Every Woman Should Master These Great Exercises
Looking to up your workout game? You’ve come to the right place. Here at The Cheat Sheet, we recognize the unique needs and fitness goals specific to women, which is why we want to help you take your sweat sessions to the next level. Here are 10 exercises every woman should master.
This static move is sometimes trickier than it sounds, but it’s worth the effort. As Jen Widerstrom, trainer on The Biggest Loser, told Shape, it’s the best holding position for working your core. Begin in a seated position with your legs out straight. Place your hands next to your thighs, and lift yourself up by pressing down into the floor. Because it’s impossible to nail the L-sit without fully engaging your abs, there’s no doubt you’ll feel the effects of this one. It’s a small move with big results.
Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Bending at the knees, stick your butt out as though you’re about to sit in a chair. The aim is to get your thighs as parallel to the ground as possible, while keeping your knees over your ankles. The more you engage your core, the more effective the move will be for your entire body. Want a real challenge? Try jumping as you rise back to the top, then go right into another as you land.
3. Torso twist
This simple move doesn’t take much effort, but produces serious results in areas that need it most. According to Woman’s Day, the torso twist works your abs, shoulders, and thighs. Start in a standing position, feet apart. Lift arms out to the side, bending at the elbows so your fists are by your ears. Twist your torso so your left elbow meets your right knee. Repeat the move for 30 seconds before switching sides.
4. Mountain climbers with exercise ball
To start, get into a push-up position, placing your hands on the ball. Keeping your arms straight, bring one knee up toward your chest, before switching sides. Not only will you be firing every muscle in your midsection, you’ll be upping your balance game, too.
5. Single-leg deadlift
This move will lift and tone your glutes, along with activating your entire core. Shape says to grab a dumbbell in each hand and stand on your left foot. Hinging forward at your hips, keep your upper body and right leg straight as you move your head forward. Your right leg should be parallel to the floor, arms hanging down. Be sure to perform this move slowly and with precision, concentrating on posture and protecting your lower back throughout.
6. Weighted hip thrusts
Hip thrusts target your glutes while simultaneously working your core. And, as Muscle & Fitness points out, you’ll eventually see improvements in other types of lifts, as well. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Holding a barbell on top of your hips, you’ll lift your butt toward the ceiling as you shoot your hips up. With this move, you’ll definitely be giving your glutes a swift kick in the rear end.
7. Chest fly
To begin, lie on the floor with a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor, and raise the dumbbells straight up over your head. Slowly lower your arms out toward the sides, and toward the ground. Don’t let your wrists touch the ground before returning to the starting position.
8. Lateral lunges
For this move, you’ll start standing with your feet about hip-width apart. Step your left foot out to the side, foot pointing forward, then sink down into the lunge. After a brief pause, step your right leg in, then repeat.
9. Opposite arm and leg lift
The opposite arm and leg lift isn’t the most complicated, but it does take balance and stability. According to Health, the move strengthens arms and legs while stretching your back, as well. Begin on all fours, then reach one arm forward while extending the opposite leg straight back. Flex your foot and hold for five seconds to complete one rep.
10. Close-grip push-up
Push-ups are pretty much a workout staple, so there’s no excuse not to master the move. Real Simple suggests placing your hands directly under your shoulders. Make sure your elbows remain close to your sides as you lower yourself down toward the floor, then push straight back up. You’ll be engaging your core, while also toning your triceps.