Build Muscle and Strengthen Your Arms, Legs, and Core With This Full-Body Workout
It's not asking too much to want strong arms, toned legs, a big butt, and sexy abs. All of this is possible with weightlifting. For a while, women thought that picking up weights heavier than 10 pounds would turn them into Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, but we busted that myth. Weightlifting isn't just great for your physical appearance (curves on top of curves); it's also great for strengthening your bones and can help improve your sleep.
- Before getting started, be sure to go through a dynamic warmup to get your body prepared for the workout. An example of this is: butt kicks, high knees, plank saw, plank walkouts, leg swings, and glute bridges. You can also add in a light, five-minute jog.
- After the warmup, grab two sets of heavy dumbbells. One will be for the arm exercises and the other for the leg exercises. This will be different for everyone, but choose a weight that will challenge you on the last two to four reps. A good indicator that you need to lift heavier weights is if you feel like you could do more than 12 reps without feeling fatigued (shaky arms/legs).
- Take 45-60 seconds of rest in between sets and one minute of rest in between exercises.
- Once you're done with the workout, be sure to foam roll, stretch, and replenish with protein, carbohydrates, and electrolytes.
- Lean forward and bend both knees, remembering to keep a flat back.
- Extend your arms so they are straight. Lift the dumbbells straight up to chest level, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you do. Be sure to keep your elbows in and pointed upward. Don't arch your back.
- Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position to complete one rep.
- Complete three sets of 15 reps.
Single-Arm Chest Press
- Lie on your back with your heels about a foot away from your butt. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand and bring both hands to the ceiling.
- Bend your left elbow, lowering your upper arm to the floor. Exhale and straighten your elbow, pressing the weight back to the ceiling to complete a rep.
- Complete three sets of 10 reps on each side.
Squat to Overhead Press
- Stand with your legs just slightly wider than hip distance apart, arms raised to shoulder height with elbows bent, holding weights by your ears.
- Bend your knees as if you were sitting in a chair, keeping weight on your heels.
- Press the dumbbells overhead as you straighten your knees to return to standing. This counts as one rep.
- Complete three sets of 12 reps.
Bulgarian Split Squat
- Grab a pair of 10-pound dumbbells. Begin by placing the toes of your left foot on a bench, box, stair, or chair, with your right leg straight.
- Make sure your right foot is out far enough so that when you lower your hips, your knee stays directly over your ankle.
- Bend your right knee, squeeze your left glute, and lower your pelvis toward the ground.
- Press your right heel into the ground to straighten your right knee. This completes one rep.
- Complete three sets of 10 reps on each leg.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides with straight arms, and have a slight bend in your knees.
- Lower the dumbbells toward the floor. Keep your back straight, not curved or arched. Your chest should be parallel with the floor.
- Straighten your torso so you have a straight body alignment. This counts as one rep.
- Complete three sets of 12 reps.
Twisting Wood Chop With Medicine Ball
- Start with the feet a little wider than hip distance apart. Twist to the left raising the ball over to your left shoulder.
- On an exhale pull your abs toward your spine and "chop" the ball down diagonally across your body toward the outside of your right knee. Imagine you're chopping some wood at this angle and the ball is your axe — the move is a bit percussive.
- Focus the on the rotation initiating in your torso.
- Control the ball back up to the starting position. This completes one rep.
- Remember you are moving with force but also control. Don't give into the momentum of swinging the ball around.
- Do two sets of 12 reps on each side.
- Start face down on the floor resting on your forearms and knees.
- Push off the floor, raising up off your knees onto your toes and resting mainly on your elbows.
- Contract your abdominals to keep yourself up and prevent your booty from sticking up.
- Keep your back flat — don't let it droop or you'll be defeating the purpose. Picture your body as a long straight board, or plank.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
- Repeat three times.