The Workout Move You CAN'T Skip

Photographed by Ben Ritter; Styled by Renata Gar, Hair and Makeup by Andi Yancey; Modeled by Ally Love.
By now, you’ve heard all about the benefits of strength training. It makes you fitter and gives you energy. It burns calories (even after you’re done). It helps keep your bones strong. And, it can boost your mood. But, if you’re just getting started, the weight room — with its racks of dumbbells and rows of clunky-looking machines — can be a little intimidating. “A lot of my female clients didn’t know their way around the gym, but once they learned a handful of key moves, their confidence grew,” says Chaz Dawson, a trainer at Equinox Wall Street in NYC.

To make strength training feel less overwhelming, it helps to understand the mechanisms behind it. A good weight-training move, Dawson says, will incorporate the push-pull effect. “Using this technique when you’re working out with weights helps balance your body by working on complimentary muscles equally,” he explains. After all, he adds, “exercise should replicate the natural movements humans make in everyday life, so your body can function at its best.” To that end, Dawson developed this push-pull strength-training routine you can do two to three times per week; it incorporates gym equipment such as cables, medicine balls, and weight benches. Click through for the seven total-body moves — and then stride into the weight room with authority.

Special thanks to Studio26.  

More from Fitness

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.