Strength training uses resistance, such as weights, to build muscle strength. For those with diseases such as obesity, arthritis, diabetes, back pain, depression and osteoporosis, strength training often reduces the symptoms. It can also reduce the risk of getting these diseases and is beneficial for people of all ages. Yet, only 21 percent of women do strength-training exercises two or more times per week, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Using 5-pound weights, you can work your abs, butt, quads, shoulders, biceps and triceps with strength-training exercises.
Stand up with your elbows bent, your palms facing inward and a weight in each hand. Bend your right knee as you lift it upward. Extend your foot as you kick forward. Lower your leg without touching the ground. Kick your leg behind you and upward. Repeat 10 times with your right leg. Do the exercise again on your left leg. You should feel your abs, butt and quads working.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a weight in each hand. Lift your arms straight out at your sides until they are the same height as your shoulders. Your palms should be facing the floor. Your shoulders should be relaxed, not shrugged. Hold in place for one second. Bring your arms forward until they meet. They should still be shoulder height. Hold for one second. Return them back to straight out at your sides, shoulder height. Hold for one second. Lower your arms back down to a resting position. Repeat this exercise eight times. You should feel your shoulder muscles engaged.
Hold a weight in your left hand. Step forward with your right foot and bend your knees slightly. Lean forward slightly, keeping your back straight and place your right hand on your thigh. Bend your left elbow 90 degrees. Straighten your arm as you extend it behind you. Bring the weight forward again. Repeat 15 times. Do the exercise again with your right arm. Your triceps should be burning.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a weight in each hand with your palms facing inward and your arms relaxed at your sides. Bend your elbows slightly more than 90 degrees, as you lift the weights toward your chest. Lower the weights back down at your sides. Repeat 15 times. This exercise works your biceps.
- American Council on Exercise: Dumbbell Triceps Kickback
- American Council on Exercise: Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curl
- Men’s Health: The Surprising NFL Shoulder Exercise
- Fitness: The Slimmer in 7 Days Workout
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Why strength training?
- Women’s Health: The Best Strength Training for Women
- Everyday Health: 6 Reasons to Add Strength Training to Your Workout Plan
- If 5-pound weights are too heavy, try lighter weights for these exercises.
- Talk to your doctor before beginning a strength-training program.
Though constantly traveling the world, Julia Williams is based in Chicago and has been writing since 2006. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting. She is also a licensed fitness instructor, specializing in Pilates since 2003 and has written hundreds of articles on exercise and health.