Muscles are a crucial part of your general body fitness. They also help with your stability and balance. Therefore, finding activities you can incorporate into your daily routine to strengthen them is the way to go.
Push-ups are effective in helping you move your body weight effortlessly as several muscles are involved. Elijah Muhwezi, a fitness coach, says start off in a plank position, with your core tight, shoulders pulled down and back then bend your elbows and start lowering your body towards the floor.
“Thereafter, return to the plank position once your chest grazes the floor. While you are at it, ensure that your elbows are close to your body. Depending on your fitness level, do as many reps as you can but starting small is the best way to avoid straining the muscles,” he says.
For one that finds a standard push-up far from possible, Muhwezi says you can modify it by getting to your knees and carry on from there. “This way, you are still exercising your,” he says.
Overhead dumbbell press
Done while one is standing, this compound workout will make use of your muscles and several joints. “It will work your shoulders while also engaging your core and upper back,” Enoch Zimula, a fitness enthusiast, shares.
Using a pair of light dumbbells, stand with your feet apart at shoulder width then hold the weights at eye level.
Brace your core and start engaging in a push up movement, stretching your arms until they are straight above your head. Keep your head and neck in a stationary position while you raise the arms.
After a short while, bend your elbows and lower the weights until you are back to the eye level position.
“Repeat the exercise for, say five times, depending on your ability,” he advises.
This is yet another compound exercise that uses several upper body muscles. “Like in the one above, ensure that you work with dumbbells that are of manageable weight,” Zimula says.
With a dumbbell in each hand, bend forward at the waist to assume a 45 degree angle with the floor but make sure that you do not arch your back. Also, make sure your neck is in line with the back, your core is engaged and arms are straight down.
Then bend your elbows and pull the weights towards your chest to engage your lat and stop right below your chest. Depending on your ability, he says, you may do this 10 times.
“You may also do the weight movement alternatingly starting with the right and then the left to make a cycle. Then repeat the movement 10 times for three sets,” Zimula suggests.
Lunges are essential in muscle strengthening as they also increase leg strength, Muhwezi shares.
With your feet shoulder width apart, and arms on your sides, take a step forward with your left leg, bend the left knee and top with your thigh parallel to the floor. While at it, ensure your left knee does not go past your left foot.
Thereafter, push up your left foot to resume the starting position. Repeat this with the right leg to make one cycle.
Depending on your fitness level, he says, you can engage in 10 reps for three sets. “As your fitness improves, so should the number of reps and sets you do,” he says.
For improved core and lower body strength, Muhwezi says squats are essential as they engage some of the largest body muscles.
Standing straight, with your feet shoulder width apart, and arms on your sides, brace your core, keep the chin and chest up then push your hips back and bend your knees as though you were going to sit.
With knees neither bending in or outwards, lower your body to the point where your thighs are parallel with the ground. Then bring your arms in front of you and pause for a while before going back to the starting position.
“Do as many cycles as possible and keep increasing the number as your endurance improves,” he says. While these are only some of the activities to incorporate into your workout for stronger muscles, Zimula says you can work with your trainer depending on your needs. and fitness level.
It is quite unlikely for you to believe that you can improve muscle health even if you are not into intense workouts. Well, the fact is you can. And the secret lies in the kind of food you eat.
Most of us believe that proteins are the only macronutrient essential for muscle growth.
But there is more to it. Along with proteins, your body requires a lot of other nutrients such as carbohydrates to both compensate muscle glycogen stores and to enhance insulin so as to transfer amino acids into the muscles.