health, fitness and as a cross training
activity, with participants also enjoying the social interaction provided by
weightlifting as a sport.
Parents ask: “Is Weightlifting Safe for Girls?”
With correct coaching, proper equipment, and realistic expectations, strength
training and weightlifting programs designed for young girls and adolescents are
safe and beneficial. Unfortunately there are still many myths which cause
concern for parents about their daughters training with weights for both
competitive sport and general fitness purposes.
Parents with these concerns can
be reassured that strength training and weightlifting can help improve a child’s
overall health, physical development and sense of psychosocial well-being. A
properly designed and supervised strength training and weightlifting program can
provide a safe and effective way for girls and women to obtain the following
Improved muscle tone
Improved joint flexibility
Better motor skills
Increased strength, power & speed
Improved body composition
Better cardio respiratory function
Improved overall sports performance
Greater confidence and self esteem
In the past, women of all ages have met social barriers created by old-fashioned
ideas and confusion about weight training activities, which have prevented them
from freely participating in weight training.
Weightlifting does not necessarily mean struggling with huge weights and
developing large muscles, as many girls fear. Modern research has shown that
lifting weights regularly can improve your general wellbeing and increase your
strength and stamina in daily life. If you want to tone up and maintain a
healthy weight, Weightlifting training is an effective way to stimulate your
metabolism, therefore liberating more energy from the food you eat.
A physically active lifestyle including weightlifting, along with good
nutrition, will also help protect you against heart disease, obesity, diabetes
and osteoporosis. In the following paragraphs, some common myths are confronted
by the truth.
Facts about Weightlifting and Girls
All weight-training sports are not the same.
Due to the low level of publicity surrounding weight training sports, public
confusion has arisen about what each sport is about. Body Building is about the
aesthetic appearance and size of the muscles, competitive Olympic weightlifting
is about using 2 specific techniques relying on the legs (the Snatch and the
Clean & Jerk) to lift a weight overhead; and Power lifting uses 3 different
lifts relying on the strength of the back, legs and upper body.
Girls can succeed in Weightlifting.
Although Olympic Weightlifting is commonly seen as a test of strength, it is
actually a very technically demanding sport. Coaches spend many months teaching
a new participant correct lifting techniques and ensuring that these techniques
are maintained. Strength can be developed through specific training once Olympic
Weightlifting movements are mastered. Women can develop greater strength just as
quickly as their male counterparts, so feeling "not strong enough" is even more
of a reason to take up weight training.
Weightlifting will not give girls bulky muscles.
Due to the hormonal differences between men and women, females can develop
strength through resistance training, without an excessive increase in muscle
size or bulk (less than 5mm). Most women participating in Olympic Weightlifting
actually experience a loss of excess body fat and therefore experience a
reduction in their overall body size.
Weightlifting will not hurt your back.
Olympic Weightlifting techniques are safe and efficient relying on the muscles
in the legs and bottom for generating force, with the load shifted away from the
spine. Weightlifting training also includes strength and stability training for
the abdominal and back muscles.
Weightlifting is a good sport for girls.
There are no biological differences that inhibit women and girl's capacity to
participate in Weightlifting and weight training. In fact due to a female's
tendency to be more flexible than their male counterparts, women are generally
able to perform the Weightlifting movements more effectively. Further, a woman's
body can manage a resistance training program just as well as a man's can.
Weightlifting will not make women infertile:
A Woman's reproductive organs are internal and therefore protected from the risk
of injury through Weightlifting participation. Physically active women normally
have easier pregnancies and deliver healthier babies.
Weightlifting will not make female participants overly aggressive or
All sports develop competitive qualities in participants (male or female),
however these characteristics, combined with a women's natural femininity, are
exhibited as a heightened level of self-confidence..
Where is Weightlifting - how do I get involved?
Find a Club
the Queensland Weightlifting