The human body is capable of incredible feats of strength, flexibility and endurance. Strength training can help us build a stronger, healthier and happier body. Strength exercises are beneficial to all aspects of life, from increasing balance and coordination to improving mental health. Whether you’re looking to build muscle, boost general fitness, or just want to become a stronger version of yourself, it’s important to add a variety of strength exercises into your regular routine. In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the top strength exercises for helping you reach your fitness goals.
Benefits of Strength Training
Before we dive into the strength exercises, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of strength training.
• Improved Physical Performance – Regular strength training increases muscle endurance, power and strength and can lead to improved physical performance. This can help us participate in the activities we enjoy more effectively and efficiently.
• Improved Mental Health – Mental health is just as important as physical health. Strength training relieves stress, boosts self-esteem and helps to manage anxiety and stress.
• Weight Management – As well as helping to increase muscle mass, a balanced strength training program can also help us to maintain a healthy weight.
• Improved Balance and Coordination – Strength training helps to improve our balance and coordination, which can reduce the chance of accidental injury and falls.
• Improved Posture – Regular strength training helps to strengthen the body’s core muscles, which helps to improve posture.
Now that we’ve discussed some of the amazing benefits of strength training, let’s take a look at the top strength exercises that will help you reach your fitness goals.
Squat exercises are an excellent way to build strength in the lower body such as the glutes and quads. Squats should be done with proper form for maximum benefit. To do a proper squat, begin with your feet hip distance apart, toes pointing forward and your weight in your heels. Engaging your core, lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground and then return to standing. Beginners should start with bodyweight squats and progress to adding weights such as dumbbells or barbells.
The deadlift is a power exercise that strengthens the entire posterior chain, including the glutes, hamstrings and lower back. To do a proper deadlift, stand in front of a barbell with your feet hip-distance apart and your toes pointed forward. Without rounding your back, lower until your hands can grip the barbell, and then raise the bar bell by driving your heels into the ground and engaging the muscles of your legs.
Push ups are a classic bodyweight exercise that engages your upper body and core muscles for improved strength, endurance and balance. To do a proper push up, begin in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Lower your chest to the floor and then push back up to the starting position. Keep your core tight and take care not to let your lower back sag.
Lunges are great for building lower body strength and improve balance and mobility. To do a proper lunge, stand with your feet hip distance apart and take a big step forward, bringing the opposite knee down to just above the floor. Push off your front foot to return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg.
Single-leg squats are an advanced bodyweight exercise that help to build strength, balance and mobility in the legs and hips. To do a single-leg squat, begin standing on one leg with your hands out in front or at your sides for balance. Keeping your core tight, slowly lower your body until your knee is bent 90 degrees and then return to standing. This exercise can be done with or without weights for greater difficulty.
Pull ups help to build upper body strength, especially in the muscles of the back and the biceps. To do a proper pull up, begin by hanging from a pull up bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Engage your core and pull your body up until your chin is above the bar. Pause and slowly lower to the starting position. This exercise can be done with or without additional weight for increased difficulty.
Shoulder presses are great for building strong, stable shoulders and engaging the arms and core. To do a proper shoulder press, begin with a barbell at shoulder height. Press the barbell up until your arms are extended, pause, and then slowly lower to the starting position. Keep your core tight and take care not to lower the barbell too far below your shoulders.
Strength training can benefit us in many ways and help us to reach our fitness goals. By incorporating the top strength exercises discussed in this article, such as squats, deadlifts, push ups, lunges, single-leg squats, pull ups and shoulder presses, we can build strength, improve stability and reap the many other benefits of strength training.