We all have our go-to fitness routines—but what exercises should you incorporate more often into your workout? Read on to find out!
Suggestions by David Chesworth, fitness specialist of Hilton Head Health
Body Squats: Body squats are a great way to improve lower-body strength and stamina. No matter how old you are, no matter what your goals are, the ability to easily get up and out of a chair is always important for good quality of life.
Lunges: “Use your legs, not your back.” Maybe you’ve heard someone say this to you when you bent over to pick up something heavy. Including lunges in your workout program is a great way to strengthen the muscles that involve lifting up with your legs, NOT your back.
Planks: While most of the work felt may be in the core, a plank is a great full-body exercise that requires most of the major muscle groups in your body to work together to maintain a true position of strength. Consider adding planks into your workout routine to test the limits of your muscular strength and endurance for your body as one stable unit.
Supermans: Supermans are a great way to improve not only your lower back strength, but also your posture. Many of us spend most of our days in a seated or hunched-over position (flexed position). While lying on your belly, a superman is where you lift your arms, shoulders, hips, and legs up towards the sky. This is a great way to open up our body more and fight that “flexed” position.
Crunches: Sometimes the best exercise is a simple exercise. The core is an essential part of the body that influences the quality of every physical activity in our daily lives. The classic crunch is a great way to isolate the abdominal muscles. Include crunches in your workout routine and you may start to notice that your overall abilities in your daily lives will improve.
Push Ups: Remember how amazing the plank is? The push up adds even more greatness to an already-great exercise. You could think of a push up as a plank with a chest, shoulder, and arm emphasis. Having a strong upper body is cool, but having a strong upper body that synergizes with the rest of your body is functional and awesome!
Pull Ups: Pull ups are not only a great back and arm exercise, they are also great for posture and quality of life. Strengthening your back is a great way to reverse that “flexed” body of yours. Can’t do a pull up? Probably the biggest reason someone wouldn’t do a pull up is because they believe they can’t, so why try? If you can’t do a pull up, start easier. Start with exercises like seated row machine, lat pull-down machine, and assisted pull-up machine.
Jumping Jacks: Looking to get your cardio going? Don’t have a lot of space? Don’t have a lot of time? Jumping Jacks are an easy way to get your heart rate up without any equipment and without going anywhere. Include 20-30 Jumping Jacks between each exercise in your workout, and you will feel your heart pumping extra hard.
Overhead Shoulder Press: The ability to lift things up and over our heads is one of the many incredible anatomical perks of being a human. The unfortunate part of physiology is that you must either “use it or lose it.” The good news is, it’s never too late to get it back after you lose it! Include overhead movements in your exercise program so that you can continue taking advantage of this incredible anatomical perk!
Single-Leg Balance: One of the many fears in the later years of human life is falling over. Like anything else, balance is something that can be improved. Even if it’s something as simple as brushing your teeth while standing on one leg, challenging your body’s balance will allow you to exist with little to no falling. Don’t have a fear of falling? How about the joy of living?! This is still a great simple exercise for you to improve your physical capabilities.