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Strength Training for Busy People

This workout involves exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time for a challenging, effective workout.  Combining exercises and focusing on the large muscles of the body can save time while helping you increase strength, balance and stability.

  • Warm up with 5 or so minutes of cardio
  • Beginners:  Try the moves with no weight or start with this beginner strength workout
  • Intermediate/Advanced: Perform each exercise for 1 minute, one after the other and repeat as many times as you have time for OR perform 16 reps of each exercise for 2 or more sets, resting briefly  between sets
  • Take your time!  Try not to rush through the movements, but reduce momentum by taking things slowly.
Squat with Front Sweep
Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold a med ball or dumbbell.   Squat as low as you can (knees behind toes and abs contracted) and touch the ball to the floor.  Press through the heels to press back up while sweeping the weight up and overhead.  Keep the movement controlled and try not to use momentum. 
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Walking Lunge with Overhead Press
Stand holding medium weights just over shoulders.  Step forward  into a lunge (knees at 90 degree angles, front knee behind front toe).  Push up, stepping left foot forward while simultaneously pressing the weight overhead.  Switch legs and step forward with the left foot, repeating overhead press.  Continue alternating walking lunges with presses.
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Side to Side Lunge
Stand with feet wide, toes out slightly, holding weight at chest level.  Lunge to the right, bending the right knee (keeping that knee behind the toe) and touching the weight to the floor while keeping the abs engaged, torso straight.  Press back to start and lunge to the left, touching the ball to the floor.  Take your time and try not to use momentum.
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Deadlifts with Row
Stand with feet hip-width apart holding weights in front of thighs.  Keeping abs in and back straight, tip from the hips and lower the weight down (skimming the legs) as low as your flexibility allows (bend knees a bit if you need to).  Squeeze glutes and hamstrings to come up and then lower back down until torso is parallel to the floor, turn the hands so that they're parallel and pull the weights up in a row contracting the lats.  Repeat, alternating deadlifts and rows for all reps. 
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Pushups with Side Plank
Get into pushup position on knees or toes.  Do a pushup and, as you come up, rotate to the right into a side plank (keep knee down on the floor or balance with feet stacked for advanced), taking left arm up to the ceiling.  Come back into pushup position and do another pushup followed by a side plank to the left side.  Continue alternating pushups and side planks for all reps, modifying when needed.
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One-legged Balance with Tricep Kickback 
This is a tough one!  Stand on right leg taking the left leg straight out behind you, both leg and torso parallel the floor.  Bring the right elbow up next to your torso while holding a weight and, maintaining your balance, extend the elbow until the arm is straight by contracting the triceps.  Maintain this position for all kickbacks and then switch sides
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Hip Bridge with Bicep Curls
Lie down and rest feet on a ball or chair, wrapping resistance band around your feet. Lift the hips straight up into a bridge position while holding bands in both hands.  Hold this position while doing bicep curls.
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Seated Torso Twist
Sit cross-legged with med ball in front of you, sitting very tall with abs engaged.  Rotate at torso and place medicine ball directly behind you and then rotate to the opposite side to take med ball and bring it back around front.  Repeat going in the opposite direction.  Be sure to keep back straight--don't arch or round through the back. 
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