As you go about constructing your workout routine, there are a few exercises that are a must-have for you to always remember and consider. Skipping over these exercises will likely result in you being held back in terms of your overall progress, so certainly not something you want to be doing. The following exercises offer more ‘bang for your buck’ so to speak, ensuring that you get a maximum return on your ‘investment’ of all the hard work you are putting into your lifestyle changes and workout routine. Let’s look at which four exercises you must be doing to see skyrocketing results.
The first exercise is the basic squat. Whether you choose to do bodyweight squats, barbell squats, dumbbell squats, or something entirely different, squatting is a must. The nice thing about squats is not only will they work just about every muscle group in your body, but they’ll also get your heart rate up and keep it elevated as well. This means you’ll see greater overall cardiovascular boosting benefits, allowing you to gain strength and better heart health at the same time. It really doesn’t get much better than that.
On the cardio side of things, you’ll want to be sure that you are doing interval sprints at least once a week if you are at the fitness level capable of doing so. Why is this so important? No other form of cardio is going to jumpstart your overall fitness results like interval sprints will, so it’ll get you into better shape in a hurry. In addition to this, they’re fast paced, burn loads of calories, and will boost your metabolic rate for hours to come as well.
Having a strong core is also a must if you are going to avoid lower back pain and help promote better overall performance on all the other exercises that you happen to be doing. The plank hold is perfect. This exercise works the muscles in an isometric manner, forcing your core to stay contracted for the entire duration in which you are holding the lift. Work your way up to performing the plank for 60 seconds per set. Once you get good at that, try placing an exercise ball under your hands or feet for added challenge. And, don’t forget about side plank holds either. Those are another great way to work the core muscles and this time, will target more of the oblique muscles instead.
Rotator Cuff Exercises
Finally, the last of the must-do exercises you should be performing each week are rotator cuff exercises. These are a great wellness focused exercise because they will help to ensure that you are keeping your entire shoulder joint strong, reducing the risk of injury. Sadly, the shoulders are very prone to injuries so if you aren’t careful about how you exercise and the maintenance strengthening exercises you do, you may end up sidelined at some point during your fitness career. As you use your shoulders for so many day to day activities as well, it really pays to keep them as strong as possible. So don’t overlook these four exercises. Be sure that you are adding them to your workout program often – on a weekly basis if you can. You’ll reap great benefits by doing so.
Shannon Clark holds a degree in exercise science and sport performance from the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Her love for physical activity began with her time as a competitive figure skater and she has since been working in the health and fitness field for over 10 years.
When she’s not writing about health, wellness, or fitness, she loves working as a personal trainer, baking up the latest high-protein desserts, and spending time with a good book or movie.