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Exercises Everyone Should Do

By Sara Butler

There are some exercises that can tick the right boxes for almost everyone. These exercises are called functional strength exercises. They imitate the movements you go through in your everyday life, helping to make you stronger and make your everyday activities easier. Here are a few of the exercises you should consider adding to your workout routine.

The Squat

Squats help to work your gluteals (buttocks), spinal muscles, hamstrings, and quadriceps. The movement involved in a squat uses many different muscle groups to help improve stability and balance, creating hips that are flexible and strong.

To perform a squat the right way, keep your weight back on your heels as you lower your buttocks toward the floor, keeping your chest lifted and your knees over your toes. You can add weight as you progress, but it’s important to make sure you nail the form first.

The Lunge

Lunges work your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Just like squats, this exercise helps to increase your stability, strength, and balance. When performing a lunge, it’s really important to keep the spine in a neutral position. Don’t go lower than you feel comfortable and add weight to make it more challenging as you get better at them.


This exercise works to strengthen your pectorals, triceps, spinal muscles, abdominals, and deltoids. They’re a great way to build upper body strength to help you go through the motions of your daily life with a healthy and neutral posture.

To perform a push-up correctly, you have to start with your toes or knees at hip-width. If you need more stability, you can do a little wider. Put your hands on the floor right below your shoulders at about the same width and slowly bend at the elbow toward the floor. Make sure to keep your spine straight, then push back up. You can start doing push-ups against the walls, move to knees, then start doing them on your toes.

The Plank

Planks are really good for you, helping you to develop the muscles to support proper posture in your back and abdominals. It’s good for your shoulder muscles too, helping to increase balance and stability along the way. They workout your abdominals, back muscles, obliques, deltoids, and quads.

If you’re new to planks, start on your knees and forearms. Keep your elbows bent and your spine straight in a neutral position. Hold the plank for as long as you can -- at least 10 seconds. After you have that pose locked down, you can progress to your hands and toes, making sure to maintain the neutral spine all the while.

Focus on simple but effective exercises that strengthen your body and you'll reap the benefits!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Riverside, Calif.

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