The fitness world is booming. Products are abundant and competition is fierce. There is always a new commercial with the latest method to lose weight or gadget that promises to burn more calories than the previous product just advertised. In many ways it is a good thing to see this many fitness products, because at least potential exercisers may find a workout or gadget that catches their eye enough to want to start a workout program. The only negative about the myriad of fitness options is the potential to overwhelm. Very few people have any excuse not to exercise, but everybody becomes the greatest defendant toward their own ideas for not working out. If a product or piece of equipment is ordered, and it looks too confusing or becomes too hard to use, an excuse will quickly fill a stubborn mind, and suddenly a reason is established for not exercising.
Every person is different. You may be an experienced exerciser who enjoys new ideas and products to challenge yourself. You have to be careful where you tread. Once you start trying to pull of moves reserved for gymnasts and contortionists, it may be time to go back to the basics. Some of the most simple exercises are the ones that work the best and yield the most beneficial results. If you think it’s time for you to go back to the basics, try these 10 simple exercises that work:
- Pushups. The classic body weight press-up from the floor. Works the chest, shoulders, arms, and core. Also aids in stabilizing the scapula.
- Crunches. If done properly, may be the best abdominal exercise. Hold your legs (bent) in the air and lift your head toward the ceiling, avoiding excessive neck curl. This isolates the abs and prevents your neck from doing most the work. Extra Credit: Start with your feet flat, knees bent, and bring our knees back toward your chest as you crunch up. This simple exercise will work your lower and upper abs.
- Planks. Prop up on your elbows and toes with your feet together. Don’t let your low-back sway too much or be too high in the air. Time yourself and try to get better each time. Targets the deep core muscles and helps your six-pack come closer to the surface.
- Body Squats. If you want a killer booty, do squats. Spread your feet about shoulder width and squat down as if you are sitting in a chair. Sticking your arms out in front of you will hep counter-balance the weight.
- Forward Lunges. Lunge forward and keep the front knee behind the toes. Alternate legs until you feel the burn (it won’t take long!).
- Glute Shoulder Bridge. A very simple exercise to tone your butt. Lie flat on your back with knees bent and lift your pelvis in the air making a straight line from your knees to shoulders.
- Calf-Raises. Your calves need some attention, too. Stand tall and raise your heels up. Count your max, and try to out-do yourself each time you workout. You’ll be dunking a basketball in no time – even if it is on an 8-foot goal.
- The Cobra Press-Up: Lie flat on your tummy and press yourself up into a good comfortable stretch as your hips stay on the ground or mat. Hold for 2 seconds then relax and repeat. Your abs will get a good stretch and you will get some much needed extension in the lower back.
- Jumping Jacks. A great warm-up exercise that can be done anywhere. Gets the heart rate up and burns calories.
- Mountain Climbers. Get into the high plank position with your arms extended. Now alternate bringing your legs up toward your chest in a running motion. Don’t let your knees get outside your ribs. Bring them straight up toward your chest. A great cardio workout that targets the abs and quads. Feel the burn!