The phrase "strength training" might make you think of muscle-bound bodybuilders flexing their biceps, but we're here to tell you that this way of working out has plenty to offer for everyone.
You may already know that lifting weights can boost your metabolism, help you build muscle and lower your body fat, but the benefits don't end there. It also has the power to decrease your risk of injury, strengthen your bones, boost your heart health and make everyday tasks feel easier—whether that's taking out the trash or grabbing food off the top shelf at the supermarket.
If that impressive CV has you ready to sign on the dotted line, why not dip your toe in the strength training water with this accessible session from ace trainer Kayla Itsines, co-founder of the popular Sweat workout app.
You don't need a gym membership to give it a go, just a pair of dumbbells and some space to work out in. We like lifting at home with the best adjustable dumbbells as they allow us to change the load depending on the exercise, but a fixed weight pair will still do a fine job.
Itsinses also uses a weight bench for exercises like the bench press and step-ups. But, if you don't have one, never fear. You can swap these exercises out for floor presses (where you perform a dumbbell chest press while lying flat on the ground) and lunges respectively for minimal equipment alternatives.
Watch Itsines' video below to find out more about the workout, then dust off your dumbbells and try it for yourself.
Watch Kayla Itsines' full-body dumbbell workout
A photo posted by on
This workout is great for anyone who is new to strength training as it combines weighted compound exercises like the bench press with bodyweight movements such as step-ups. It also keeps rest times low, like HIIT workouts for fat loss you may have tried previously, so it's sure to blitz calories.
It's quick too, taking less than 30 minutes from start to finish. This is largely down to Itsines' use of supersets, pairing two exercises together that target two different muscles so you don't have to rest between them.
For example, the first superset sees you take on 20 step-ups (hitting your lower-body) quickly followed by 12 repetitions of the bench press (which will work your chest, shoulders and triceps).
This workouts' efficiency credentials are further bolstered by the fact that it works every major muscle group in your body. So, you can enjoy a full-body blast in record time instead of training different body parts on different days.
If you're new to strength training and want to add this session into your weekly routine, we recommend using it as a standalone session for the day. It's likely you'll feel sore the next day as your muscles recover, so if you want to get moving why not try a lower-intensity activity like these anti-aging yoga moves or a session from our Pilates for beginners plan?
Get the Fit&Well Newsletter
Start your week with achievable workout ideas, health tips and wellbeing advice in your inbox.
Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.
Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.
These three resistance band exercises for legs and glutes will strengthen your lower body and improve your posture
Workout Build muscle and boost your stability with this three-move resistance band workout
By Lou Mudge Published
This trainer's six-move workout builds muscle all over and boosts your mobility in just 18 minutes
Workout Improve your balance, coordination and stability while fending off future injuries with this short strength training workout
By Harry Bullmore Published