Jun 14, 2021
My Favorite Total Body Exercises and Why They are so Effective
With our busy lives and packed schedules it seems more and more difficult for people to maintain their fitness. Our clinics give workshops on exercise programs that are both effective and very time-efficient. These are some of the most popular workshops we offer and give our people a great start in maintaining their fitness. Here are my personal favorites for total body exercise:
- Burpees - If I had to pick my favorite exercise of all time, burpees would be it. Not only do burpees require nothing but our own bodyweight—meaning we have no real excuse not to do them—they’re an awesome overall body strengthener and will condition us like no other exercise can. How to do them: Stand up straight, then get into a squat position with hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back into a push up position and lower your body so that your chest touches the floor. Jump and return your feet to the squat position as fast as possible. Immediately jump up into the air as high as you can while raising your hands over your head. Remember, these are chosen for their effectiveness, not because they are easy to do. Many people that are just getting started will find burpees to be very challenging.
- Step ups - Step ups are a fantastic exercise we can do with very little space that will strengthen our legs and core muscles, build endurance, and get our heart rate up all in one move. To make step ups more challenging, add weight or step onto a higher surface. How to do them: Stand in front of a box or an elevated surface, pulling your shoulders back and keeping your abs tight. Set your left leg onto the box, then step to top of the box making sure your feet are flat. Once you are standing on the box with your left leg, raise the right knee as high as possible while maintaining your balance on the left leg. Step back down with the same leg, then repeat with your right leg. Step ups can easily be done while holding dumbbells in each hand to make them more challenging.
- Pull ups – yes, the exercise we hated as kids when we had to do them in P.E. class. Pull ups are one of the best upper body exercises of all time, and not only work our arms, shoulders and back, but will also strengthen our core as well. If you can’t do one quite yet, don’t give up all hope—with practice, anyone can do a pull up. How to do them: Start by hanging from a pull up bar with your palms facing away from you. Keeping your chest up and your shoulders back, squeeze your glutes and cross your feet, then pull yourself up so that your chin rests over the bar. Lower back down with control. Simple modifications to do so anyone can do a pull up include having a workout partner assist lifting you while the pull up is attempted. Another modification is to position the pull up bar so our feet can touch the ground. Assist the pull up by pushing with the legs, but push as little as possible.
- Jumping rope – My go to exercise in almost every workout is jumping rope. This is the best overall exercise to warm up the joints and muscles and prepare to workout. There are exceptional total body workouts to be done with just a simple jump rope. If it has been a while since you jumped rope, get on YouTube or some other sharing media and look at the advanced jump rope routines people have put together. If jumping is not possible due to joint problems, don’t despair. I have found unlimited and amazing exercises using a jump rope, but not actually jumping. Swinging the rope and creatively moving the swings around your body can be a great workout. I’ve done 15-minute rope swing workouts without ever jumping, and end the workout dripping sweat.
Be Blessed and Be Fit.
Category: Dr. Sterling