Total Fitness With 8 Exercises

Want to get in the best shape of your life? You don't need to spend hours at the gym every day, but you can achieve total fitness using the 8 exercises below:

Push-Ups/Bench Presses

For those who prefer bodyweight exercises, the push-up is the perfect workout to shred your chest muscles. Bench presses are also supremely effective, though they don't hit your core as efficiently as push-ups. Both of these exercises give your triceps and shoulders a good workout, helping to improve your upper body fitness all in one.

Pull-Ups/Chin-Ups

The muscles worked change depending on the way you grip the bar. Grip it palms facing away from you, and it puts most of the strain on your upper back. Grip it palms toward you, and your biceps begin to do a lot more of the work. Either way, it's an excellent workout to help you build strong biceps and upper back muscles--two of the more visible glamor muscles.

Overhead Press

Use dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell, but press those weights high over your head. This is one of the best exercises to do to build strong shoulders, and you can change the angle of the workout just by changing the way you lift. Lower the weights behind your head to work the back of your shoulders, or spread your arms a bit wider to hit the outside of the muscle.

Inverted Rows

With a regular row, you bend over and lift the weight to your chest. Inverting the row forces you to pull your body weight upward, making it nearly as effective as a pull-up or chin-up. It's another great exercise to build strong biceps and upper back muscles.

Kettlebell Swings

To pay extra attention to your shoulders, upper and lower back, hamstrings, and thighs, the kettlebell swing is the exercise for you. The ballistic movement can lead to injuries if you're not careful, but it's one of the best exercises to work all the muscles up and down the back of your body.

Dead Lift

For those who want to have strong lower back muscles, glutes, and hamstrings, this is the idea exercise for you. You can use barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells, but the most important thing to remember is to keep that back straight as you lower the weight to the floor. It's one of the best lower back/upper rear leg exercises, and it will help you to improve your flexibility and hip strength at the same time.

Squats

Never skip leg day! Squats are one of the best exercises to hit your thigh muscles, and there are so many variations that you can do to vary up your workout. You can do a Front Squat to improve your squat posture, a Back Squat to add some serious weight to the workout, squat from platforms to get extra deep into the exercise, or do Wall Squats as a static exercise if you have knee problems. The squat is one of the best for those who want to work their legs without straining their knees.

Lunges

The Walking Lunge is probably the best of the lunges, as you push forward with your back leg as you step into the next lunge. It works both your hamstrings and your glutes along with your thighs, and you'll find that doing more lunges is the key to having stronger legs. It gives you a functional strength that squats don't provide (squats are more about raw power). Do more lunges, and you'll find that walking, running, cycling, and climbing stairs is a whole lot easier!

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