The myriad of exercises available for women today to achieve the perfect body can leave them confused. The current mantra to stay fit, is focusing on functional exercises. Functional exercises
are all about using multiple muscles and joints simultaneously to improve not only muscle strength, but also endurance, coordination, agility and balance.
The ten full-body exercises listed below will make for a challenging workout. A short warm up session consisting of stretches is recommended before the full workout.1. Plank with a twist
This exercise works the core of the body. •
Get into the plank position.•
Place fore arms flat on the floor and palms down.•
Using the feet as a pivot while keeping the hands in place, twist the body to the left as far as possible without losing balance.•
Repeat to the right. This is one rep.
Do three sets of 8 to 10 reps with 30 seconds rest between sets.2. Chair Pose
This exercise works the core, upper and lower body.•
Stand with arms at your side with feet hip-distance apart.•
Squat until thighs are parallel to the floor.•
Keep arms straight and bring them forward and up, until the forearms are in line with the ears.•
Return to standing and lift the right knee to the hip while sweeping the arms across the body until the back of the left hand is outside the right knee. •
Return to standing and repeat on the other side. This is one rep.
Do three sets of 1
2 to 15 reps with 30 seconds rest between sets.3. Push-up Crawl
This exercise works the chest, core and hips.•
Get into the plank position.•
Keeps hands wider than shoulder-width apart.•
Lower chest as close as possible to the floor. •
Hold this position and lift the right knee to the outside of the right elbow.•
Return to plank and repeat on the other side. This is one rep.
Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps with 30 seconds rest between sets.4. Mermaid
tones the shoulders and core.•
Get into the side plank position with the right elbow on the floor directly beneath the shoulders.•
Move the left foot so that it is in front of the right foot.•
Raise the left arm over the head with the bicep next to the ear, arm extended and palm facing downwards. The arm should be in line with the body.•
Arch the left arm towards the floor and raise the hips.•
Return to start. Repeat to complete a rep and then switch sides.
Do 8 to 10 reps with 30 seconds rest between reps.5. Tricep Push-up
This exercise works the chest, triceps and core.•
Assume the plank position with the hands shoulder-width apart.•
Lower the chest to the floor while keeping the arms parallel to the body and elbows bent, pointing backwards. •
Push back up to start again. This is one rep.
Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps with 30 seconds rest between sets.6. Pile squat Reach and Jump
This exercise improves lower body strength
Stand with legs wide apart, toes turned outwards and arms at your sides.•
Squat till thighs are parallel to the floor. In this position you should be able to reach the floor with your fingertips. •
Immediately jump up as high as possible, keeping legs apart and extending the arms over the head. This is one rep.
Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps with 30 seconds rest between sets.7. Push-up with hip extension
This exercise strengthens the shoulder, chest, tricep, core muscles and glutes.•
On your hands and knees place the hands wider than shoulder-width apart. •
Extend the right leg straight back and tighten the core muscles by pulling the belly button up towards the spine.•
Keep the left leg raised and lower the chest to the ground till the elbows are at a 90 degree angle. •
Push back up and repeat on the other side.
Repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times for each leg.8. Lunge with front raise
This exercise tones the thighs, glutes and shoulders. •
Stand with feet hip-distance apart, holding a dumbbell in the left hand and placing the right hand on your hip.•
Take a giant step to the back and right with the left leg. •
Bend knees and lower hips to the floor until the right thigh is parallel to the floor. At the same time raise the left arm straight out in front so that it is at shoulder height.•
Return to start. Repeat and then switch sides.
Do this 10 to 12 times on each side.9. Alternating Side Lunge
This workout helps tone the thighs, core and glutes.•
Stand with feet hip-distance apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand by your sides.•
Take a wide step to the right, dropping your buttocks. Keep the knee from extending over the toes and pretend to place the weights on either side of the foot.•
Return to start and repeat on the left.
Repeat this 10 to 12 times on each side.10. Mountain Climber
This exercise helps strengthen the core muscles.•
Assume the push-up position with hands directly under the shoulders. The shoulders and body should form a straight line from the head to ankles.•
Keeping the core tight and back flat, bend the right knee and raise it towards the chest. •
Push the right leg back and bring the left knee forward.
Continue doing this for 20 counts.
The entire set of 10 exercises will take about 60 minutes to complete. For a workout
of limited duration of about 30 minutes, five of the exercises can be chosen and the mentioned number of repetitions done.
To get the best results, the entire list of exercises must be performed at least four times a week.
Even the best workouts will not show the desired results if a poor diet is followed. Good nutrition
and exercise go together when working to achieve a healthy physique.