10 General Exercises That You Should Be Doing Regularly
If you just want to work out for your health or to fit in your clothes better — the gym scene can be intimidating. Just having to walk by treadmills, stationary bikes, and weight machines can be enough to make you head straight back home to the couch. So try these exercises.
1 – Swimming
You might call swimming the perfect workout. The buoyancy of the water supports your body and takes the strain off painful joints so you can move them more fluidly. “Swimming is good for individuals with arthritis because it’s less weight-bearing,”.
The How – Just jump in any pool,lake, river or ocean and swim.
2 – Walking
Walking is simple, yet powerful. It can help you stay trim, improve cholesterol levels, strengthen bones, keep blood pressure in check, lift your mood, and lower your risk for a number of diseases (diabetes and heart disease, for example). A number of studies have shown that walking and other physical activities can even improve memory and resist age-related memory loss.
The How – get off your butt and up on your feet ans start walking (outdoors).
3 – The Push Up
The push up may just be the perfect exercise that builds both upper body and core strength. Done properly, it is a compound exercise that uses muscles in the chest, shoulders, triceps, back, abs, and even the legs.
The How – Start in a high plank position with your hands flat on the floor about shoulder-width apart, wrists under shoulders. Keeping your body in one long line, bend your arms and lower yourself as close to the floor as you can. Your elbows should be at about a 45-degree angle to your torso. Push back up to start.
4 – Forward Lunge
Lunges will help you develop lower-body strength and endurance, and unlike squats, they are highly effective at evening out muscle imbalances. They’re also a great beginner move. Why? Because you pretty much do them daily (they mimic our walking pattern).
The How – Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Engage core. Take a big step forward with right leg and start to shift weight forward so heel hits the floor first. Lower body until right thigh is parallel to floor and right shin is vertical (it’s okay if knee shifts forward a little as long as it doesn’t go past right toe). If mobility allows, lightly tap left knee to ground while keeping weight in right heel. Press into right heel to drive back up to starting position. Repeat on the other side.
5 – Supine Pelvic Tilts
Pelvic tilts can be done in several different positions, including supine (lying on your back with your knees bent,) prone (lying on your stomach,) and in the all-4s position,where you’re supported by both hands and knees and your spine is parallel to the floor.
The How – Starting position. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Inhale. Initiate the pelvic tilt movement as you exhale. When you let your breath out, your abdomen should come toward your back. (This happens naturally during exhalation.) An effective pelvic tilt that engages the ab muscles will utilize this as leverage. Continue pulling in, and allow that to tilt the bottom of your pelvis up. This will likely result in your low back gently stretching and reaching towards or actually touching the floor or wall.
Inhale to come back to start .Allow the spine and pelvis to return to their original position while you take air in again. Note that movement in this phase takes less muscle work than the previous movement of bringing your low back to the floor or wall.
6 – Single Leg Stand
You can improve your balance by performing simple balance exercises. The single leg stance is a very effective exercise for improving balance. The ability to stand on one leg is important; when walking, you spend about 40% of your time with one foot on the ground as one leg is swinging through the air.
The How – Stand behind a chair or next to something stable Hold onto the chair back with both hands Slowly lift one leg off the ground Maintain your balance standing on one leg for 5 seconds Try to increase the time spent standing on one leg Return to starting position and repeat 5 times Perform with opposite leg
7 – Hip Rotation
The supine hip-rotation stretch is a safe and effective exercise to help you reduce hip-rotation tightness and, therefore, improve your ability to make a full turn of your hips target areas Glutes, Hamstrings, hips, Lower Back, Quadriceps.
The How – Stand with feet wider than shoulder width apart and legs straight but not locked. Make sure the head is up, chest is out, and shoulders are back; place hands on hips. Move the hips to one side and begin rotating, making a larger circle with your hips, moving from side, to back, around o the other side, and finally the front. Continue rotating in the same direction for the duration of the stretch breathing smoothly.
8 – Side Plank
Side Plank strengthens your obliques and entire core. Side Plank not only builds strength in your shoulder and arm, but deep contraction in your oblique muscle and hip. If you learn how to do Side Plank you will have a great new isometric core strength move.
The How – Lie on your right side with your legs straight. Prop yourself up with your right forearm so your body forms a diagonal line. Rest your left hand on your hip. Brace your abs and hold for 60 seconds. If you can’t make it to 60 seconds, hold for 5 to 10 seconds and rest for 5; continue for 1 minute. Be sure your hips and knees stay off the floor.
9 – Bent Knee Sit-Ups Crunches
Bent-KneeSit-ups are one of the traditional forms of abdominal training. When performed correctly, a sit-up tones and strengthens your abdominal and oblique muscles. Bent-knee sit-ups, also called crunches, can be challenging for those with weak abdominal muscles or people who are not accustomed to regular exercise. Start slowly to avoid injury. Sit-up / Crunches
The How – Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Stack your forearms in front of your chest. Now raise your torso to a sitting position in one fluid movement. Slowly lower your torso back to the starting position.
10 – Contralateral Limb Raises
Contralateral limb raises is a work out exercise that targets glutes & hip flexors and upper back & lower traps and also involves lower back and shoulders.
The How – Lie on your stomach with the arms outstretched and palms facing one another Slowly lift one arm a few inches off the floor, keeping it straight without rotating the shoulders Simultaneously lift the leg of the other side Hold the position, then lower the arm and leg back down.