New to strength training? This gentle routine is a perfect starting point for anyone who is trying to lose 20 or more pounds, dealing with joint pain, or just getting back to exercise.
How to do it:
Perform each exercise for 60 seconds unless otherwise noted, resting for about 20 seconds between moves. Do as many reps as you can while maintaining proper form during each set. Do the circuit twice. All you need is a chair, a hand towel, and a pair of hand weights.
MOVE 1: LATERAL LEG LIFTS
Targets: Outer thighs
Stand with feet hip-width apart, left hand resting on back of chair. Transfer body weight onto left leg, keeping knee slightly bent. Lift right leg out to side as high as possible, squeezing outer hip, then slowly return to starting position. Immediately move into next rep, continuing for 30 seconds. Repeat on opposite leg.
MOVE 2: SIDE-ANGLE LIFT
Stand with feet hip-width apart, left hand resting on back of chair. Transfer body weight onto left leg, keeping knee slightly bent. Lift right leg diagonally behind you at a 45-degree angle, feeling glute engage. Slowly return to starting position. Immediately move into next rep, continuing for 30 seconds. Repeat on opposite leg.
MOVE 3: FRONT ARM RAISE TO LATERAL ARM RAISE
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a weight in each hand. This is starting position. Keeping elbows slightly bent and palms facing down, raise weights in front of you to shoulder height (A). Lower weights back to start. Raise weights out to sides to shoulder height (B). Lower weights to starting position. Continue alternating direction with each rep.
MOVE 4: HIP HINGE
Targets: Butt, hamstrings
Stand with feet slightly more than hip-width apart. Place hands on thighs. Keeping back flat, bend knees and hinge at hips to lean torso forward. Stop when chest is nearly parallel to floor. Push through heels and slowly return to standing, squeezing glutes.
MOVE 5: LATERAL PULL-DOWN
Targets: Upper back
Stand with arms extended overhead, holding ends of hand towel (A). Bend elbows and pull towel to chest, contracting upper back as shoulder blades move toward each other (B). Reverse movement back to starting position.
MOVE 6: TRICEPS PULSE
Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms extended behind you, holding ends of hand towel, palms facing up. Bend knees and lean torso forward, keeping chest lifted and back flat. Squeezing through triceps, quickly pulse arms up and down 1 inch.
MOVE 7: STANDING SIDE CHOP
Stand holding ends of hand towel next to left hip (A). Keeping arms straight, raise towel up and across body until towel is above right shoulder (B). Reverse movement to return to starting position. Continue for 30 seconds. Repeat on opposite side.