5 Of the Most Vital Exercises You Can Do


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Let’s start things out on the right foot. You deserve lots of congratulations for just getting yourself to the gym and trying to do the best for your body. Many, many people never even make it off the sofa. You don’t have to be a marathon runner or a professional weight lifter to have a healthy, fit, good looking body; but let’s be serious. Why spend time and money working out if you are not getting the maximum results for your efforts? Also, doing the same thing or using the same machine over and over gets a little dull, doesn’t it? So let’s check out these 5 vital exercises that you can work into your routine and get better results from the time you spend at the gym.

1. Burpees

The hard working exercise with the funny name. You don’t even need to go to the gym for this one, but you will feel like you did when you are finished. Burpees are one of the best full body exercise that you can do to not only kick your exercise program up a notch, but to burn, burn, burn calories like crazy. Don’t know what a burpee is? Start in a standing position. Bring your body down, like a squatting frog, with your hands out in front of you, and then kick your legs out behind you so that you are now in a push up position. Now you reverse it, bring your legs in, then push yourself up, off the floor and jump straight up in the air, clapping your hands high overhead. This is all one fluid movement that you will get the hang of quickly enough, and it only counts as one rep.


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2. Swimming

Some people have called swimming the world’s most perfect exercise. Perhaps they are right; swimming is great because, besides being fun and refreshing, it works almost every single muscle in the body at the same time. ( active swimming, that is, not floating) It works not only your muscles, but is one of the best cardio workouts also. You don’t have to worry about damage to your joints like you do with running or other weight bearing exercises and it’s one of the best ways to burn calories ever! Depending on what stroke you are doing, did you know you can burn as much as 450 calories in only 30 minutes? Now that’s a lot of reward for not much effort.


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3. Kettle bells

They may look old fashioned, but kettle bells are the new standard for resistance training. Kettle bell swings give your body a wallop of a full body workout that you will find gives you tremendous power and strength in your arms and legs in a very short amount of time. You won’t even need to do cardio as exercise for, like swimming, is its own cardio workout. Start with 30 seconds of swings with the kettle ball, then 30 seconds of rest three times. Work up to either 2 minutes of swinging, then resting, or up to 10 sets. It’s a lot of work in a short period of time but you will see the results from this great exercise really quickly!

arched pull up

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4. Arched Back Pull-ups

If you have spent any time at the gym at all, you know just how important a simple pull up can be. Pulls ups are probably one of the best body weight exercises around and the arched back pull up is even more effective. To do this, arch your back with a neutral hold and this will give your abdominals an intense workout. When you reach the top of the pull, be sure that your chest is touching your hands with your back and legs almost parallel with the floor.


Photo credit: bigstock

5. The Walking Renegade Rows

Great name, isn’t it? It may sound tough, but it’s not nearly as tough as it sounds. This is another exercise that will work every muscle in your upper body at the same time while your legs and core muscles still get a workout as well. You can do renegade rows with kettle bells or dumbbells and, unlike burpees, are just a few simple steps. See this for a great instructional video on how to best do this exercise.