Strength training and building muscle are essential parts of a healthy and fit lifestyle.
Many studies have shown that the more muscle mass you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate. So unlike traditional cardio, strength training gives you an afterburn. This means that your body will continue to burn calories for up to 72 hours after you are done working out. Burn more calories while at rest? We’ll take it!
Here are 6 strength training exercises you should incorporate into your fitness routine!
1. Goblet Squat
While holding a dumbbell with both hands at chest level, set your feet shoulder-width apart. Push your butt back like you’re sitting in an invisible chair and go down until your elbows meet the inside of your knees.
Make sure to keep your heels flat and press onto the floor. Once you reach the bottom of your squat, pause for a moment, then return to starting position. Repeat 15 times.
Check out more squat variations and form, here!
2. Thruster Squats
We love squats! They work your entire body.
Start by holding weights at shoulder-level. Using proper technique, squat down as far as you can. Hold for a moment, then after coming back to starting position, raise the weights above your head. Repeat 15 times.
3. Plank Rows
This strength exercise is great for building a strong core, glutes, and arms!
While gripping a pair of dumbbells, get into pushup position. Your hands should be just over shoulder-width apart and your feet slightly over hip-width apart.
Keeping your hips parallel to the floor, bend your right elbow to pull the weight up toward the right side of your body. Pause for a moment, then slowly lower the weight back to start position. Repeat on the other side.
Note: If you have sensitive wrists you can do one side at a time by placing one hand on the floor and do a set on one arms, then switch to the other.
4. Overhead Tricep Extensions
Say goodbye to the arm jiggle, and say hello to tight and toned triceps!
Start by standing (or sitting) with your feet placed shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell directly over your head with your arm extended. Then gently bend your elbows and lower the dumbbell down behind your head. Hold for a second, then raise it back to the starting position. Repeat this motion 15 to 30 times with both arms.
5. Hammer Curls
This is one of the most basic, yet effective, dumbbell exercises to build arm muscles. This will target the outer biceps, forearms, shoulders, and traps.
Hold two dumbbells of equal weight in both hands. Stand tall with a strong back, with your arms at your sides and chest pushed out slightly. Hold the dumbbells so your knuckles are facing away from the body, and the thumb leads the motion.
Raise the dumbbells upward till the biceps are fully contracted and at shoulder level, hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower the dumbbells to your starting position. Repeat 15 to 30 times.
Note: You can do this exercise with both arms simultaneously or one arm at a time.
6. Dumbbell Row
This will help create a strong back, arms, and core.
First find an empty bench and grab your dumbbells. Start by placing your left hand and left knee on the bench. Holding a dumbbell in your right hand, bend your right elbow and pull the dumbbell up to the side of your chest. Hold for a moment, then slowly lower back to your starting position. Repeat 10 to 12 times, then repeat on the other side.
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