Ever wonder if the exercises you're doing are going to give you the best results for your body? Well look no further! These three moves offer body benefits for every woman—and they don't require a gym membership or fancy equipment. Make them part of your fitness routine on a regular basis and you'll be looking and feeling better in no time.
#1 Exercise for Women: Squats
Why they're effective: Squats are the go-to move for everyone who strength trains because they engage more muscles than any other move. Squats work the thighs (quads, hamstrings, outer thighs), glutes, and core (abdominals and the muscles that support your spine). You don't need any equipment to perform squats, but always have the option of adding dumbbells and/or a stability ball to add challenge. Perform 1-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions.
#2 Exercise for Women: One-Arm Dumbbell RowsWhy they're effective: Did you know that the easiest way to look longer and leaner is to improve your posture? Rounded shoulders are common among women when the weight of the breasts pulls the shoulders forward and upper back muscles are weak. Most people only train what they consider to be a "problem" or what they can see in the mirror (muscles on the front of the body. But strengthening your back muscles, particularly the lats (which give your back its "V" shape), can help improve posture. This exercise also targets several other muscles at once: the biceps, shoulders, and other back muscles (traps and rhomboids), which will help improve your overall upper body strength. Aim for 1-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions.
#3 Exercise for Women: Bicycle Crunches
Why they're effective: There has been a lot of research on the effectiveness of various abdominal exercises. Most experts agree that while crunches are good, adding some simple elements can make them even better. That's where the bicycle crunch comes in. Based on EMG tests of muscle activation, the bicycle crunch is one of the most effective core exercises there is, working the abs, obliques, and hips. You may want to lie on a mat, but no equipment is necessary. Aim for 1-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions.
Remember that there is no such thing as "spot-training." While these exercise will help strengthen and tone the muscles that they target, only cardiovascular exercise will burn the layer of fat that covers those toned muscles in the first place. Try this program 2-3 times per week, resting at least one day in between each strength workout, in combination with a moderate cardio program (30 minutes a day, 3-4 days per week). You'll notice you'll feel stronger, stand taller and look better in as little as three weeks!