If you want to maintain a fit, muscular physique now and well into your older years, it's no secret that strength training reigns supreme. This beneficial form of exercise helps you establish a healthy, capable muscular foundation and melt body fat, says Matthew Maddox, AFAA, VP of sales and operations training for BODY20. Today, Maddox shares some of the best daily strength exercises for men to stay fit.
"For every pound of muscle that is put on one's BMR (Basial Metabolic Rate, which is how many calories you burn at rest) will increase meaning now that individual is burning more calories at rest," Maddox explains. When it comes to strength training, you really get the best of both worlds in decreasing your percentage of body fat and sculpting lean muscle at the same time. Maddox recommends performing strength work a minimum of three to five times a week as you age, and the below moves are a seamless way to work that into your routine to preserve healthy muscle mass and avoid the risk of injury.
"In order to gain benefits out of a strength workout you have to work out for at least 45 to 60 minutes," Maddox says. "If you are struggling to get to the gym for your strength sessions, you can incorporate EMS training at BODY20 just once a week for 20 minutes and you will not have to worry about lifting those heavy weights! BODY20 is low-impact, and you will recruit up to 36,000 muscle contractions in just 20 minutes. Maximum results in minimal time."
Keep reading to learn about Maddox's five daily strength exercises for men to stay fit. And when you're done, don't miss the 7 Exercises Men Should Do Every Day To Stay Muscular.
"Pushups are a staple of an amazing upper-body workout; they allow for strength building and a cardio aspect," Maddox tells us. "Pushups also can be utilized in a variety of ways from a quick isotonic movement to a slow and controlled isometric hold."
Begin pushups in a high plank on the balls of your feet, your wrists under your shoulders, and your body forming a straight line. Bend at the elbows to lower your chest toward the ground. Then, press yourself back up to a high plank.
"The squat is able to involve the majority of the primary muscle groups in the legs. From the quads to the glutes and hamstrings, these muscles are important to build day over day for muscle development in the legs," Maddox says. Squats usually require added free weights in order to boost the muscle-building process.
To begin squats, plant your feet either shoulder-width or hip-width apart, and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bend both knees and hinge your hips back as you descend into a squat. Lower until your thighs become parallel to the floor. Then, press through your feet to rise back up to standing.
The pull-up is an excellent move that activates your upper posterior chain muscles. Along with putting your back muscles to work, this exercise can boost the strength in your arms and shoulders.
Begin pull-ups by standing under a pull-up bar. Using an overhand grip, position your hands wider than your shoulder span. Activate your core and bring your shoulders back as you hang onto the bar. Next, bend both elbows, and bring your upper body toward the pull-up bar until your chin clears it. Once you reach the top, use control to lower yourself back down to the start position.
"Lunges are great for the hamstrings and glutes with an emphasis on the quads," Maddox explains. "They can be performed in many different variations to keep every muscle group engaged properly and to tailor each variation to the individual."
To perform a forward lunge, position your feet shoulder-width apart, and maintain a tall upper body. Hold a dumbbell in both hands. Take a big stride forward with one leg as you descend into a lunge. Make sure the knee of your front leg doesn't go beyond your toes. Press through your front heel to stand up. Step your back leg forward, and perform a lunge on that side.
The last of the best daily strength exercises for men to stay fit is plank holds. "The plank hold is another exercise that incorporates a lot of muscles at once. Even though there is a heavy focus on the abdominals, the rest of the body is working hard to keep everything stable and in alignment," Maddox explains.
You can either perform a straight-arm plank or a forearm plank. The straight-arm plank requires you to press up onto the balls of your feet, and have your wrists aligned with your shoulders. The forearm plank requires you to lower down onto your forearms, and hold that position, all while maintaining a tight core and straight body. Make sure your lower back doesn't cave in.