By Lori Okami
I'm often asked..."What's the best exercise for....arms...back....legs...???"
Here are my favorites...
Favorite upper back exercise - Pull-ups or chin-ups. (Chins will put less of a strain on your shoulders and elbows.) If you can't do your bodyweight, start with cable pulldowns, assisted pulls or negatives.
Favorite bicep exercise - Biceps have always been 'my thing' and preacher curls are my hands-down favorite. Slow and controlled throughout.
Favorite chest exercise - Bodyweight dips. I've loved these from high school when I worked my butt off to be the first girl in Mr. Chang's (McKinley's auto shop teacher and our weight lifting coach) 50-Dip Club. It's a great full range chest, front delt and tricep movement that really helps you 'out-of-the-hole' on a bench press.
LEGS & CORE
Favorite leg exercise - Deep squats for full range movement or weighted walking lunges. Start slowly in adding weight for these exercises. You want to ensure your joints are prepared for full-range movement first.
Favorite ab exercise - Hanging knee lifts have given me the best results. As you get stronger, curl your hips up higher and extend your legs. You can also lift to the sides as well.
These exercises will provide you full body strength and won't require you to spend a lot of time in the gym either. Work your way up to 3-4 sets, 10-20 reps. Twice a week will work just fine.
As with any exercise, there is risk of injury. You know your body best. Get the movement right first before adding weight. As always, focus on form, form, form.
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