Lift Weights, Lower Your Cholesterol

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Research shows that aerobic exercise can modestly boost your HDL ("good") cholesterol numbers and that weight training can lower your risk of heart disease. Live a longer and healthier life by combining cardio workouts with this six-move strength-training circuit.

Push-Up-Oxygen

1. Push-up

Assume the plank position with hands shoulder-width apart and arms fully extended. Slowly lower yourself until your chest is one inch off the ground and your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Push through your palms as if trying to push the floor away from you, until you are back in the starting position.

Duration: 3 sets of 15 reps. Rest for 30 seconds.

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2. Reverse dumbbell lunge

Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart, torso tall, and your arms hanging straight down by your sides with a dumbbell in each hand. Take a slow, controlled step backward with your right foot and lower your right knee until your left thigh becomes parallel to the floor, making sure that your left knee is directly over your ankle. After reaching the bottom, push through your left heel and return to the starting position. Alternate legs.

Duration: 2 sets of 15 reps on each leg. Rest for 30 seconds.


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3. Dumbbell single-arm bent-over row

Begin by placing your right knee and right hand on a bench. Be sure to keep your back straight and parallel to the ground. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand, with the arm fully extended. Pull the weight up towards the rib cage until the forearm is parallel to the ground, pause for one second, then slowly lower the weight using control.

Duration: 2 sets of 15 reps on each arm. Rest for 30 seconds.

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4. Dumbbell curtsy lunge

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands holding dumbbells at your sides. Take a big step back diagonally with your left leg, crossing it behind your right. Bend your knees (lowering your left knee to approximately one inch off the ground), and lower your hips until your right thigh is about parallel to the floor. Keep your torso upright and your hips and shoulders as square as possible. Push through your right heel as you return to the starting position, ensuring you squeeze your right glute as you rise back to the starting position.

Duration: 3 sets of 15 reps on each leg. Rest for 30 seconds.

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5. Stability-ball crunch

Sit on a stability ball and place your legs shoulder-width apart on the floor. Walk your feet out as you roll yourself down, until the lower part of your back is on the ball. Be sure to keep your hips underneath you, tucking your tailbone toward your ribcage the entire time. With your elbows wide and your chin off your chest, draw in your navel and lift the upper part of your back off the stability ball (like a floor crunch). Slowly lower yourself back onto the ball. Be sure to control any movement with the stability ball. Focus on proper breathing: exhale through your mouth as you come up and inhale through your nose as you return to the starting position.

Duration: 3 sets of 15 reps. Rest for 30 seconds.

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6. Side plank

Lie on your left side and prop your body up on your left forearm. Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from ankles to shoulders, stacking your feet on top of each other.

Duration: 3 sets of a 30-second hold on each side.

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Are you finding that your favorite abs moves are no longer getting you results? Add a bit of weight to break through your plateau! Grab a dumbbell and sculpt your abs with these four effective moves.