A Constructive Guide to the Most Beneficial Exercises for Arthritis

Are you suffering from pain in your joints and have difficulty moving around? Take a look at these exercises for arthritis that can help.

Affecting over millions and millions of people worldwide, arthritis is a severe health disorder that affects your joints. People with this condition suffer excruciating pain, stiffness swelling and difficulty in movement. In some cases, other organs are also affected.

It is essentially the inflammation of your joints. Physical therapy, medications and lifestyle changes can help you recover from it. But exercises for arthritis can accelerate the process of your recovery to a great extent and that is what we are going to discuss today.  

The Most Effective Exercises for Arthritis

Physical exercises not only help you prevent stiff joints but also improve your endurance, builds muscles and benefits your bones, heart, and mood. When it comes to arthritis, you need to take it easy and be careful about which exercise to pick.

The following exercises are recommended for arthritis patients since they help in improving your flexibility and range of motion. However, it is of utmost importance that you talk to your doctor and/or physical therapist before performing these exercises as the degree of arthritis and the ability to perform physical exercises vary from person to person.

Walking

Walking

Yes, you heard that right! Walking is indeed an exercise and can be performed by almost everyone. This is a perfect gateway to the exercises for arthritis pain. Walking is an aerobic and bone-strengthening activity and can be performed anywhere without the assistance of any equipment or special training.

It can help you maintain a healthy weight, which would, in turn, minimalize the stress on your joints. Besides, your bone and heart will live healthily if you walk regularly.

Remember to start slow. You can increase your pace and distances eventually over time. There is no need to rush it up. We recommend you to go at a moderate-to-hard intensity level three to five days a week. A 30-minute walking session will suffice in providing you with the much-needed relief from the pain of arthritis. If a 30-minute is too much for you, then you can always start with a 10-minute session.

Cycling

Cycling - Exercises for Arthritis

Next up on our list of the best exercises for arthritis pain is cycling. This aerobic exercise helps in getting your heart pumping which is very important since arthritis puts you at a greater risk of cardiovascular diseases.

As cycling is a low-impact exercise, it decreases the stress on your weight-bearing joints such as your hips, knees, and feet. Moreover, it also helps in lubricating your joints, which, in turn, help in reducing stiffness and pain.

Now, we understand that there might be some danger involved with cycling as it entails the risk of falling off. So, we suggest you go for a stationary bike.  These bikes are easier on your hips and lower back since they have large, chair-like seats which allow you to sit back into the frame in a more reclined and comfortable position.  It is also easy to get on and off on these bikes as they are lower to the ground.

Swimming

Swimming

There’s nothing like hitting the pool to relax your joints and stretch your muscles. If you can’t swim, then you can even opt for water walking or water aerobics class in a shallow pool.

It has been seen in a study by the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation that water-based exercises help improves joints in women more when compared to land-based aerobic activities. Moreover, swimming also helps in boosting your mood, controlling your weight and in improving your sleep.

In a 4-feet pool, you can try walking from one side to another at a brisk pace. You may also use an underwater treadmill for your water-based exercises.  The buoyancy of the water provides relief to the pain in your joints.  We also recommend you to use a water jogging belt while performing any water-based exercise since it will help you stay suspended above the pool. As a result, you would be able to move around without putting any pressure on your hips, knees or ankles.

Stretching

Stretching - Exercises for Arthritis

Any type of stretching is a great exercise for arthritis pain.  This is basically an umbrella term for all free-hand stretching exercises. Stretching helps you in reducing joint inflammation and enhancing your overall flexibility. Furthermore, it is also great for maintaining mobility and movement.

You can stretch by even sitting on your chair. In order to include a variation to your stretching exercises, you can use a stretch-out strap which is essentially a nylon strap with built-in loops for your hands and legs.

For instance, you can place the ball of one of your feet through a loop and follow it up by grasping both the ends of the strap with your hands. Next, you need to straighten your leg. Gently, raise your leg and slowly pull on the straps.

You can partake in Yoga lessons since they are invariably based on stretching. In addition, Yoga would help in putting pressure on your joints and in increasing the internal heat, which would, in turn, be of great relief to people suffering from arthritis.

Pilates

Pilates

Pilates is extremely popular but few know how beneficial it is for arthritis patients. Since Pilates gives you better control over your muscles and in strengthening them, it is highly recommended by physical therapists.

To put it simply, Pilates is low-impact workouts that help in putting pressure on your joints and hips.  Moreover, it is also known for helping you with pain management and in coping with the symptoms of arthritis.

Pilates include various balancing exercises such as standing one foot or walking backwards. It helps in boosting your balance and in avoiding falls. Feel free to modify certain postures to minimize the stress on the joints with the help of your physical trainer. You can even integrate props in your Pilates routine.

Zumba

Zumba - Exercises for Arthritis

Counted among the most fun exercises for arthritis pain, Zumba will lift your spirits in no time. This Latin American exercise fitness regime is an out-and-out cardio and aerobic workout that provides huge calorie consumption. On top of that, this can be performed by anyone irrespective of their age.

It increases good cholesterol, decreases bad cholesterol, reduces blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart diseases. The ability of Zumba to burn calories without jarring your joints is what makes it a universal favourite.

