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5 exercises to strengthen your muscles quickly

Mélissa Globensky and Dino Masson, B.Sc., Kinesiologists
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This exercise program will help tone your muscles at rest and make you feel reinvigorated.

When the days start getting warmer and longer, we often renew our health goals. With nature budding all around us, it’s the perfect time to shake off that winter cocoon, lace up your running shoes and get back into shape.

Did you spend all winter building fat reserves to counter the cold and not doing enough physical activity? No problem! Here are 5 quick strength-building exercises to help tone your muscles at rest and make you feel reinvigorated.

Jumping jacks

Jumping jacks

To work your core muscles, arms and legs, as well as increase your heart rate. An excellent reinvigorating exercise that also stimulates motor coordination. Do two to three sets of 15 to 30 jumps, resting about a minute between each set.

Arm extensions and shoulder development

Arm extensions and shoulder development

To strengthen the muscles in your shoulders and arms. Holding weights or just a full water bottle, bend your elbows, keeping your arms close to the body. Then bring them straight up over your head and back down to the starting position. Do two to three sets of 10 to 20 reps, resting about a minute between each set.

 

Forward lunges

Forward lunges

To strengthen the muscles in your legs, buttocks and core. Faire un pas devant et fléchir le genou avant. On the spot or walking. Take a big step forward with one leg and bend your knee so that it’s at a 90° angle with the floor. Bring your other leg down until it’s almost touching the floor. Push yourself back up to the starting position. Alternate legs with each rep. Be careful: keep your torso upright and back straight when doing this exercise. Also, your front knee should not move past your toes. Do two to three sets of 10 to 15 reps per leg, resting about a minute between each set. Faster movements will increase your heart rate, which in turn will help you burn more calories during and after the exercise.

Arm extensions and push-ups

Arm extensions and push-ups

To strengthen the muscles at the back of your arms and your pecs. Use a bench or chair (pushed up against a wall). Facing away from the chair, place your hands on the edge of the seat, close to your buttocks. Walk your feet out until your buttocks are just a few centimetres from the floor. Legs are straight ahead, stretched out or bent. Push yourself up with your hands. Once up, turn to face the chair and do a push-up keeping hands on the chair.

Arm extensions and push-ups

Alternate between these two movements, performing 10 to 15 reps. Do two to three sets, resting about a minute between each set.

Plank

Plank

Excellent for strengthening the muscles in your abs and back. Although not the most popular exercise, it’s all-around great for the health of your back. In a push-up position face down on the floor, rest your weight on your forearms and toes, holding your body above the floor. Your body should form a straight line from head to feet. Don’t forget to breathe! Hold the position for 15 to 60 seconds. Do two to three sets, resting for about a minute between each set.

Remember that the key to success is frequency and share your goals with your pharmacist!

Perform this fitness routine two or three times a week to start, resting a day between each session. You can save time by doing all 5 exercises one after the other and taking a longer break at the end (about 3 minutes). In addition to saving time, you’ll also burn more calories per session and feel the results more quickly.

Do your physical activity outdoors and enjoy some fresh air and sun while you’re at it. Walking and hiking are also great activities. Your heart will be grateful!

Enjoy your spring!

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