- Do a light cardio warmup before strength training to help prevent injury and post-workout soreness.
- Proper form is more important than number of reps; use a mirror to check your form.
- If you want to see results faster, do at least three strength-training sessions per week.
- Save time and burn more calories by doing supersets, working opposing muscle groups back-to-back, and moving quickly from one exercise to the next without resting.
- Don't just lift dumbbells. Explore all types of equipment including resistance bands, kettlebells, stability balls, medicine balls, and barbells, as well as moves that require no equipment.
- Bodyweight exercises are shown to burn more calories than moves that use dumbbells — think full-body exercises like push-ups vs. bench presses.
- Work harder by creating instability. Stand on one leg, or balance on a BOSU ball or stability ball while doing strength-training moves.
- Multitask! Don't just stand there doing bicep curls when you could be doing squats to tone your lower body at the same time.
- Play with speed to keep your muscles guessing. Lift slowly and lower quickly, or pause in the middle of the rep.
- Keep two to three different-sized dumbbells on hand so you can reach for heavier weights when working larger muscle groups.
- Add more weight as you progress. Your muscles should feel fatigued within two reps of the number called for in your program. If they are not, increase the dumbbell weight by two or three pounds.
- Keep things balanced and work your back as much as you work your abs to keep your entire core strong.
- Treadmills aren't just for running. Slow down the speed and try these calorie-burning strength-training moves.
- Take rest days! If you did arms Monday, do legs Tuesday. Rest days allow your muscles time to heal and get stronger.