Total body workout for burning pent up exercise

Strength training: 3 full-body exercises to help relieve stress

Posted by for Strength

Feeling stressed? Fitness trainer Alice Miller takes us through our paces with a full-body strength-training blitz to tire out the most anxious mind and sofa-stiff body.

Even though restrictions have eased, it doesn’t mean our anxieties about the pandemic have completely gone away. From re-entry anxiety, to experiencing FOMO about all the plans are friends have made, it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed or stressed.

Of course, exercise isn’t the be-all and end-all solution to mental health, but strength training does release powerful endorphins alongside the physical benefits than can help clear your mind and boost your mood. Plus, a short, fun workout can be a great way to unwind after the stress of a busy work day. 

Here’s a full-body burner to do on those days when you just can’t seem to settle. Get ready to climb the ascending ladder – fitness lingo for when you increase the amount of reps with every set. 

DUMBBELL CLEAN AND PRESS

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Strength training: Strong Women ambassador Alice Miller demonstrating dumbbell clean and press

1. With feet shoulder-width apart, slide hips backwards while keeping the chest up so your knees are slightly bent.
2. Keep the core tight and with a bend at the knees, drive up through the heels to standing position. 
3. Simultaneously, bring the dumbbells above the shoulders with bent arms (elbows facing forward). 
4. In an explosive movement, shrug your shoulders while doing a mini squat to standing position with straight arms extended overhead. 
5. Return the dumbbells to your sides. 

Do 2 reps

DUMBBELL OVERHEAD STRAIGHT LEG SIT UPS

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Strength training: Strong Women ambassador Alice Miller demonstrating dumbbell overhead straight leg sit-ups

1. Lie flat on your back with legs straight out in front of you. 

2. Hold the dumbbell with both hands, arms straight out in front of you, reaching toward the ceiling. 

3. Peel up from the ground (one vertebrae at a time) into a sit-up – the dumbbell continues to reach toward the ceiling. 

4. Keeping arms outstretched, lie back down. 

5. Inhale on the way up and exhale on the way down. 

Do 2 reps

DUMBBELL SQUATS

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Strength training: Strong Women ambassador Alice Miller demonstrating dumbbell squat

1. Holding the dumbbells in each hand, stand with feet shoulder-width apart. 

2. Weight should be in your heels (not your toes) with toes slightly pointing out and dumbbells resting over your shoulders. 

3. Lower the hips, sitting down low into a deep squat. 

4. Exhale as you drive through the heels to return to standing position.

Do 2 reps. Repeat entire set, adding 2 more reps each set (6, 8, 10, etc) for 10 minutes.

Want more at-home workouts? Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favourite fitness experts.

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Miranda Larbi

Miranda Larbi is the editor of Strong Women and Strong Women Training Club. A qualified personal trainer and vegan runner, she can usually be found training for the next marathon, seeking out vegan treats or cycling across London on a pond-green Tokyo bike.

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