Don’t overexert your body if you are getting into Zumba for the first time. Just ease into it. Let your trainer train you separately if required. Remember, when you are doing Zumba, you are using every muscle in your body. So, naturally, you don’t want to hurt yourself by overdoing it. Taking two classes every week will suffice in learning the choreography.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi - Exercises for Arthritis

Next up on our list of exercises for arthritis pain is Tai Chi. You would often find people who are suffering from arthritis saying that their “knees are giving out”. This is because arthritis severely affects your joints and the surrounding muscles. As such, it results in loss of position awareness, impaired coordination, and a higher risk of falling and lack of balance.

This is where Tai Chi comes in. It is an ancient internal Chinese martial art that is practised for both health benefits and defence. It has recently gained huge popularity worldwide, and for all the right reasons.

Now, before you freak out by thinking that it is a martial art which means it must be difficult to learn, let us tell you that Tai Chi involves slow and soft movements that are very easy to learn and anybody can master them. It helps in relaxing your body and stimulating blood circulation. Whether its heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease of arthritis, it has shown its implications in multiple diseases.

We must warn you that when you are in a Pilates class, don’t shy away from sticking to your own pace instead of following others. Speak to your physical trainer and inform him or her about the status of your arthritis and introduce modifications in your routine under their guidance.

Suspension Training

Suspension training - Exercises for Arthritis

Now, this is one of the more challenging exercises for arthritis pain. Suspension training is not for everyone and is suited for those arthritis patients who were willing and capable of performing a challenging core workout. It must be noted that this should be performed under trained supervision in a controlled environment. People with serious ankle or wrist issues must avoid it.

It can be performed during the initial stages of arthritis to help it from becoming more severe. When you are doing suspension training, you are leveraging your body weight from straps that hang from an anchor point.  You need to put your legs in the stirrups and hold your body up with your arms. You can even choose to rest flat on your forearms.

It will help you in developing core body strength and in stabilizing your joints and muscles. It also reduces the chances of you incurring any injury.  

Summary

Arthritis is a serious health concern and you must do everything in your power to put yourself in an advantageous position. The aforementioned exercises for arthritis pain will help you recover healthily and naturally. So, contact your doctor and physical trainer today and help yourself out from this dreadful disease.  

How to Start Exercising – A Beginner’s Guide

One of the biggest concerns for beginners is that they don’t know how to start exercising. Thus, we bring before you this effective plan.

It goes without saying that regular exercising can turn your life around for good. The positive effect that physical exercises can have on your body and over well-being is unparalleled. Regular exercising helps in maintaining muscle mass, body weight, energy level, and reducing the risk of contracting chronic diseases. It also helps in enhancing your mood, boosting your mental health, improving your sleep patterns and in enhancing your sex life.  

All of us are well acquainted with the benefits of exercise and have given working out a thought at various points of our lives. But, for some reason or the other, many fail to either start exercising or continue the pattern of exercising after starting strong.

The basic idea is to find the rhythm and to flow with it. It would take a lot of determination from your end to stick to a long-term routine. If you are one of those who are wondering how to start exercising but haven’t got a clue as to how to do it, we are here to help you out through our comprehensive guide on the same. So, stick around.

The Preliminary Stages of Exercising

Guide to how to start exercising

The first order of business before you begin your exercise regime is to do a thorough health check-up. We recommend you go for a physical medical examination so that if there are any health problems, that can be detected at an early stage and you can plan your workout routine in a much better fashion.

This health check-up is especially required for people aged over 45. You should have an awareness of how your body is functioning. You would be able to tailor your workout routine in consultation with your doctor and physical trainer based on the results on the physical examination. Knowing the limitations of your body is extremely important. There is a difference between pushing yourself to the limits and putting your life in jeopardy and you must know where to draw the line.

Once you are done with this, you can follow it up by going through these following stages:

Identifying the Types of Exercises

How to start exercising - A Beginners guide

Exercise is an umbrella term and includes various types of routines. You can choose to perform a single or you can choose to mix it up by taking an ingredient from several types. This is regarded among the many essential workout tips for beginners which would help you categorise your exercise regime. Some of the most popular and beneficial forms of exercises for you to choose from are as follows:

Strength-based Exercise

Evident by its name, these exercises help increase strength and muscle power. Examples would include weight lifting, plyometrics, resistance training and sprinting.

Balance-based Exercise

These exercises enhance your mobility and stability while also improving your overall body coordination. In addition, they also improve your athletic performances and help you focus. Pilates, flamingo stands, tightrope walk, bean bag balance, and Tai Chi are some of the common examples of these exercises.

Flexibility-based Exercise

Flexibility-based exercises help in muscles recovery and in improving your range of motion while also protecting you from potential injuries. Yoga, chest mobiliser, cat stretch, and pal squeeze are some of the prime examples of flexibility-based exercises.

Callisthenics

Callisthenics refers to basic body movements that are done without the help of gym equipment. These exercises have a mild aerobic pace to them. Push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and lunges are some common examples of callisthenics.

Aerobic Exercise

Stretching and strength-based training done over a rhythmic pattern comprises aerobic exercises. They improve your muscular strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness.  Examples include dancing, running, jogging, and swimming, among others.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

This training involves exercises that are performed over repetitions of short bursts of high-intensity level followed by a low-intensity level of exercise or rest periods.

Boot Camps

These are high-intensity circuits that are time-based. They usually combine resistance and aerobic exercises.

While choosing your workout regime, please remember that what works for someone else may or may not work for you. This is why you need to pick up the workout regime that best suits your needs and capabilities.

Deciding How Much Exercise You Want to Do

Exercise Guide

Among the many gym tips for beginners that you will learn here, one is that you need to have minimal expectations at the start. You can’t expect that you will be able to workout like an Olympic athlete on day one.

