Does your workout really work?
Well done, these seven exercises give you results you can see and feel. You can do it in the gym or at home. Look at the form that the coach shows in the images. Good technique is essential. If you are not active now, it is a good idea to check with your doctor first, especially if you have been diagnosed with health problems. For example, if you have advanced osteoporosis, some of these exercises may be too aggressive.
Why it’s a winner: You can walk anywhere, anytime. Use a treadmill or go outside.
How: If you’re just starting to walk to stay fit, start with five to 10 minutes at a time. Add a few minutes to each walk until you reach at least 30 minutes per walk. Then speed up your pace or add hills.
2. Interval Training
Why You’re a Winner: Interval training increases your fitness levels and burns more calories to help you lose weight. The basic idea is to vary the intensity within your workout, rather than going at a constant rate.
How: Whether you walk, run, dance, or do other cardio, increase your pace for a minute or two. Then back off for 2 to 4 minutes. The length of your interval depends on the length of your workout and how much recovery time you need. A coach can adjust the pace. Repeat the intervals throughout your workout.
Why You’re a Winner: Squats work multiple muscle groups: the quads (“quads”), hamstrings, and glutes (“glutes”) at the same time.
How: Keep your feet shoulder width apart and your back straight. Bend your knees and lower your back as if you were sitting in a chair. Your weight should be evenly distributed at 3 points on your feet (heel, outside ball, inside ball) that form a triangle. Your knees will not stay in line with your ankles that way, but there will be less strain on other parts of your body. Add weights once you can do 12 reps in good shape.
Squats Done Right
Practice with a real chair to master this movement. First, sit in the chair and stop again. Then just touch the seat of the chair before standing up again. Work to do chairless squats, keeping the same shape.
Why it’s a winner: Like squats, lunges work all the major muscles in your lower body. They can also improve your balance.
How: Take a big step forward, keeping your back straight. Bend your front knee about 90 degrees. Keep the weight on your toes back and drop your knee to the floor. Don’t let the rear knee touch the floor.
Lunges: extra challenge
Try to move not only forward, but also backward and outward on each side, with each lunge. Add weights to lunges once your form is inactive.
Why You’re a Winner: Push-ups strengthen your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles.
How: Looking down, place your hands slightly more than shoulder width apart. Place your toes on the floor. If that’s too difficult, start with your knees on the floor. Your body should make a straight line from your shoulders to your knees or feet. Keep your back muscles and abs active Bend your elbows down to almost touch the floor. Lift again by pushing through the elbows, keeping your torso in a straight line throughout the movement.
Push-ups: too hard? Too easy?
If you’re new to push-ups, you can start doing them by leaning on the kitchen counter. As you get stronger, come down using a desk or chair. You can then move to the floor, starting with your knees bent. For a challenge, put your feet up on a ladder, bench or sofa while maintaining good shape.
Begin by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your head resting on the palm of one hand and the other hand toward your knees. Press your lower back down. Contract your abdominal muscles (crunches) and, in one smooth motion, lift your head, then your neck, shoulders, and upper back off the floor. Gently tuck your chin in. Lower your back down and repeat.
You can also do sit-ups with your feet off the floor and your knees bent. This technique can prevent you from arching your back. Also use the hip flexors (muscles in the upper thighs below the hipbones).
Mastering the crunches
Keep your neck in line with your spine. Tuck your chin in so it doesn’t stick out. Breathe normally. To keep your chest and shoulders open, keep your elbows out of your line of sight.
7. Bent-Over Row
Why it’s a winner: You work all the major muscles in your upper back, as well as your biceps.
How: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees and bend your hips forward. Engage your abs without hunching your back. Keep weights under your shoulders, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart. Bend your elbows and raise both hands to the sides of your body. Pause, then slowly lower your hands to the starting position. It can be done with a bar or weights.
Mastering Bent-Over Row
First, do this movement without weights so that you learn the correct movements. If you have trouble standing in rows while standing, support your weight by sitting on an incline bench, looking back.