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When putting together a workout routine, many people struggle to find exercises that target their specific problem area. Below are a few great places to start when looking for exercises that work.
Our leg muscles are potentially the muscles we use most in our day-to-day life, but there are still some great ways to strengthen and tone them.
Cartoon Walking Lunges–activates quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus medius
- Raise your arms straight overhead.
- Take a step forward with your right leg that is half the distance of your longest stride.
- Drop your left knee so it hovers above the ground (keep your back straight!).
- As you stand, shift your body weight to your right foot and raise your left knee up to your chest.
- Pause, then repeat the step on the opposite side
Hop Scotch Drop Squats– activates quadriceps, gluteal muscles, calves, and shoulders
- Balance on your right foot with your arms at your sides.
- Drop to a low squat (hovering seat if possible) and allow your arms to swing out in front of you, up to shoulder height.
- Pause, jump back to standing position, then repeat on the opposite side.
With how much time we spend sitting, it is important to keep your gluteal muscles toned!
Sprinter’s Block– activates quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes
- Position your body like a sprinter’s starting stance: Place your finger on the ground and kneel on your back knee with your back foot tucked under. Keep your front foot flat on the ground and a hand’s length away from your back foot.
- Keep your fingertips on the ground and send your hips up.
- Straighten your front leg as much as possible.
- Go up and down, for however long you desire, then switch legs.
Standing Barre Butt Work– activates glutes and hamstrings
- Face a countertop or chair back with shoulders, hips, and knees aligned, feet hip-distance apart in parallel lines, pulling the belly-button inward.
- Resting your hands on the surface in front of you, lean forward so your weight is on the balls of your feet, keeping your alignment straight.
- Extend your right leg behind you, straight with your toe pointed.
- Squeeze your glute muscle and lift the toe off the floor and lower it again with as men repetitions as you’d like, then pulse the foot double that time.
Arms and shoulders
Tone your arms to not only strengthen them, but to fit into shirts with sleeves better!
Bent Arm Dumbbell Lateral Raise– activates medial deltoids
- Hold one dumbbell in each hand, straight upper body posture.
- Raise your arms out to the sides, bending your elbows to a 90-degree-angle once you get to shoulder height.
- Pause, then lower the weights back to starting position and repeat.
Plank Walk-Up to Push-Up– actives muscles across arms, shoulders, and chest
- Get into a push-up position
- Lower your right elbow to the ground where your right hand was, and do the same with the left.
- From this front plank position, then return to the push-up position, repeat as many times as you’d like.
Tone your chest muscles for more strength across your arms and core!
Wall clap push-up
- Stand on toes with feet shoulder-with apart and hands slightly wider than shoulder-with apart against a wall in front of you.
- Let your upper body fall forward with bent elbows (do not let your hips fall!)
- Push away from the wall as fast as possible, clapping hands when arms are fully extended.
- Extend hands in front of you into the same starting position, repeat.
Wall Angels– chest, activates deltoids, abdominals
- Stand with feet hip-width apart.
- Lean against wall so your knees are bent and your back is flat against wall
- Push lower back into wall by squeezing your abdominal muscles (maintain this position throughout the exercise).
- Bring your arms to shoulder height, elbows bent at 90-degrees (hands, elbows, and shoulders should maintain contact with wall).
- Slide arms up walls, reaching toward ceiling as you straighten them.
So many people experience sore backs, so keeping your back muscles in shape is essential to avoid potentially worsening a problem.
Cat and Cow Spinal Movements
- Align your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips, engaging your core.
- Inhale, drop your belly, and bring your gaze forward (cow).
- Exhale, round your back, and tuck your chin to your chest (cat).
- Repeat these movements as many times as you like, matching your movement with your breath.
- Initiate the movement from your lower spine and allow the movement to ripple up your spine.
Core exercises are some of the most sought-out exercises. Skip sit ups, and try these exercises instead.
- Take a plank position.
- With the upper body stable, push one knee toward your chest and twist your hips, passing bent leg underneath, so your hips open to the wall on the same side as your stable leg.
- Extend this leg so that it’s straight and touch your foot to the floor without letting your arms come off the ground.
- Repeat as much as you’d like, then switch legs
The Bird Dog– activates latissimus dorsi, erector spinae, rectus and transverse abdominis, gluteus maximus
- Place your hands on the ground under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
- Stretch your opposite arm and leg out until they are parallel to the floor.
- Come back, touching the floor, and switch sides.
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