Being fit is more than having your heart and lungs in good condition (“cardio” exercise). To be in good shape, you also have to be strong! But what exercises should you be doing?
Strength training is the true foundation of exercise. A solid strength training regimen will
- Tone and strengthen your muscles
- Increase your metabolism
- Improve your posture
- Reduce aches and pains
- Improve your bone density
- Increase your immunity and health
- Help regulate your hormones and sleep
- Increase your energy
- Reduce depression and anxiety
- Improve diabetes
The workouts you get from Basics and Beyond instructors are founded upon the 6 fundamental kinds of strength training moves. With our system, you’ll be sure to get the maximum benefits out of a safe, comprehensive, and effective workout in minimal time.
6 Exercises You Should Be Doing
Here are the 6 fundamental strength training moves that make up the foundation of weight training workouts:
1) Multi-joint leg moves
These are exercises like squats, lunges, step-ups, and leg presses. Multi-joint leg exercises (the technical term is “triple extension movements” because there’s extension at the hip, knee, and ankle joints) work all the muscles of the front and back of your thighs and your hip muscles.
2) Pulling movements
Exercises like rows, pulldowns, and chin-ups work all the muscles of the back and shoulder blades. These exercises are very important for proper posture, and they will help prevent shoulder injuries and neck pain.
3) Pushing movements
Exercises like pushups and bench presses work the pecs and shoulders. You probably need less of these than you do pulling exercises — almost everyone is too tight up front, and too weak in the back!
4) Core exercises
Core exercises work all the muscles of the waist, and your spinal stability system. Examples are planks, crunches, twists, and dead bugs. There are endless variations of core exercises, but you need to be sure that your technique is correct in order to avoid lower back injuries.
5) Overhead moves
To work your shoulders and arms, do exercises like overhead presses and lateral raises.
Do not do upright rows; they are very bad for your shoulders. (Click here to see other exercises that cause injury)
6) Posterior chain exercises
The “posterior chain” is the chain of muscles on the backside of your body — your hamstrings, your glutes, and your spinal erectors. These are the muscles that are responsible for pulling your spine and legs backwards. This is a very important kind of strengthening exercise for leaning over or picking things up off the ground.
Posterior chain exercises are moves like face-up bridges, deadlifts, or supermans. The position of your spine is the most important thing to get correct when leaning over or lifting something off the ground!
Putting Together A Strength Training Program
One of the challenging things about putting together a strength training program for yourself is making sure that you select the right variations of these exercises. It’s also important to get the appropriate level of difficulty, and the right amount of total work overall.