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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Back to Basics Full Body Strength Workout

A few weeks ago I shared my post, "4 Reasons Women Should Lift Weights" and got an overwhelming response from all of you.  It's made it's way to my most popular post thus far and to a girl who loves lifting heavy things this warms my heart a million times over.

I dabbled with lifting in high school but with little coaching I shutter to think about what my form looked like.  In college I was lucky enough to play softball where I had more than qualified coaches teaching me the ins and outs of strength and conditioning exercises and it's in college where my love for lifting began.

Today, walking into the weight room and lifting is second nature to me but I realize it's not like that for everyone.  I get emails almost on a daily basis asking for lifting workout suggestions/programs.

Of course my first suggestion would be to find a personal trainer (who lifts.  Yes, not all personal trainers lift) to help you with form and programming but I realize this isn't in the budget for everyone.

If you have to have a go at it on your own, I'd encourage you to keep it simple and not over think strength training.  Daniel Duane, an author for the NY Times wrote in the article "Fitness Crazed", "There’s no percentage in teaching clients independence by showing them basic barbell lifts and telling them to add weight each time. Better to invent super-fun, high-intensity routines that entertain and bewilder clients, so they’ll never leave you. "

(I hope you picked up on the sarcasm)

The so-called "basic" strength exercises have stuck around for a reason- they're effective!  And while they may be simple, they're not necessarily easy.  The workout below is built on fundamental movements that can be performed at the beginner level with just body weight or challenge seasoned lifters with additional resistance.

Following a dynamic warm up, complete each exercise allowing ample time to recover between sets.  Try to pick a weight that is challenging and allows you to complete the specified number of repetitions with one or two left in the tank.  Taking any of these exercises below to failure is not necessary.  If you are completely new to resistance work and finding the moves challenging stay on the lower end of the recommended sets/reps.  If you have more experience feel free to work towards the high end of the recommended sets/reps and/or add additional resistance.

Here are some links to videos showing proper form for each of the exercises mentioned above

Barbell back squat (body weight squats are always an option)
Goblet squat
Dumbbell walking lunges
Hip thrusters
Push ups on toes
Push ups on incline
Inverted rows
tricep dips (on bench) add weight to lap for additional resistance

Your turn:  What's your favorite "basic" strength training exercise?


  1. great workout! My favorite strength training exercise is pretty much anything with my kettlebells - squats, lunges, presses, swings and even russian twists for some ab work

  2. Great workout, I am going to have to try it! My favorite strength training exercise is squat, I just really LOVE them, probably more than is normal, but I'm okay with that ;)

  3. Again another great post Annie! I already pinned this to my "Girls can lift too" board on Pinterest!! And am tweeting it too!! I am so glad I found your blog Annie! I am always learning so much. Lifting is something I know nothing about and because of you I am slowly going to start acquiring some weights to start lifting myself!

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