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NOV 7, 2023

Top 7 Exercises to Do Every Day for Optimal Fitness

Discover the top 7 exercises to incorporate into your daily routine for optimal fitness.Learn how these essential movements can enhance overall health.

Read time: 10 minutes

Routines keep us on track, they’re reliable, efficient, and get the results you need. But when it comes to daily fitness, what exercises should you be incorporating for optimal fitness? Thankfully, we have the answer. So, get ready to command your muscles, skyrocket your endurance, and crush your fitness goals with these ultimate 7 exercises you should be doing every day. No more excuses, no more procrastination - it's time to dive into a new world of fitness efficiency!

The Ultimate 7 Exercises

When it comes to achieving optimal fitness levels, these 7 exercises stand out as foundational pillars for a well-rounded and effective workout routine. These exercises target different muscle groups and promote strength, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, and overall health. So, naturally, by incorporating these ultimate 7 exercises into your daily routine, you’ll experience significant improvements in your physical fitness.

  1. Squats

  2. Push-ups

  3. Lunges

  4. Plank

  5. Jumping Jacks

  6. Bicycle Crunches

  7. Burpees

Yep, that’s it. They may not look like much but each exercise offers unique bodily benefits and contributes to your overall fitness goals. So let's break them down one-by-one.

Squats and their Benefits

Squats are dynamic, compound movements that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. They primarily target the glutes (butt muscles), quadriceps (front of the thigh), hamstrings (back of the thigh), and calves. In addition to building lower body strength, squats are essential for functional movements like walking, running, climbing stairs, or getting up from a seated position.

To perform a squat correctly:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

  2. Keep your chest lifted and spine neutral.

  3. Engage your core muscles.

  4. Lower your body down as if sitting back in an imaginary chair.

  5. Keep your weight in your heels and your knees tracking over your toes.

  6. Lower until your thighs are parallel to the ground or slightly below.

  7. Push through your heels to return to the starting position.

Benefits of Squats

If you're a busy professional who spends most of their day sitting at a desk, this sedentary lifestyle can weaken your leg muscles. This then leads to discomfort and fatigue when performing daily activities such as standing or walking. But by incorporating squats into your daily exercise routine, you can reverse this trend.

Squats offer several benefits:

  • Muscle strengthening: Squats engage the major muscles in your lower body, including the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. Regular squatting leads to increased muscle mass and strength.

  • Improved balance and stability: Squats require core engagement and help improve overall balance and stability.

  • Enhanced mobility: Performing squats through a full range of motion helps maintain and even improve joint flexibility.

  • Fat burning: Squats are compound movements that activate large muscle groups, increasing calorie burn during and after your workout.

  • Functional fitness: Squats mimic everyday movements like sitting, standing, or picking things up from the ground. By strengthening those muscles involved in these movements, squats contribute to better functional fitness

Did you know that incorporating squats into your daily routine can have far-reaching benefits beyond building leg muscles? This specific exercise can also improve strength, mobility, and overall wellbeing.

The Power of Push-ups

Push-ups are a fundamental exercise that targets multiple muscle groups and forms the foundation of any fitness routine. When performed correctly, push-ups focus on improving your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles. They’re a compound movement that engages multiple joints, promoting strength and stability.

Push-up positioning:

  1. Hands placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and toes supporting your lower body.

  2. Lowering your chest toward the ground

  3. Your arms bend at the elbows while maintaining a straight line from head to toe.

  4. Pushing back up to the starting position engages your chest, shoulders, and triceps.

The beauty of push-ups is that they’re versatile and adaptable to various fitness levels. Beginners can modify them by performing wall push-ups or kneeling push-ups until you develop enough strength to do full push-ups on the floor. And advanced variations such as decline or one-arm push-ups offer additional challenges for seasoned athletes looking to take their training to the next level.

Benefits of Push-Ups

Regularly incorporating push-ups into your daily exercise routine can yield significant benefits. These include:

  • Improved upper body strength

  • Enhanced muscular endurance

  • Increased core stability

  • Improved shoulder joint health

  • Push-ups also engage stabilizer muscles, promoting balanced muscular development throughout your upper body.

Lunges for Lower Body Strength

Lunges are an excellent exercise for developing lower body strength and stability. They mostly target the glutes (buttocks), quadriceps (thighs), hamstrings (back of thighs), and calves. That’s because lunges involve a dynamic movement where you step forward with one foot, lowering your body until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle (front knee above the ankle) while maintaining an upright torso position.

How to do lunges:

  1. Standing tall with feet hip-width apart.

  2. Take a step forward with your right foot

  3. Keep your left foot stationary.

  4. Begin by lowering your body until your front thigh is parallel to the ground (knee at a 90-degree angle),

  5. Ensuring your knee is aligned with your toes.

  6. Push through the heel of your front foot to return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Types of Lunges

Lunges offer versatility through variations like reverse lunges, walking lunges, or side lunges, which target different muscle groups and add variety to your workouts. You can also increase the intensity by adding weights or incorporating jumping lunges for a more challenging plyometric exercise.

Benefits of Lunges

Incorporating lunges into your daily exercise routine provides numerous benefits for both athletes and individuals looking to improve their overall fitness levels. Strong lower body muscles contribute to better performance in sports, increased mobility in daily life, and enhanced aesthetics.

  • They help improve leg strength, balance, and coordination.

  • Lunges also engage the core muscles, assisting in developing overall stability.

  • The functional nature of this exercise mimics movements used in daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs, or bending down.

Plank: A Core Workout

The plank is a simple yet highly effective exercise that strengthens your core muscles, including the abdominals, obliques, and lower back. It can be done anywhere and requires no equipment, making it a convenient addition to your daily workout routine.

