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Here's some great advice from P.J. at Go Fit Gals. Only Six exercises? We can handle that!
  The Elevate Me Team 12:31 PM

THE ONLY 6 EXERCISES YOU REALLY NEED

I love training beginners. They always allow me kick their butts ever so quietly - unlike my regulars, who tell me where to go on a regular basis. But, I heart the regulars too. I adore sarcasm and spunk.

But, beginners do hold a special place in my heart.

They haven't heard all my jokes yet (I have about 6 of them that I rotate through), they never complain, they never flip me the bird and they always see results.

Couch Potato to Rock Star
You see, no matter what program you give a beginner exerciser they will see results. Their body is like a sponge and whatever exercise you give them their body will soak it up.

A beginner will experience all new ways to move, firing up all new muscle fibres and experiencing all new growth in a short time. And that's cause it's all new.

It would take an experienced exerciser about 3 months to see the same gains that a beginner makes in only as little as 4 weeks.

6 Moves = A Million Different Exercises
When I start with a beginner I always start teaching them 6 base moves. These moves are what I believe are the foundation to all other exercises, and once that beginner is no longer a beginner I can then start layering more advanced movements on top of that base move - so that they keep seeing results.

These base moves are:

1. Squat
A squat is a basic movement for any person with fully functioning legs. Everyone squats on a daily basis (ummm... the toilet), and it is one of the fitness tests that therapists will give the elderly to see how functional their lower body is.

To not squat is to do your body an injustice.

If you are not sure how to squat properly, check out this blog where I review form and tips on how to rock a squat.

2. Push-up
Someone once asked me why I love push-ups so much and I replied "because they teach people how to push away from the dinner table". Now you can see why my classes and clients flip me the bird.

Truthfully, though, we should be able to push our own body weight.

Now, I understand that push-ups can bother some people's shoulders. To these people I urge go see a good physiotherapist and work towards some sort of pressing pattern with good form.

If you need some ideas on how to spice up your push-up, and have mastered the basic move, try these variations.

3. Pull-ups/rows
Whether you are pulling your own body weight up using a pull-up bar, or performing a pull up off a TRX, or using a dumbbell for a one arm row, or my person fave, rowing with one arm using a cable machine, you should not neglect this base move.

A pull-up/row fires up all the big muscles of the back, thus keeping your core and shoulders happy. Keeping these muscles strong will also enable you to do things like pull your grocery bags towards you, when they have settled in the far reaches of the trunk of the car between the grocery store and your home. Pull-ups and rows also help us grab heavy items above our head and they strengthen all of our postural muscles.

4. Plank
Using your core, in a lengthened position, to support your spine is something that I makes my heart warm faster than Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt AND Jason Statham combined.

You see, I hate ab crunches (read why here) because they do not train the abs in a real-life pattern and they do not prepare us for sport or life. Whereas, planks do.

Once someone has mastered a plank I then like to add mountain climbers to the mix, or moving planks, or planks off a stability ball, planks in the TRX, handstands (that's a vertical plank), spidermans... the list is endless.

5. Lunges
"To err is human, to lunge is divine.". A lunge trains the big guns in the lower body and core like a squat does, but now the feet are staggered making this even more true to life.

I mean, how many times have you been caught off balance in your life (not emotionally - that's a different kind of blog) with your feet firmly planted? Not often. We are usually offset in our stance, or on one leg, or moving through space. That's why a lunge is so bloody awesome.

If lunges bother your knees, though, try this awesome Knee-Friendly Workout.

6. Bridges
Most people use their glutes to sit, I prefer they use their glutes to extend the hips (the way the body intended), which is why the bridge made the top 6.

Bridges are one of the best exercises to do to train the glutes and you can do one anytime and any place. All you need is a piece of floor, some space to lie down and the ability to engage your glutes to lift your hips up.

Click here to find out if you are training your glutes properly.

The Go Fit Gals, your experts in fitness and nutrition for women from new mommies to menopause. We provide the plans and the inspiration to get our members strong, healthy and confident through our unique online training programs, healthy eating, like our peanut butter energy bars and training dirty.

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