Guest Author - Terri Johansen
Yes you can really build strength with only a 10 minute workout and here’s how. The first thing you need to remember is “don’t be in a hurry”. Sounds ironic considering that you are trying to save time. However, doing each exercise requires your attention, keeping your movements controlled and consistent will avoid injury and get the best results
This is only a basic guide and the number of repetitions and weight should be modified to fit your personal ability especially beginners. When doing each of these exercises it is very important to keep a straight back. If your lower back begins to arch or your movements are not fluid, then you are lifting too much weight, doing too many repetitions, or performing the exercise incorrectly.
Here is the Ten Minute Workout
Squats – 20 repetitions with 5 pounds weights
The effort of movement in a squat comes from the thighs, hamstrings and hip muscles. You must keep your back straight so it does not compensate for a lack of leg strength. Spread your legs a little more than hip distance apart. Place your hands at your side holding the weights lightly in each hand. Slowly bend knees and lower your body until your knees are slightly in front of your toes and the thighs are pushing forward. Then come up slowly and repeat.
Lunges – 20 repetitions with 5 pound weights
Start in a standing position with feet hip width apart and arms at your side with a five pound dumbbell in each hand. Step forward with your right foot and bend the knee. As you come forward drop the left knee towards the floor but not on the floor. The heel of the left foot will come off of the ground. The right knee should be directly over your toes. You can repeat your lunges all on one leg or you switch back and forth with each leg.
Overhead Press – 20 repetitions with 5 pound weights
Stand with legs hip width apart. Feet are firmly planted and you feel solid. Open your arms with your elbows bent and hands at shoulders. You are using five pound dumbbells in each hand. Push up over your head with both arms slowly and controlled. Keep a slight bend in the elbows, do not lock them. Continue to lift and lower.
Wall Pushups – 20 repetitions
Place the palms of your hands against the wall arms extended. Hands are at shoulder height. Lean forward towards the wall bending the arms as you lean. Keep your elbows close to your body. Push away from the wall. Continue to extend and bend your arms.
Bicep Curl – 20 repetitions with 5 pound weights
Grasp the hand weights one in each hand with arms at your side palms facing forward. Using a slow and controlled movement bend the elbows and draw the weights up towards chest or shoulders. Lower and repeat.
Tricep Overhead Press – 20 repetitions with a 5 or ten pound weight
Holding a dumbbell in both hands with your arms lifted straight up over the top of the head. Bend elbows and slowly lower both hands behind the middle of the head. Then lift all the way back up and repeat. Be careful and don’t hit yourself on top of the head.
Lateral Raises - 20 repetitions with 5 pounds
Stand firm with feet planted hip distance apart, arms at your side and a five pound weight in each hand. Lift the arms into a T and then lower back to your side. This exercise can also be done by starting with your arms in a T and lifting the arms up over the head until your hands touch and then back into a T. This version is harder and something you can work up to.
Abdominal V-lifts – 20 repetitions
Laying on your back take both legs straight up into the air. Now open the legs into a V. Keep the legs in this position. Arms are at your side. Inhale and as you exhale lift your head and shoulders reaching your arms through the V of the legs. Do not lower the head but come back down onto your shoulders. Continue the reach through the legs lifting the head each time and then lowering to shoulders. Be sure you don’t hold your breath.
The breath we use with all of the exercises in this series is the same. Take your inhale before the movement of the exercise. Exhale as you contract the muscle being used. Inhale as the contraction is released. Using the bicep curls as an example: with your arms at your sides take a deep inhale; as you lift your arms to your chest you are exhaling; when you release the hands back to the starting position take an inhale and then exhaling as you lift again.
This workout is an all over body workout which will keep your muscles strong and toned when you are short on time. However, if you find it challenging and effective then go ahead and use it as part of your regular strength training routine.Be healthy, Be happy!
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