We have put together 10 simple strength and conditioning exercises you do can at the gym. Adding these tried and tested exercises to your regime for 10 minutes a day really can make all the difference to your overall strength and core stability.
As well as playing a crucial role in weight control and fitness level, exercise can also boost your state of mind. It is great for both your physical and psychological well being.
Over time, exercise builds muscle. Weight-lifting and weight-bearing exercises (pulling, pushing, pressing, pumping) strengthen your different muscle groups.
Aerobic exercises, such as fast walking, swimming and bicycling, build up your cardiovascular endurance, while push-ups and other weight-bearing exercises build up your muscular endurance.
More endurance means more efficient and sustained delivery of oxygen and nutrients to every cell in your body. Both types of exercise help to make everyday tasks such as picking up groceries, reaching for things, walking upstairs and running for a bus much easier.
If you’re a novice or returning to exercise after an injury, machine and gym equipment can be a good starting point but bear in mind that traditional machines restrict the body to one plane which is not a natural thing for us. We move through all three planes in almost every task we do and that’s why it’s so important to train in all three planes of movement – Sagittal, Transverse and Coronal.
There are so many different types of exercises you can do to improve your life, but why not start your journey with these 10 simple strength and conditioning exercises you can do at the gym.
Stand beside (not in front of) a loaded (or non-loaded) barbell. Perform a deadlift the same way as normal, picking up the bar with one arm. This is great for your whole body, and you will get a lot more obliques and deep trunk muscles lifting it like this.
You can perform the squats in different foot positions, then as you squat, lift the MB up and then down and touch the floor, back up and reach to the sides.
Great for your glutes, Quads, Hammies, trunk, shoulders and arms. Also good to get your heart pumping too!
Place your hands under your shoulders, shoulder-width apart, knees under your hips, hip-width apart.
Keeping back in neutral, extend opposite arm and leg out and alternate. To make it harder, keep feet off floor + closed eyes. This is great for balance and teaches good core control.
Your glutes, legs, arms and shoulder/chest will also work. Works deep longitudinal muscle sling.
Standing with feet hip-width apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand above your head, then lean to one side bending your torso as far down as you can.
In this exercise, you are going to remain in one plane to target the interior and exterior obliques. To make it more difficult, extend one leg out to the side and it also becomes a great balance exercise.
Starting in plank/hover position, walk up on your hands and walk to the side with minimal movement through hips and keeping the plank position = no bums up!
Walk 5 steps then rotate to both sides balancing on one hand and foot then walk back and down on your elbows. Start again.
This is a whole-body exercise that targets your core and arms and brings balance and coordination to it which means that your CNS also gets a workout. Increase difficulty by adding dumbbells and lifting one leg in the rotation.
Standing on one foot, slowly bend your back to 90degrees if possible, with hips staying level and opposite arm reaching out in front. Come back up to standing, still on one foot and repeat on the same side. Progress by adding unstable surface and/or weights.
This is a great balance, coordination, core and leg exercise which also trains the deep longitudinal muscle sling that promotes stability through SIJ during gait in walking and running.
Muscles in the Longitudinal muscle sling are Peroneus, Bicep Femoris, STL and Erector Spinae.
Stand on one foot and extend the other leg to the side and squat down as deep as you can, reaching out to the side with the opposite arm. Press back up and repeat on the other side.
Again, a great balance and strength exercise that targets your Glute Medius, which is an important muscle in walking and running. Add unstable surface and/or weights for more difficulty.
This exercise will work you Lateral muscle sling and muscles involved are: QL, abductors and adductors. This will give you stability in the Coronal plane.
8. Clap Push-ups
A classic push- up with claps. Great for the power of the upper extremities and core stability.
9. Lunges with Core Rotations
Using a core ball or if you don’t have one simply hold your arms out in front. Step forward into a lunge and rotate to both sides keeping hips still and the majority of rotation from Thoracic.
Come back to the centre and lift the ball up in front of your body and then press up and walk through to next lunge. Great for core and hip stability, legs, arms, balance, coordination and T-extension.
10. Cross-over Run with Arm and Torso Rotation
Start by crossing your left leg over your right, then left leg behind.
Rotating arms forward and back as your torso rotates following the momentum. This will help with coordination, CNS, speed, agility, CV, core and multiplanar.
So there you go, 10 simple exercises you can do at the gym or at home to keep your whole body conditioned, including your mind, and to keep your workout routine from getting boring, vary the type of exercise you do from day to day.
If you would like more advice or guidance contact Nordic Balance St James’s (SW1) to discuss private personal training sessions.
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