Need Exercises That Actually Prevent Injuries?
The following exercises are efficient because you don’t waste time isolating one muscle group at a time, as some exercises tend to do, and instead work several major muscle groups in tandem. These integrated muscle movements use the body exactly as intended— the way you typically use them in daily activities and when you do sports and fitness activities. This helps you perform better and prevent injuries.
Start with 1 set of 8 to 15 reps of each move (unless otherwise noted), and gradually build to 2 or 3 sets.
Must-Do Move #1: Chair Dips
Great for toning your triceps and core
Sit on the edge of a sturdy, stable chair with legs together, knees bent and feet flat on floor a few feet in front of chair. Place your hands about six inches apart, and firmly grip the edges of the chair. Slide your butt just off the front of the chair so that your upper body is pointing straight down. Keep your abdominals pulled in and your head centered between your shoulders. Bend your elbows and lower your body in a straight line. When your upper arms are parallel to the floor, push yourself back up, being careful not to lock elbows. Repeat.
Make it Easier: Keep feet close to the chair and the dip slow, controlled, and shallow.
Must-Do Move #2: Push-ups
Great for toning your chest, shoulders, triceps, back, hips, and abs
Start in a basic push-up position with hands directly beneath shoulders and body in a straight line. Bend elbows out to sides and lower body almost to floor (or as far as you can). Keep abs tight and body in a line. Hold for 1 second, then push back up. Repeat.
Make it easier: If you’re a beginner, do push-ups on knees. Keep the movement shallow and controlled. Still too challenging? Start with a push-up on the wall, progressing to the floor as you become stronger.
Must-Do Move #3: Squats
Great for toning your glutes, hamstrings and quads
Stand with feet parallel and hip-width apart. Bend your knees and lower your body into a squat position, as if you are sitting back into an imaginary chair, keeping knees behind toes. Stop when your knees are at 90 degrees. Slowly press through your heels and squeeze your glutes as you return to standing.
Make it easier: Don’t bend knees as deeply