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The Healthy Living Magazine

5 Resistance-Training Exercises

By Hallie Levine , ,

Illustration by David Preiss

Safety Note: Check with your health care provider before starting or changing your exercise plan.

Ready to get started? To work most of your body’s major muscle groups in a single strength-training session, try completing these moves, recommended by Sheri Colberg-Ochs, PhD, FACSM, professor emerita of exercise science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

1. Forward Lunge

Targets: quadriceps, buttocks, hamstrings, calves

A. Stand with your feet together, shoulders back.

B. Slowly step forward with your right foot, dropping your hips toward the floor. Continue lowering your body until your front thigh becomes parallel with the floor. Keep your right knee over your right ankle. Hold for one second, then push off with your front leg to return to the starting position.

Repetitions: 10 to 15 per leg


2. Sit to Stand

Targets: legs and core muscles (including abdominals and back)

A. Sit on the edge of a chair with your back straight and feet shoulder-width apart. Cross your arms over your chest.

B. Slowly lean forward over your knees and stand up. Pause for a few seconds. In a controlled motion, slowly sit back down. (Too hard? Sit in an armchair and hold onto the armrests when standing.)

Repetitions: 8 to 12


3. Triceps Dips

Targets: triceps

A. Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair or bench. Place your hands on either side of your hips, palms resting on the surface and fingers wrapped around the edge.

B. Extend your legs straight out in front of you, feet together and flexed. Slide your butt off the front of the chair. Lower your hips until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Your elbows should be bent at about a 90-degree angle. Slowly straighten your arms to lift your body to the starting position. Avoid pushing with your legs; they should remain still.

Repetitions: 8 to 12


4. Bridge

Targets: abdominals, buttocks, hips

A. Lie on your back with your arms by your sides, palms down. Bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart. Contract your abdominal muscles so your lower back flattens onto the floor.

B. Tighten your buttocks and push your hips upward. Hold for one second, then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.

Repetitions: 8 to 12


5. Wall Push-Up

Targets: arms, shoulders, chest

A. Stand about an arm’s length away from a wall, feet flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart. Place your palms flat against the wall at shoulder height. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart.

B. Bend your elbows, keeping them close to your body. Avoid pointing your elbows out to the sides and move your upper body toward the wall in a slow, controlled motion. Hold for one second, then return to the starting position.

Repetitions: 10 to 15


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