As you get older it gets more and more important that you focus on your fitness. Studies show that working out regularly has several health benefits, including better cognitive ability, less likely to contract diseases, increased confidence, better testosterone production and the list goes on and on. However, as you start working, raising a family and your list of responsibilities grow finding the time to workout gets harder and harder. 42% of Americans say that lack of time is the main reason why they don’t workout. Time is a real constraint but the truth is you can get a good workout in 15-20 minutes if you stick with simple exercises. Everyone doesn’t need to go to the gym 5x a week to improve their physique. Here I give 4 simple exercises that you can do to improve your physique at home in less than 20 minutes:
This is the simplest and easiest exercise you can do at home, it takes no equipment and it requires no sophisticated technique. Push ups work your chest, triceps and a little of your shoulders. In addition to regular pushups you can modify them to make them a little more difficult and target specific muscles. If you spread your arms out wider it focuses more on your chest, closer together focuses on your triceps and elevating your feet hits your shoulders harder. Push ups are extremely simple, the trick to getting the most out of it is that you don’t do the max you can do, instead do about 60-80% of your max for 4 reps and do them everyday. You will be more consistent because it’s less taxing and you will get better results in the long run.
Pull ups/chin ups
This is the probably the best bodyweight exercise for building overall strength, it works the back, shoulders, and biceps. All you need is a bar that can support your weight and you can do pull ups. For some people this may be to difficult to do right away, but you can also do assisted pull ups on a lower bar until you can lift your entire bodyweight.
Squats are the best exercise for developing your lower body, it engages pretty much every major muscle in your legs in one motion and it doesn’t require a large amount of weight to be effective. You can do this with just your bodyweight or you can add a kettlebell, dumbbell or a barbell to add extra weight as you get stronger.
This exercise is great for exercising the lower back muscles that typically don’t get as much attention as the show muscles (chest, biceps, abs etc). Underdeveloped lower back muscles is one of the reasons that so many people have back pain as they get older, so this isn’t just about looking good or even being strong it can also help you be more comfortable on a day to day basis. Deadlifts will require some type of weight but it can be a kettlebell, dumbbell or barbell that you will use to lift off the floor. It’s very important that you go easy on the weight because this exercise does use the lower back and you don’t want to overwork the muscle, if you use 60-80% of your max on the other exercises use about 40-60% for deadlifts.