Once upon a time, the thought of lifting weights may have conjured up images of Arnold Schwarzenegger flexing his muscles. But times are changing.
Strength training is a great way to build muscle, boost your metabolism (the amount of energy you burn during the day), and can strengthen your bones and improve your posture. Plus, exercise is a great way to boost your mood.
You don't need to go to the gym to try it either. With a pair of fixed-weight or adjustable dumbbells, you can do personal trainer James Stirling's seven-move resistance session to work your whole body in 30 minutes.
To do it, complete 12 repetitions of each exercise; the bent-over row, alternating shoulder press, floor press, split squat, Romanian deadlift, goblet squat, and standing front rack march.
Perform these moves one after the other, resting as little as possible between each one. Once you've finished all seven, repeat this sequence three more times to finish the workout.
You can watch demonstrations of each exercise in Stirling's video below. We recommend taking the time to practice each one and perfect your form beforehand to get the most from your training and avoid injury.
Watch The London Fitness Guy's dumbbell workout
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The movements in this workout target muscles across your whole body. They are also all compound exercises — moves that work multiple muscle groups at once.
For example, the bent-over rows recruit your back and biceps, floor presses hit your chest, shoulders and triceps, and the split squats will fire up leg muscles like the quadriceps and glutes.
As a result, this workout is a top time-efficient training option on busy days, helping you build full-body strength and muscle in just 30 minutes. Aside from building muscle, this type of training can also boost your metabolism.
"Muscle is a metabolically active tissue," Lily Chapman, performance coach and sport and exercise nutritionist at P3RFORM, told Fit&Well. So, the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn at rest.
Strength training is only one half of the muscle-building equation though; you also need to fuel your body correctly. Protein is a key component of this, providing the building blocks your body needs to repair and grow your muscles.
Chapman recommends aiming to eat 1.2g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight each day, which you can find in foods such as chicken, eggs, lentils, and tofu. Some people also like to use the best protein powders for weight loss as a helping hand when hitting their daily protein quota.
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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.
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