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How to Perform Paleo Strength Exercises

Your goal when adopting a Paleo lifestyle is to exercise for about 10 to 30 minutes two times per week. These strength exercises involve major muscles groups, which help burn fat and release growth hormones. Be as explosive as you can while keeping form. Remember to progress appropriately.

Building strength takes time, and trying to progress too quickly isn't worth the risk of injuring yourself, which can really set you back.

1

Wall balls strengthen many muscles and are considered a full-body workout.

To do wall balls, you need a medicine ball. Typically, men use about a 20-pound ball and women about 14 pounds.

Choose a spot on the wall to focus on, approximately 8 to 10 feet from the floor.

Start in a standing position, about 15 to 24 inches away from the wall, feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly if that's more comfortable for you in the bottom position, and your weight on your heels. Hold the ball with your hands and elbows underneath the ball at chin level.

Keeping the ball at chin level, descend into the bottom position of a squat (or close to it).

Quickly reverse the motion, explosively extending your hips and knees. You may come up onto your toes as you transfer the momentum of your body into your arms and launch the medicine ball at the target.

This movement should end with your body fully extended, fingers pointed toward the target.

As the ball bounces off the wall, catch it in a position near your chin, and let the weight of the ball push you back into a front squat to seamlessly begin your next rep.

2

The dumbbell Romanian deadlift is an effective workout because, with this one movement, you're strengthening both your upper and lower body.

With the dumbbells on the floor, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

quat down to grasp the dumbbells.

Keeping your spine neutral, come to a full standing position with the dumbbells resting against the fronts of your thighs, elbows straight. Keep your shoulder blades pulled down and pinched together.

Shift your hips backward and bend forward, almost as if you're bowing.

Keeping the dumbbells close to your body, lower them only as far as you can while maintaining the natural arch of your back — shoot for just below the knees (the precise bottom point varies by individual).

Return to standing and repeat.

3

The dumbbell squat works your entire lower body.

Stand, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing your legs. Position your feet about shoulder-width apart.

Keeping the weights hanging down at your sides, slowly lower your torso by pushing your hips backward and bending your knees.

Maintaining the natural arch of your back, descend as low as you're able to with perfect form.

Return to the starting position by driving through your heels.

4

The dumbbell lunge strengthens the lower body.

To get in the starting position, stand, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing your legs. Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart.

Take a large step forward with one leg, simultaneously bending both legs until they're at 90 degrees. (The top of your front thigh will be parallel to the ground.)

Keep your chest up and head in a neutral position, looking ahead.

Pushing through the heel of your front foot, step back into your starting position.

Either repeat the movement on the same side or alternate sides.

5

Traditional push-ups stick around the exercise circuit because they're a fantastic way to strengthen the upper body and build core strength.

To get in starting position, place your feet and hands on the floor, with hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart and feet hip-width apart.

Lower yourself to the floor, stopping when your chest is a few inches from the ground.

Press away from the floor, straightening your arms.

The rest of your body should remain stiff as a board, maintaining the straight line from head to toe.

Pause at the top and repeat.

6

If you're new to push-ups, try modified push-ups.

To get in starting position, place your hands and knees on the floor, with hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart and knees hip-width apart; cross your legs at the ankles.

Make sure your arms are straight and your body forms a perfectly straight line from head to knees.

Lower yourself to the floor, stopping when your chest is a few inches from the ground.

Press away from the floor, straightening your arms.

The rest of your body should remain stiff as a board, maintaining the straight line from head to knees.

Pause at the top and repeat.

7

The dumbbell bench press builds your upper body, working your chest, shoulders, and triceps.

Sit on the bench with the dumbbells resting on your lower thighs. Use your thighs to help bump the weights up to your shoulders one at a time and lie back.

Rotate your wrists forward so that the palms of your hands are facing away from you.

Lower the weights to chest level with a bent arm under each dumbbell, creating a 90-degree angle.

Press the dumbbells upward until your arms are extended and parallel.

Your dumbbells should touch ends at the top position.

Lower the weights in a smooth controlled fashion to the starting position. Repeat.

8

Try the dumbbell press on the floor.

Sit on the floor with the dumbbells resting on your lower thighs. Bringing the weights with you in front of your chest, lie back, knees bent.

Maneuver the weights so that your forearms are vertical and your elbows and upper arms are flush with the ground.

Rotate your wrists forward so that your palms are facing away from you.

Press the dumbbells upward until your arms are extended and parallel.

Your dumbbells should touch ends at the top position.

Slowly lower the dumbbells down until your upper arms are resting on the floor again. Repeat.

9

Dumbbell rows develop and strengthen many of your back muscles (both upper and lower) and also work your shoulders, arms, and core.

Stand near a stable bench, table, or chair. Hold the dumbbell in the hand farthest from the bench.

Take a large step forward with your foot closest to the bench and place the same-side hand on top of the bench to brace yourself.

Lean forward so that your back is almost parallel to the floor.

The dumbbell should be hanging down toward the floor, with your knees slightly bent and your eyes focusing on a spot on the ground somewhere in front of you.

Pull your shoulder back and row the dumbbell up to your ribs, pulling your elbow to the ceiling as far as you can without forcing it.

Your forearm should be nearly vertical from start to finish.

Lower in a smooth and controlled manner and repeat.

To change sides, switch the direction you're facing and follow the same procedure.

10

The dumbbell swing is one of the best exercises you can do for full-body strength and power.

Place the dumbbell between your legs, with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward.

Squat down and grab the handle of the dumbbell with both hands interlocking your fingers around the handle.

Hike the dumbbell back between your legs to build momentum. Then, keeping your arms straight, immediately stand upright and snap your hips forward, swinging the dumbbell upward until it's at about shoulder height.

The power should come from your hips and glutes — don't raise it with your arms.

As the dumbbell arcs downward again, fold forward at the hips to about 45 degrees, bending your knees slightly, and guide the dumbbell between your legs.

This completes one repetition.

Continue from that point, forcefully straightening your hips and legs so that the dumbbell again reaches shoulder height.

You may need to start out with swings that only reach belly button height until you get comfortable with the movement.

11

Pull-ups are a great exercise to develop upper body strength.

Grab the pull-up bar with your hands placed about shoulder-width apart and your palms facing away from you, arms fully extended.

Pull your body up until your chin is over the bar.

Concentrate on keeping your shoulder blades down and pinched together as you reach the top (which will keep you from chicken-necking over the bar).

Slowly lower yourself down to the hanging position and repeat.

12

If you need assistance doing pull-ups until you build strength, try exercise bands with different levels of assistance.

Choke the band around the pull-up bar, looping one end through the other and pulling it tight over the bar. Place one foot in the exercise band, and cross the other foot in front to keep the band in place.

Grab the pull-up bar with your hands placed about shoulder-width apart, your palms facing away from you.

Pull yourself upward until your chin is over the bar, and keep tension on the band by keeping your leg straight and knee locked out.

Slowly lower yourself down to the hanging position and repeat.

13

The push press targets all your shoulder muscles and even works your legs a bit.

Start with your feet hip-width apart, and rest the dumbbells on the fronts of your shoulders.

Make sure you have a firm grasp on the handles.

Take a small breath and dip slightly by bending your knees, keeping your torso upright and your head up.

Immediately reverse the movement, using your legs to drive the dumbbells off of your shoulders. Use this momentum to press the dumbbells overhead.

This should be done explosively but under control.

Pause for a moment in the top position, and then lower the dumbbells back to your shoulders. Repeat.

   
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