With so many blogs and articles dedicated to different exercises, you’d think that you needed dozens, if not hundreds of movements to stay in shape and target every muscle in your body. But the truth is that this isn’t how fitness works. Every movement you do is actually activating dozens of muscles at a time, meaning that you’re free to limit yourself to just a handful of exercises. So what are they?
The pushup is an exercise that has been around for a long time, and it’s not hard to see why. It recruits the chest muscles, the shoulders and it requires you to maintain your core rigidity when you perform the movement. If your hands are closer together, you target more of the triceps. If they’re further apart, you target the chest more. Putting your feet up on an incline, like a bench, while performing a pushup will target more of the upper chest. Putting your feet on the floor will target the lower chest more.
While performing the movement, make sure that your butt doesn’t sag and doesn’t stick up. Also, keep your head in line with the rest of your body: don’t tuck it in or tilt it up. Finally, make sure that you are performing the movement using your arms and your chest muscles, and not cheating by using your core.
The row is another timeless classic gym movement because it targets so many muscles. If you use a rowing machine, you’ll build strength in your lower back, upper back, biceps, and posterior deltoid shoulder muscles. You’ll also gain strength, if you do the movement correctly, in your glutes and your quads, thanks to the fact that rowing requires a lot of pushing with your legs.
The reason rowing is so good for building fitness and staying in shape is because it combines both aerobic and anaerobic respiration. Your lungs are working hard, because you’re rowing for a long time and have to keep your muscles supplies with oxygen. And your muscles are working hard, having to pull a cord with a lot of resistance. Together, these two forms of exercise produce better results than either individually. There’s more information about rowing machines at http://www.homerower.com/.
The squat has been labeled as the “King of Exercises” - and for good reason. It’s widely believed to be the most challenging exercise that you can do with weights. This is all thanks to the fact that you have to balance the weight, use the largest muscles in your body and not get out of breath.
Getting the squat right, however, can be tricky. When squatting it’s essential that you don’t allow your knees to stick out further than your toes. If they do, you can put undue shearing stress on the knee joint which could cause injury. It’s also important to avoid letting your heels come off the ground. Again, this puts you off balance - which is dangerous in itself - and makes the change of a knee injury more likely. https://www.buzzfeed.com has more info on how to perform the squat correctly.