5 Essential Exercises You Should Be Doing
Do more of these exercises now
Here are five essential exercises you should be doing now if you want to get the most out of your gym time without spending more time at the machines.
For the strongest midsection, as in, flat abs and a slim waist, train your core to resist flexing and twisting. The ab and back muscles support the lower spine between your pelvis and your rib cage, so your goal should be to make them as firm as possible. Anti-flexion and anti-rotation exercises like planks challenge all-around core stability.
Don't let this machine intimidate you. It's one of the best all-around exercises to tone your entire body. You'll burn a whopping 11 calories per minute when you do it right, and it's the best total-body workout of any cardio machine because a rowing machine requires equal effort from your lower and upper body.
Squats do everything from improving circulation to aiding with digestion, not to mention improving muscle tone. Even though you are working primarily on your leg muscles, squats also promote muscle growth around your entire body. The exercise is so intense that it creates an anabolic environment and makes the body release hormones that are vital for the growth of muscle tissue. Squats also improve the strength of your upper and lower body.
Push-ups are one of the oldest and most basic of exercises because they work. The exercise positions all the muscles in your upper body and builds optimal strength in the forearms, shoulders and chest. Using your own body weight for resistance is key. A properly-done push-up also reduces upper arm jiggle, giving a toned look. They also build a strong core by stabilizing the abdominals and back. There are even some benefits to your quads and hamstrings.
Situps are effective at strengthening your core muscles. Stronger core muscles help stabilize your body as you move through the world. Stronger core muscles also mean that you can maintain better posture because it won't strain your back to stand and sit up straight. But be forewarned, if you have back problems, skip the sit-ups. They can strain an existing back injury.