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7 Great Exercises You Need To Incorporate In Your Exercise Routine

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A gym membership won’t go far if you don’t know how to utilize it, and if you’re new to the world of fitness, the crowds, machines, and free weights can seem a little overwhelming at first. Without a plan, your good intentions might just start and end with your first month’s dues.

If you’re looking to jumpstart your new workout routine, you can’t do much better than… 

1. Squats

Squats are the ultimate lower body workout, and they can be done with or without weights. There are a ton of variations, but the traditional squat involves keeping your feet shoulder-distance apart, slowly bending your knees, and lowering your butt to the floor. Be sure to squeeze your glute muscles as you lower your body, and make sure your knees don’t bend past your toes. To add weight, hold your barbell on your shoulders, or balance two dumbbells on either shoulder.

2. Plank

If you’re a fitness junkie, you’ve probably tried your hand at forearm plank at some point or another. But have you tried side-plank? There are few ab workouts that utilize the number of muscles groups needed to do plank properly, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more dynamic core workout.

3. Dumbbell Bench Press

The traditional bench press is done with a barbell or a Smith Machine, but the dumbbell bench press is totally underrated. Keeping the two dumbbells even on their ascent is an added challenge to the workout, and you might find that your chest can’t handle nearly as much weight using dumbbells as it could with the barbell.

4. Dumbbell Flyes

Dumbbell Flyes are a tricky maneuver to get right, but once you do, the benefits are insurmountable. Hold a dumbbell parallel in each hand, spreading your arms wide while laying prone on the bench. Slowly raise your arms until they reach the middle, careful to keep the motion directly above your chest. Feel the burn?

5. Weighted Reverse Lunges

Regular lunges are an incredible workout in their own right, but if you have bad knees like me, you might require a variation. Reverse lunges give you the same benefits as a traditional lunge, but the tension on your knees is a lot less severe.

6. Deadlifts

Deadlifts are one of the most effective exercises you can do in the gym, and they can be done with either a barbell or dumbbell. Form is everything with a deadlift, so make sure you’re keeping your lower back straight and the weight as close to your body as possible to avoid a lower back injury.

 

7. Reverse Crunch

The reverse crunch might not sound like anything fancy, but it works your lower abs like nothing else. To complete the move correctly, lay your arms on the ground beside you, and slowly bring your legs above your head, making sure to keep the lower half of your body parallel to the top half. After bringing your legs as high as you can manage, lower your body back down and repeat.


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