Whether you want to gain muscle or produce weight loss, following the right workout routines is a key component to achieving your fitness goals. The best routines offer a combination of perks that work your full body and build a balanced lifestyle.
Luckily, Silicon Valley Athletics is ready to offer expert routines straight from a personal trainer’s guidebook. From strength training to aerobic exercise, here are the 5 routines you need to add to your fitness routine:
1. Strength Training
Essential for increasing bone strength and muscle fitness, strength training can help you lose weight, stay at a healthy weight, or build muscle. Here’s how it works:
- Resistance training: This is the movement of any weight against resistance, such as your body weight. Essentially, doing any exercise that pushes the capabilities of your muscles, forcing them to keep building back up stronger than before.
- Progressive overload: The act of doing just a bit more than last time (i.e. one extra rep, or 10lbs more weight.) Doing so consistently makes your muscles stronger, as they have to rebuild for more and more challenging tasks. This process works by creating microscopic, painless tears in your muscles that spur hypertrophy.
Examples of Strength Training Exercises
If you want an effective strength training workout, consider these effective routine examples:
Bodyweight workouts are the best way to incorporate strength training into your busy lifestyle. With no workout equipment necessary, you can do these exercises any time, any place:
- Push-Ups: Targeting the chest, shoulders, and triceps, push-ups are a classic bodyweight exercise that builds strength and engages your core.
- Bodyweight Squats: Strengthen your lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, by performing bodyweight squats.
- Lunges: Develop lower body strength and improve balance with lunges, which target the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
Weight training is a great way to build muscle in the gym or at home. You can go as simple as bicep curls with a dumbbell, or as advanced as heavy barbell training. Here are some examples of weight training exercises:
- Dumbbell Lunges: Work on your lower body movements by incorporating dumbbell lunges, targeting the quadriceps and hamstrings.
- Bicep Curls: Isolate and strengthen your biceps with bicep curls using dumbbells, promoting upper body strength.
- Deadlifts: Engage multiple muscle groups, including the back, glutes, and hamstrings, by doing deadlifts with a barbell.
If you have access to the gym or at-home machines, you can use them to enhance your strength training routine. For example:
- Leg Press Machine: Focus on your lower body with the leg press machine to build strength in your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
- Lat Pulldown Machine: Strengthen your upper body, particularly the latissimus dorsi muscles, using the lat pulldown machine.
Chest Press Machine: Another one of many weight machines, this one allows you to target the chest muscles, triceps, and shoulders to improve overall upper body strength.
2. Aerobic Fitness
The perfect balance to strength training, Aerobic exercise, otherwise known as cardio or endurance training, improves your physical health and lifestyle.
Aerobic activity accomplishes this primarily by improving how you breathe, which is the catalyst for many other health benefits. For example, by encouraging your body to breathe faster and more deeply, you increase the amount of oxygen in your blood. In turn, your heart beats faster, encouraging blood flow in your muscles, lungs, and other organs.
The more you increase aerobic activity, the more healthy your body becomes, making it easier to achieve your fitness goals.
Examples of Aerobic Training Exercises
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 75 to 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week, depending on intensity. However, to help with weight loss, we recommend at least 300 minutes a week. From light to vigorous aerobic activity, here are examples of ways you can improve your blood pressure and other aspects of your physical health today:
Sports and Other Hobbies
Sports and hobbies are some of the best ways to incorporate aerobic activity into your routine. Here are some great examples:
And many, many more!
At-Home Exercise Plan
If you’re looking for a way to ease into moderate aerobic activity, or simply don’t have the time to dedicate to a sport or hobby right now, here are some simple at-home endurance activities you can do to improve your cardio:
- Jump Rope
- Leaf raking
- Snow shoveling
3. Core Exercises
The core muscles in your abdomen support your entire body, from your spine and lower back to your arms and legs. When worked properly, these muscles help you improve lower and upper body movements. With that in mind, core strength is a crucial component of any exercise program.
Examples of Exercises for Core Muscles
Lose weight or build work major muscle groups with these key core exercises:
- Bridges: Work on your posterior chain by incorporating bridges, which activate the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Then, lift your hips toward the ceiling and squeeze your glutes at the top before lowering back down.
- Sit-Ups: Simple and easy, you can build core stability and abdominal muscle strength with sit-ups. Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and arms crossed over your chest. Then, lift your upper body up and back down.
- Fitness Ball Exercises: Utilize a fitness ball for exercises like stability ball squats and ball rollouts to enhance core strength and stability.
