The Advantages of Working Out
We all know that regular exercise is beneficial to our health. However, with so many options and information available, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with what works. But don’t worry. We have your back (and body)!
Check out these 10 exercises for ultimate fitness. Combine them into a workout routine for a simple but effective workout that will keep you in shape for the rest of your life.
After 30 days — or even just twice a week — you should notice improvements in your muscular strength, endurance, and balance.
Plus, you’ll notice a difference in how your clothes fit — a win-win situation!
A well-rounded exercise routine includes exercises that challenge your balance. Lunges accomplish this by promoting functional movement while also strengthening your legs and glutes.
- Begin by standing shoulder-width apart with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- Take a step forward with your right leg, bending your right knee until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Make sure your right knee does not extend beyond your right foot.
- Return to the starting position by pushing up with your right foot. Rep with your other leg. This is one repetition.
- Complete three sets of ten reps.
Because of the number of muscles recruited, pushups are one of the most basic yet effective bodyweight moves you can perform.
- Begin in the plank position. Your core should be tight, your shoulders should be pulled down and back, and your neck should be neutral.
- Bend your elbows and start lowering your body to the floor. When your chest brushes against it, extend your elbows and return to the beginning. During the movement, keep your elbows close to your body.
- Complete three sets of as many reps as you can.
If you can’t quite do a standard pushup with good form, try a modified stance on your knees — you’ll still get many of the benefits while building strength.
Squats improve lower-body and core strength, as well as lower-back and hip flexibility. Because they engage some of the largest muscles in the body, they also pack a powerful calorie-burning punch.
- Begin by standing straight, feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and arms at your sides.
- Brace your core and, while keeping your chest and chin up, push your hips back and bend your knees as if sitting in a chair.
- Drop down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, bringing your arms out in front of you in a comfortable position, making sure your knees do not bow inward or outward. Pause for 1 second before extending your legs and returning to the starting position.
- Complete 3 sets of 20 reps.
4. Standing overhead dumbbell presses
Compound exercises, which use multiple joints and muscles, are ideal for busy bees because they work multiple parts of your body at the same time. Standing overhead presses are not only one of the best exercises for your shoulders, but they also work your upper back and core.
Dumbbells weighing ten pounds
- Choose a light set of dumbbells — we recommend 10 pounds to begin — and begin by standing, either shoulder-width apart or staggered. Raise the weights above your head until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
- Push up, bracing your core, until your arms are fully extended above your head. Maintain a stable posture with your head and neck.
- After a brief pause, bend your elbows and lower the weight back down until your triceps muscle is parallel to the floor again.
- Complete 3 sets of 12 reps.
Not only will dumbbell rows make your back look amazing in that dress, but they are also a compound exercise that strengthens multiple muscles in your upper body. Select a moderate-weight dumbbell and make sure you’re squeezing at the top of the movement.
- Begin by holding a dumbbell in each hand. For beginners, we recommend no more than 10 pounds.
- Bend forward at the waist, making a 45-degree angle with your back to the ground. Make sure not to arch your back. Allow your arms to fall straight down. Check that your neck is parallel to your back and that your core is engaged.
- Bend your right arm’s elbow and pull the weight straight up toward your chest, engaging your lat and stopping just below your chest.
- Repeat with the left arm, returning to the starting position. This is one rep; repeat 10 times more for three sets.
6. Single-leg deadlifts
This is another exercise that challenges your balance. Single-leg deadlifts require stability and leg strength. Grab a light to moderate dumbbell to complete this move.
Equipment: Dumbbells are used.
- Begin by standing with your right hand holding a dumbbell and your knees slightly bent.
- Begin by kicking your left leg straight back behind you, lowering the dumbbell to the ground while hinging at the hips.
- When your left leg has reached a comfortable height, slowly return to the starting position while squeezing your right glute. Throughout the movement, keep your pelvis square to the ground.
- Rep 10 to 12 times before shifting the weight to your left hand and repeating the steps on the opposite leg. 3 sets of 10-12 reps per side are recommended.
Burpees are a super-effective, whole-body move that provides a lot of bang for your buck in terms of cardiovascular endurance and muscle strength.
- Begin by standing upright, feet shoulder-width apart, and arms at your sides.
- Begin squatting with your hands out in front of you. When your hands reach the ground, straighten your legs into a pushup position.
- By hinging at the waist, jump your feet up to your palms. Bring your feet as close to your hands as possible, landing outside of your hands if necessary.
- Jump while standing up straight and raising your arms above your head.
- As a beginner, complete three sets of ten reps.
A healthy body is built on a strong core, so don’t overlook core-specific moves like the side plank.
To ensure you’re performing this move correctly, concentrate on the mind-muscle connection and controlled movements.
- Lie on your right side, stacking your left leg and foot on top of your right leg and foot. Place your right forearm on the ground and your elbow directly under your shoulder to support your upper body.
- Contract your core muscles to stiffen your spine and lift your hips and knees off the ground in a straight line.
- Return to the beginning in a controlled manner. Rep three sets of 10-15 reps on one side before switching.
Planks are an excellent way to work your abdominal muscles as well as your entire body. Planking helps to stabilize your core without straining your back like sit-ups or crunches do.
- Begin in a pushup position, with your hands and toes on the ground, your back straight, and your core tight.
- Maintain a slightly tucked chin and a focused gaze in front of your hands.
- Take deep, controlled breaths while keeping tension throughout your entire body, including your abs, shoulders, triceps, glutes, and quads.
- Begin with 2-3 sets of 30-second holds.
The glute bridge works your entire posterior chain, which not only benefits you but also makes your booty look perkier.
- Begin by lying on the floor, knees bent, feet flat on the ground, and arms straight at your sides, palms down.
- Squeeze your core, glutes, and hamstrings while pushing through your heels to lift your hips off the ground. Your upper back and shoulders should remain in contact with the ground, and your core should form a straight line down to your knees.
- Return to the starting position after a 1-2 second pause at the top.
- Complete three sets of 10-12 reps.
How to Make Workouts Better
These fundamental exercises will benefit your body, but there is always room for improvement.
If you find yourself rushing through and barely breaking a sweat, concentrate on progressive overload by making each move more difficult by:
- 5 additional reps
- Putting on more weight
- Incorporating a jump into exercises such as squats and lunges
- Another way to shake things up? Make the routine a time-under-tension workout by performing each move for a set amount of time rather than a set number of reps.