We often get asked by our readers questions about health, wellness and exercise. Here’s a question on the best workouts that Nichelle Laus answers.
Q: If I want a quick workout, what are the best exercises to do?
When I got this question, my mind started moving 100km/hr. I mean, asking me to pick the best exercise is like asking me to pick which of my kids is my favourite! Come on now! How is a mother to choose?
The truth is, I understand the question. You have big goals, but you’re short on time, because you have a busy life – so how do you choose which exercise(s) to spend your valuable time on? Which ones give you the most bang for your buck, and which ones are just busts?
Here’s some guidelines on how to pick the right one for you, but also my suggestion as to the best full body, calorie burning exercise.
IT SHOULD BE A FULL BODY MOVEMENT.
If you only have a short amount of time, then you need to maximize it. What’s the best way to maximize your time? By picking an exercise that hits your lower body, upper body, and core all in one shot.
Think of the sit up for example; yes, we know it’s great for building tight core and strong abs, but what about your arms, shoulders, and quads? No stimulation what-so-ever. What do you think builds more calories per minute: Situps or burpees? Burpees of course! Because burpees are a squat, a push-up, and a jump. Boom – upper, lower and core.
IT SHOULD BE EASY TO EXECUTE.
When I say easy, I don’t just mean easy to do physically, but also easy to do anywhere, anytime, with any object (barbell, dumbbell, or odd object/ heavy animal).
If you look at a deadlift, for example, it’s one of the most technical movements in bodybuilding. You have to make sure your knees are bent just so, your spine is in neutral, your chin/neck
isn’t straining. It’s hard to do correctly, especially when you start moving quickly. So, while it’s seemingly easy
to do anytime, anywhere, if you don’t have a coach watching you, you should probably abstain from doing it.
IT SHOULDN’T HURT OR CAUSE DISCOMFORT.
This rule is a no-brainer, but the axiom of “no pain, no gain” is still prevalent. Just because an exercise is effective, doesn’t mean it has to cause pain, and not all exercises that are uncomfortable are the best for you.
Take for example the couch/chair dip. Easy to execute and convenient, but it’s hard to get your hands, wrists and shoulders in a position that doesn’t cause an impingement, especially if you’re doing a high volume of the movement. Or even a plank; yes, it’s great for your whole body, and it’s easy to execute, but how many times has your lower back started feeling it before your abs? Right. That’s my point.
BEST EXERCISE: THE THRUSTER.
This exercise is a simple front squat mixed with an overhead press. You can use a barbell, dumbbell, or odd object – making it easy to execute anywhere.
If you have knee issues, this can be modified so you’re not squatting as low. If you have shoulder issues, you don’t have to extend your arms as high. And best of all, it’s a full body movement.
Author: Nichelle Laus is a mom of 4, a fitness expert, an on-air TV Fitness Personality, and a 7 time fitness cover model. Nichelle has changed thousands of women’s lives as a transformation specialist with her online training programs. You can find her on Instagram here.