Top 10 Strength Training Exercises

by Travelling Peach

In todays modern life, strength training isn’t just important for creating as strong, sculpted and healthy body. It’s vital for being able to keep up with life’s fast pace, keeping your energy levels high and releasing all of these amazing endorphins to keep you feeling good about yourself. It’s also vital for keeping you safe.


This workout includes some of the best strength training exercises to create a stronger, leaner and more shapely physique using free weights and barbells. The great thing about it is that, not only does it create visible results a lot quicker than other strength training combinations can, but it also has a lot of potential for adaptation and growth as your body changes and your fitness improves, meaning that, rather than change the whole workout, all you’ll need to do is adapt the sets, reps and weights and voila! you’ll have the perfect workout to continue to achieve results.



1. Single Arm Row

Targets: Back, biceps

How to:

  • Place your right hand and right knee on a bench. 
  • Step your left foot out wide and hold a dumbbell in your left hand, hanging down.
  • With your back in a neutral position and left knee soft, drive your left elbow up, lifting the dumbbell to your torso. Lower back to the start.
  • Perform 2 sets of 8-10 reps. Rest for 90secs. Then repeat on the other side.

2. Dumbbell Chest Press

Targets: Chest, triceps 

How to:

  • Lay on your back on a bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand, and your arms straight up above your chest. (Note: If you don’t have a bench at home, try using the floor.) 
  • Bend the elbows slowly, bringing the dumbbells in a straight line down to either side of your chest.
  • Without pausing, drive your arms back up. Repeat.
  • Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

3. Split Squat 

Targets: Quads, glutes, adductors

How to:

  • Stand up straight with your feet and hips facing forwards. Place one foot up on a step and your other leg a stride behind you.
  • Holding dumbbells, slowly lunge forwards, keeping the knee in line with the toe. Without stopping at the bottom, push back up to the start position. 
  • Swap legs and repeat.
  • Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.

4. Seated Shoulder Press

Targets: Shoulders 

How to:

  • Sit upright on a bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand straight above your head. 
  • Slowly bend your elbows and lower the dumbbells until they are in line with your shoulders.
  • Without stopping, drive straight back up to the start position.
  • Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

5. Hip Thrust

Targets: Glutes 

How to:

  • Sit on the floor, with your back against a bench. Roll the barbell onto the front of your hips. With knees bent, shoulders on the bench, drive hips off the floor until your back is parallel.
  • Slowly lower your hips downwards then drive back up again. Repeat.
  • Perform 3 sets of 15-20 reps

(Note: Use a 20kg barbell with 5kg weights on each side.)

6. Dumbbell Deadlift

Targets: Back, hamstrings, glutes

How to:

  • Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Place 2 dumbbells on the floor in front of you. 
  • Grip the dumbbells. (Note: Your hands should be slightly wider apart than your feet.) Keep your bottom low, chest up and back flat.
  • Driving with your legs, stand up straight, shoulders back, arms straight down.
  • Keep the dumbbells close to your body and return to the floor. (Remember to keep your back flat and your core engaged.) 
  • Perform 3 sets of 12 reps

Too easy? Replace the dumbbells with an Olympic bar (no weights). 

7. Weighted Step Ups

Targets: Legs, glutes

How to:

  • Place your weaker leg on a step. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, step the other leg up onto the step.
  • Without pausing at the top, lower back to the start position, leaving your start foot on the step and then stepping straight back up on the same leg. 
  • Perform 12 reps on one leg. Then 12 on the other.
  • Perform 3 sets of 12 reps on each leg in total.

8. Seated Bicep Curls With Twist

Targets: Biceps

How to:

  • Sit upright on a bench (or chair), holding dumbbells with your arms hanging down by your sides, palms facing forwards. 
  • Bend your arms at the elbow, keeping your shoulders still until the dumbbells almost reach them.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell back down to the start position (3-4secs). Avoid locking out the elbow at the bottom.
  • Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

9. Lying Tricep Extension

Targets: Triceps

How to:

  • Lay flat on your back on a bench. Holding a dumbbell in each hands, position your arms 90° to your body, above your chest. 
  • Keeping your shoulders still, slowly bend from the elbows, lowering the dumbbells down until they are next to your ears.
  • Without pausing at the bottom, straighten your arms back to the start position. Repeat.
  • Perform 3 sets of 10 reps

10. Seated Ball Crunch

Targets: Abs

How to:

  • Sitting on a Swiss ball, hold a dumbbell against your chest. Slowly lean back until your back is parallel to the floor.
  • Curl all the way up to a seated position, exhaling and squeezing your abs as you reach the top.
  • Perform 3 sets of 12 crunches.

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