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Do you lift weights or do squats on a regular basis? Well, it might be time to start.
According to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, most Americans are not meeting the recommended guidelines for muscle-strengthening exercises. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, adults should do muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate or high intensity and involve major muscle groups at least two days a week.
With so many options out there today, it seems like a no-brainer, but it's easy to get overwhelmed. Should you try high-intensity interval training, circuit training or CrossFit? What's the best workout for you?
"There is no single best type of exercise," said Dr. Jordan Metzl, a sports medicine physician at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, explained. "The most important thing is compliance. ... People will most likely stick with any exercise program if they're smiling."
Well, what's not to smile about with a six-minute workout? Metzl, also a renowned fitness instructor, shared a total-body routine will get your heart rate pumping while strengthening your muscles.
You need two sets of light dumbbells (5-8 pounds) and an exercise mat. Perform each of these exercises for one minute, then rest for 15 seconds. If you're at an intermediate or advanced level, repeat the entire routine three times for an 18-minute workout.
When you have strong glutes, you'll experience less hip pain, and walking and running will be easier. Squats are good for balance, too.
Start with your feet hip-width apart. While keeping your back straight, lower your glutes as if you were about to sit in a chair. Squeeze them as you return to standing position. If you want to challenge yourself, add a jump when you reach the top of the squat.
Planks are a great full-body exercise. They target your core and also help to reduce back pain.
Begin on the ground, with your arms shoulder-width apart and legs straight. Tighten your entire body, and try to keep your body parallel to the ground.
3. Overhead push press with weights
This exercise targets your upper chest and back muscles, which help with any activities where you're lifting things overhead. It also works to improve your posture and helps to reduce shoulder pain.
Grab two dumbbells and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise the weights to your shoulders and then push into the air. Lower the weights and repeat.
Despite what most people think, lunges are actually good for your knees. They help to strengthen the muscles in your legs that can help to reduce knee pain. This exercise works your glutes, quads and hamstrings.
To begin, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward with your right leg and bend your knee at a 90-degree angle. Your left leg should be bent as well, nearly touching the ground. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite leg. Continue alternating legs.
If you're looking for a challenge, add a jump as you switch your front legs.
5. Mountain climbers
This is a great cardio exercise that also targets the core.
Start in a plank position, with your arms directly underneath your shoulders. Bring your right knee forward to your left elbow, then return it to starting position. Repeat on the other side, bringing your left knee forward to your right elbow. Continue alternating in a quick motion.
This is another exercise that is great for full-body strength. It may be challenging at first, but it will get easier with time.
Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart. Bend into a squat, then place your hands beneath your shoulders as if you were going to do a plank. Then, jump your legs out so you are in a plank position. Next, jump your legs back up into a squat, and finish the move with a jump in the air.
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