Best exercises for a full body workout

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Best exercises for a full body workout

Every day, everyone should have certain exercises they do regularly to help achieve and keep their body in good overall condition.  These moves should be simple enough to perform in limited space and yet effective enough to see good results.  By performing these exercises, they can help increase and improve blood flow to the muscles, lubricate joints and boost metabolism.  And it’s not just about the physical improvements – your brain also gets a workout by being actively engaged in correct form and coordination each of them require. 

The improvement in strength and conditioning of the body is absolutely necessary to be able to function physically each day.  Too many people suffer daily from pain, poor sleep habits and low energy levels making it difficult to get through day-to-day activities they need to accomplish.  By practicing these exercises consistently, they can help minimize and improve your overall fitness making sure that even on your busiest day these 6 moves help you stay energized keeping you physically fit.

The best news is none of these exercises requires any equipment – just your body and a hefty dose of willpower and motivation.

1.     Jumping jacks

If the last time you did a jumping jack was back in high school gym class, it’s time to revive a classic exercise.  The simple jumping jack is a plyometric move that is very beneficial for attaining functional fitness.  Performing jumping jacks engages multiple muscle groups. One is your heart – jumping jacks boosts heart rate causing the body to burn more calories and fat resulting in weight loss.  Deep breathing while performing jumping jacks improves blood circulation oxygenating your blood and muscles.  This popular exercise is also good for the arms and legs muscles requiring coordination, balance, flexibility, and stamina.  Your bones will benefit too as jumping jacks are a load bearing move making bones stronger and denser reducing the chance of developing osteoporosis.

2.     Squats

Considered one of the best exercises for the body, squats target the major muscles of the lower body and the core.  Regardless of age or fitness goals, squats should be part of everyone’s daily exercise routine.  Known for building strong leg muscles necessary for supporting the entire body, squats also get blood pumping delivering more nutrients and oxygen to all the vital organs and muscles.  Squats have also been known to help improve posture and balance which aid in strengthening back muscles to be able to stand tall and straight. Want a better butt, strong abs and great looking legs – squats are your answer. Squats can tighten and tone muscles in the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks and legs while burning more calories.  All this in addition to better flexibility, better knee strength and better blood flow to the joints keeping them supple and strong.

3.     Planks

This deceptively simply looking exercise is one of the best for kicking your core muscles into fantastic shape.  The core or abdominal muscles are key to providing support for our entire back and spinal column reducing injury to this area of the body.   Planks engage all major core muscle groups helping you burn more calories than traditional abdominal exercises such as crunches or sit-ups.  Regular planking will also greatly improve your ability to stand with good posture having a profound effect on the overall condition of your neck, shoulders, chest, and back.  When the core abdominal muscles are strengthened, this also improves your balance giving you more stability and flexibility.  This exercise practically does it all and requires little space to perform.

4.      Walk-out pushup

Sort of like a pushup but with a different twist, a walk-out pushup is a great compound exercise targeting the hamstrings, core and upper body and is suitable for any fitness level.  Our hamstrings are often a neglected area of the body yet they play a crucial role in many daily activities from running, jumping, walking and cycling.  When the hamstrings muscles are strengthened, they help protect your knees from injury by absorbing the stress placed on the knee as weak hamstrings can lead to knee injury.  The chest muscles are also engaged in this move.  Having strong chest muscles help stabilize the shoulder joint reducing the possibility of shoulder joint injuries plus it gives an overall better aesthetic look or body contouring to this area.

5.     Hip bridge

If you’re looking for a very effective exercise with great benefits but you can lie down doing it, you need to be doing hip bridges.  This important move focuses on the hip abductors, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and rectus abdominis – basically the muscles that hold your organs all in place connecting the front of the abdomen near the sternum to the pubis. Our posterior of our body (glutes and hamstrings) tend to get neglected.  The quadriceps usually takeover and do most of the work. This results in tight muscles leading to knee and back pain due to the dominance of one muscle over another. Bridges fully engage the posterior chain of muscles like the glutes and hamstrings keeping them from getting underused.  Bridges are great for making the glutes strong and powerful aiding in all athletic moves.  Plus bridges will give you a toned, rounded rear and firmer backside making clothes fit better.  Hip bridges will also reawaken the hips and spine to be involved in keeping them flexible and supple.   

6.  Reverse Lunge

Maybe not your favorite exercise, reverse lunges however should be your best friend.  This simple exercise does wonders for shaping and toning a jiggly butt and thigh area even without weights.  By working several muscles of the lower body, reverse lunges help improve muscular strength of the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and even your core muscles.

Do you sit most of the day?  Constant sitting can cause muscles on the front of the hips and legs to shorten and weaken leading to back pain and injury.  The reverse lunge dynamically stretches your hip flexors and quadriceps with each repetition.   Maintaining good balance is crucial as we age. Reverse lunges requires stability and balance in all of your working joints which enhances your ability to stabilize improving your balance.  Regularly performing reverse lunges decrease your risk of injury while improving overall functioning of your body during running, cycling, walking, hiking, or any activity that relies heavily on your lower body.