Whether you have access to a gym or simply a pair of dumbbells in your living room, get fit with 10 exercises to target every major muscle in your body. Before beginning, warm up with simple exercises such as squats, lunges and biceps curls without weights. To gain muscle size, choose weights that allow you to complete a maximum of 10 repetitions. To increase muscle endurance, choose weights that allow you to complete 15 or more repetitions.
Like the name suggests, triceps dips work the backs of your upper arms using your body weight for resistance. Perform them using a chair or bench. To increase the resistance, move your feet farther away from your hips or raise one leg. Make sure you keep your elbows pointing straight behind you throughout the movement, as if trying to hold a ball between them.
There's a reason biceps curls are the most popular exercise for this showpiece upper-arm muscle: They work. However, to really target all of the muscle fibers of your biceps, rotate your forearms outward, at a 45-degree angle.
Add pec flyes to the classic chest exercise, pushups, to target your pecs from another angle. Perform the move on a bench to allow for the greatest range of motion. Concentrate on squeezing your chest as you raise and lower the dumbbells slowly.
Select a heavy weight to target this large muscle that runs along the sides of your upper back, giving bodybuilders their classic V shape. Bend forward and place your hand on a bench, holding a dumbbell in the opposite hand. Contract your back as you bring your elbows straight behind you and the weight toward your hips.
Work your abs with one of the most effective abdominal exercises, according to the American Council on Exercise. Instead of simply trying to get your elbow to meet your opposite knee, keep your elbows back and raise your chest while keeping your abs contracted.
For a balanced core, work your spinal erectors with supermans. Perform the move while lying on your stomach: Contract your core, reach your arms in front of you and then lift both legs behind you.
Quadruped Leg Lifts
For shapely glutes, skip the endless squats and go for quadruped leg lifts, twice as effective as squats, according to the American Council on Exercise. Keep your hips square toward the floor while you lift one leg behind you with a bent knee, the sole of your foot facing the ceiling. Perform 30 to 40 repetitions with each leg.
This isometric exercise ignites a fire in your quadriceps, the muscles that run along the front portion of your thighs. Place your feet on the floor in front of you with your back resting against a wall and sink your hips toward the floor for 30 seconds. If it isn't challenging enough, raise one leg.
Stability Ball Hamstring Curl
Incorporating a stability ball into the classic hamstring curl increases the challenge and your results. Lying on your back on the floor, place your heels on a ball, contract your abs and raise your hips. Curl your heels toward your butt as you roll the ball toward you.
Your calves require a hefty amount of resistance because they're already accustomed to lugging your body weight around. So pick up a heavy pair of dumbbells, a weighted vest or even one of your kids for this exercise. Stand with your toes on the edge of a step and raise and lower your heels until you reach muscle failure.