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Last week, our blog covered the top cardio workouts to get that heart rate going to burn those extra calories. This week, we thought we’d address strength training, which can sometimes be equally confusing to some. In this blog, our partners in fitness at the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers (AIPT) will help you out with four basic exercises to start building your muscles.

1. Incline Dumbbell Row 

Great for strengthening your rhomboids, middle and lower back, as well as your biceps and forearms.

How to:

  • Lean into an incline bench with a neutral grip.
  • Take a dumbbell in each hand with the arms straight.
  • Retract your shoulder blades and flex the elbows to row the dumbbells to your side. Do this with one weight at a time, if it’s easier for you.
  • Pause at the top of movement, before returning to start position.

2. Weighted Squats

A perfect entire lower body workout, particularly for your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes.

How to:

  • Begin in a neutral position, tucking your tailbone under and engaging your core – you should feel the pull of your abdominals without holding your breath. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and your arms at your sides, gripping 3kg dumbbells; too heavy? Start with 2kg and work your way up.
  • Begin the squat, letting your butt drop and go backwards, bending at the knees to maintain the correct posture. Don’t let your knees overshoot your toes.
  • Press your heels into the floor and start reversing the motion, squeezing your glutes and abs as you draw your hips in and up.

3. Calf Raises

These easy exercises do wonders for lower leg definition.

How to:

  • Stand near a wall, supporting yourself with your hands against the wall.
  • Lift one foot off the ground, pointing it behind you. Rise up on the other foot, placing your weight on the ball and lifting as high as you can go.
  • Lower yourself back down to the ground. Do not allow your heel to touch the ground between reps.

4. Plank

You’ve done arms and legs – now let’s target the midsection.

 How to:

  • Start by getting into a push-up position.
  • Bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms, not on your hands. Your body should form a straight line, from shoulders to ankles.
  • Hold this position for at least 20 seconds.


This article was originally published by our partners at AIPT here.

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