Boost Your Muscle Power With This 25-Minute Strength-Building Workout
Whether you have a job that requires a fair amount of physical activity, or you'd simply like to be able to handle everyday tasks that might require strength, there are plenty of reasons why you want to increase your muscle power. (For those of you who didn't know, muscle power is your ability to quickly and continuously produce a certain amount of force to complete an activity). If that's the case, then you'll want to try out the following strength-building workout from Shelby Stover, CSCS, from Fit As A Mama Bear. Stover shares with Eat This, Not That!, "All you need for this routine is a set of dumbbells and a workout bench (or table!)."
Stover notes that this is an excellent workout for someone just starting out, since you won't have to perform any power movements. She advises, "Make sure to focus primarily on your form before upping your weights." For this workout, complete each exercise right after the other without a break. The entire routine should take around 25 minutes to complete. Stover recommends performing it two or three times every week. It sounds like a lot, but you will notice your strength and power increasing in no time. Read on to learn more about these exercises to increase muscle power, and next, don't miss 5 Daily Exercises To Improve Muscular Endurance as You Age.
Bulgarian Split Squats
First up are Bulgarian split squats, which Stover says are very beneficial for the lower body. She says, "Because this is a unilateral exercise, it not only works the quads, hamstrings, and glutes, but it also strengthens your core muscles and balance as well."
To prepare yourself, grab dumbbells or other weighty items that you can use in the same way. You'll also need a workout bench or something similar.
Despite being a squat, you'll want to set yourself up as if you're doing a lunge while putting your left leg up onto the bench as you hold the weights. At the same time, your right knee should be over your heel. Now, lean slightly forward, and push back as you lower your left knee down. Be sure to keep your right knee turned forward throughout the movement. Next, utilize and "squeeze" the glutes in your right leg, keeping the pressure on your heel as you push back up into the starting position. Complete eight to 10 reps before switching over to the other side.
Stover points out, "Keeping your torso more upright will place the focus more on the quads (front of the leg) whereas hinging forward slightly will shift the challenge to the back of the legs (hamstrings and glutes)."
One Arm-Dumbbell Row With Eccentric Focus
The one-arm dumbbell row with eccentric focus will be helpful in improving your posture and strengthening your back muscles.
You'll need a workout bench or something similar for this exercise. Then, get yourself into the starting position by putting one hand and one knee on the bench while keeping your other leg on the ground. Your back should be kept flat. In your free hand, hold a dumbbell or weight. Now, begin to move and "row" the weight up until it's by your hip. Stover says to use your back muscles for this. After you've lifted the weight, pause for a moment, then lower it back down slowly. Repeat the full motion until you've done 10 reps. Then, switch and do the same on the other side.
For this exercise, Stover stresses using control when lowering the weight. In doing so, you'll maximize the time under tension.
Floor Chest Press To Pec Fly
"This is a combo exercise for the pec muscles," Stover tells us, adding, "Within just a few repetitions, you'll feel strength and engagement through the chest. However, this combo exercise is great for the arms and shoulders too."
Get down onto the floor, and lie back. Then, bend your knees as you hold a dumbbell in each hand. Lift your arms up straight above you until they're stretched out from your chest. Next, tuck your elbows in, and keep them below your shoulders as you bring your arms down and elbows to the floor, forming a "W" shape using your body. Then, you'll want to do the exact opposite and lift your arms back up while allowing your elbows to remain slightly bent. Make sure your palms end up facing each other, and then open your arms wide in a slow fashion, as though you are hugging something. Finally, in a controlled movement, let your arms come back down to the starting position. This is one full set. To get the most out of this exercise, aim for eight reps in total.
Feet-Elevated Glute Bridge
Why would you want to make this particular body-boosting activity part of your strength-building workout? Stover explains, "Strong glutes mean better gym performance, less back pain, and a decreased risk of injury. This exercise gives a large range of motion for the glutes and is a great way to target and master hip hyperextension."
Start by lying down on the floor and putting your feet up on your bench. If you're at home and don't have access to a workout bench, then Stover says that a couch or stairs will do the trick. Keep your knees bent and your feet around hip-width distance apart. While in that position, you'll then want to use your glutes as you lift your body up by your hips. Try to keep your back straight as your lift up, and then let yourself back down. Do this for a total of 20 reps.
Get ready to "take planks to a whole new level!" Stover says, "Rocking planks (sometimes known as body saws) not only fire up your core but also require more effort from your shoulders and arms to help stabilize."
Start by getting yourself into a normal plank position—which means face-down on the floor—while supporting yourself with your forearms. Your shoulders should be positioned directly above your elbows. When you're ready, let your upper back curve slightly until it's a little rounded. As you do, be sure to engage your glutes.
Next, let the weight of your body shift forward as you move your shoulders forward to engage your core. Move back in the opposite direction until your shoulders are behind your elbows. Keep rocking back and forth for a total of 30 seconds.
When you complete the rocking planks, Stover says to break for one minute prior to repeating the full exercise three to four times.