To perform a plank:

  1. Start by positioning yourself face down on the floor.

  2. Support your body weight on your forearms and toes, ensuring your elbows are directly beneath your shoulders.

  3. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels.

  4. Engage your core muscles by squeezing your glutes and pulling your navel towards your spine.

  5. Hold this position for as long as you can while maintaining proper form. As you progress, aim to increase the duration of each plank hold.

It’s worth noting that the plank is an isometric exercise that not only helps strengthen your core but also improves stability and posture. By engaging the deep muscles of your abdomen and back, planks can alleviate lower back pain and enhance overall functional fitness.

Benefits of Planks

If you’re struggling with daily activities due to chronic low back pain. By consistently incorporating planks into their routine over time, an individual may experience

  • A reduction in pain

  • Improved posture

  • Increased strength in their core muscles.

Planks can also be modified or elevated by changing it up with side planks or lifting one leg or arm at a time. These modifications help challenge different muscle groups within the core and add variety to your workout routine.

Jumping Jacks for Cardio Health

When it comes to improving cardiovascular fitness, few exercises are as effective and accessible as Jumping Jacks. This simple yet dynamic move engages the entire body, making it a fantastic choice for boosting heart health and increasing endurance.

  1. Jumping Jacks involve a combination of jumping and clapping your hands overhead while simultaneously spreading your legs wide and then returning to the starting position.

  2. This repetitive action elevates your heart rate, which improves blood circulation and oxygen delivery throughout your body.

Benefits of Jumping Jacks

  • Jumping Jacks provide an excellent aerobic workout, which helps strengthen the heart and lungs. Regularly engaging in this exercise can enhance cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of heart disease, and improve overall stamina.

  • Jumping Jacks also offer a full-body workout by engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously. As you jump and land, the leg muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves, work to propel your body off the ground. Meanwhile, your core muscles assist in maintaining stability and control throughout each movement.

  • Moreover, Jumping Jacks promote greater joint mobility and flexibility. The rhythmic motion of opening and closing the arms and legs encourages a wider range of motion in the shoulder joints and hip joints. This can be particularly advantageous for individuals with sedentary lifestyles or those looking to improve their overall flexibility.

In addition to physical benefits, Jumping Jacks also have psychological advantages.

  • They serve as an effective form of stress relief, allowing you to release tension and increase endorphin levels. Regular aerobic exercise has been shown to improve mood, reduce anxiety levels, boost cognitive function, and enhance overall mental wellbeing.

  • Incorporating Jumping Jacks into your daily fitness regimen is an efficient way to improve cardiovascular health, increase endurance and stamina, promote joint mobility, and enhance mental well-being. Whether you perform them as a standalone exercise or as part of a dynamic warm-up routine, Jumping Jacks are a reliable and accessible choice for elevating your fitness.

More Essential Daily Exercises

So now we’ve gone over the importance of incorporating squats, push-ups, lunges, planks, and Jumping Jacks into your daily exercise routine, there are a few more key exercises to consider for optimal fitness.

Bicycle Crunches: Strengthening the Abs and Obliques

Bicycle Crunches are an effective exercise that target your abdominal muscles, particularly the rectus abdominis and obliques.

To perform this exercise:

  1. Lie on your back with your hands gently supporting your head
  2. Elbows out to the sides.
  3. Lift both legs off the ground and bring one knee toward your chest while extending the other leg straight out.
  4. As you rotate your torso, bring your opposite elbow towards the knee that is bent.
  5. Repeat this motion on the opposite side in a fluid cycling motion.

By engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously, Bicycle Crunches provide an excellent core workout. Not only do they help tone and strengthen your abs, but they also enhance stability and improve overall posture.

Burpees: A Full-Body Exercise

Burpees are known for their intense full-body engagement, making them a fantastic addition to any daily exercise routine. But if you’re unfamiliar with them, prepare yourself for a surprisingly full-on workout.

To perform a burpee:

  1. Start by standing upright with your feet shoulder-width apart.

  2. Lower yourself into a squat position and place your hands on the ground before you.

  3. Kick both feet back to get into a push-up position quickly.

  4. From here, perform a push-up and jump your feet back towards your hands.

  5. Explosively jump up into the air while reaching overhead.

  6. Finally, land softly back into the starting position and repeat the sequence.

The combination of push-ups, squats, and explosive movements in burpees works multiple muscle groups simultaneously. By incorporating burpees into your routine, you can boost cardiovascular fitness and increase strength and endurance throughout your entire body.

Importance of Routine Consistency

Before we leave you to try this routine out, remember the phrasing at the very top of the article: every day. Consistency is the secret ingredient to achieving long-term success here. Because maintaining a consistent routine plays a vital role in maximizing the benefits and attaining optimal fitness results.

  • Establishing a regular exercise routine allows your body to adapt and gradually improve over time. Consistency creates a sense of commitment and discipline, ensuring you dedicate time each day to prioritize your health and well-being.

  • Consistency in exercise helps create positive habits ingrained in your daily life. By committing to regular workouts, you develop a strong foundation for long-term success. It becomes easier to overcome obstacles and stay on track with your fitness goals.

Whether your goal is to build strength, lose weight, or improve cardiovascular health, consistency is key. The body responds positively when subjected to regular and consistent physical activity. Through constant effort, you allow for incremental progress and avoid setbacks caused by sporadic or infrequent workouts.

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Written by Matthew Stogdon

Matt has been writing for two decades, across print and digital media. He is also an accomplished filmmaker, with several accolades under his belt.


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