Easy Exercises to Help You Strengthen Muscle and Move
When Movement is Your Primary Goal . . .
Whether you’re trying to hit a weight loss target or just want to improve your overall health and well being, increasing your movement and shedding that sedentary lifestyle is the best (and easiest) way to reach those goals. Movement—no matter how small—counts as exercise and we can often squeeze it in more often than a trip to the gym.
Maybe you’re already working hard to hit your personal movement goal or maybe you’re just learning to set one—either way, building muscle tone can make your journey easier.
People who are trying to live healthier don’t start out thinking about a bodybuilding regime. However, increasing muscle mass and muscle tone is invaluable. Indeed, stretching and strengthening is essential in order to:
- Prevent injuries (like strains and ligament damage)
- Increase movement ability (flexibility) and coordination
- Build bone density
- Prevent and alleviate back pain
- Decrease joint pain associated with movement
You don’t have to hit the gym or buy a set of weights for your basement in order to get the quality muscle-building exercise your body needs. In fact, with simple movement exercises anybody can do, you too can enjoy all the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.
5 Easy Strengthening Exercises for Your busy Schedule
Below you’ll find 5 easy exercises you can squeeze into your busy day in order to increase muscle tone and make meeting your movement goal easier.
1) Glute Bridges
The large muscles at the top of your legs are an important part of your body’s core powerhouse and help with bending, lifting, and mobility.
Lay on your back with your feet a hip’s width apart. Raise your hips up as much as you can and squeeze your glutes. Hold that clench for a two-second count then slowly lower your hips. Repeat for 2 sets of repetitions (“reps”).
To give these essential muscles a better workout, use resistance bands to get more out of every motion.
Planks are an excellent way to strengthen the core muscles of your abdomen and back and they don’t require any equipment to do. Simply get in a “push-up position” then drop your elbows to the ground so they’re directly below your shoulders. Lift your abdomen, back, and legs so they are in straight alignment and hold for as long as you’re able. Repeat 2 to 3 times.
3) Side Planks
Now, instead of that classic “push-up position,” you’re going to turn on your side so only one forearm and foot are on the ground and your hips rotated so they’re vertical toward the ceiling. Lift your body for straight alignment and hold. This is going to be much harder than a traditional plank so start with short bursts and work up. Don’t forget to switch sides!
Lay flat on the floor face-down. Raise your arms and legs up (backwards) at the same time so the only thing still touching the floor is your chest and stomach. Hold for 5-10 seconds (or as long as you’re able), they lower slowly. Repeat for a minute.
5) The Frog Pose
The muscles of your groin are generally underworked and are the muscles that are often pulled or strained when we engage in more vigorous exercises. You can strengthen these muscles by using a yoga pose called the Frog Pose.
- Begin in an elevated position with your hands and knees on the floor and your core raised. Hold that position while you engage your core muscles.
- Next, slowly extended one knee at a time outward in small increments. Continue to spread your knees while keeping your feet turned outward.
- Next, slowly flex your elbows and lower your forearms to the floor with your palms flat.
- Slowly press your hips backward until you feel the muscles in your hips and inner thighs stretch.
Don’t overdo the stretch. Keep it nice and comfortable and build up to wider motions.
Hold that position for a count of 5 or 10 seconds while taking deep breaths.
Raise yourself to the starting position and repeat the motions above three to five times.
Fuel is Important for Building Strength
Protein is likely the most important dietary element in strength-building. And while your goal may not be to bulk up and add muscle, building muscle tone will help you achieve your movement and weight loss goals in multiple ways:
- More muscle mass makes movement easier
- Stronger muscles can tolerate more movement with less discomfort
- Lean muscle burns more calories even when at rest
But how do you get that protein into your diet? Protein-rich meal replacement bars and drinks are a great option but most taste like cardboard or are flavorless!
Not the Hollywood Cookie Diet®!
These great-tasting “treats” are formulated to help you crush your cravings without adding unnecessary calories to your diet. They come in several tempting tastes but Chocolate Chip is the overwhelming customer favorite.
They’re packed with a proprietary blend of plant-based proteins (including pea and rice proteins) balanced with just enough carbohydrates and healthy fats to give your body the fuel it needs to rebuild muscle and help you burn calories even while you’re at rest. Plus, they’re packaged in handy individual servings great for tossing in your briefcase, desk, bag, or glove compartment so you can have them wherever you are and whenever you need them.
Together with the healthy nutrition in The Hollywood Cookie Diet® meal replacement cookies and a little extra daily motion, you’ll be building healthier muscle, toning so you can do more, and feeling better day by day.