Here are the best of the best moves for shaping your body. ENSURE you are adding these exercises or at least variations of these exercises into your workouts.
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Why are these so important? Let me explain as we move through our muscles:
Quads & Calves
Squat and lunges are superior leg exercises responsible for shaping your quads, glutes, calves and hamstrings. It’s hard to get yourself excited for “leg day” since these types of exercises require a lot of effort, but that is exactly what makes them so worth while.
1. Split Squat
My love/hate relationship with the spilt squat will make sense after you try this baby. This exercise, as well as any squat variation, targets your quadriceps. They also activate your core and just about every other muscle in your lower body. The squat is one of the best all-around exercises you can do.
If you are unsure how to preform this exercise, head to the exercise library by clicking below:
==> How To Do A Proper Split Squat
BONUS BENEFITS: Squats work muscles of your core harder than many ab exercises do. Your balance improves by strengthening the tendons and ligaments of your legs, making them less susceptible to injury. Squats also aid in making your back stronger. Let’s get Squatting!
This exercise targets your quadriceps, however, they also work just about all the other muscles in your lower body as well.
Exercise Tip: When preforming the lunge, visualize lowering your body straight down, not forward and down.
Hamstrings & Glutes
Anytime you are standing, the muscles of your glutes and hamstrings are working. Trouble is, most of us spend more time sitting, making our hip muscle become weak and forget how to contract. This is especially true for our glutes.
The glutes are the most powerful muscle group in our body, meaning we can really burn some serious calories if we are engaging them properly. Hamstrings are one of the muscle group that is the hardest to build on a female. This is because we have to lift heavy weights in order to work them properly.
If our hamstrings and/or glutes are weak, it disrupts the muscular balance of our body, causing pain and injuries to our knees, hips and back. How do we stop this? By making hamstrings and glutes a top priority, you will not only get rid of cellulite, you’ll be making your body strong and sexy.
3. Hamstring Curl
You can use bodyweight to learn how to engage your hamstrings properly. From there you want to be adding weight. Try hitting the hamstring curl machines.
Exercise Tip: Make sure you are using the same weight for your quadriceps exercises as you do for your hamstring exercises. 70% of athletes suffer from hamstring injury due to imbalances between their quadriceps and the hamstrings.
Want to get rid of cellulite? It’s easy when you learn to activate your glutes and add heavy weights to your workouts.
==> How To Do The Proper Hamstring Curl
BONUS BENEFITS: A strong set of hamstrings helps stabilize your knees, lowering your risk of injury.
4. Hip Raise
Once you have the technique down, try to do variations and add weights to strengthen the glutes. Below we see a Single-leg Weighted Hip Raise…LOVE THEM!
Hip raises target your hamstrings and glutes but they also require you to activate your abdominals and lower back muscles.
BONUS BENEFITS: Weak glutes cause your hips to tilt forward, putting stress on the spine. This leads to lower back discomfort and pushes your tummy forward, making it stick out; AKA “the pooch”.
Bent knee deadlifts target our glutes, hamstrings and a lot of other muscles such as quadriceps, core, back and shoulders. They are among the best total-body exercises you can do!
Grab someone who knows how to deadlift to make sure you are executing correct form.
==> How To Do The Proper Deadlift (video)
Back & Chest & Upper Body
Push ups are another all-around body transforming exercise since it works not only the front of your body, it also works just about everywhere else too.
The reason we work on our back is a no-brainer. Can anyone say, “I want to walk until I die?” Every time I see people in a motorized chair, I immediately think, I need to work my back hard this week.
Chinups and pullups target your lats, another weak body part normally found on females. They also hit your terms major, biceps,core, middle and upper back; making this exercise a perfect total-upper body exercise.
Exercise Tip: Imagine that you are pulling the bar to our chest, instead of your chest to the bar.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between a chinup and pullup, it’s pretty simple. For a chinup you use an underhand drip, making it a lot easier, while the pulp you use an overhand grip. An underhand grip allows your biceps to be more involved.
Most women aren’t looking to make their pecs pop but that doesn’t mean they should ignore working them. Chest exercises target your and shape your deltoids and triceps and help increase upper body strength.
The pushup is fantastic exercise to burn a lot of calories and aids in helping with posture. Did you also know that Pushups are great for the abs? It’s true. Your abdominals, rotator, trapezius, serrates anterior, and abdominals all keep your shoulders, core and hips stable when preforming this exercise.
==> How To Do The Perfect Pushup
Thanks for reading. I would love to know what your fav exercises are and why. Let me know below 🙂
Join the discussion 3 Comments
This was a fantastic article, Flavia! My favorite exercises are pull ups/chin ups, squats, lunges, and hip raises!!!
I love pull ups and chin ups because since I’ve started doing them, I have seen immense improvements in my posture! Making sure that I am standing and sitting up straight is a major priority for me so I make sure I do these exercises throughout the week!
I love squats and lunges because they make me feel so strong and confident while I’m doing them! And one of my goals right now is to improve my balance and split squats and lunges have helped me make great progress!
And I LOVE hip raises because they make me feel so empowered and doing them has improved the strength of my posterior chain! Before I started incorporating this exercise into my workout routine, my hips were always tilted forward, my tummy was pushed out forward, and to top it all off, I had the WORST lower back pain ever. But as soon as I started doing this exercise, overtime, my hip and core alignment was restored and my lower back pain disappeared! It’s truly amazing what the right exercises can do!
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