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If you’re new to resistance training, focus on movements that mimic what you do in your daily life.

“This would include pushing and pulling in both a horizontal and vertical plane,” Siebert says.

It’s also important to seek balance and symmetry, as that can encourage complete muscle development while helping you avoid injury and imbalances. For example, pairing a chest press with a horizontal row develops both the front and back of the body to make you more stable and balanced in terms of muscle development.

If you’re concerned this will make you look too “bulky,” don’t worry.

“‘Getting bulky’ requires lifting weights that feel heavy, where maybe you can only do two more repetitions before failure when you’re finishing a set,” Siebert says.

Rather, to get toned muscles, aim for three to four sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each lift. When trying to build strength, aim for three to five sets of four to six repetitions with a longer rest.

Next:1. Lat pulldown machine

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