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Full-body beginner-friendly workout (no gym required)

February 10, 2019

FLORENCE, S.C. – Everyone has a busy schedule, and exercise can be difficult to fit in on a daily basis.

However, if you have a few minutes you can utilize any of the exercises below (or complete them all for a full-body workout) that can be done at home, outside or at the gym.

All you will need for this workout is some dumbbells, a flat surface like a chair, bench or couch and a mat or towel. If you do not have dumbbells, you can always make use of other weighted objects around your home like an old milk gallon filled with water or soup cans.

Before you start the workout, warm up your body for five to 10 minutes by jogging in place, doing jumping jacks or walking.

Shoulders exercises

For these exercises, you will need two dumbbells or two items of equal weight. Beginners should use a weight anywhere between 2½ to 10 pounds and perform 10 to 12 repetitions of each exercise for two sets. Individuals who are familiar with these exercises or are more experienced can use a weight anywhere between 10 to 15 pounds or higher and perform 12 to 15 repetitions for three sets. These exercises can be done standing or seated.

>> Front raise: This exercise targets your anterior deltoid (front of shoulder). Grab two weights and hold one in each hand with your arms in front of your body and your wrists facing toward your body. Slowly raise your arms up in front of you until they reach shoulder-height. Slowly lower yours arms back down to the starting position. This is one repetition.

>> Lateral raise: This exercise targets your medial shoulder (middle part of shoulder) and trapezius muscle (top of the shoulder). Hold a weight in each hand with your arms resting by your side and your wrists facing toward your body. Slowly raise your arms up and out on either side until they reach shoulder-height. Slowly lower your arms back down to the starting position. This is one repetition.

>> Overhead press: This exercise targets your deltoids, trapezius muscles and triceps. Start with a weight in each hand and the arms at shoulder-height with your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle. Slowly press the weights over your head until the arms are straight and then slowly lower back to the starting position. This is one repetition.

>> External rotation: This exercise targets your rotator cuff. Hold a weight in one hand and bend that arm’s elbow at a 90-degree angle. Your forearm should be out in front of you with your elbow anchored against your side. Externally rotate the forearm by taking out to the side until it is in a straight line with your side. Slowly rotate the forearm back in to return to the starting position. This is one repetition. Make sure to perform the exercise with each arm.

Back exercise

For this exercise, you will need one dumbbell or one weighted item as well as a bench, couch, bed or other flat, elevated surface. Beginners should use a weight anywhere between 5 to 15 pounds and perform 10 to 12 repetitions for two sets. Individuals who are familiar with this exercise or are more experienced can use a weight between 10 to 25 pounds or higher and perform 12 to 15 repetitions for three sets. Make sure to perform the exercise on both sides.

>> Pull-back: This exercise targets your latissimus dorsi (lower back muscles) and biceps (front of the arm). Kneel over and place the knee and hand of one side of the body onto a bench, chair, bed or other flat, elevated surface. The opposite foot should be placed on the floor, and the opposite hand should be holding a weight close to the body with the elbow at a 90-degree angle. Slowly pull the arm holding the weight back as far as you can, and then slowly lower it back to the starting position. This is one repetition.

Arm exercises

For these exercises, you will need two dumbbells or two items of equal weight. Beginners should use a weight anywhere between 5 and 15 pounds and perform 10 to 12 repetitions of each exercise for two sets. Individuals who are familiar with these exercises or are more experienced can use a weight between 15 to 10 pounds or higher and perform 12 to 15 repetitions of each exercise for three sets. These exercises can be done standing or seated.

>> Bicep curls: This exercise targets your biceps (front of the upper arm). Hold a weight in each hand in front of your body with the arms down and palms facing up. Slowly begin to curl the forearms up to your chest without moving the upper part of your arms. Once the weights reach your chest, slowly lower the forearms back to the starting position. This is one repetition.

>> Tricep extension: This exercise targets your triceps (back of the upper arm). Hold onto the end of one weight in one hand and bend the arm of that hand behind your head. The hand on your other arm can be placed against the bicep of the weighted arm to help support it. Slowly begin to straighten out the weighted arm to bring the weight above your head. Once the arm is fully extend, begin to lower the weight back down to the starting position. This is one repetition. Make sure to perform this exercise on both arms.

Leg exercises

For these exercises, you will need two dumbbells or two items of equal weight. Beginners should use a weight anywhere between 10 to 15 pounds and perform 10 to 12 repetitions of each exercise for two sets. Individuals who are familiar with these exercises or are more experienced can use a weight between 15 to 20 pounds or higher and perform 12 to 15 repetitions of each exercise for three sets.

>> Squats: This exercise targets your quadriceps (front of the thigh). Hold a weight in each hand and keep your arms at your side. Slowly bend through the knees to lower down as if you were taking a seat. Keep your weight in the heels of your feet and do not let the knees go past the toes. After you have lowered down as far as you can go, push through the heels as you straighten the legs back out. This is one repetition.

>> Lunges: This exercise also targets your quadriceps. Hold a weight in each hand and keep your arms at your sides with the feet staggered. Slowly bend through the knees to lower down while keeping your hips and shoulders in line. When you have gone as low as you can, slowly straighten through the legs to return to the starting position. This is one repetition. Make sure to perform this exercise with both legs.

>> Bridges: This exercise targets your hamstrings (back of the thigh). Lie on your back on a mat or towel with your knees bent and feet flat. Slowly begin to bring the hips and then back up off the floor. Take the hips as high as you can and then slowly lower them back down to the floor. This is one repetition. If you would like to add a weight to this exercise, either hold a weight on your pelvis with both hands or hold a weighted bar across the pelvis.

After you finish your workout, let the body cool down for five to 10 minutes by performing static stretches that target the muscles you exercised.

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