15 General Exercises to Keep Your Body Fit and Active

When it comes to building muscles and gaining a fit body, many people like to take the easy way out. They take far too little time on focusing on the fundamentals - the 20% that delivers 80% of the results.

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Sometimes they even try to look for hacks, shortcuts, and secrets on how to gain muscle definition quickly without the traditional method of working out at a gym. Along with looking for the easy way out, some people also like to use supplements to speed up their progress.

If you are planning on going this route, then let me tell you right now that it is not the best way for you to achieve a fit body. Many people like to spend wads of dollars on worthless supplements that can only give you temporary results.

General Exercises

1

Back Fly

This is a simple workout that involves standing at a special angle with your waist bending forward and back legs straight. After that, you can bend completely at the waist until your back is straight.

back-fly

Doing this twelve times in multiples of three sets daily is incredibly good for better abs development.

2

Incline Crunches

This is a less intensive exercise aiming at giving your butt the perfect shape. Sit on an incline crunch bench. Keep your toes towards the ceiling. You should then lie flat on your back and then steadily crunch up till you are half way sitting.

crunches

Retain this posture for a couple of seconds and then steadily lower yourself to resume the lying position. Just three sets of twelve are enough for a fit body.

3

Rowing

This involves sitting on a rowing machine with your entire back at a straight angle. You are then expected to use your arms in operating the machine without bending. It is very fit for maintaining a flexible back.

rowing

4

Twist Toe Touches

For a less intensive and fit body exercise, this might just be the best option. Stand straight and then spread your feet shoulder width apart with hands on the hips.

touch-toe

After that bend as you twist and touch your right toes using the left finger. Alternate to the other side and do this around twenty times for each side.

5

Leg Raises

This is a very simple workout for developing great legs. Lie flat on the ground. Put your hands by your side. Steadily lift both your legs off the ground, keeping them straight and packed together.

leg-raises

Hold them at the top position for about forty-five seconds then slowly lower them down. Repeat this up to twenty times or as much as you can manage. It's simple and effective for your abs.

6

Yoga Stretches

This is just the basic stretching exercise involved in yoga lessons. It’s all about being in an upside down position with your hands firmly holding the mat as you raise your feet to a higher target. Doing this several times helps in strengthening your core muscles and even general body flexibility.

yoga-stretch

7

Chair Push-ups

Place our hands on a firmly fixed chair and then stretch your entire body slightly farther from the chair. Lower and raise your body just like in the normal push ups. Doing several of them is fit for your arms and abs.

Chair-Push-ups

8

Chair Push-ups

Get down on your hands with your back straight and stomach pulled in. Kick back your right leg as you stretch the farthest you can. Hold them in that position for ten seconds and alternate the other leg. Do a minimum of ten rounds for each side.

Donkey-Kicks

9

Jumping Rope

This is a simple workout technique that involves passing over a playing rope. It serves both as a pass time activity as well as an essential exercise. You can also try skipping over a rope as it has the same impact.

Jumping Rope

10

Swimming

This is a great source of leisure and exercise at the same time. It is not that involving, and that makes it convenient and easy for virtually everyone. It often works miracles on the general body muscles. Having it twice a week over the weekend is advisable for a flexible and fit body.

swimming

11

Squats

These are essential physical workouts for toning the butt and enhancing muscles around the upper joints. It is very easy to do squats as they are less intensive and normally take a relatively shorter time.

Squats

12

Reverse Lunges

To get rid of love handles in a simple manner, try out reverse lunges. Simply stand straight keeping your feet together. After that step backward as you bend your right knees and steadily get down to the lowest level attainable. Retain this posture for four seconds before switching to the next side.

Reverse Lunges

13

Cycling

This is a key exercise for strengthening the leg muscles. It’s also essential in toning your butts and abs. Cycling is good for your health regardless of whether it is on a stationary or moving bicycle.

cycling

14

Jogging

This is a very simple workout that requires little time and no equipment. Do a few laps very early in the morning and maybe later in the evening. It’s healthy in regulating the level of fats within your body.

Jogging

15

Walking

This is the most familiar and yet very essential exercise routine. It can also act as a warm-up exercise for more intensive workouts. Try as much as possible to walk a considerable distance daily for the best effect.

Walking

Reasons for Trying Different Workouts

1

Make a Breakthrough in Your Fitness Plateau

Your body becomes highly efficient when it does the same activities over and over again. You will observe that it has adapted so well to the stimuli and stress placed upon it.

Your body becomes so well-adapted it no longer responds to your exercise routines. You will observe a near-sudden stop in your progress, whether it’s in muscle gain or weight loss. You can work harder and longer yet you’re not losing more pounds or gaining more muscle.

You are now in the body plateau stage. Your body has become less efficient such that it burns fewer calories. You must introduce new exercises and, thus, challenge your body in an unfamiliar way.

Your body has to adjust to the new activity so it has to burn more calories or build more muscles. You will find that the new stimuli or stress will stop the plateau in its tracks within two weeks.

