“The only pushup you won’t be able to do is the one you never do.” ~Gwen Ro
Do you hate working out but want to lose weight and have a fit body? There are plenty of exercises that can be done within minutes.
Some can slim you down, but each of them may change the way you look. Exercise allows your body to convert calories into useful results, like muscle tone.
Make sure to mix different types of exercise. Besides aerobic exercise, such as running or jump rope, don’t forget to do some resistance exercise, like push-ups or lunges. It is also good to focus on compound movements that engage all muscles, such as the plank, the squat, and the deadlift.
If you decide to go for more strenuous workouts, you should give yourself rest days. However, it’s good to do at least some exercise each day of the week.
Try these 10 exercises that, if done regularly (even if you choose to do only a few them), will transform your body fast:
1. The Squat
This full-body compound move will tone your muscles, burn fat, and build lower body strength. It can also improve your balance and coordination, boost your overall endurance, and make you stronger. Squats create an anabolic environment that promotes muscle growth. If there’s one exercise you should do, it’s the squat.
For beginners it’s enough to do squats two or three times a week repeating the move 15-20 times, for 2-3 sets. Dr. Joseph Mercola in his article 6 Squat Variations You Must Try explains how squats should be performed.
2. The Plank
The plank hits nearly every muscle in your body, especially your abs. This simple exercise will strengthen your core muscles and lower your risk for lower back pain. If you do planks regularly, you’ll develop a strong back and abs. This exercise has multiple variations, such as the side plank, knee plank, rocking plank, single-arm plank, reverse plank, and Bosu walking plank.
Start by trying to stay in the traditional plank position for 15-30 seconds. As you get more comfortable with the position, try holding your plank for as long as possible. When you can hold it for a minute, try doing more difficult plank variations.
Most people hate push-ups. However, nothing beats this exercise when it comes to increasing body strength. This complex compound move works on your delts, pecs, and triceps. It also strengthens your legs and core muscles, improves sports performance, and makes daily activities easier.
If you haven’t exercised in a long time, you may have a hard time doing push-ups. This exercise can be performed in various ways, from which many are perfect for those who are only starting to exercise, such as push-ups off the wall, off the table, or on the knees.
4. Jumping Rope
This basic exercise engages a lot of muscles, particularly your leg muscles. Jumping rope burns more calories per minute than any other exercise.
According to research, jump rope for a minimum of five minutes a day can improve physical fitness. Ten minutes of nonstop jumping can provide the same benefits as 30 minutes of jogging.
Make sure you adjust the rope and wear properly fitted athletic (cross training) shoes that absorb shock, to decrease the impact on your joints and reduce your risk of injury.
Before you jump rope and after your workout stretch well to loosen up your muscles.
The Jump Rope Institute shows you the correct jump rope technique.
5. Bulgarian Split Squats
Many claim that for building lower body strength Bulgarian split squats are more effective than classic squats. This exercise is simply a one-legged squat with the rear foot elevated on a knee-high platform (bench, box or similar).
This squat allows you to train your legs using light weights. It also helps develop unilateral strength, tones your glutes, and improves your jumping ability. This move doesn’t require a spotter or fancy equipment. All you need are two dumbbells or kettlebells. The goal is to work your lower body, not your grip.
Lunges are resistance exercises. Lunges tone your legs and abs, increase your flexibility, improve your core stability, and torch fat. This compound exercise will shape your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings, helping transform your body. If you’re a newbie, make sure to get the technique right. Later, once it becomes easier, you can add weight resistance. After only a few weeks you’ll feel stronger and look great in skinny jeans. Add bicep curls to the mix for an intense workout.
This exercise may seem easy, but it’s quite challenging. It’s dynamic, and never boring as well. Burpees offer a full body workout and hit every muscle, including your arms, shoulders, chest, core, quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves while keeping your heart-rate up. It’s perfect for both cardio and strength training. It burns lots of calories, as well. These equipment-free exercises give you a great workout and you can do them almost anywhere.
8. Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are a must for your workout routine. This vigorous exercise will change the way your body looks and will provide explosive energy. Not only it burns fat, but also elevates your heart-rate and tones your muscles. Just like burpees, it offers a complete body workout. Depending on a person’s weight and intensity of the workout, jumping jacks can burn as many as 750 calories per hour, which equates to 12.5 calories per minute. This move targets your abdominal muscles, tones your glutes, makes your legs stronger, and relieves stress. If you want an adaptable, convenient exercise, look no further.
To make it not so monotonous you can incorporate jumping jacks in a circuit workout that consists of multiple types of exercises.
9. Lying Leg Raise
The lying leg raise is done by lying on the floor on your back. Place your hands under your glutes with your palms facing down. Keep your legs as straight as possible. Slowly raise your legs perpendicular to the floor, then slowly lower your legs toward the floor as far as you can while maintaining a neutral or flat lower back. Do not let your heels touch the floor throughout the set.
Despite its simplicity, the lying leg raise is one of the best exercises for abs. It’s also one of the few moves that targets your lower abdominal muscles. When done regularly, it increases the definition and strength of your abs. Changing the position of your legs addresses different muscle groups.
As you get stronger, you can increase the level of difficulty by placing a medicine ball between your ankles – it will add some extra resistance to your workout and will make it more challenging.
This is one of the most complete exercises out there. When you run, all muscles are working hard to maintain your balance and stability. Running improves your posture and boosts your fitness level. You will find that it is one of the best ways to burn off extra calories.
Running benefits go beyond a great body. Studies suggest that running keeps your mind sharp and boosts your self-esteem. At the same time, it increases your energy and stamina. This basic activity builds stronger bones, promotes cardiovascular health, and relieves stress. Running at least 30 minutes a day is an easy way to stay fit and healthy all year round.