9 Basic Exercises Everyone Should do For Better Fitness

by | Feb 21, 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A productive workout session should have the right balance of functional, isometric, and plyometric exercises. Functional exercises (push-ups) work on multiple muscle groups simultaneously while isometric exercises (planks) strengthen muscles. Plyometric exercises, however, aid in rapid muscle elongation for effective muscle strengthening (jump squat). These nine exercises should help you achieve your fitness goals.


1. Bodyweight Squats

The exercise strengthens the most powerful muscle group, i.e., the legs and the glutes. When squatting ensures your butt is pushed outwards while the thighs and the hips push your body outwards. If performed incorrectly, squats can take a toll on your knees. Your knees should move during the first half of the squat, leaving your hips to finish the movement.

Squats are particularly essential for expectant women as they help open up the pelvis. Holding the squatting position for 10-30 seconds also strengthens abdominal muscles and reduces back pain. But note, wearing the appropriate gear, e.g., maternity tops when performing the exercise enhances blood flow and proper movement.


2. Glute Bridges

Squats can take a toll on the glute muscles leaving weak and unable to perform additional body movements on the lower body. This creates a muscular imbalance to the body, which can result in an injury. Glute bridges eliminate this effect by working on a specific muscle group.


3. Lunges

This exercise works on all muscles located on the lower body, i.e., hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps. There are many variations of this workout (walking lunges, split squat lunges, reverse lunges) so you can never get bored when performing it. Lastly, you can perform lunges after squatting or deadlifting.


4. Interval Training

The exercise involves alternating between long intervals of less intense activity and short bursts of intense activity. It is an excellent addition to any fitness regimen as it works the heart muscles. Interval training is also ideal for people working out to lose weight. It would help if you varied your pace throughout the workout to stimulate the aerobic system.

For example, if you are walking, you can incorporate short bursts of jogging into the brisk walks. People who are less fit can alternate leisure walks with short periods of fast walks. Other benefits of interval training include:

· It is more time-efficient as you can complete an entire workout within a short period

· No need for special equipment

· Improves aerobic capacity


5. Mountain Climbing

Just as its name, the exercise mimics how climbers mount steep peaks. The workout strengthens your core, arms, and legs as well as the back. If the exercise exerts excessive pressure on your wrists, lift the upper part of your body while placing your hands on an elevated place to minimize the weight placed on the arms.

Hikers at peak
Photographer: Mathias Jensen | Source: Unsplash

6. Push-up

The exercise works on the upper part of the body muscles, i.e., the shoulders, triceps and biceps, and the chest. Try performing different variations of the workout if the standard procedure is too challenging. You can complete the exercise using your knees to minimize the weight your hands need to lift. Also, you can place your feet on an elevated place to increase intensity.

Photographer: Sam Owoyemi | Source: Unsplash

7. Split Squat

It is a variation of the regular squat, and it usually works on the hamstring and quadriceps muscles of the legs. Your body goes from a half-kneeling position to a standing position while maintaining balance. Ensure your feet are firmly rooted on the surface during the entire movement. If you are finding it challenging to keep your body balanced, perform the exercise close to a wall to allow your hand to rest on the wall for support.


8. Planks

This exercise works on the core muscles because you need to hold the position for an extended period. It also builds strength on your upper body, lower back, and abdominal muscles at the same time. Planks are ideal for people with lower back pain. You can challenge yourself by placing your feet or hands up on an exercise ball as you hold the plank.


9. Burpees

Burpees is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that will increase your heart rate and help burn calories. Burpees work on different muscle groups and the lower and upper body muscles. Be sure to wear proper footwear when performing this exercise. This is because they have a high impact on the knees.



Building a workout regimen around these exercises should help work on different muscle groups. The idea is to alternate between strength and resistance exercises to work on multiple muscle groups simultaneously.

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