The right exercise can boost your strength, balance, and energy. But choosing a routine that works can be hard. A good place to start is with a few basic exercises, such as squats, lunges, planks, and push-ups. These exercises strengthen a variety of important muscles, such as the hips, lower back, and glutes. They also increase your flexibility and help prevent injury.
These simple movements can be done in your own home or a gym, and do not require any special equipment. It’s important to remember that any resistance or strength-training exercise can hurt if it is not performed correctly. That’s why it’s best to practice and perfect your technique with a personal trainer or by asking for guidance at your local gym, especially if you’re new to strength training.
Practicing these moves daily will provide you with the most benefit, but be sure to change your routine frequently to prevent boredom and fatigue. In addition, you may want to vary the reps, sets, or duration of each exercise to challenge your body. If you can’t perform a full pushup with good form, try dropping down to a modified stance on your knees to still get the benefits of this exercise.
A squat can be difficult for people who have trouble with their legs, but it’s an important exercise to do everyday because it increases leg strength and helps prevent falls. It can make it easier to stand up out of a chair or climb stairs, and can help reduce the risk of osteoarthritis as you age.
Lunges are an excellent overall-body exercise, but they are especially good for the legs and core. They can help improve posture and increase balance, making it easier to get in and out of a chair or to walk up or down steps. This exercise can also increase your heart rate, which can be beneficial if you’re trying to lose weight or decrease your risk of heart disease.
Planks are another great overall-body exercise that can be done anywhere, and they are very challenging. They can even strengthen your core and back muscles, which are crucial for lumbar support and balance.
Another great option is the bird dog, a movement that challenges your core and hamstrings. Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart and brace your core, then lift the right foot out in front of you and the left knee straight behind you to form an L shape. Return to the starting position and repeat, focusing on squeezing your core muscles.
It’s also a good idea to warm up your muscles before you begin each strength or endurance workout. You can do a few minutes of dynamic stretches (repetitive motion such as marching in place or arm circles) or light cardio to get your blood pumping and prepare your muscles for the exercise. It’s also a good idea to stretch after your endurance or strength workout, but don’t push a stretch to the point of pain.
Milena Estêvão is a YouTuber passionate about sharing her experiences (challenges, successes and motivations) in the fitness activities she is involved in.
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