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Put a little more ‘umph’ into your workouts

Resistance exercise should be included in your workouts training each major muscle group two or three days each week using a variety of exercises and equipment.

My preference for beginners is two time a week about 10 to 12 exercises total starting with one set to begin with. If you feel OK after a few weeks of workouts you can go to two sets. Start with a low weight and get your body used to working with weights. After that, a good rule of thumb is to increase no more than 10% each week. 8-20 reps per set. Doing one set at 8 reps, go up in reps before going up in weight. This way not only your muscles can get used to the working out, but your tendons do too.                                 So after your initial beginning phase of one set of 8-20 reps work up to two to four sets of each exercise anywhere between 8-20 reps. Again, making sure to leave 48 hours between the muscle groups

A full body workout could look this:

• Two chest exercises such as a bench press or vertical press and pectoral machine or dumbbell flies

• Two back exercise such as lat pull down and Low row or cable row

• Two leg exercises such as leg press and calf raises

• One shoulder exercise such as shoulder press or dumbbell side lateral raises

• One bicep exercise such and bicep curl machine or dumbbell curls

• One tricep exercise such as tricep extension machine or cable tricep extensions

• One abdominal such as abdominal machine or crunches

• One lower back exercise such as lower back machine or prone leg and arm lifts (super mans)

Of course, start with at least a 10-minute warmup and finish your workout stretching each muscle group you used.

Have a great workout and most importantly, keep moving!

Ester Hoeben Marsh is Health and Fitness Director at the JF Hurley YMCA.

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