As per the American College of Sports Medicine, one should perform a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate workout every week. Now, how you want to divide these 150 minutes among the days of the week is dependent on you. For example, you can perform a 30-minute routine for five days a week, or you can go for a 25-minute routine for six days a week.

In fact, you can also choose to package these 150 minutes into one or two training sessions every week instead of spreading it throughout the week. The basic formula is to start slow and steadily increase the intensity as you build your fitness level up.

Taking one day off from workout every week is considered to be a healthy habit. Allowing your body to recover from the exercises is extremely important in the form of adequate rest. When you don’t rest, you run the risk of incurring injuries such as stress fractures and muscle strains that often result from OTS (Over Training Syndrome).

Furthermore, if you exercise too much, you can end up weakening your immune system and increase the risk of infection and hormonal imbalances. It will also cause chronic fatigue and will depress your mood.

Setting up Realistic Fitness Goals

Exercising guide

The next stage in how to start exercising comes the setting up of realistic goals. You need to be pragmatic in your approach. Reaching for the stars at the beginning is far from ideal.

Try to create a plan that involved attainable steps and goals.  Have a gradual increase in pace in your plan. For instance, if you want to finish a five-mile run, then you can begin by creating a plan that starts with shorter runs. Slowly and steadily increase the distance of your run until you are able to run five miles in a single go.

Please remember that when you start with small goals, you will not only increase the chance of success, but you will also be able to stay motivated throughout.

We stress upon the term realistic because it is one thing starting a workout regime and it is another thing sticking to it. So, the plan that you make must be achievable enough.  It should become part of your habit. Create a plan that you will be able to live up over a period of time. Remember, it is not a one-time thing. You need to be able to commit to it. Therefore, plan accordingly.

To help you out, here is an example of a regime that will come in handy for those who wants to learn how to start exercising.

Workout Regime

Monday – Perform a 30-minute moderate-pace brisk walk or jog.

Tuesday – Take rest

Wednesday – Jog for ten minutes. Next, perform three sets of ten lunges for each foot, ten pull-ups, and ten sit-ups. Follow this up by performing ten jumping jacks, ten air squats and ten chair dips. Be sure to rest for a minute or two between each exercise.

Thursday – Take rest

Friday – 30-minute Spinning class or Zumba

Saturday – Take rest

Sunday – Go for a long walk of 40 minutes

Feel free to modify the aforementioned plan to suit your requirements. This is just a sample for those who are seeking help while learning how to start exercising. This is not a hard and fast rule.

Workout Tips for Beginners

Learning how to start exercising

Now, to help you further learn how to start exercising, here are some gym tips for beginners:

  • Have a balanced diet. If you want to sustain healthy energy levels you need to include all food groups in your diet. Carbs are especially important in this regard as they help in fueling your muscles before exercises. Include protein since it will help in muscles recovery, tissue repair and building muscles mass. Finally, include healthy fats as that will make your energy last longer.
  • Stay hydrated. This is crucial for maintaining optimal performances.
  • Warm-up your body before exercising. It will help you in avoiding injuries and improving your overall athletic performance.
  •  Listen to your body. You are not Hercules and there is no shame in having limitations. A wise person is aware of his or her body and knows when to stop.

Summary

The most important element in your quest of how to start exercising is that you need to formulate a plan that will be realistic enough for you to be able to achieve. It will be challenging at first but when you have a real objective, you will be able to maintain it in the long run.

Try to include a variety in your workout regime so that you never get bored of it. Start slow, and build up your pace eventually. In addition, keep track of your progress. It will help you in mapping out how far you have come. Include rest days in your routine and try and stick to your routine. If you do it regularly for a few days, it will eventually become your habit.

The Best Upper Body Workouts that You Need to Try Today

If you want to boost up and strengthen your upper body, then you need to take a look at our list of the best upper body workouts now.

Chest, shoulders, back, and arms are some of the primary areas that people come to the gym to work upon. But what do all of them have in common? Together, they constitute your upper body. People try numerous techniques and methods to get the upper body of their dream. After all, your upper body is what gets noticed most by others. Besides, having a strong upper body would enable you to carry out most of the strength-based tasks in your everyday life.   

So, if you are one of those who are looking for strengthening their upper body, we have got good news for you that you have reached the right place. We are going to list up some of the most highly effective upper body workouts that are going to drastically boost up the strength in and around the said area.

Let us acquaint you with the best upper body workout regime that you need to get yourself into.

Best Upper Body Workouts for You

While making this list, we have tried to make it as diverse and multi-dimensional as possible. This is why we have put together different types of upper body workouts so that you never get bored. It should also be noted that these aren’t exclusively for men. People of any gender can perform them to enhance their upper body.

So, without any further ado, let us find out about them.

Pull-Up

Pull-ups

Probably the most effective and popular upper body workout exercise that you can perform is the pull-ups. It is essentially a perfect alternative to weight lifting. It targets your shoulders, arms, and back.

In order to perform this upper body workout, you need to find a pull-up bar and hold on to it in an overhand grip. Make sure that your hands are at shoulder-width apart. Proceed to hang your body straight below the bar. Stay in this position for one or two seconds before lowering yourself down to the starting position.

Perform a minimum of ten pull-ups with three sets. Try to take a 15-second break between each set. If you want to raise the difficulty level even further, then you need to change your hand placement.  Remember, the closer you place your hands on the bar, the harder it will be for you to pull yourself up.   

