12 Strength Training Moves To Master For Total-Body Toning
Time: 15 minutes
Equipment: Dumbbells, kettlebell
Good for: Total body
Instructions: Choose three moves below. For each move, do 15 reps, followed by 30 seconds of rest. That's one set. Complete three sets, then rest for 60 seconds. Continue on to the next move and follow the same pattern of effort and recovery.
Angela Gargano, NASM-certified personal trainer at Performix House in New York City, is sharing her favorite strength training exercises. Add these to your routine a few times per week to see major results.
How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a kettlebell in front of your chest, elbows pointing toward the floor. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat. Push yourself back to start. That's one rep. Complete 15.
How to: Stand with your feet wider than hip-distance apart, hands at your sides. Keeping your feet planted on the ground, push your hips back, bend one knee and lower your bodyweight over it while your other leg remains straight. Make sure your knee is in line with your foot. Pause, then push back to start. Repeat on the other side. That's one rep. Complete 15.
Bulgarian Split Squat
How to: Stand about two feet in front of a step; extend your left leg back and place your foot on the step. (Optional: Hold a dumbbell in each hand.) That's your starting position. Bend your knees to lower your body as far as you can (or until your knee hovers right above the ground), keeping your shoulders back and chest up. Pause, then press through your right heel to return to start. That's one rep. Complete 15 on each side for a full set.
How to: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor 12 to 16 inches from your butt. Brace your core, then press into your heels and squeeze your glutes to raise your hips toward the ceiling. Hold the position for two seconds before lowering to the floor. That's one rep. Do 15 reps.
How to: Stand up straight, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift your hands into the air above your head, palms facing forward, with biceps by your ears. (Note: You can use dumbbells for an added challenge.) Keeping your back straight and core engaged, slowly lower your arms by your sides until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. Be sure to squeeze your shoulder blades at the bottom of this movement. Then bring your arms back to the starting position. That's one rep. Complete 15.
How to: Stand up straight with feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in your right hand. Bring both your biceps to your ears, then grab your right elbow with your left hand. From here, extend your right hand toward the sky, then slowly lower back down behind your head. That's one rep. Complete 15 on each side for a full set.
How to: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and assume a high-plank position, feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. While keeping your hips and shoulders level, bend your left arm and pull your elbow back directly behind you. Stop when your dumbbell reaches chest height. Lower the weight to the floor, then repeat the move by rowing the right dumbbell. That's one rep. Complete 15.
Pushup With Elevated Arm
How to: Start in a high-plank position with one hand on top of a yoga block or elevated surface. (Note: You can drop to your knees for a modified version.) Engage your core, keep your legs straight, and hips level. Slowly lower yourself toward the ground bracing your core. Stop when your elbows get to 90 degrees. Push hard into the ground to lift your body back up in one long line. That’s one rep. Complete 15 on each side for a full set.
Hollow Hold With Overhead Press
How to: Sit on your mat and hold a single dumbbell (or kettlebell) in front of your chest. Balance on your tailbone with both your shoulders and legs off the ground. Engage your core to stabilize your body. This is your starting point. While maintaining this hold, lift your weight straight up into the air, then lower back down in front of your chest. That's one rep. Complete 15.
How to: Come down into a plank on your forearms, toes tucked, elbows under shoulders, and hips at the same height as shoulders. Pick up one arm and press that hand into the ground toward a high, straight-arm plank; do the same action with the other hand to complete the transition from low plank to high. With the lead arm, lower back to your forearm, then follow with the other hand. Try to avoid moving your hips throughout the move. That's one rep. Complete 15, alternating your starting arm.
How to: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, with a weight in one hand (dumbbell or kettlebell). Place your other hand on your hip. Lower the weight below your knee by side bending through straight legs. Then, using your obliques, return to the starting position. That's one rep. Complete 15 on each side for a full set.
How to: Grab a kettlebell with both hands and stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and hold the weight out in front of you on the floor. Then, bring it between your legs, immediately squeeze your glutes, and thrust your hips forward to swing the weight to shoulder height. Keep your arms straight and core tight. Reverse the movement, bringing the kettlebell back between your legs. That's one rep. Complete 15.