By performing dynamic weight-lifting exercises that combine both upper and lower body moves, you will not only save yourself body-sculpting time, you'll also get better fat-burning results while benefitting your heart health. Dynamic exercises keep your heart rate up to give your weight-lifting workouts a cardio component.
Do this weight lifting workout two to three times per week. Start with one set of each exercise and as you get stronger, perform two to three sets of each exercise in a circuit, quickly going from one exercise to the next.
Start position: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand with your elbows fully bent and hands positioned in front of your shoulders, palms facing out.
Movement: Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor (or as low as you can go without going below this point), pause briefly, then rise back to starting position. As your legs straighten, press both dumbbells straight up toward the ceiling until arms are fully extended. Return dumbbells to starting position near your shoulders. This is one complete "rep."
Peform: As many reps as you can, up to 12 to 15 reps.
Start position: Lie flat on your back on the floor with one dumbbell held by both of your hands.* Your knees should be bent and the soles of your feet flat on the floor. Straighten your arms to the ceiling until they are fully extended.
Movement: Keeping elbows nearly straight but not locked, guide the weight slowly to the floor behind your head. Just before the weight touches the floor, return to starting position, contracting your lat muscles; arms remain straight throughout the movement. As you lift your arms to the ceiling, also lift your hips to the ceiling, tightening your glutes and legs. Lower your hips as your arms move the dumbbell towards the floor.
Perform: As many reps as you can without struggling to manage the weight, up to 12 to 15 reps.
*As you get stronger, you can hold a dumbbell in each hand. Be sure you can comfortably manage the extra weight so you don't risk dropping a dumbbell on your head, face or chest.
Start position: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Let arms rest naturally at your sides.
Movement: Step forward with your right leg as if you're taking a very long stride. As your right foot lands on the floor straight in front of you, bend your right knee and drive your pelvis to the floor, keeping your left leg behind you as straight as possible. Pause when your right leg is bent at a 90-degree angle and perform a bicep curl. Allow the weights to return to their lowered starting position as you push off your front foot and return to upright standing position. Your left foot should remain in the same spot throughout the movement, allowing only the heel to raise as you lunge forward. Repeat the sequence with your left leg striding forward.
Perform: As many reps as you can, alternating legs, up to 12 to 15 reps per leg.
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