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In Home Strength Training for Beginners

Strength training using stuff from your pantry.

You don't need to spend money on unnecessary equipment.

You've got it already.

You can even eat some of it when you're done!

All you need:

Phone book

Large bag of rice

2 two-liter bottles of soda

2 six-packs of soda

2 milk jugs (filled with liquid or sand)

2 large bags of whole wheat flour

2 double ply plastic bags full of soups, stewed tomatoes and beans

Jar of pickles

Laundry basket

1 loaf of bread

For each exercise, do 15 repetitions. When you're done, do it again.

Phone book butt sculptor (butt, back of thighs) dig your heels into the ground as you lift your tush, waist and back off the ground. Squeeze your glutes and keep the tension as you slowly lower yourself.

Rice squats (butt, legs) Squat slowly until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Keeping your back straight and your knees over your ankles, come up slowly to the starting position. The slower you go, the better.

Coca-Cola Calf raises (calves) Lift your weight up onto the balls of your feet, then lower your heels as far as your range of motion will allow. Use a thick book under the balls of your feet for a wider range of motion.

Milk jug presses (chest) Palms facing down, press the jugs up in a semi-circle. Reach as far up as you can. Focus on tightening your ab muscles and contracting your chest muscles. Lower weight back down to chest level slowly.

Flour flyes (chest) Palms facing each other. Bring flours together in a wide arc above your chest keeping the angle at your elbows open.

Grocery bag row (middle and upper back) With your forehead on the kitchen table for support. Pull the bags up, keeping your back perfectly straight and belly button sucked in. Keep your elbows close to your sides as you pull them up and past your back.

Lateral Soup raises (shoulders) Keep your knees slightly bent to protect your back, as you lock your elbows and lift your arms out to you side until they're parallel to the floor. Lower them gradually.

Six Pack Biceps beaters or 72-oz curls (front of arms) Place a six pack in a plastic grocery bag. Curl the bag up, squeezing it at the top, and then control it back to original position arm fully lengthened beside you. Keep your body still. No rocking.

Pickle Jar Press (back of arms) As you work your triceps by extending and flexing your forearm, be sure and keep your upper arm stationary. Squeeze and hold the pickles for a couple of counts with your elbow hyperextended. Make sure the lid's on tight!

Laundry basket dead lift (lower back and hamstrings) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent, grasp the empty laundry basket with straight arms. Keeping your back flat, lift your basket by straightening your back at your hips. Tighten the back of your thighs on your way up.

Vogel bread curls (stomach muscles) Lie on your back with your knees bent. Hold a loaf of bread behind your head. Slowly curl up until your shoulders and upper back clear the floor. Slowly lower back down and let go of the loaf of bread. Curl up again, this time minus the loaf. Continue alternating with and then without the loaf of bread.

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