Sometimes it’s impossible to find the time every day to complete an entire regiment of exercises. However, developing and maintaining strong muscles builds an excellent foundation for your other exercises and is an important component in losing weight. On days where you’ve got less than 30 minutes free, try to incorporate these 5 exercises as they will have the most rewards in terms of muscle gain!
1. Squats: The squat is one of the most basic all-around fitness exercises that you can do, and it is one of the best. It works several body parts at once, including your core, quads, hamstrings and calves. If you train for strength, squat using a barbell or holding dumbells in your hands. If you want to train for endurance or cardio, use body-weight squats.
2. Pushups: This exercise is no secret, but not enough people take advantage of it. They work the chest, shoulders, triceps, back and abs (core). To get the most out of your pushups, do sets of 20 reps and several variations; place your arms farther apart, closer together, or try a “Spider-Man” pushup by alternatively bringing your knees to your elbow each time you go down.
3. The Plank: This is a powerful isolation move used in “Pilates and Yoga and it works the abs, back, arms and legs as well as your internal abdominal muscles, which is your core strength!
To do it, lie face down on mat with your elbows resting on the floor next to your chest. Go to a pushup position while resting on your elbows or hands. Then squeeze the abs and keep your body in a straight line. Hold on in there for 30-60 seconds and repeat as many times as you can. Start by doing the plank on your knees and gradually work your way up.
4. Lunges: Like squats, lunges work most of the muscles in your legs including your quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves. Stand in a split-stance (one leg forward, one leg back). Bend knees and lower body into a lungeposition, keeping the front knee and back knee at 90 degree angles. Keeping the weight in your heels, push back up slowly to starting position. Never lock your knees at the top and don’t let your knee bend past your toes.
5. Chin Ups: Also known as a pull-up, the most effective chin-up is the wide-grip version. To build a wide back, it’s essential to incorporate this exercise into your muscle building exercise regime. Doing this exercise regularly will have a tremendous impact on your lats, biceps and your forearms.