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Beginner Resistance Training: Full Body Workouts

written by: Caramel • edited by: Angela Atkinson • updated: 10/21/2010

This article explains the many benefits of resistance training for the beginner and gives examples of three very effective workouts to get you started on the path to a healthier lifestyle.

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    Importance of Strength Training

    Experts in the fitness field recommend a variety of exercises that need to be incorporated a person’s lifestyle if they wish to begin an optimal strength-training program. These exercises include flexibility exercises, resistance training and cardio-respiratory activities.

    Cardio-respiratory activities such as cycling, walking, swimming, and running will help with overall health, while exercises for flexibility such as stretching will aid with range of motion around the joint area. Strength training is a great way, regardless of age, to gain significant strength and fitness in just two strength-training sessions a week when all the target muscles are focused on, according to the American Council on Exercise. The following is a way to incorporate a resistance training full body workout for beginners.

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    Chest Exercise with Dumbbells

    The Chest Fly-This exercise is a great way to work the major muscles in the chest area and also focus on the outer areas of chest. The fly moves are compound which make them an excellent compliment to both the push up and chest presses. This is an isolation movement. It is best to start with lighter weights, being careful to avoid losing control of the weights or hurting the shoulders.

    • Start by lying on the bench, floor or step. Hold the weights over the chest area with the palms of your hands facing each other.
    • Keep the elbows in a slight bend then lower the arms to the sides and down until they are even with the chest.
    • The elbows should remain in a fixed position and you should avoid bringing the weight too low.
    • Squeeze the chest to raise the arms back up.
    • Repeat this for 1-3 sets of 8-16 repetitions.

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    Medicine Ball Pushup

    The Pushup with the Medicine Ball-The pushup works many muscle groups, and it has so many variations that it is easy to find one that is perfect for you. This exercise not only works the upper body but it also gives a great core workout. By just elevation of one hand one the medicine ball, this exercise get a new challenge added to it, and an additional roll of the ball from one hand to the next engages the abs and adds a energetic element that you do not get from regular push ups.

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    Beginner resistance training exercisesThis part of the article also give an example of a resistance workout using the medicine ball but can be made into a very challenging and effective workout depending on the position to your shins and thighs.
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    How to perform Medicine Ball Push Ups

    • Get on your knees for the easier version or on your toes for the more challenging version. Make sure you body is in a straight alignment with the abs in and the back straight.
    • Place one of your hands on the medicine ball and place the other one on the floor. Hold your balance and lower yourself into a pushup.
    • Push yourself back up then roll the ball across the floor to your other hand then lower yourself into a pushup.
    • Continue the rolling of the ball back and for with each pushup for a total of 1-3 sets of 10-16 repetitions.
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    Exercise Ball Pushup

    Pushup Exercise on the Ball-This exercise is also a version of the push up exercise. It's definitely challenging, but can easily be done by both a beginner as well as someone who is more seasoned to fitness. This version requires you to prop your feet on the ball. You can increase or reduce resistance, depending on where you position your hands. Resistance can also be adjusted depending on whether the thighs or shins rest on the ball.

    • Start by kneeling on the floor with the ball directly in front of you then roll forward on it, walk your hands to bring yourself to a position you feel is comfortable and allows you to support your body. Remember to tuck your abs in, retract your shoulders, and keep a straight alignment with your body.
    • Next, place your hands a little wider than the shoulders and make sure you are not sagging the mid area of the body. If you notice some sagging roll back a little for more support.
    • Lower down and bend the elbows until your elbows are around ninety degrees.
    • Press yourself back to the start position and repeat for 1-3 sets of 10-16 repetitions.
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    Conclusion

    A resistance training full body workout for beginners is a great way to increase physical fitness fairly quickly. Performing resistance training should always be performed with safety as the key element, especially amongst beginners. It is always best to consult with your health care provider before beginning any fitness program. For helpful tips on beginners weight resistance training for women visit http://www.brighthub.com/health/fitness/articles/84729.aspx.