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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 benefits:
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 unfeminine.

    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

    Contact the Queensland Weightlifting Association