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NOTE: I am not a fitness expert or personal trainer, nor am I a doctor. I am simply taking the training I have learned over the years and passing it onto you. I am not liable if you complete these exercises incorrectly and injure yourself.
Getting fit is not easy. When I was prepping for Air Force Basic Training, I had no idea where to start. However, I knew that running, push-ups, and sit-ups were all components of the fitness test. So… that’s what I did. I started running every day and began practicing my push-ups and sit-ups.
It was tough, but I noticed results almost immediately. When I began, I could only do 20 sit-ups and 1 push-up. However, within a month, I was doing 20 push-ups and 50 sit-ups. The point is, if you are struggling with exercise and don’t know where to begin, there are some very basic exercises you can do to put you on the right path.
Below, I’ve listed 5 different exercises you can do to start building strength in your core and upping your daily cardio activity.
The push-up. This has been my Achilles’ heel for as long as I can remember. When you have no upper body strength, push-ups can be very difficult. I recommend starting on your knees if you can’t do a regular push-up – and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. A lot of people cannot do 1 regular push-up. If you can do a regular push-up, do as many of those as you can, and then move to your knees. Continue on your knees until you cannot do anymore. This is called muscle failure.
Sit-ups are awesome for strengthening your lower abdomen and back muscles. Unfortunately, people often perform them incorrectly. Check out this article on how to perform a proper sit-up. It helps to anchor your feet. Again, if you cannot do many sit-ups, just start with 1. As you progress, you can perform as many as possible until complete muscle failure.
Planks are perfect for strengthening your core. They will help you in every way – making push-ups, lunges, and sit-ups easier with time. A plank can be performed in many ways. In the picture below, she is doing a plank in the upward push-up position, otherwise known as a straight-arm plank. I typically complete mine on my forearms. This is where you are holding yourself up with your forearms on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Check here for an example. You can also do side-planks. Check out that link above to find 20 different ways to do a plank. You’ll want to start with 15 seconds, and try to work your way up to 30, 45, and 60 over time.
4. Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are where you’re going to get your cardio. These are simple to do in your living room or garage, which is why I’ve added them to the list. You don’t need a gym or weights to complete any of these exercises. A jumping jack is the easiest way to add some cardio to your work-out without leaving home. Start by completing 10-20. If you can do more, awesome. Work your way up to 100 PRE and POST work-out.
Lunges are awesome for your legs. They also work your core muscles. If you’re trying to tone up your thighs and butt, lunges are for you. A lot of people starting out find lunges to be the easiest. I think that’s because you use your legs all the time, so they’re used to working out, even if it’s just walking around. See how to perform a proper lunge. Try to do 10 lunges for each leg (20 complete lunges) starting out. If you feel that you can do more, go grab a couple of canned goods and hold them in your hands to use as added weight. You’ll be feeling the burn soon after.
These exercises may take additional effort for you to complete, based on your current fitness level, but they are not difficult or confusing to execute. All of these positions can be researched online. Don’t forget to do some basic stretching so your muscles stay flexible.
You’re not going to turn into a supermodel with these exercises. However, if you’re looking to start the process of becoming fit, these are easy basics that can begin to pave the way.