You can also add a weight belt around your waist in order to elevate the difficulty level even further. Keep your hands further apart from each other. This would help in building the upper lateral muscles. Besides, it will add more width to the back. The closer you keep your hands, the more emphasize your bicep muscles would get.

Dumbbell Shrug

Dumbbell Shrug

Dumbbell shrug is an extremely personalized upper body exercise since it allows you to control the weight you want to challenge yourself with. A great aspect of this exercise is that you can perform it anywhere as it only requires dumbbells.  You can do it in the gym, home, or even in a park.

We recommend you to start with lower dumbbell weight and gradually shift to heavier weights depending on your comfort level.  This multi-beneficiary exercise works your shoulders, arms, back, and chest.

To perform this workout for upper body, you need to start by standing tall. Hold the dumbbells at your sides with the palms facing each other. Next, you need to bend yourself slightly in a squat position so that the dumbbells are at the same level as your knees.

Proceed to propel yourself upward in an explosive motion. Next, you need to shrug your shoulders and back hard at the top. You then have to get back to the starting position to finish your reps.

Perform ten reps and three sets with light-weight dumbbells. Once you level up, you can perform eight reps per set. Don’t forget to take a break of 15-30 seconds between each set.

Chin Up

Chin-up

Next up on our list of workouts for upper body is the chin up. This is a great exercise that you can practice on a low impact day to give yourself a break from weights. It focuses on your shoulders, back, chest, and arms.

To do this, you need to grab a chin bar first with an underhand grip. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart from each other. Try and engage your core and pull yourself up by using your arm strength. Do it until your chin is over the bar. Next, you need to ensure that your elbows are tucked to your sides during the entire duration of the exercise.

When you reach the top, pause for a bit and lower yourself down until your arms become straight again. Keep doing this at least eight times per set for a total of three sets. Don’t forget to take a break of 15-25 seconds between each set. You can angle the upper body back while pulling your body up to the bar if you want to feel your lower lateral muscles. This under hand grip helps in putting more emphasis on the lower lateral muscles.

You can add to the difficulty level of this exercise by changing the placement of your hand and putting them closer to each other. Trying a waist belt also elevates the level of difficulty.

Dips

Dips

Your upper body workout regime would be incomplete without dips. This might be difficult to perform at home since you need a dip station. However, weight bench or bars or even sturdy chairs can also be used for the same.

If you want to use a chair or bench, then sit with your back to the bench or chair. Proceed to grab the edge with both of your hands. Keep your palms on the top of it while your fingers at the bottom.

Make sure your legs are together and your backside is at the same level as that of your bench or chair. Stop before your butt hits the floor while performing this exercise for your upper body. Gently lower yourself down until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Wait for a second or two and get back to the starting position and repeat. Perform 10-15 reps per sets and try to do at least three sets. Feel free to take a break of 30-40 seconds between each set.

In order to introduce a variation in the exercise, you can choose a seated dip machine. To do this, you need to increase the weight you are using so that triceps are taken care of.  However, if boosting the chest is your motive, then you need to keep your elbows pointed out to the sides. You then have to bend forwards at the waist rather than keeping your upper body straight.

Barbell Biceps Curl

Barbell biceps curl

The barbell biceps curl is an upper body workout that focuses on your shoulders, arms and back. All you need to perform it is a barbell with the heaviest weight that you can muster to complete your sets.

Keep your legs hip-width apart from each other. Hold on to a barbell with your palms facing up. Raise the barbell by using a slow and steady motion until the muscles of your biceps are fully contracted. Be sure to start at your thighs. Stay in this position for a second before you get down to the starting position.

Repeat this for 10-12 reps and perform at least three sets of this exercise. Be sure to take a break of 15-40 seconds between each set. For achieving the best results, you can keep your elbows glued to your sides. Also, try to hold your chest as high as you can during the entire tenure of the exercise.  This will ensure that a lot of emphasis is put on your biceps and that your shoulders muscles are out of the movement.  

Diamond Press Up

Diamond press up

Last but not least on our list of the best upper body workout exercise is the diamond press up. Now, don’t worry! This is not as fancy as it sounds and you can perform it basically anywhere. It focuses on your arms, shoulders and back. You can say that this is a more challenging version of a push-up.

To perform this exercise, you need to start with your hands and toes on the ground or mat. Try to align your body as straight from your shoulders to toes as possible. Your arms need to be straight as well. Both of your hands need to be close enough together so that you are able to form a diamond shape with your index fingers and thumbs.

Be sure to engage your core and keep your hips up so that your back stays straight. Slowly, lower yourself down towards the ground, bending at your elbow.  Until you have reached the starting position, keep pushing up from the ground. Try to perform ten reps and do a minimum of three sets.

Feel free to take 30 seconds breaks between each set. In order to elevate the difficulty level of the exercise, you can point the elbows out to put more stress on your triceps.

Summary

Your upper body is what gets the most attention after your face. So, be sure to work hard on it. However, just to be clear, it is not only for aesthetic purposes only. You need to work on your upper body to increase its core strength. The aforementioned upper body workout regime will help you achieve that. As you see, most of them can be performed at the comfort of your home and don’t require too many equipment. So, go out there and bring out the Hercules in you!

9 Best Core Exercises You Can Do at Home

Take a look into the most effective core exercises that you can try at the comfort of your home to boost your metabolism and inner strength.

