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Ideally, a strength workout should include 8 to 10 exercises targeting the major muscle groups. Beginners can start out by using two sets of dumbbells (3 to 5 pounds and 8 to 12 pounds) or a set of resistance bands. Try the following exercises, doing 2 sets of 10 to 15 reps each.
Lie on a bench, elbows bent 90 degrees out to sides; straighten arms up and return.2. One-arm dumbbell row (works upper back)
Stand with legs hip-width apart and place one hand on bench, opposite arm holding weight; draw elbow up toward ribs and lower.3. Biceps curl (works biceps)
Stand with arms extended, palms up, and curl weights toward shoulders.4. Triceps extension (works triceps)
Stand with legs hip-width apart. Lean forward from waist, elbows bent 90 degrees at your sides; straighten arms behind you.5. Lateral raise (works shoulders)
Stand with arms down by your sides, palms in; raise straight arms to shoulder height.6. Basic squat (works legs/butt) 7. Front lunge (works legs/butt) 8. Bicycle (works abs)
Lie face-up on floor, bend opposite elbow to knee, then switch sides.9. Superman (works lower back)
Lie facedown on floor and lift opposite arm/leg; switch sides.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, December 2006.