WELLNESS | Physical Fitness: Strength

physical fitness strength

WELLNESS | Physical Fitness: Strength

In an effort to bring awareness to the importance and positive impact of physical fitness on one’s health, we begin a 3 part series with the topic of physical fitness. We all know that a balanced diet and exercise go hand-in-hand when it comes to healthy living but how much and what type of exercise is adequate for muscle strengthening will vary from person to person, depending on height, weight, and overall lifestyle.

If you don’t have a fitness plan or if you’re at the beginning stages of a regular exercise routine, keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be an expensive or complicated one. There are many strength building, multi-target exercises you can do from your own home. Outlined below, are 5 of the best, full body exercises that don’t require anything more than room for proper movement execution and a couple of 5 pound weights (10 if you are more advanced).
Always keep in mind that whether this is the beginning of your fitness journey or have a workout routine already incorporated into your daily life, there are a few important things to practice before, during and after any workout session- hydration, safety, form, environment awareness, hydration (yes, hydration is listed twice- dehydration can cause life threatening complications and in some cases even death), stretching, and warming up. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s sweat!


  • Target Areas: Primarily upper body while also engaging core.
  • Quantity: 1 set of 10 reps.

Get into a high plank position while tightening your abs, hamstrings and glutes. Straighten your back so that your body is in a neutral position with your head, neck and back in a straight, flat form. Steadily lower your body while keeping your body in a straight line from head to toe. Once your chest is about 1 inch from the floor, push back up and bring yourself to the high plank position.


  • Target Areas: Primarily quadriceps and hamstrings while also engaging glutes and hips.
  • Quantity: 1 set of 20 reps, alternating sides.

While standing straight and with your feet spaced hip width apart, take a big step forward and slowly begin bending your knee to a 90 degree angle. Lower your knee until you lightly touch the floor. Push up and return to your starting position and repeat with your other leg.

Step-Up with Bicep Curl

  • Target Areas: Quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, biceps, abs
  • Quantity: 1 set of 20 reps, alternating sides.

Holding a 5 pound weight on each hand, firmly place one foot on a sturdy step or bench and begin to raise your body. Bend your other leg and bring your knee to a 90 degree angle while simultaneously curling the weights towards your shoulders. Return to your starting position and repeat with your other leg.

Dolphin Plank

  • Target Areas: Back, shoulders, abs.
  • Quantity: 1 set of 15 reps.

Begin by lying face down with your toes tucked and your forearms and palms placed flat on the floor. Tuck your bellybutton in toward your spine and raise your hips. Take a deep, steady breath in as you raise your hips until you form an inverted “V” with your body. Hold this position for 4 seconds and slowly return to your starting position while slowly exhaling.

Squat with Overhead Press

  • Target Areas: Quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, abs, shoulders.
  • Quantity: 1 set of 15 reps.

Holding a 5 pound weight on each hand, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your elbows, palms facing forward, and bring the weights to shoulder height. Lower into a squat without letting your knees go past your toes and hold this position for 4 seconds. Slowly begin to stand up while simultaneously raising your weights overhead until you are in the standing position with your arms raised up parallel to one another. Return to your starting position and repeat.
You may modify these exercises to best fit your specific needs by either adding more weight or not using weights at all. By exercising regularly and building muscle strength, not only will you look and feel great but you’ll also increase overall mood, energy and alertness. It has been proven time and time again that working out just 3 times a week can bring significant visible changes to your health. Keep in mind that rest and down time are just as important as hydration and a balanced diet, as it is during this time that your muscle tissue strengthens and regenerates. Listen to your body to prevent injury- there’s a difference between the burn you feel from an effective workout and pain from injury. As always, be sure to consult with your medical physician before beginning this or any other exercise program.

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