Learn how to build muscle and lose weight fast

Sunday, March 25, 2018

How to Build Muscle in 9 Minutes

Guest post by Dr. jordan metzl & karen barrow

Want to get strong, but don’t have time for a gym? Strength training is key for increasing flexibility, reducing injury risk and maintaining an overall healthy body. The best part is that it doesn’t have to take long. Here we’ll teach you a simple nine-minute-long strength training program that you can complete in your own home. All you need is a set of dumbbells (or another type of weight), a clock and the goal of building a stronger body.

HOW TO DO IT

The following nine moves are strength training exercises that you may have seen before. Alone, they each work a set group of muscles, but strung together in one-minute intervals, these nine exercises become a complete, whole-body workout. 
We’ve broken down the nine exercises into three sets of three. Before you begin each set, set a timer (or workout near a watch with a second hand.) If you are just starting to work out, do each exercise as hard as you can for one minute, followed by the next, until you complete the first set. Then, take a one minute break before moving on to set two, in which the exercises should also be performed for one minute each. 
Ultimately, you’ll complete the whole workout, having completed nine minutes of training with three minutes of break in between. 
Do this workout two to three times a week for maximum benefits. 

HOW HEAVY SHOULD MY WEIGHTS BE?

Weighted workouts can be done with many types of weights, including medicine balls, sandbags and dumbbells. For the purposes of this workout, try to find dumbbells that have either a square or hexagonal end that is rubberized. This shape allows for maximum stability while performing the exercises we’ll be doing. 
If you’re just starting out, a five-pound weight should do it. As you get stronger, increase the weight you use.
How do I know if my weights are heavy enough? Check your form. This workout involves many repetitions of the same exercise and you will know you are using the correct weight if your form stays consistent between the first part of a repetition set and the end. For example, a row from plank should look the same on repetition number 10 as it does in repetition number two, even if the effort is much greater. If your form is wobbly by the end, drop down the weight amount until you’re able to find consistency. Don’t forget that working with weights is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Your body also provides resistance. Try our 9-Minute Strength Workout for a weight-free option. 

STEP 1

For beginners: Do each of the exercises in this set for one minute each, not stopping between exercises.


ROWS FROM PLANK

Planks work your core and glutes, but by adding a simple row to a plank, you add toning for your arms and back. 
rows from plank
Be careful: Plank pose can be hard on your wrists. 
Modify it: Place your knees on the floor as you do plank to reduce the weight resting on your wrists.

DUMBBELL STEP-UP

Find a sturdy bench or step for this exercise, which will help tone your legs and lower back. It’s especially good for people with lower back problems. 
dumbbell step up
Modify It: If you find this exercise too challenging, try it without the weights first. 
Challenge Yourself: Challenge yourself by choosing a taller bench or step to do the exercise with. 

UPRIGHT DUMBBELL ROW

This exercise works the muscles in your upper back and shoulders. Try it with dumbbells, kettlebells or even with two cans from your pantry.
dumbbell upright row

Be careful: Don’t try to lift weights that are too heavy. Heavy weights increase your risk for shoulder and back injuries.
Modify it: If you are doing this exercise at the gym, try using a lightweight barbell. 

STEP 2

Take a one minute break after the first set of exercises. Now you’re ready for set No. 2. Like in set No. 1, perform each exercise for one minute and then move onto the next for a total of three minutes of exercise.

DUMBBELL OFFSET REVERSE LUNGE

This is a great exercise to work your legs and core. It also builds shoulder strength and improves balance.
dumbbell offset reverse lunge
Be careful: When doing the lunge, make sure your knee doesn’t bend and move past your toe.

PUSHUP-POSITION HAMMER CURL

Looking for toned arms? Look no further. This exercise works your arms and core at the same time. 
push up hammer
Be careful: As you progress, increase the amount of weight you hold in each hand, but don’t speed up your pace. 
Modify it: If this is too challenging to do in a full push up position, try dropping your knees to the floor. That will reduce the weight resting on your upper body.  

DUMBBELL SQUAT TO ALTERNATING SHOULDER PRESS AND TWIST

By twisting as you complete this exercise, your shoulder muscles can be targeted from various angles. This exercise also tones your triceps.

 SHOULDER PRESS AND TWIST


Be careful:
 Keep your core tight and back upright throughout this exercise.

SET 3
Good news! You’re almost done. Take a one-minute break after the second set. Then start the third set, again performing each exercise for one minute each. 

LOW SIDE-TO-SIDE LUNGE

Build strength and flexibility in your hips and legs with this exercise. It can also improve balance.
side to side lunge
Be careful: Be sure to push your hips back as you lower down and engage your core to keep your upper body vertical.
Modify it: Find this exercise too challenging with a weight? Leave it on the ground for this exercise. 

DUMBBELL RUSSIAN TWIST

Much of your strength comes from your core. This exercise will strengthen all sides of it. 
dumbbel russian twist

Modify it: Feel free to do this exercise without holding a weight if it’s too challenging. 

Challenge yourself: Once your core is strong enough, try to complete this exercise by holding your legs higher off the floor. 

THE PERSON MAKER

You may know this exercise as the “man maker,” but both women and men can benefit from this all-in-one exercise. By combining a push up with a barbell press, you will work every major muscle group in your body and get your heart pumping.
Be careful: Move slowly at first through this exercise. It takes a bit of coordination. Speed up as you get comfortable with it. 
If you want to turn this strength training workout into a full-body workout, begin with three minutes each of the following exercises for an additional nine minutes of cardiovascular exercise. They will add a dose of heart-pumping cardio into your routine, and get your body ready for the weight-bearing exercises.
person maker
You are most likely already familiar with these foundational exercises, and for good reason: They are great for a boost of heart-pounding, lung-expanding cardiovascular exercise. Best of all, you can do them all in a pretty small space.
After you cycle through these three exercises, take a one-minute rest before moving on to the strength training workout.
Be careful: If you have knee or ankle pain, focus on your form, not your speed. Always try to land on the front of your foot, with your knees bent, to be sure that your muscles, and not your joints, are bearing the brunt of these exercises.
Modify it: Well-cushioned sneakers can also help alleviate the strain of jumping jacks on your joints.
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