Whether you play sports or perform day-to-day tasks, you need to use your core muscles to go about your daily business. Core muscles are there to spare your spine from too much load and also, they help you transfer force from your upper body to the lower and vice versa.

Contrary to what a large share of people believes, your core not only just consists of the abdominal muscles, but it also includes the muscles around your pelvis and in your back.

Your core consists of:

  • Erector Spinae: It is a back muscle that helps you stand straight after you bend over
  • Oblique: Your external oblique and internal oblique enable you to bend or rotate your trunk
  • Rectus Abdominis: The rectus abdominis, also referred to as “six-pack” muscle is there to help you bend forward
  • Multifidus: This muscle in your back plays a vital role in stabilizing the joints in your spine
  • Transverse Abdominis: Your transverse abdominis muscle helps you move your trunk. It also stabilizes your vertebral column

When you keep your core muscles strong and flexible, they will support your spine and stabilize your body properly. To keep them strong and also to enhance your fitness, you should perform core exercises at home.

But, which exercises should you choose? To know the answer, please keep on reading this article. Here, you will find more about the best core-strengthening workouts for almost all fitness levels.

Best Core Exercises for Beginners

If you have not performed workouts for a long time or if you are new in it, you may start with the following moves to strengthen your core muscles.

1. Crunch

Crunch

When it comes to choosing core strengthening exercises for beginners, most fitness experts usually recommend Crunches, the classic ones.  This exercise works well for those, who have back pain.

How to Do It?

  • Lie down on the floor and bend your knees
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor
  • Cross both your hands across your chest
  • Lift your upper back while keeping your pelvis, lower back and feet attached with the ground (While lifting your upper back, you should keep your core tight)
  • Lower your upper back slowly and go back to the starting position
  • Repeat it

Benefits

  1. Strengthen your core muscles
  2. Increase the flexibility and mobility of your core muscles
  3. Improve your posture

If you are a beginner or if you find any problem while following the mentioned steps, you may seek help from trainers who have years of experience. One of the ways to find the right trainer is to visit a well-recognized gym. Starmark Fitness Studio, a popular gym in Kolkata, is the home of several certified trainers. If you find it necessary, you may visit this gym and consult experienced fitness experts there.

2. Bridge

Bridge

Try Bridge to improve the strength of your core muscle and several other small muscles. This exercise can also help you tone your thighs and butt.

How to Do It?

  • Lie flat on the floor and bend your knees
  • Keep your feet on the floor like you did while performing Crunch exercise
  • Keep both your hands at your side
  • Stiffen your glutes and core
  • Lift your hips and stop when your hips are aligned with your shoulders and knees
  • Hold this position at least for 30 seconds
  • Get back to the starting position and do it again

Benefits

  1. Strengthen your hamstrings (thighs) and gluteus muscles (butt)
  2. Enhance your core stability
  3. Strengthen your abdominal muscles and other muscles of your hip and lower back

3. Plank

Plank

Plank that is a full-body exercise is often considered one of the most effective core workouts at home. This exercise involves maintaining the same position as of a Push-Up (the basic one) for a long time.

How to Do It?

  • To maintain a Plank position, you need to keep your face down with your toes and forearms on the floor
  • Draw your navel toward the spine and thus engage your abdominal muscles. Stiffen your torso and keep it straight (Your body should be in a straight line)
  • Keep your shoulders down
  • Hold this position at least for 10 seconds

Once you start finding this move less difficult, you may increase this time limit up to 60 seconds.

Benefits

  • Strengthen your core
  • Improve your posture
  • Help your core reduce stress on your joints

Intermediate-Level Moves

As you start finding the above-mentioned moves simple, you may try the intermediate moves, discussed in the below section with their benefits. Quickly have a close look at them now.

4. Mountain Climber

Mountain Climber

Fitness experts hardly exclude Mountain Climbers when it comes to making a list of core exercises at home. Yes, this is one of the major core-strengthening moves that comes with several health benefits. To know more about its steps and benefits, please keep on reading.

How to Do It?

  • Get into a plank position which means you have to keep your face down and keep your toes and forearms on the floor
  • Position your hands such a way so that they should remain shoulder-width apart
  • Pull your right knee toward your chest as far as possible
  • Pull out the right knee and do the same with your left knee. This is how; you need to switch your legs
  • Put your hips down and alternate inhaling and exhaling while switching your legs

Benefits

  1. Help you build your cardio endurance
  2. Improve your core strength

Performing Mountain Climbers is almost like having a total-body workout with only one exercise.

5. Warrior Crunch

Warrior Crunch

This Crunch variation is absolutely the right option for them, who have become used to with the simple Crunch move. It works your lower body and core including your glutes, thighs, and quads.

How to Do It?

  • Stand and keep your feet wider than your shoulder width
  • Keep your toes outward and put both your hands behind your head
  • Keep your chest open
  • Stiffen your glutes and core
  • Bend your knees and stop when they are paralleled to the floor
  • Move your right elbow and put it close to your right thigh. While doing this, you should bend your torso to the right side
  • Do the same with your right elbow
  • Repeat it at least for 8 times

Benefits

  1. Strengthen your core muscles and lower body muscles
  2. Improve your flexibility and mobility

6. Bird Dog

Bird Dog

The Bird Dog, one of the best core workouts at home, engages both your back and abdominal muscles. This core strengthening move also challenges your balance, coordination, and stability.

How to Do It?

