Are you looking for some new moves that will help melt body fat, tone muscle, and make you feel better?
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” – John. F Kennedy
At one point or another, most of us have felt disdain at the notion of “working out” or “getting fit.” Why? Because we (incorrectly) associate working out with an incredible amount of hard work.
Now, make no mistake about it, to develop a “first-class” body does require an incredible amount of hard work. The thing is that many of us don’t care about that. Most people do, however, care about their appearance and their health.
Are you ready to hear an incredibly painful truth?
We can’t improve our appearance without changing our lifestyle.
A second difficult truth?
We can’t improve our health without changing our lifestyle.
Sure, we can go on a binge diet, lose a bunch of weight and look “better,” but our overall health will inevitably suffer – and we’ll most likely gain the weight back, regardless. Therefore, we must strike an ideal balance between the three variables: (1) our health, (2) our appearance, and (3) our will to commit to both (1) and (2).
Our body needs movement.
If you look at the physiological makeup of the human body, you begin to realize how inordinately complex it is. This complex system needs movement; else, we sacrifice both our appearance and health.
And it doesn’t require that you spend hours at the gym.
What it does require is some discipline and a bit of time. The former is what most people have trouble with. It’s much easier to catch that additional 15 to 30 minutes of shuteye than it is to put your body in motion.
In this article, we describe four movements that will restore and improve your energy, motion, and strength.
Below, you’ll see four basic exercises with instructions. For those visually inclined, you can see illustrations of each via a quick Google search.
1. Upward Row (with light dumbbells)
Reason: A “pull” exercise, rows will make everyday movements much more fluid. The muscles are then less prone to pain.
Movement: (a) stand with feet shoulder-width apart, (b) Slightly bend forward at the hips while keeping abdominals “clenched,” (c) Move elbows in back past the hips (keeping them close to the body); engage and squeeze the back muscles, (d) return to starting position.
2. Abdominal Twist (with or without light dumbbells)
Reason: Our fast food habits tend to manifest into flabby abs. This rotating exercise engages your core abdominal areas and oblique muscles. The movement may also help prevent lower back injuries.
Movement: (a) sit with knees bent at a 45-degree angle, feet flat on the floor, (b) place both hands (with or without dumbbells) in front of the chest area, (c) maintaining a long, straight back while tightening the abs area, (d) lean back a bit, with feet a few inches above ground level, (e) slowly twist torso to the right and bring hands beside right hip, (f) repeat movement towards the left side.
3. Dumbbell Thrust
Reason: Various. Picking things up, reaching upwards, and other daily tasks require activating the lower body and core muscles.
Movement: (a) Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, weights held in hand, arms should be straight out above the shoulders, (b) Keeping the back as straight as possible, get into a squat position. Abs (core) should be tight, and chest lifted, (c) raise directly upward from the (b) position and press weights directly overhead.
4. Modified Planks
Reason: The plank position is arguably the best for strengthening the core abdominal areas. The movement also strengthens the back muscles while engaging the chest, glutes, legs, and shoulders. Modified planks are perhaps the complete exercise movement, as it involves various parts of the body in a fluid motion.
Movement: (a) Begin on all fours (pushup position) with wrists underneath the shoulders, (b) Press both heels back while engaging the core, glutes, and thighs. Your body should remain in a straight line at all times throughout the movement, (c) Maintaining the (b) position, tap one hand to the opposite shoulder and bring it back to the floor. (d) alternate and repeat. (Note: Ensure that breathing pattern remains consistent – in through the nose and forcefully out through the mouth – this will also help keep the core areas engaged throughout the movement.)