Part of a healthy life includes consistently working to strengthen your body. You don’t have to be a bodybuilder, but you shouldn’t neglect yourself. There are a few different ways that you can strengthen your body, and what you choose to do will depend on what works best for you.
The squat is the king of all functional movements. We are born with the innate ability to squat well (just watch a child playing), but most of us forget how as we age. Everyone’s hip sockets are shaped differently, but most people will start with their feet slightly wider than hip distance apart, and toes slightly angled out. The movement begins by pushing the hips back, followed by a bend in the knees. Your knees may end up slightly in front of your toes, which is fine as long as you bend at the hip. The goal is to get the crease in your hips even with the top of your knees, which may take some practice for those not used to the movement. As a compound movement, squats strengthen every part of your body. Hold a pair of dumbbells if air squats are too easy.
You might think yoga is just for flexibility, but it can help you get stronger, too! Yoga requires you to move intentionally, and in the process of maintaining stability and transitioning between positions, yoga recruits and strengthens lots of little muscles and tendons you don’t normally think of exercising. Yoga contributes to better balance, better overall strength, and even improved mood! Yoga is especially effective if you suffer from back pain. Your chiropractor may suggest yoga poses that would be beneficial and those to avoid so you can enjoy yoga safely!
Planks are core strength 101. The basic plank is performed by placing your elbows and feet on the ground and lifting your back and torso nice and straight. Hold this for 10-30 seconds to start with, and add time or sets for more challenge. Keep your hips from dropping to the ground or popping up into the air by imagining your core zipped up like a corset. Planks help strengthen your core and engage multiple sets of muscles. If you find a basic plank too easy, try balancing on one hand, with your legs crossed, or on your side with one leg in the air.
The push-up can be easily modified for your fitness level, whether by lowering your knees to the ground or even using a bench or the wall to push against. You can also make push-ups more challenging by putting your hands closer together and bringing your elbows in. Push-ups are a great way to build core stability and upper body strength!
Strengthening your body does take effort, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Adding these ideas into your daily routine can go a long way towards becoming a stronger, healthier you!