Being in shape is one thing, but being strong is entirely different.
My favourite part of working out used to be the physical changes I could see in my body, but now, my favourite thing is lifting heavy boxes or moving furniture without asking my partner for help.
Although weight lifting and strength training may not be appealing to everyone, getting stronger should be something we all strive for, and there are certain exercises that can help get you stronger without tossing tractor tires across a field.
So here are 5 exercises to help you get stronger:
A squat is one of the greatest exercises to build strength as it works almost all of the muscles in your legs. Start by perfecting a body squat, nail your form, get comfortable and then start adding weight to your squat. You can add weight to your squat by holding dumbbells, a kettlebell or by resting a barbell on your back.
Stand with your feet a little wider than hip width apart. Lower your hips into a squat while bending your knees and keeping your back flat. Continue to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push yourself back up into your starting form.
Push – Ups
Being able to move your own body weight is one of the best signs of strength. If a push-up is challenging to you, try elevating your hands onto a step or table. Once you get the hang of push-ups, you won’t know yourself! Push-ups work your chest, shoulders and triceps.
Start in a high plank and place your hands flat on the floor with your hands shoulder width apart. Ensure your shoulders are stacked directly over your wrists with your legs extended behind you, keeping your core and glutes engaged. Bend your elbows and lower yourself down to the floor. Push back up through your palms and straighten your arms.
The Glute Bridge workout will target one of the biggest muscles on your lower half – your glutes! Glute bridges will also contribute to the development of your leg muscles and help with core stabilization.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and with your feet flat on the ground, hip width apart while holding a dumbbell in each hand, resting them under your hip bones.
Push up through your heels while squeezing your glutes and abs. Lift your hips a few inches off the ground until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
Hold this pose for a second and then slowly lower yourself back down to your starting position.
Bent Over Row
The bent over row exercise works all the pulling muscles in your upper body, that includes your back, biceps and shoulder muscles. This workout also engages your core and legs while helping you maintain a strong position.
Standing with your feet hip width apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms by your side.
While keeping your core engaged, bend forward at the waist while pushing your butt back. Keep your knees bent, and don’t round your shoulders. Also remember to keep your neck in a comfortable position and be careful not to strain it.
Pulling the weights up toward your chest, keeping your elbows tight to your body. Squeeze your shoulder blades for two seconds at the top of the movement. Your elbows should go past your back as you bring the weight closer to your chest.
Lower your weights by slowly extending your arms toward the floor.
The plank helps build serious strength in your core, arms, back and shoulders. This exercise is also a great workout for those who suffer with lower back pain. If you struggle with the plank, try starting off by doing this exercise on your knees.
Start on the floor on your hands and knees, placing your hands directly under your shoulders.
Step your feet back one at a time, for an easier plank, spread your legs a little wider apart, for a more challenging plank, keep your legs closer together.
Keep your core, quads and glutes and hold.