The new year is right around the corner, and you’re making plans to finally achieve that beach body in 2016. The problem is, you’re kind of at a loss of where to start. There are literally thousands of exercises out there, and while you know eating well will help you, you really want to tone your body and finally get in shape.
If you’re tired of trying to determine what exercises you should do, read through the following seven simple exercises and give them a go!
You may take it for granted as you get from point A to point B every day, but walking is a complete body workout. In order to walk, your muscles must all work together to propel your body forward. When walking is done in a conscious manner, meaning you’re keeping your speed at a certain level and your form proper, you can burn a lot of calories!
Start your day with a quick 15- to 20-minute walk in the morning in 2016. You’ll feel much more awake and ready to conquer the day! If you can’t do a regular workout routine with weights or at a gym, just take a walk. Something is always better than nothing!
Push-ups are also a fantastic full-body exercise. Although the main strain is on your chest and abs, if you’re actively engaging your muscles, you’ll feel it in your hip flexers, quads and even your shoulders.
There are a ton of variations of push-ups that will target different muscle groups. If you’re starting out, begin doing push-ups from your knees so you don’t strain your back too much if your core is not strong enough yet. As you progress and the exercise gets easier, begin to change up the type of push-up you do to keep those muscles guessing.
When in doubt, squat it down! Squats for some folks can be very intimidating, but they don’t have to be. Even if you’re just using your bodyweight, squats can literally transform your body. They activate your abdominals, hip flexers, quads, glutes, hamstrings and many more muscles to burn a ton of calories.
Whether you’re a pro at squats or a newbie, you’ll want to constantly be focused on your form with this exercise. Squats can cause injuries if you’re not careful in your form. Start out with no weight in 2016 if you’re new to them before piling up the 45s on the bar.
So you like to walk, but it gets kind of boring if you’re not in a scenic location. The good news is you can get your heart rate up just by doing some simple exercises. Interval Training focuses on doing two or more exercises which will require you to vary speeds.
An example would be doing 20 squats and then moving into 20 jumping jacks. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is not for beginners, but with a few adjustments, you can do intervals at your level. Our staff at Altman Fitness is well-versed in interval training, so get in touch today!
Hip Extensions or Glute Bridges
If you’re looking for a great exercise for your glutes, hip flexers and back, the hip extension (or glute bridge) is the one you’re waiting for. When lying on the floor or with your upper back only on a bench and your feet firmly planted on the ground, you’ll engage your core, legs and glutes to force your feet into the floor, which lifts your butt off of the floor.
This exercise is great for anyone with lower back pain or for someone who wants to tone their glutes and thighs.
A sedentary lifestyle can wreak havoc on your back. Reverse the pain with a simple exercise you can do while lying down!
The superman exercise move is easy and can be modified for your skill level. Lie flat on your stomach and outstretch your arms above your head. Pretend someone is grabbing your arms and legs, pulling them away from one another, elongating your body.
When you’re ready, you can either lift your arms and chest, your feet and legs, or both up off of the ground. Hold for 10-20 seconds, and then release. Your goal should be to get your limbs as high up off the ground as you can. This exercise is perfect for your abs and back!
Pull-ups are no easy exercise, but they are so worth it! They’re a great upper body workout because they engage every muscle group above your waist.
If you’re not at the point where you can do a pull-up, that’s okay! Use resistance bands for assistance, or perform negative pull-ups or jump pull-ups. Just be careful how many you do when you’re first starting out! You can and will be very sore from these exercises.
If you’d like some guidance on what other exercises to try or if have any questions about form, give us a call at Altman Fitness! Our phone number is 612-454-6409. We can help change your life and body from the inside out for your 2016 New Years resolution!