Amy and I were on CTV Morning Live today showcasing my top 3 exercises everyone should know how to do. These are exercises that you would expect to see in our HIIT classes or our free classes. They really focus on your core, legs, back and will help improve your cardio!
The first exercise is a plank; this is one of the most basic core exercises and also one of the most important! This exercise works your inner core (transverse abdominus) and will really help strengthen your whole body. Always make sure that your weight is over your shoulders and your back is flat. Be sure to pull in your belly button.
To make this exercise more difficult you are going to do a plank reach out. You are going to lift up one arm and reach out in front of you as far as you can. This is going to stretch out your core and cause a greater contraction. Make sure that your hips stay as still as possible when doing the plank reach out. This exercise is going to hit the same muscle groups as the plank and be sure to remember all the technical tips given above.
The second beginner exercise we did was a body weight squat. A squat is easily the most important exercise you can do in a gym. This exercise hits every major muscle group in your legs which are the largest in your body. Whether you are looking to lose weight or gain muscle this exercise is a must. In each squat you are going hit the front of your legs (quadriceps), the back of your legs (hamstrings) and also your butt (gluts). When performing a squat you want to make sure that the majority of your weight is pressed through your heels and your bum is pushed back. Be sure to keep your chest up and squeeze your bum cheeks tightly together at the top of each squat.
To make the squat more difficult we are going to add a jump into it. Still performing a squat as you normally would you are going to shoot your hips forward and use your leg power to get as much vertical as possible. As you are about to perform the jump you want to make sure that you are squeezing your butt cheeks tight together. When performing a squat jump you must cushion the landing into another squat. This exercise is not only going to hit all those large muscle groups in your legs but also improve your cardio!
The third beginner exercise is a bent over dumbbell row. This exercise is going to help your posture and pull your shoulders back by strengthening between your shoulder blades (rhomboids) and also working the largest muscle group in your back that runs from your armpit down to your lower back (lats). To perform this exercise you want to have a slight bend in your knees, you’re back flat and your chest facing the floor. Keep your elbows tight and pull the dumbbells up squeezing your shoulder blades tightly together.
To make the bent over row more difficult we are going alternate arms. When we alternate arms you are going to have to significantly tighten your core. When performing an alternating bent over row you still want to make sure that you are squeezing your shoulder blades tightly together.
Those are my top 3 exercises that everyone should be incorporating into their workouts. Whether you are at the beginner or intermediate level these exercises hit the largest muscle groups in your body. This will help you burn calories and strengthen your whole body!
Give them a go and let us know what you think!