Ever wondered how some of our Bollywood divas in their 30s, defy age and look like they’re in their 20s? No brownie points for guessing, they work out! Our mid-twenties is a testing time for us as our metabolism starts to slow down and we start losing muscle as we age. Even the luckiest of us blessed with those skinny genes start to notice the disheartening sight of love handles around our waist. Hence, it is essential to lift weights and build muscles in your 20s. And it goes beyond just looking great - exercising and adopting healthy habits early on in life is also imperative to lay a strong foundation for a healthy future by keeping ailments like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stress, obesity, etc at bay. In addition to adding to our physical well-being, working out also keeps us active, energized, increases our productivity, we feel empowered and confident about ourselves which helps us take on the challenges of life head on. Here are 10 of the best exercises you should practice in your 20s, which will keep you fit and going through your 30s and beyond!
Squats don't just work wonders on all your leg muscles including quads, hamstrings, and calves; they also work towards toning your glutes, back, and tightening of your core muscles. Therefore, it helps in building muscles in both your upper and lower body. Practice 3 sets of 25 reps each. To push your body further, you can add weights to your squats, try jumping squats, or squat on a bosu ball to up the difficulty level.
A push up engages your entire body, starting from your neck, triceps, back, chest, and abs to your toes. It helps build muscles in your entire body, and you end up burning more calories. It also adds up as a great cardio/endurance workout. Practice 3 sets of 15 reps each. To begin with, you can try doing knee push ups, and to up the ante, you can do incline push ups, or add some weight on your back.
Plank is undoubtedly the best exercise when it comes to building core strength. It tightens and tones your abs. In addition, it also works on tightening the muscles of your glutes, hamstrings, back, chest, shoulders, and biceps; and improves the balance and posture of your body. Practice 3 sets, holding your plank as long as you can, for maximum results. To extract further benefits, you can add several variations to your plank. Increase the difficulty level by doing weighted planks, incline planks, or alternative leg-raises while planking. To aim for your obliques, try side planks.
When working legs, Lunges are a very important exercise that targets your quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, core, and back. It gives your spine the much-required rest and recovery as opposed to squats. Practice 3 sets of 15 reps each. You can further increase the difficulty level by adding weights to your lunges, practicing walking lunges, or lunges on a bosu ball.
It is an excellent functional training exercise which is fast paced and dynamic, unlike boring cardio sessions. It is an intense full body exercise which combines push ups, squats and jumps into one challenging activity. It is a great exercise that builds strength and stamina as it gets your heart rate up quickly and you end up burning lots of calories while working different body parts like arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and abs. It makes for a great way to get in shape, even at the convenience of your home, with no additional equipment required.
It is the best exercise for your glutes. It is an all-natural butt lift; it tightens and strengthens your posterior, in addition to which, it’s a great exercise that aids balance and stability and also works your legs, back, and core. The benefits of a single-leg deadlift easily outweigh the benefits of a traditional deadlift. Practice 3 sets of 15 reps each. You can also add kettlebells to intensify this exercise.
It is an excellent exercise to build core strength. It works wonders on the abs, especially lower abs which is a problem area for most of us girls. It also works the frontal obliques, arms, and elbows. It helps in getting a strong grip and also stabilizes the lower back. Allowing a full range of motion unlike crunches, hanging leg raises contribute towards maximum muscle and strength development. Practice 3 sets of 10 reps each. It is a relatively difficult exercise to do so start with doing hanging leg raises by bringing your knees to your shoulders instead of keeping your knees straight before graduating to the straight-legged version.
It is the most important exercise when working your upper body. It focuses on several muscle groups including your arms, shoulders, chest, triceps, biceps, etc. As you get comfortable with the exercise, you can increase its challenge by holding a weight between your ankles. It is a super easy and convenient exercise that requires minimal equipment to get started. Practice 3 sets of 15 reps each for fast results.
Just like Burpees, the mountain climber is an excellent functional training exercise. It gets the heart rate up and is good for your cardiovascular health. It focuses on your glutes, quads, and hamstrings while also involving your core muscles and back. As it includes constant and repetitive movement, it is great for improving joint flexibility and mobility. Practice 3 sets of 1 minute each.
Here's an exercise that aims at your overall well-being and health. It aids in the function of your entire body; from balancing your hormones to strengthening your heart and respiratory system, and from calming your nervous system to increasing your strength and flexibility. Most benefits of a shoulder stand are derived as a result of it being an inverted pose. It results in an increase in circulation of blood, oxygen, nutrition to upper body and brain; also an increased blood flow to the face means reduced wrinkles. Once you master the shoulder stand, you can take it a notch higher by attempting the head stand under the guided supervision of a yoga/gym instructor.
All the above exercises focus on the biggest muscles of your body, while working on several other muscles in addition to it so that you can reap maximum results out of your workout. It's time to invest in our health and fitness so we can look and feel our best even in our thirties.
Sign in to POPxo World
India’s largest platform for women
Read. Watch. Shop. Hangout.
Sign up for POPxo World!