To strengthen your body, it is not always essential that you adhere to a gym routine. It is enough to know how to use your muscles naturally and safely to perform exercises that allow you to improve your physical condition.
Although it is commonly associated with machines and weights with a more statuesque body, the truth is that they are not as necessary to improve a person’s physical condition. Even with basic and easy exercises to do at home, it is possible to design a complete training plan to achieve a better figure and enjoy the benefits of a healthy body.
The key to strengthening the body with these exercises is to be constant with your practice and complement it with a good diet and healthy lifestyle habits. Next, we will share in detail six ways to achieve stronger muscles without using gym accessories.
- Walk or Run
In addition to being a relaxing activity, running or brisk walking can help strengthen your leg and hip muscles. Also, a Merck Manual publication on the benefits of physical activity adds that walking strengthens bones and muscles and helps control weight.
Regular walking activates circulation and reduces tension, which according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, helps prevent cardiovascular events in postmenopausal women.
Make sure you wear comfortable clothing and sports shoes and take a brisk walk every day that lasts between 15 and 30 minutes.
- Squats, an Excellent way to Strengthen your Body
Squats are one of the most recommended exercises for strengthening and toning the thighs and buttocks. A study published by the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine that analyzed the effects of an eight-week jump squat workout concluded that it improves capabilities such as power and muscle strength, among others.
Beyond this, squats, like all physical exercise, also increase energy expenditure. In turn, as a publication by Harvard Health Publishing explains, strengthening the muscles of the middle zone helps improve body posture and prevents low back pain.
The technique to perform the squats correctly is as follows:
- Spread your legs shoulder-width apart, keep your back straight, and bend your legs to about 90 degrees.
- Although it is usually advised that the knees do not exceed the tip of the foot, it is not a problem if they are slightly exceeded, as long as you keep your back straight and your gaze straight ahead.
- Hold the pose for about three seconds and return to the starting position.
- Do 3 or 4 sets of 12 or 15 repetitions.
As detailed by research conducted by experts at the University of Waterloo in Canada, push-ups are focused on toning the muscles of the upper body. When performing them, the back, pectorals, and arms are forced to lift the body’s entire weight. The technique is straightforward:
- On a mat or mat, lie on your stomach, arms outstretched and hands shoulder-width apart.
The feet should be pointed, together or very little apart, and the back should remain straight.
- Breathe in and bend your arms to bring your rib cage close to the ground. Avoid curving your lower back.
- Without letting the body rest on the ground in this stage, push until reaching a full extension of the arms.
- Repeat the movement 8 or 10 times and complete three sets.
- Leg Raise
This is another simple exercise to strengthen your body. In this case, you will tone the abdominal area and the buttocks. In this exercise, a study published by the Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation explains that it helps to strengthen the rectus abdominis muscle, also known as the “abdominal muscle,” but the horizontal position that the individual adopts demands a more significant effort from the internal obliques.
- With your back straight and your legs straight on the floor, lift one of your legs without pushing yourself with your back or hands.
- Hold the lift for 8-10 seconds and rest.
Perform the same movement with the opposite leg and complete 12 repetitions with each one.
- Another alternative to this exercise is to work with both legs simultaneously, as shown in the video.
- Isometric Abs
With this abdominal exercise, you will be working the waist and belly area muscles, and, incidentally, you will increase your physical resistance.
According to research published by the Strength and Conditioning Journal, it is even a work that benefits the lower back. It helps prevent injuries since it does not require bending of the spine, as other exercises do. These are the steps to do it:
Lie down on an exercise mat with your arms at your sides.
Raise your legs to a right angle and lower them in slow motion without touching the ground.
Hold the position for 8 seconds, rest another 8 seconds and start again.
Do 4-8 reps to start, and then increase them according to the resistance you get.
- Exercise of Opposing Forces
Counterforce exercises are those in which two equal classes of forces are used (stretches and contracts). There are many ways to do them; here is how you can do this exercise:
- Put the palms of your hands against the wall, at chest level, and stretch your arms as far as you can.
- Bend one leg forward and stretch the other back.
- Use force as if you were trying to push the wall and hold the pose for 10 to 12 seconds.
- Do 4 repetitions.