2

Prevent Overuse Injuries

Your body is also at higher risk for repetitive strain injury. This is a type of injury that occurs with doing repetitive motions for a prolonged period of time. These can be swimming with the same stroke or lifting weights with the same exercise.

Your muscles and joints suffer from premature wear and tear with the constant stress. Your shoulder joints, for example, can suffer from bursitis from too many overhead motions.

You should mix up your exercises. You can give your overused muscles, ligaments and joints their much-needed rest. You can let them recover their microscopic injuries before putting them back to work.

3

Build New Muscles

Your overworked muscles must rest and recover from their injuries. Keep in mind that muscles grow in size and strength during the recovery stage. Your decision to give them a rest will redound to your benefit soon enough.

While your overworked muscles are recovering, you can focus on your other muscles’ growth. Instead of doing chest exercises, you can perform leg exercises. Your body will then have a more balanced look, a must for whole-body fitness.

Think about it in another way. You don’t want a top-heavy or bottom-heavy look – you want a symmetrical look. You also don’t want your upper body to be stronger than your lower body.

Your goal in whole-body fitness is to achieve whole-body strength and stamina. This is true for both professional athletes and recreational exercises. Both are well-advised to engage in a variety of sports and cross-training activities.

4

Beat Boredom in Your Workouts

You will eventually become bored with the same exercise routines. Your mind and body will rebel at the thought of making the same movements day in and day out. Your next step will likely be to just stop exercising!

This is where mixing up your exercise routines come in. You’re challenging your mind and body to perform new things so boredom can be prevented. You will find that your enthusiasm for exercise returns soon enough.

5

Keep Your Brain Healthy

You should think of whole-body fitness as a brain-centered goal, too. You cannot separate the brain and body in exercise, after all.

When you add variety to your workout, your brain works harder to keep up. Your brain must learn new skills, such as in the muscle coordination involved in a new movement. You can, for example, add ballroom dancing to your Zumba classes.

You may even meet new workout partners when adding variety to your routine! Your life will be better when you meet new people who can provide a new perspective on fitness.

Tips for Adding Variety to Your Workouts

Fortunately, adding spice to your workouts is easy. Keep these tips in mind when planning what, why and how to change your routine for whole-body fitness.

  • Use cardio boosts: Between your weight training exercises, you can insert an intense cardio workout. The cardio boost can be done during your recovery period. You can, for example, hop on the elliptical trainer for 30-120 seconds of high-intensity interval training.
  • Combine weight machines and free weights: Instead of just using the weight machines in the circuit area, bring free weights, too. You can perform dumbbell raises followed by machine shoulder press. You may also skip a weight machine, such as a leg press, in favor of dumbbell squats.
  • Use pre or post-exhaust: Come earlier than usual to your cardio exercise class, such as Pilates, yoga, or spin. You can then work on pre-exhausting your muscles. You’re basically throwing an exercise curveball that your body is unfamiliar with.

An example can be doing a series of lunges and squats before your spin class. You’re making the bicycle riding experience more demanding. You can also do a full-body weight training workout before a Pilates class.

You should skip weight training on your low back and stomach muscles for best results. Other ways of adding variety are:

  • Hiring a personal trainer
  • Using compound exercises
  • Doing mini-circuits

Of course, you should always keep your safety in mind. You shouldn’t engage in new exercises just for the heck of it. You must carefully choose the exercises that will fit into your fitness plan.

Why Shouldn't You Take any Shortcuts?

When it comes to working out, always take note that there is no shortcut to success; you will have to work your way to achieving the body that you deserve.

There is a huge difference and sense of accomplishment when you know that you have worked hard to achieve something that you really want. The same thing goes for working out.

If you cheat your way to the top by taking supplements and eating food that is bad for you, you will not be able to reach your goal. The secret to attaining the body that you have aspired to have is to maintain discipline in terms of diet, exercise, and self-control.

There's no doubt that it will be hard to keep yourself from eating unhealthy food, we have all been through that stage of life, and the sooner that you can overcome this habit, the faster that you will start to see results on your behavior in terms of dieting.

There are many ways that you can overcome this habit, for the one you will have to set a schedule for yourself that you will need to follow on a daily basis. Create a checklist of those activities that you have accomplished for the day so that you can take note of it.

After you have set a definite timetable for your workouts, make sure that you also set a time for your meals, and make sure that you do not skip it.

Include healthy food to your diet, foods that are rich in protein and fiber so that you stay healthy and have energy while you are working out. Self-control is key to a healthier you.

Take as long as you want, do not rush yourself by crash dieting because this can cause a lot of health issues in the long run. It won't matter that you take long to loose weight or gain muscle, the important thing is you stick to your habits, to ensure that you get the results that you want.

Final Words

We are naturally averse to change, a fact that also applies to changing our exercise routines. But if better things are to happen, then changing exercise routines is a must. The benefits that come with the changes are aplenty, too, so get right to it now!

Having a fit body will give you the confidence and the motivation to stay in shape. Losing weight or gaining muscle is hard to do, but with determination, you will start to notice that all the hard work you put in will all be worth it in the end.

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