Getting fit can be easy, but staying fit… Well, that’s a whole different story. Today’s world is a busy one, and more often, life gets in the way of your workout routine.
If you were honest, you’d admit having a lot of days when you just didn’t feel like hitting the gym (or you just couldn’t, however much you wished to). It’s the reality of life, but you don’t have to give in and go back to being a couch potato just yet. At least not when there are easy, convenient exercises that you can do at home, at work, and just about anywhere!
That’s what this post is all about. We are going to look at several of these exercises, what muscles they target, and how to do them. You might not have the time (or the means) to work out in the gym, the equipment to train at home, but these workouts don’t need any of that. Let’s get started with our quick guide to getting healthy exercise daily!
How to maintain a successful workout routine
Before we get into the exercises that you should do every day, here are a few ideas you can try to stay on top of your workout routine.
Start with a warm-up, finish with a cool down
A warm-up gets your heart pumping and blood flowing to the muscles you want to target when working out. Thankfully, you don’t need any complicated moves for this – even a simple jog or a bit of stretching will get you fired up for the task ahead.
After you are done with your workout, execute some cool-down moves. Something like going for a walk, some light stretching, or a few yoga moves can be everything you need.
Mix things up
Doing the same workout every day can get quite monotonous (and boring!) over time. That’s why it’s great to throw in a variety of moves, so you have something new to look forward to every day. Besides, this allows you to target different muscles, and gives your muscles enough recovery time as you work other parts of the body.
Posture is everything
However consistent you might be with your workouts, unless you have mastered the posture, you will hardly make any headway in your fitness routine. If anything, you could be setting yourself up for an injury. That happens quite often if you lack the right posture in your moves. Pay close attention to your back, shoulders, neck, and other important parts during the move.
Be mindful of your limits
Fit as you might be, we all have limits. These limits can be even tighter for beginners whose muscles aren’t used to hard work yet. Thus, it’s crucial to know just how far you can push yourself and stay within the safe zone. This doesn’t take rocket science to figure out though, just listen to your body and note down how many reps you can take without feeling like you’re going to pass out, then stick to that. As a beginner, starting slow and making your way up is the wise thing to do.
7 simple yet effective workouts to do every day
Muscles worked: lower back, quads, and core.
Squats are a sure-fire way to build up and strengthen your lower body, enhance flexibility in the hip region, and increase your core strength. They also help burn a ton of calories as well.
How to do squats:
- Stand straight, keeping your feet just over shoulder-width apart, arms relaxed at your sides.
- Keeping your chest and the chin held up, brace the core area then push the hips back while bending your knees as you would when sitting in a chair.
- Keep your knees facing forward; don’t bend them inwards or outwards. Drop slowly until your thighs are in a parallel position to the floor as you bring the arms out to the front.
- Pause for a moment before pushing yourself up to the starting position.
That’s one rep.
Muscles worked: glutes, upper legs.
If you are considering working on your balance, lunges are your go-to exercise. This exercise works the targeted muscles and further helps hone your balance and functional movement.
How to do lunges:
- Start at the standing position, feet at shoulder-width apart and arms at the sides.
- Step forward with one leg, and bend your knee on that leg until your thigh is in a parallel position to the ground. Make sure not to extend the knee past the foot.
- Push yourself back to the starting position, then swap the legs and repeat the move on the other leg.
That is one rep.
Muscles worked: back, core, shoulders.
Planks work not only your core muscles; you will also feel the burn on your shoulders, at the back, and pretty much all over your body. What’s more, this is a great exercise for core stabilization without exerting pressure on your back (as you would otherwise do with crunches or sit-ups).
How to do planks:
- Assume the push-up position, placing your hands and toes firmly on the ground. Keep your back straight and brace your core.
- The chin should be slightly tucked and focus on a point just slightly beyond your hands.
- Maintain this position and tension on your entire body and keep your breathing deep. Engage important muscles like the quads, triceps, glutes, shoulders, and core.
- Hold this position for about 30 seconds.
Muscles worked: shoulders, core, chest, and triceps.
Push-ups are by far some of the most basic bodyweight workouts you can do, and ones that turn out to be very effective at recruiting several muscles in the move. So whenever you can, drop and grind out several of them.
The standard push-up can be tough to pull off while maintaining the right form, if that’s the case for you, then consider starting with a modified position using your knees instead of the toes – this one is just as effective.
How to do push-ups:
- Start in almost the same way with the plank position, bracing the core, holding your back in a straight line, and keeping your neck in a neutral position.
- Bend the elbows to lower your body slowly to the floor until your chest touches the ground, and then extend your elbows to lift back to the starting position.
- Make sure the elbows stay close to the body throughout the move.
That’s one rep.
Muscles worked: arms, legs, hips.
Looking for a whole-body workout? Burpees will do the trick! And besides being a whole-body move that targets a long list of muscles, this exercise also proves to be very effective for cardiovascular endurance and strengthening your muscles.
How to do burpees:
- Standing upright with feet shoulder-width apart, bring your hands to the front.
- Start to squat; go down until your hands touch the ground. Next, pop your legs back to assume a push-up position.
- Jump the feet up as close as they can come to the position of your hands (which are still on the ground) you can place the feet to the outside of your hands if you have to.
- Stand up to resume the starting position, then bring the arms above your head, and do a jump.
And voila! You have completed your first burpee rep.
Muscles worked: back, arms, shoulders.
To be honest with you, pull-ups, and let’s say the other exercises we have looked at are not easy. I mean, they might be easy to learn and master the form, but when it comes to it, you will often feel like throwing in the towel, and only willpower can keep you pressing on. Thankfully, the benefits offset the struggle by far, and with pull ups, you can work the muscles we’ve mentioned above, and while at it, enhance your grip strength too. So, how is it done?
How to do pull-ups:
Pull-ups are quite simple to do, but you need a crossbar, or a branch (something strong enough to bear your weight without giving or breaking).
- Start by placing your hands on the bar, palms facing forward; preferably at shoulder-width apart.
- With the hands in position, push your chest out and curve your back a tad.
- As you breathe out, pull your body up; high enough to have the bar at level with your chest.
- Now, lower yourself slowly while breathing in to resume the starting position.
You have completed 1 rep.
Muscles worked: lower body.
Well, this doesn’t sound very close to the other exercises we have listed above. And you’d be right to think so. But I listed it here for a reason – cycling is one of the most effective exercises to get into shape, especially for beginners.
Now, bike workout is pretty straightforward, just jump on the damn bike and pedal away. What’s more, you get to decide whether to get a stationary bike for at-home workouts (there are a number of brands that offer beginner-friendly models out there), or a conventional one to exercise on your way to the office. It’s all up to you!
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that you can get with this workout:
- Cycling enhances cardio fitness;
- Cycling helps with burning body fat;
- Both indoor and outdoor cycling is great for losing weight;
- It’s a low-impact workout, especially with the use of a recumbent bike.
To Sum It All Up…
That’s it peeps! As you might have noticed, you don’t need any complicated equipment for a simple, daily workout. For those of you who don’t have the comfort of time, and the folks out there who hardly have access to the gym, any or a combination of these exercises can help you to stay in shape. Even if you have a home gym, you can still count on these timeless exercises for those days when you just don’t feel like grinding out hard workouts.
However, if your goal is to build a really toned body, you might need a bit more than just exercises. A few weights and other machines can help a lot, especially if you’re interested in both fat loss and muscle strength.
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