Be Well Workout of the Week: Your Ticket to Long, Lean Muscles

If long, lean, toned muscles are what you’re after, using low weights and doing high reps is a great way to achieve that goal. Rather than stacking up heavy weights for just a few short reps, which tends to lead to a body type equipped for speed and power, training with light weights helps to promote endurance and strength. And while both modes of training are great, it’s fun to switch it up every once in a while to keep your body guessing and challenge it in different ways. So for this week’s workout, grab some light weights, hold onto them the whole time, and get ready to do lots (and lots) of reps!

Be Well Workout of the Week: Your Ticket to Long, Lean Muscles

Instructions: Complete the circuit 4 times, decreasing your reps by 10 each round. 40-30-20-10
Alternating front raises
Alternating biceps curls
Alternating bent-over tricep extensions
Squat pulses
Alternating overhead press
Alternating toe touches
Bridge pulses on physioball
Alternating punches
Plié squat pulses on tip-toes (in plié, rise up onto the ball of your foot lifting your heel off the ground. Squat down and pulse.)

Explanation of exercises: 
Click links for how-to videos. 

Alternating front raise: Stand with feet hip width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Hands are resting on front of the quads with palms facing towards you. One at a time, raise the left arm to shoulder height and lower, then raise and lower the right arm.

Bicep curls: Hold dumbbells at your side with palms facing forward. Pretend your elbows are glued to your midsection and curl the weight toward your shoulders, keeping your upper arm still. Slowly return your weight to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Alternating bent over tricep extension: Hold a dumbbell in each and stand with feet hip-width apart, hinging forward at the waist. Bend arms so your biceps are in line with your torso and elbows are pulling in toward your sides. Hinging at the elbow only, extend your arm behind you until your arm is straight. Release to starting position and repeat.

Squat pulses: Get into a squat and hold, pulsing down toward the floor and never standing all the way back up.

Alternating overhead press: Holding free weights in each hand, stand with the weights at your shoulders (elbows forming 90 degrees beside your head), hips tucked under, and abs very strong. Pressing your left hand to the ceiling, straightening your arm, and return to the starting position. Repeat the motion on the right.

Alternating toe touch: Lie on your back with legs in the air, so your body forms an L shape. Reach your your right hand toward your left foot, return to the start position then reach your left hand toward your right foot. Repeat.

Bridge pulses on physioball: Start on your back with your knees bent and your heels placed on a physioball, holding weights toward the ceiling overhead. Engage your core and lift your hips up off the ground and toward the ceiling, pulse hips up to ceiling without touching back down to the ground.

Swimmers: Lay on your stomach with your arms reaching out in front of you. Lift both your arms and legs a few inches off the ground. Keeping your arms and legs straight, flutter your feet and arms, like you would if you were swimming.

Alternating punches: Holding a weight in each hand, punch forward, with your right hand first, then with your left hand. Repeat.

Plié squat pulses on tip-toes: Standing with feet a little further than hip-width apart, turn your feet out, stand up onto your tip-toes, squat down, hold and pulse down toward the ground, never standing all the way back up.

» Did you complete this week’s BeWOW? Tell us how you did in the comments! Or, feel free to tweet at us about it using the hashtag #BeWOW. Check out all the BeWOW workouts here.


Audrey McKenna Hasse is the owner of A.M.Fit, a personal training and healthy consultation business on the Main Line. You’ll find her workouts every week right here on Be Well Philly.

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