  • Begin on all fours with hands below your shoulders and knees under your hips
  • Raise and straighten your right leg and keep it to your hip level. While following this step, you need to raise and extend your left hand to your shoulder level. Keep your palm down and hold this position
  • Repeat the same step with your right arm and left leg
  • Repeat it for 8 to 12 times

Benefits

  1. Improve your stability
  2. Help you achieve a neutral spine
  3. Strengthen your hips, core and back muscles
  4. Relieve lower back pain

Advanced Level Core Workouts at Home

Once you master intermediate moves, you may get a step ahead. Try the advanced core exercises and challenge yourself. These moves will help you improve your core strength further by engaging muscles in more effective ways.

7. Side Plank with Rotation

Side Plank with Rotation

It is an advanced version of the simple plank. This move will help you strengthen your shoulders, arms, and obliques.

How to Do It?

  • Lie on the right side and keep your forearm on the floor. Lift your hips and glutes off the floor. Make sure, your right shoulder and feet are in a straight line
  • Stiffen your core
  • Lift your left arm
  • Rotate your torso and keep it close to the floor
  • Keep your left arm under your body
  • Rotate your torso again and raise your left arm up and thus, get back to the starting position
  • Repeat it for 12 times and do the same with your left side and right arm

Benefits

  1. Activate your deep abdominal muscles
  2. Improve your core strength
  3. Shrink and tighten your waistline
  4. Improve your balance

8. Bicycle Crunch

Bicycle Crunch

Your list of core exercises at home will remain incomplete if you do not include the Bicycle Crunch move. With this classic exercise, you can strengthen your abs and workout your core muscles.

How to Do It?

  • Lie on the floor. Your lower back should be attached with the ground
  • Raise your head and shoulders slightly
  • Keep your hands behind your head
  • Raise your right leg off the floor and extend it slowly
  • Lift your left leg, bend your left knee and pull it toward your chest
  • Bring your right elbow toward your left knee. But, make sure they do not touch each other
  • Lower your right elbow and left leg at the same time and repeat the same movement with your left elbow and right knee
  • Repeat it for 10 to 12 times

Benefits

  1. Activate your obliques
  2. Strengthen your core
  3. Develop your abdominal muscles

9. Elbow to Knee Bird Dog

Elbow to Knee Bird Dog

This variation of the simple bird dog can improve your core mobility in the best possible way. To learn the steps of Elbow to knee Bird Log, please dive into the “How to Do It” section.

How to Do it?

  • Begin on all fours with your hands under your shoulders
  • Position yourself in such a way so that your hips remain over your knees
  • Keep your neck, head and back straight. Stiffen your core
  • Raise and extend your left hand and keep it to your shoulder level. Make sure your palm is down
  • Raise and straighten your right leg while extending your left hand
  • Pull your right knee and left elbow closer to each other
  • Get back to the starting position and do it for 12 times
  • Repeat the same movements with your left leg and right hand

Benefits

  1. Increase your muscular endurance and strength
  2. Improve your stability
  3. Strengthen your core

Elbow to Knee Bird Dog is quite useful when it comes to working on your spinal alignment

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to improve your core strength or increase your mobility and flexibility, you can get the best benefits out of these best core exercises at home. But remember, you will get the best benefits only when you follow the right steps. So, obey all the instructions, given by your trainer and follow the right steps to avoid injuries. 

6 Best Core Strengthening Exercises for Women

Ladies out there, acquaint yourself with the most effective core strengthening exercises for women to boost your strength.

Flat tummy and tight abs undoubtedly look amazing. But this is not the only reason why a large share of women performs core workouts daily. Strengthening core muscles and improving your balance, stability, and flexibility can also be some good reasons why you should add the best core exercises to your fitness routine. When it comes to choosing the best core strengthening exercises for women, individuals often become confused and end up selecting the wrong ones.

One of the best ways to avoid such mistakes is to consult fitness experts who are certified. Also, this article will guide you to make the correct choice and to follow the right steps of some of the most effective core exercises for women. Please keep on reading now and check out the steps.

Core Exercises for the Beginners

If you are a beginner, you should start with the easy ones. You can move to the next level once you start finding the following moves easy. Now let’s dig deeper.

1.     Bird Dog

Bird Dog core strengthening exercise

The Bird Dog, an effective bodyweight floor exercise can strengthen your core, specifically your lower back, the abdominal muscles, thighs, and butt in the best possible ways. You do not need any equipment while performing this workout.

Steps to Follow

  • Kneel and keep your knees hip-width apart
  • Keep your hands on the ground and place them about shoulder-width apart
  • Tighten your abdominals. Lift your left leg and right arm off the ground and extend them. Position them such a way so that they remain parallel with the floor
  • Hold this pose and release after 5 seconds
  • Switch your legs and arms and again hold that pose for 5 seconds

Sets and Reps

3 sets of 5 reps for every side

Benefits

  1. Strengthen core and back muscles
  2. Improve the stability of your spine
  3. Improve your mobility and flexibility

2.     Side Plank

Side Plank core strengthening exercise

When it comes to strengthening the oblique abdominal muscles, most fitness experts usually count on Side Plank first. It involves the following steps.

