7 Strength Training Benefits + a Total Body Workout


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7 Benefits of Strength Training (Plus: A Total Body Workout)

If you are looking to boost your immunity, energy, and your mood in one go, a strength training routine is just the thing you need.

Just like eating healthy and taking your vitamins, strength training is an essential part of a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle. Don’t be fooled into thinking that lifting weights is just for building muscle. In fact, the benefits of adding this type of exercise to your workout are vast.

Here are the top reasons you should dust off those dumbbells and get lifting!

7 Benefits of Strength Training

Increases Bone Density

Your bones, like your muscles, are a living tissue that gets stronger with exercise. Weight- bearing exercises like weight training and calisthenics have been found to be the most effective for building bone densityreducing your risk of osteoporosis. Bone mass peaks for most people during their 30’s, so the earlier you begin strength training, the better.

Aids in Weight Loss

As we age, our resting metabolic rate – otherwise known as our metabolism – naturally decreases, leading to an excess of stored fat. Strength training helps increase your muscle mass, boosting your metabolism so that you can burn more calories at rest.

Prevents Injury

Strength training promotes the growth and strength of tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones, helping to stabilize the joints and to prevent tears, breaks, and other injuries.

Increases Overall Performance

Adding strength training to your routine can increase performance in other areas of your life. From daily activities like carrying the groceries into your house and getting up off the floor, to running and playing sports; strength training will make you stronger, faster, and more balanced, helping you to kick butt on the day-to-day.

Eases Chronic Disease

Strength training can help to reduce the signs and symptoms of chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), back pain, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

Boosts Energy and Mood

Strength training puts the body under stress, causing the release of mood-enhancing endorphins. These hormones help to decrease stress, depression, and anxiety; improving your mood and energy naturally.

Improves Posture

Most people sit at a desk all day, commute to work in a car or bus, and then go home and watch television at night. All of this sitting leads to tight chests and hip flexors, rounded shoulders, a forward head, and a weak core. Proper strength training can reverse some of these negative effects and improve posture through strengthening the back, shoulders, and abs.


Total Body Strength Training Workout

Follow this total body workout to strengthen your whole body and to get all the benefits of strength training. All you need is two lightweight dumbbells (about 3-5lbs) and an exercise mat.

Dumbbell Squats | 12 reps

This exercise helps to strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core.

Stand with your feet hips-width distance apart.

Hold a light dumbbell in front of your chest with both hands and engage your abs.

Inhale as you sit your hips back, like you are sitting in a chair, until your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Keep the weight in your heels and your chest lifted. Make sure your knees stay in line with your toes.

Exhale to press into your heels and stand all the way back up, squeezing your glutes at the top.

Repeat for 12 reps.

Single Leg Deadlifts | 12 reps per side

This exercise targets the hamstrings, glutes, and back; strengthening your lower body and core.

Hold a kettlebell in your right hand.

Shift your weight onto your left foot and pick up your right foot to point the toes behind you. Keep a slight bend in your left knee.

Engage your abs and keep a flat back as you inhale and start to lift your right foot up behind you while also lowering your chest down.

Exhale to return to the starting position.

Repeat for 12 reps, then switch sides.

Single Arm Row | 12 reps per side

This exercise strengthens the upper back, biceps, and core.

Begin in a low lunge with your right leg forward, the dumbbell within arm’s reach.

Place your right hand on your right thigh and pick up your dumbbell with the left hand. Engage your abs and find a flat back.

Exhale to reach your elbow up in line with your ribs, squeezing the shoulder blade up.

Inhale to straighten your right arm, lowering the dumbbell back towards the ground.

Repeat for 12 reps, then switch sides.

Shoulder Raises | 12 reps

This classic strength training move tones the shoulders, arms, and core.

Start standing with your feet hips-width distance apart, holding one dumbbell in each hand. Engage your abs and bend your knees slightly.

Keep a slight bend in your elbows and inhale to lift your arms up, bringing the dumbbells in line with your shoulders.

Exhale to slowly lower the dumbbells back down to your sides.

Repeat for 12 reps.

Curl Kickbacks | 12 reps

This exercise strengthens the biceps, triceps, and the core.

Stand with your feet together, a dumbbell in each hand. Engage your abs.

Keep your weight back in your heels and sit your hips back at a 45-degree angle.

Keep your palms turned in and inhale as you curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders.

Exhale to straighten out your arms, flexing your triceps for an extension.

Repeat for 12 reps.

Bridge Sit-Ups | 12 reps

This dynamic exercise strengthens the lower back, glutes, abs, lats, and shoulders.

Begin lying on your mat with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and reach your arms straight back behind your head.

Inhale to lift your hips to come into a bridge position.

Exhale to slowly lower your hips to the ground, then do a sit up while reaching the dumbbell straight out above your knees. Keep your arms straight.

Lower back to the starting position.

Repeat for 12 reps.

Watch this video – 45-Min Total Body Strength Training (No Weights, No Jumping!) | Joanna Soh

Written by Kelly Collins

Author Bio:

Kelly is a certified Personal Trainer with NASM, a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher, and has her B.S. in Kinesiology from San Diego State University. She is co-owner of Roaming Yogi Adventures, a yoga and adventure-based retreat. She believes that having fun and well-rounded exercise is the key to maximizing strength, flexibility, and mental health.

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