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Five essential exercises

There are many different workout plans. Some need hours at the gym and some claim to get results with only a few minutes a day. How do you sort through the information to find an exercise routine that gives you the results you want? The answer is short, but intense workouts. By focusing on the following five exercises you can get your whole body in great shape.

To get great looking legs do lots of squats. For the basic squat you stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Then you bend your knees like you are sitting down in a chair and stop at a 90-degree angle before standing back up. This works your entire legs, especially if you do a calf raise at the end. A wider stance, with your toes turned out, will target your inner thighs.

Your chest will benefit the most from bench presses. If you aren’t very strong start with push-ups which are essentially an upside down bench press. Once you have built up strength switch to the bench press. Use a spotter and lift the weight straight up from your chest. To really isolate the chest muscle and avoid injury do not allow the weight to sway over your neck or down towards your abs. For variety, change the angle of the bench you are laying on. This will help isolate various parts of your chest muscle.

Many people forget to work out their back, but the muscles are very important. Weak back muscles can cause pain in the abdominal muscles as they work harder to compensate for the weak back muscles. To strengthen you back do pull-ups. Hang off a bar and use you back muscles to raise your chin up and over the bar. You can space your hands wide or close together to add variety. You can also grip the bar with your hands facing away from you, towards you or one each way. Mixing it up will target various parts of the back muscles and create a stronger, better defined back.

Deadlifts are a great way to sculpt your back and hamstrings. They can cause injuries or aggravate old injuries if done wrong so be sure you use light weights and watch your form until you are confident you can keep your form. Holding a weight in each hand, keep your back and legs straight and bend from the waist. Run the weights down your legs until they reach down to the ground and then stand up slowly, running the weights back up your leg. This can also be done with slightly bent knees to target the hamstrings even more.

Everyone wants a six pack, besides looking good strong abs help hold us up and make everything we do a little easier. Although there is a lot of hype about building strong abs without doing any crunches, the simplest way to get a six pack is the oldest–crunches. Make sure that while you are doing crunches that you do not pull on your neck to lift up, this can hurt your neck and also keep your abs from engaging. For variety try it with your legs straight, crossed, straight up in the air and other positions. If it doesn’t hurt after ten minutes you need to work harder and try to lift your shoulder blades off the ground.

Squats, bench presses, pull-ups, deadlifts and crunches can help you get the body you want without spending hours in the gym. You will be sweating and tired at the end of your workout, a sure sign that your muscles are working hard.

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