Steps to Follow

  • Lie on your right side and extend your legs
  • Keep your right elbow on the floor and make sure that your head is in the same line with your spine
  • Lift your hips off the ground and raise your left hand. Position it such a way so that there is a 90-degree angle between the floor and your left arm
  • Hold this position for a few seconds
  • Change your side or switch your hands
  • Hold that pose for 20 seconds and repeat it

Sets and Reps

3 sets

Benefits

  1. Build your balance and coordination
  2. Develop your core strength

3.     Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers core strengthening exercise

Mountain Climbers are the best option for you if you want to develop core strength and build cardio endurance. Performing Mountain Climbers means getting full body workout benefits from a single exercise.

Steps to Follow

  • Get into a Plank position (Standard Plank). Now, position yourself in such a way so that your body weight is evenly distributed between your toes and hands
  • Pull your right knee towards your chest
  • Switch your legs and
  • Repeat it

Sets and Reps

3 sets of 12 reps

Benefits

  1. Build your cardio endurance
  2. Strengthen your core muscles

Advanced Level Core Workouts for Women

So, you have started finding the beginner’s moves pretty much simple. Now it’s time for you to move to the next level. Below are some core exercise moves, best suited for advanced levels. Let’s check out these steps now.

4.     Dead Bug

Dead Bug core strengthening exercise

The Dead Bug move is one of the best picks among core workouts for women. It will help you build a stable foundation that protects your spine and allows you to perform athletic movements with greater ease.

Steps to Follow

  • Lie on your back while keeping your arms extended over your chest
  • Bend your knees and maintain a 90-degree angle
  • Brace your core
  • Extend your left arm until it touches the floor
  • Extend your right leg slowly and stop before it touches the ground
  • Hold this pose and switch your legs and arms
  • Repeat it

Sets and Reps

10 reps

Benefits

  1. Strengthen your core, back muscle and spine
  2. Improve your posture
  3. Prevent and relieve your back pain

In case, you find any of these steps difficult, you may seek help from certified trainers in a reputed gym. If you stay in Kolkata, you may pay a visit to Starmark Fitness Studio, a well-equipped Gym in Kolkata. They have a great team of certified and experienced trainers who can help you during your journey towards getting tight and toned abs.

5.     Single-Arm Press

Single-Arm Press core strengthening exercise

Your list of advanced core strengthening exercises for women will remain incomplete unless you add this one. To perform Single-Arm Press, you need a dumbbell.

Steps to Follow

  • Stand while keeping your hip-width apart
  • Hold a dumbbell in your right hand
  • Extend your left arm and position it in such a way so that there remains a 45-degree angle between your left arm and your body
  • Tighten your core and raise your dumbbell overhead
  • Switch your arm and repeat it

Sets and Reps

10 reps for every side

Benefits

  1. Enhance muscle activation
  2. Increase your shoulder stability
  3. Improve your core and heap stability

6.     Glute Bridge March

 Glute Bridge March core strengthening exercise

The Glute Bridge March is considered one of the best core workouts for women. To learn its steps, please dive into the following section now.

Steps to Follow

  • Lie flat on the floor and bend your knees
  • Keep your feet flat
  • Extend both your hands and maintain a 90-degree angle
  • Lift your hips off the floor and keep your body in a straight line
  • Lift your right knee and position it such a way so that you can maintain a 90-degree angle
  • Hold this pose for a moment
  • Do the same with your left leg and hold that position for a few seconds
  • Repeat it

Sets and Reps

12 reps

Benefits

  1. Work your core muscles and lower back abs
  2. Relieve back pain, knee pain and hip pain

Like men, women should also perform core strengthening exercises daily if they want to improve their posture. While doing the exercises, make sure you follow the right steps and also it is necessary to obey all the instructions of your trainer. When you do so, you will get the best health benefits out of these workouts.        

Want to Build Chest Muscle? 7 Best Chest Workouts to Do

Want to look muscular? You need strong pectoral muscle. Here are the 7 best chest workouts that can help you build strong chest muscle.

So, you are one of them who go to the gym and do the chest workouts on a regular basis. Probably, this makes you feel you are gaining the best outcomes. But, have you ever wondered whether the workouts you are performing are the most beneficial ones or not?

To find the right answer to such questions, you can stay tuned with us. Once you go through this article, you will get all the required information regarding the best chest workouts and how they can be beneficial for you.

Top 3 Benefits of chest exercises

Chest exercises come with the following benefits:

  • Improve your posture
  • Lengthen and strengthen the chest muscles
  • Help you stay fit

Now that you know the major benefits of chest exercise, you must be thinking about doing it on a regular basis. But how do you understand which are the best chest exercises for you? Hence this article. We are here to guide you to choose the best workouts for chest.

Best Chest Workouts to Build Perfect Pectoral Muscle

Before we start discussing different types of chest workouts, let us tell you that all the below mentioned exercises are suggested by fitness experts of Starmark Fitness Studio, the biggest gym in Kolkata, India. We have conducted thorough research and talked to a few trainers in this gym so that you will get the right information, you need. Now check these out to get all the required information.

1. Machine Decline Press

Machine Decline Press

Some machines such as hammer strength allow gym enthusiasts to move every arm independently. This is a great way to strengthen your chest muscles. By doing a Machine Decline Press on a regular basis, you will be able to improve your posture.

How to Do It?

Before you start performing this exercise, you need to adjust the machine seat and check whether the handles are aligned with your chest’s lower portion. Make sure, your back is rested on the resting pad. Once you set up the machine, now it’s time for you to perform this exercise.

  • Press the handles and don’t stop until your hands are extended
  • Hold this position without locking the elbows
  • Get back to the starting position and repeat it

Let us tell you one thing – when you follow the above-mentioned steps, you are likely to feel a stretch in the chest muscles. There is nothing to worry about it since it’s normal to feel that way.

