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Your muscles respond to strength training whether you use expensive weight machines or inexpensive hand weights. A light-weight, 3-pound dumbbell will tone your muscles and improve your muscular endurance. Use a higher number of repetitions when you use a lighter weight to encourage muscle response. Your toned muscle tissue increases your metabolism and burns a higher number of calories than fat tissue. With consistent use, your 3-pound dumbbells firm your muscles from head to toe.
Warm up before you strength train. Walk, climb stairs, dance or march in place for five minutes to warm your body.
Choose two multi-joint exercises such as squats, shoulder presses or deadlifts to prepare your muscles and joints for your strength training workout. Perform two to three sets of 10 to 20 repetitions.
Select an exercise for each of your muscle groups. Include movements for your chest, back, arms, legs, core and shoulders. Perform two to three sets of 10 to 20 repetitions.
Exhale during the exertion phase of the exercise, which is when you lift the weight against gravity. Inhale during the easiest phase of the exercise, which is usually when you lower the weight toward the floor.
Use three seconds to lift the weight. Hold the weight at the top of the movement for one second. Allow three seconds to lower the weight.
Allow 30 minutes for each workout session. Aim to strength train two to three days a week with a day of rest between sessions.
- Use a variety of exercises to stimulate muscle response. Instead of repeating the same routine week after week, change the order or the exercise after two weeks.