Building and maintaining skeletal muscle is crucial to our overall health. These simple exercises target specific body parts to tighten, tone, and keep you moving smoothly.
Do you regularly incorporate strength training in your workout routines? If not, you’re missing out! Muscle tissue is super important for our bodies, helping to
- facilitate movement
- produce heat to keep us warm
- stabilize our joints
- maintain our posture
By helping build your skeletal muscle tissue through strength training, you can also help
- reduce your risk of osteoporosis
- improve your basal metabolic rate (how many calories you burn), helping you stay slim since muscle burns more calories than fat
- improve your balance
- boost your energy
- manage any chronic health conditions, such as arthritis or diabetes
- improve your memory and brainpower
To celebrate all the amazing things our muscles do for us, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite exercises for each body part! Keep in mind that most exercises work more than one major muscle group at a time, but they each have their own focus.
Our legs get us from A to B every day, but we rarely appreciate them for all they do. In addition to regular cardio that moves your legs, help strengthen and tone them with exercises such as these.
- Cartoon Walking Lunges
- Hop Scotch Drop Squats
- Lunge Changes
The gluteal area is the technical term for our butts. How many hours a day do you sit on yours? Believe it or not, our glutes are actually one of the most powerful muscle groups in the body, and has a very important function: keeping us upright and moving. Show it some love with these exercises.
- Standing Barre Butt Work
- Sprinter’s Block
Arms and shoulders
The sleeveless season is coming up! To tighten and tone for summer—not to mention help build muscle to lift heavy groceries or carry around your nieces and nephews—try these arm and shoulder exercises.
- Bent Arm Dumbbell Lateral Raise
- Resistance Band Kickbacks
- Plank Walk-Up to Push-Up
Working out the chest muscles isn’t just for men—women can also benefit from these toning exercises.
- Chest Press
- Wall Clap Push-Up
- Wall Angels
Many of us suffer from sore backs occasionally. Keeping it strengthened and active (without going overboard and straining yourself) may help prevent the pain from coming back.
- Barbell Deadlift
- Cat and Cow Spinal Movements
- Rowing on the Ball
Who doesn’t want tighter abs for the warmer weather? If you’re trying to achieve a six-pack by doing sit ups, think again—you may be doing more harm than good. Instead, try these exercises, which work out a lot more than simply the lower abs, and help to contribute to an overall stronger and leaner core.
- Butterfly Crunches
- Oblique Crunches
- Plank Kickouts
- The Side Bridge
- The Bird Dog
- C-Curve Twists