If you have any questions like how many times should you repeat it or how frequently should you perform it, you may talk to experienced trainers who have years of experience and profound knowledge.

2. Dumbbell Floor Press

Dumbbell Floor Press

According to a large share of gym enthusiasts, the Dumbbell Floor Press is one of the best chest exercises for all.

Well, unlike the other chest workouts, you do not need any bench while doing this exercise. You can do it on the floor. You just need to follow the right rules if you want to avoid workout injuries.

How to Do It?

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Hold two dumbbells tightly and lay on the floor
  • keep your feet flat
  • Drive with the heels and squeeze the glutes
  • Lift your dumbbells
  • Lower them with full control

Every exercise has its own rules and this one is not exceptional. One of the major rules of the Dumbbell Press is to keep the elbows at a 45-degree angle. By doing so, you will be able to keep the shoulders safe. To get the best health benefits out of dumbbell workouts, you need to follow all the rules properly.

3. Flat Bench Press

Flat Bench Press

Do you wonder, why is it on the chest workout list? The reason is that it will help you strengthen your muscles in the best possible ways. Those, who want to build muscle, are the right candidates for this exercise. This easy-to-learn exercise involves lifting weight while lying on a bench. To know more, please follow this guide.

How to Do It?

You will get the best benefits out of Flat Bench Press only when you follow the right process or obey all the instructions, given by your trainer. To know the right steps, have a close look at the procedure mentioned below.

  • Lie flatly on the bench and keep your feet on the floor.
  • Drive the shoulder blades down into your bench
  • Lift the dumbbells and squeeze the handles tightly
  • Lower it and repeat it a few times

Do you want to know how to avoid shoulder injuries while performing this workout? Well, the secret lies in maintaining the right angle between your elbows and the floor. Just keep your elbows at least at a 45-degree angle and you will be safe.

4. Chest Fly

Chest Fly

This is one of the best chest workouts and is often suggested by a large share of trainers. This exercise involves creating tension by the movement.

When people hear the words “Chest Fly”, they usually assume that it is all about flapping the arms, as suggested by the name. But flapping is not the right way to follow, rather squeezing is the secret here. This exercise involves squeezing of the arms slowly and lifting light weight.

How to Do It?

Chest Fly, one of the most popular workouts for chest, involves some easy steps such as:

  • Lie on the flat bench
  • Grip a couple of dumbbells
  • Lift the weight up above your chest
  • Move your arms and hands through an arc
  • keep your elbows at a specific angle

But, do not try to do it forcefully since it may hurt your shoulder. Rather, go as deep as you can or as your shoulder mobility permits.

5. Batwing Fly

Batwing Fly

So, you have already performed a dumbbell fly about a thousand times. But, have you ever tried Batwing Fly? If you are a beginner, then let us tell you that keeping the weight light is the secret to this exercise. Lifting too much weight can severely damage your muscle. So, stay alert and follow the right steps. Also, you should take some break or try some alternating between the neutral and overhand grips in order to get the best benefits out of this chest workout. 

How to Do it?

Batwing Fly involves the following steps:

  • Sit on the incline bench
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand
  • Keep your chest straight and strong
  • keep your arms at a lower position and lift lightweight.

Choosing the right workouts for chest will be easier when you seek help from trainers. Just conduct thorough research and find the right expert to get the best support.

6. Plyometric Push-Up

Plyometric Push-Up

Plyometric Push-Ups are not for the beginners. They are actually an advanced exercise that works your triceps, chest, shoulders, and abs. This exercise is suitable, especially for them who have well-developed strength in the upper body.

When you start performing Plyometric Push-Ups and do other chest workouts on a regular basis, you will be able to jump higher, run faster, and change your direction more quickly. 

How to Do It?

At first, you need to get into the proper position – push-up position. Once you get into the right position, you may follow the below-given steps:

  • Stretch your hands a little bit until you get into the right position
  • Keep your body at a straight line
  • Lower your chest
  • Press up so that both your hands come off the floor
  • Repeat it

Please consider seeking help from fitness experts, if you find any difficulties while following the mentioned steps.

7. Suspended Push-Up

Suspended Push-Up

Suspended Push-Up, which is a bodyweight exercise, is performed either on gymnastic rings or a suspension strap system. It mainly targets the triceps, chest, and shoulders. Like the previous one, this is also not for beginners.

How to Do It?

Steps which are involved in Suspended Push-Up include:

  • Hold the handles of a TRX strap tightly
  • Drag your hands in front of your chest
  • Keep your body at a 45-degree angle from the floor
  • Stretch your hands and lower the chest toward the floor.
  • Stretch your hands as far as your shoulder mobility allows

Performing Suspended Push-Ups is not that easy as it sounds. Make sure you seek help from trainers while doing this exercise.

As we have already mentioned, one of the best ways to improve your posture is to perform workouts for chest on a regular basis. But since you can get the most benefits when you choose the right workouts for chest, you should be wise while selecting them. And we hope our guide to the best chest workouts has helped you in making a decision.

Should Women also perform Chest Workouts?

Chest Workout for Women

Is it necessary for women to do chest exercises routinely? Well, the answer is yes. Like men, women also cannot neglect chest muscles because of a range of health benefits that includes improving the shape of breast and overall strength and posture.

Now that you have read all about the best chest workouts and their benefits, it’s time to consult trainers and start your training sessions as soon as possible.