- Leg Lifts: Enhance lower abdominal strength and flexibility by including leg lifts in your bodyweight training routine. Lie on your back with your hands under your hips and legs straight. Then, lift your legs toward the ceiling and back down.
- Plank: Engage your core muscles by doing planks, a full-body exercise that improves muscular endurance. Hold the plank position for as long as possible and work to extend the hold over time. We know they’re nobody’s favorite, but your whole body will thank you later.
4. Balance Training
If you’ve ever gotten home from a particularly ambitious amusement park trip, you know the importance of balance for your body. Balance tends to decline with age, and poor balance can lead to falls, broken bones, or worse. Luckily, balance training helps you build and maintain balance at any age.
By doing balance exercises you can steady and stabilize your muscles. This, in turn, improves the results of your other workout routines and builds a healthy lifestyle.
Examples of Balance Exercises
Improve your balance as you age with these key exercies:
- Single-Leg Stands: This is a great way to improve full-body balance, but takes time to master. Stand on one leg and lift the other leg, holding the position for 15-30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
- Heel-to-Toe Walk: A great balance exercise for anyone just starting their physical activity journey. Walk in a straight line by placing the heel of one foot directly in front of the toes of the other with each step. This mimics a tightrope walk and enhances balance.
- Balancing Wand Exercise: Hold a wand or stick with both hands and balance on one leg. Gradually increase the challenge by closing your eyes or moving the wand in different directions.
- Clock Reach: Good for coordination, this balance exercise has you stand on one leg and imagine a clock in front of you. Reach forward to 12 o’clock, then to 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions.
- Balance Ball Exercises: Perform exercises like squats, lunges, or reaching movements while standing on a balance ball. The unstable surface engages core muscles and challenges your balance.
5. Stretching and Flexibility
Any good cardio and strength training is started and concluded with quality stretching. Stretching and flexibility training help to prevent muscle cramps and other negative side effects of strength exercises, while also improving the results of your next workout. Plus, you can improve your posture, reduce tension, and relieve stress.
Examples of Stretching Exercises
We recommend stretching 2 to 3 times per week to stay flexible. Take 5 to 10 minutes before your workout routine to warm up, holding each stretch for at least 30 seconds. Here are some examples of stretches:
- Yoga Poses: Many yoga practices are a fantastic catch-all to stretching. Check out popular yoga videos and try a 10-minute yoga warm-up before your workout begins.
- Hamstring Stretch: This stretch works your leg before and after lower body exercises. Sit on the floor with one leg bent and the other out straight, pointing the sole of your foot against the inner thigh of the extended leg. Then, reach forward toward your toes, holding for 30 seconds.
- Chest Opener Stretch: A great addition to your workout program, allowing you to loosen your chest and shoulders. Stand or sit with your back straight and clasp your hands behind your back. Then, straighten your arms and lift them while opening up your chest and shoulders.
- Cat-Cow Stretch: Common in yoga and an easy way to warm up, you’ll start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. Inhale, arch your back and lift your head and tailbone toward the ceiling (Cow). Then exhale, round your back, and tuck your chin to your chest (Cat). Repeat for 1-2 minutes to enhance spinal flexibility.
The Impact of a Personal Trainer
There are many ways you can enhance your workout routine and foster a balanced lifestyle at home. However, you can build even more muscle and lose weight even more effectively when you hire a personal trainer.
These professionals leave a positive impact on your fitness journey through expertise, personal attention, motivation, and guidance. It’s all about transforming your approach to fitness and well-being. This combined support significantly enhances your ability to achieve and sustain your fitness goals.
Additionally, you can expect more than just a physical transformation. The positive impact your physical trainer can have on your mental health, self-esteem, and lifestyle can be profound. Under the holistic approach to health and fitness a physical trainer brings to the table, you can feel better than ever before.
Connect With The Best Personal Trainers Today
If you’re looking to connect with the best personal trainers in the South Bay Area, look no further. Silicon Valley Athletics offers trainers who are certified experts in fat loss, strength training, and competition.
Whether you’re looking for private sessions that help you excel in your sport, or after online training that boosts your weight loss goals, we have it all. Our entire team of dedicated trainers is ready to take you to the next level.
So, if you want to boost your fitness progress, you can get started on our website, or contact us at (408) 469-9405. Find a program that works for your budget using our pricing table, or try a trial session with one of our trainers today!