02 Jul 10 Best Everyday Exercises, Part 2
We know daily exercise is good for optimizing health. But with so many options and limitless information available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with what works.
Check out Part 2 of 2 in our series about the 10 exercises you can do for ultimate fitness. (Part 1 is here, in case you missed it!) Combine them into a routine for a workout that’s simple but powerful and sure to keep you in shape for the rest of your life. After 30 days — although you can also do them just twice a week — you should see improvements in your muscular strength, endurance, and balance.
6. Single-leg deadlifts
This is another exercise that challenges your balance. Single-leg deadlifts require stability and leg strength. Grab a light to moderate dumbbell to complete this move.
- Begin standing with a dumbbell in your right hand and your knees slightly bent.
- Hinging at the hips, begin to kick your left leg straight back behind you, lowering the dumbbell down toward the ground.
- When you reach a comfortable height with your left leg, slowly return to the starting position in a controlled motion, squeezing your right glute. Ensure that your pelvis stays square to the ground during the movement.
- Repeat 10 to 12 reps before moving the weight to your left hand and repeating the same steps on the left leg.
An exercise we love to hate, burpees are a super effective whole-body move that provides great bang for your buck for cardiovascular endurance and muscle strength.
- Start by standing upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms down at your sides.
- With your hands out in front of you, start to squat down. When your hands reach the ground, pop your legs straight back into a pushup position.
- Do a pushup.
- Come back up to the starting pushup position and jump your feet up to your palms by hinging at the waist. Get your feet as close to your hands as you can get, landing them outside your hands if necessary.
- Stand up straight, bringing your arms above your head and jump.
- This is one rep. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps as a beginner.
8. Side planks
A healthy body requires a strong core at its foundation, so don’t neglect core-specific moves like the side plank. Focus on the mind-muscle connection and controlled movements to ensure you’re completing this move effectively.
- Lie on your right side with your left leg and foot stacked on top of your right leg and foot. Prop your upper body up by placing your right forearm on the ground, elbow directly under your shoulder.
- Contract your core to stiffen your spine and lift your hips and knees off the ground, forming a straight line with your body.
- Return to start in a controlled manner. Repeat 3 sets of 10-15 reps on one side, then switch.
Although they get a bad rap as being too basic, situps are an effective way to target your abdominal muscles. If you have lower back problems, stick with a crunch, which requires just your upper back and shoulders to lift off the ground.
- Start by lying on the ground on your back with your knees bent, feet flat, and your hands behind your head.
- Keeping your feet glued to the ground, begin to roll up from your head, engaging your core throughout. Don’t strain your neck during the upward motion.
- When your chest reaches your legs, begin the controlled phase back down to the starting position.
- Complete 3 sets of 15 reps as a beginner.
10. Glute bridge
The glute bridge effectively works your entire posterior chain, which isn’t only good for you, but will make your booty look perkier as well.
- Start by lying on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground, and arms straight at your sides with your palms facing down.
- Pushing through your heels, raise your hips off the ground by squeezing your core, glutes, and hamstrings. Your upper back and shoulders should still be in contact with the ground, and your core down to your knees should form a straight line.
- Pause 1-2 seconds at the top and return to the starting position.
- Complete 10-12 reps for 3 sets.
Spice it up
These fundamental exercises will do your body good, but there’s always room to keep pushing it. If you notice yourself breezing through and barely breaking a sweat, focus on progressive overload by making each move more challenging by:
- adding 5 more reps
- adding more weight
- tacking on a jump to moves like squats and lunges
Another way to switch it up? Turn the routine into a time-under-tension workout, completing each move for a set amount of time instead of for a set number of reps.