Top 3 Fitness Moves
Recommendations by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Fitness Coaches
Fitness professionals often hear “what’s the best exercise?” You asked, and they answered. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi’s fitness staff shares their favorite fitness moves! Read more below to find out.
Squats engage every muscle in the lower body, as well as the core and lower back muscles. Any time multiple large muscle groups are worked at once, it creates a great environment for muscle strength and growth. If your goal is muscle growth, use moderate weight with a moderate rep range (8-12). This will create an ideal environment for muscle growth. When working toward muscle growth, you need sufficient rest in order to allow the muscles to repair. Make sure to rest at least 48 hours in between performing squats. For weight loss, high repetitions of body weight squats are a good option. Jump squats can greatly increase the intensity and caloric expenditure.1. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and parallel to each other. Rest hands behind head or criss-cross over chest.
2. Lower to a seated position reaching hips back as if reaching for a chair behind you. Keep weight on heels at all times (you should be able to wiggle your toes when in squat position). Push through heels to return to standing position without locking knee joints.
Burpees are one of the highest intensity exercises that you can perform, which makes it ideal for weight loss. I recommend doing an interval-style workout with burpees. Given its high-intensity nature it may be difficult to perform burpees for too long without fatiguing to failure, especially for a beginner. Start with 20 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest (1 to 1 work to rest ratio). As you progress, you can manipulate the work to rest ratio by extending the work period and decreasing the rest period.1. Begin in standing upright position.
2. Lower to squat position placing hands on floor.
3. Hop legs straight out so you’re in a push-up plank position.
4. Hop legs back in to squat position with hands still on floor.
5. Stand or jump up reaching hands toward ceiling.
The kettlebell swing is a total body workout focusing on explosive hip hinge movement. It can strengthen your muscles and provides an excellent cardio workout!1. Hold a single kettlebell in both hands, standing shoulder-width apart.
2. Bend your knees slightly while pushing your hips backwards, keeping chest lifted, and hinging your torso until it is parallel with the floor.
3. Allow kettlebell to drop between the legs with arms fully extended.
4. Push your hips forward while squeezing your glutes, propelling the kettlebell upward.
5. Stop the kettlebell at shoulder height. Repeat the movement.
Fitness with Family
Our busy lives can make it hard to find time for fitness. So, make it a family affair! There are two very important things to remember when it comes to family fitness. First, be sure to choose activities everyone enjoys, and mix things up to meet everyone’s personality. Second, have fun! Fitness does not have to be work! Find something you enjoy. If you do not enjoy the activity, you will not continue to do it. The same is true for your family. Think of something you know your family enjoys doing together, and find a way to fit that into your routine. Your body and your family will thank you!
Here are some fun ways your whole family can be active together:
Family-friendly Fitness Activities
Just a couple decades ago, if you wanted to learn about fitness, you would have to either learn in an educational setting or hire a personal trainer. This is thankfully no longer the case! Many professionals, organizations and research centers provide free, evidence-based information to the general public. There are many organizations that offer credible and practical resources on physical activity. Use these resources to help get you started on how to incorporate exercise and physical activity into your daily life!
- National Institute on Aging's "Go 4 Life" Initiative
Physical activity is an important part of healthy aging. To help you fit exercise and physical activity into your daily life, NIA's initiative offers free, evidence-based resources for older adults in one convenient place.
- Web MD
Reference this site for a comprehensive list of the best, up-to-date fitness resources.
- American Council on Exercise
If you're looking for motivation — or for a personal trainer — this organization can get you started.
- American Physical Therapy Association's "Move Forward" Initiative
This site is the consumer information website providing health related information on physical therapy and movement.