Traditional shovels can be too big and too heavy for some people. There are shovels and spades available that are smaller and lighter weight. Ideal for use by some women.
These smaller shovels have the same profile and shape as their larger counterparts and they are just as strong. The smaller size is easier to handle. But it has the foot step on the blade and the D handle grip.
Border spades are also available in the smaller profile. These are used to cut sod or cut around your garden. The traditional spade takes a lot of force to push into the ground. The smaller blade takes less weight to push into the ground. Look for spade shovels with D handles made of metal, wood or stainless steel.
What is you have to dig a hole in the garden? The regular post hole digger is big and requires a lot of upper body strength to use. Check out the post hole digger that operates more like a backhoe. It has one blade that is driven into the ground. Then you pull a secondary handle than bends the blade over and scoops the dirt out of the hole. Another advantage of this style post hole digger is that the hole stays the same diameter all the way down.