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9 Exercises to Help Develop Your Strength

The average 30-year-old will lose about a quarter of their muscle strength by age 70, and half of it by age 90. And it’s not enough just to do aerobics. If you don’t do strength training, you’ll become weaker and lose mobility over time.

We at 5-Minute Crafts are describing a series of exercises to help develop your strength. You might need special aids, such as dumbbells and resistance bands. But if you’re a beginner, you can work with just your bodyweight. Also, don’t forget to do a short warm-up before you start exercising — just 5-10 minutes will do. Do 1-3 sets for each exercise, depending on the kind of shape you’re in.

1. Lunges

The muscles that go to work: glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves

How to do it:

  1. Stand straight with your legs at shoulder width.
  2. Step forward with your right leg, bending the knee at a right angle. Make sure your front knee doesn’t go beyond your toes. The hip should be parallel to the floor. The left knee should be near the ground but not touching it. Keep a straight back and hold the position for 4 seconds.
  3. Return to the initial position and repeat with the other leg.

Repeat 10 to 12 times.

2. Squat to overhead raise

The muscles that go to work: glutes and leg muscles, the muscles in your core, back, and shoulders, as well as your triceps

How to do it:

  1. Stand straight with your legs just a bit wider than your hips. The arms should be alongside your body. Hold dumbbells if you want to increase the load.
  2. Bend the elbows and raise the wrists above the shoulders, turning the back of your palms forward.
  3. Slowly lower your hips down into a squat position.
  4. Press up to come back into a standing pose, and raise your arms overhead.
  5. Return to the starting position.

Repeat 8 to 12 times.

3. Plank

The muscles that go to work: leg muscles, back, core, chest, and shoulders

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your belly. Raise up on your forearms and elbows. Your toes should be the only part of your feet touching the floor. Keep the body in a straight line. Make sure the lower back is straight along with the glutes.
  2. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds. You can increase or decrease the time, depending on your physical ability. To make the job harder, raise one of your legs and hold the position.

4. Push-ups

The muscles that go to work: abs, triceps, shoulders, and chest

How to do it:

  1. Make a plank on straight arms. The palms should be level with the shoulders and the feet should balance on the toes. The body should be straight, like a plank.
  2. Bracing your core, lower your body by bending the elbows. The chest should almost touch the floor. The elbows should be near the body. If you want to make it easier, increase the distance between your hands. You can even do push-ups while balancing on your knees.
  3. Return to the starting position.

Repeat 8 to 12 times.

5. Dumbbell shoulder press

The muscles that go to work: shoulders, arms, and chest

How to do it:

  1. Stand straight with your legs at shoulder width, and slightly bend the knees. Take 2 dumbbells and raise them to the shoulder level. The elbows should be near the body and looking down. Face your palms forward.
  2. Raise the dumbbells above your head until your arms are fully extended. Lower the shoulders. Keep the position for a few seconds.

  3. Lower the arms to the shoulder level, returning to the starting position.

Repeat 8 to 12 times.

6. Dumbbell triceps kickback

The muscles that go to work: triceps and shoulders

How to do it:

  1. Stand straight with your feet together. Take 2 dumbbells in your hands. Bend the knees and your torso at a 45-degree angle. Raise the elbows — they should be close to the torso. Bend them at a right angle.
  2. Straighten the arms and put your palms behind your back. The upper back and the lower back should be straight. You should feel the tension in your triceps.
  3. Return the arms to the starting position.

Repeat 8 to 12 times.

7. Resistance band pull apart

The muscles that go to work: chest, back, shoulders, and arms

How to do it:

  1. Standing straight, put your legs together and bend the knees. Hold a resistance band with both hands. The band should be parallel to the ground.
  2. Pull the band toward your chest by moving your arms outward to your sides. Make sure the elbows are not bent. The back should be straight and your shoulder blades should be squeezed together.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position.

Repeat 15 to 20 times.

8. Hip extension

The muscles that go to work: glutes, hips, and shins

How to do it:

  1. Stand straight with your legs together, and bend the knees slightly. Put your hands in front of you. Wrap the band around your ankles.
  2. Slowly pull the left leg back as far as you can. Don’t bend forward. If it’s hard to keep your balance, you can use the wall or a chair to help you.
  3. Return the leg to the initial position. Do the entire set with your left leg, then with your right leg.

Repeat 12 times for each side.

9. Resistance band leg press

The muscles that work: quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your back. Bend your legs and pull the knees to the chest. The lower back should be on the floor. Put a band on each foot and keep the ends in your hands.
  2. Straighten your knees by pushing the feet. You should feel the tension in your legs.
  3. Return to the starting position by bending the knees at a right angle.

Repeat 10 to 12 times.

You don’t have to exercise every day to see an improvement. You can see pretty great results even if you do the exercises for just 20-30 minutes, 2-3 times a week.

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