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Strength Training for Beginners

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.

1. Dumbbell chest press (works chest)

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.