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  • Writer's pictureREVIVE Strength & Conditioning

5 Effective Exercises to Boost Your Fitness Journey with a Personal Trainer in Singapore

Hitting the gym to work on your fitness can be a thrilling prospect. You will not only look and feel better, but will be able to do so much more with your body. However, when you first enter the gym, you might find yourself somewhat lost when you look at the variety of exercise equipment available.

This is why most people just starting out on their fitness journey opt to work with a personal trainer in Singapore. A personal trainer can advise you on what you need to do to obtain the results you want, while ensuring that you are performing the exercises correctly. Moreover, their support will help you set realistic goals and keep you motivated to achieve them. However, before you get started on the heavy equipment available in the gym, your personal gym trainer in Singapore will typically recommend that you start out with some basic yet effective exercises to ramp up your core strength and stamina. Here are some of the exercises that most, if not all, personal trainers incorporate into their programmes.

1. Squats

A squat is one of the most fundamental and effective full-body exercises, and is part of almost every workout programme. Squats target multiple muscle groups in your lower body, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, groin, buttocks, hip flexors, and calves. They also refine your core muscles, including your obliques, back muscles, and abdominal muscles.

Basic squats require no equipment to perform, and only use your body weight, making them easy to do, even at home. They are so beneficial because they target several of the muscles that you use in daily activities such as sitting down and getting up, climbing stairs, and lifting heavy loads, among others. Squats will help keep you limber, no matter how old you are.

Here are the steps to perform a basic squat:

  1. Position your feet slightly wider apart than your hips, with the toes turned slightly outward

  2. Keep your chest up and out and push your hips back while shifting your weight onto your heels, as opposed to your toes

  3. Bend your knees to lower yourself as if you are sitting on an invisible chair, while keeping your heels and toes on the ground. Your abdominal muscles need to be engaged to keep your posture straight, with your chest up and shoulders back. Try as much as possible to bend your knees to a 90-degree angle, although you may find this difficult initially. Stretch your arms out in front of you if you require additional balance

  4. Put your weight on your heels and straighten your knees to return to an upright position

The key to performing a good squat is to engage your deep abdominal muscles, which keep your spine and pelvis stable. If you try to suck in your stomach while exhaling, you should be able to feel these muscles, and you should tighten them while lowering yourself during the squat.

2. Push-Ups

Push-ups are another effective basic exercise for building upper-body and core strength. They target the shoulders, chest, biceps and triceps, hips, abdominal muscles, and back muscles. You will use these in your day-to-day activities whenever you need to push against something, whether that is a shopping cart, a heavy gate, or something similar.

Here are the steps to performing a push-up:

  1. Get on your hands and legs, with your hands positioned slightly above your elbows and your legs extended back so that you are balanced on your toes, with your feet apart at hip width. Your elbows should be bent slightly so that you feel the weight in your upper arms, and not just your shoulders and wrists

  2. Tighten your core by sucking your belly button in, and slowly inhale as you bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle, lowering yourself towards the floor, but not touching it

  3. Exhale while pushing yourself back up to return to your starting position

You will have to ensure that your body remains straight from head to toe during the push-up, meaning that you should not arch your spine or sag. This will involve stiffening your abdominal muscles to keep your posture straight.

3. Pull-Ups

Pull-ups are great exercises for developing upper-body strength and overall health. They primarily target the biceps and lats (the back muscles under your arms), which are used to pull yourself up. They also utilise all your upper-body muscles, including your neck, shoulder, back, and abdominal muscles.

Here are the steps to performing a pull-up:

  1. Stand directly under the pull-up bar and hold it with an overhand grip, with your palms facing away from your body. Your arms should be slightly wider apart than shoulder width. You can place a stool or box beneath you if you cannot reach the bar

  2. Lift yourself up slightly so that your feet are not touching the ground, pull your shoulders back and down, and engage your core by pulling your belly button in towards your spine

  3. Bend your elbows and raise your upper body up until your chin is lifted over the bar. Keep your body straight and avoid swinging your legs around or lifting your shoulders up (as if you’re shrugging)

  4. Once your chin has cleared the height of the bar, straighten your elbows to lower yourself to the starting position indicated in step 2

Doing a full pull-up on your first attempt may be challenging, but do not let this discourage you; it is quite common for people to be unable to do it right away. Over time, you’ll find it easier to do pull-ups as your strength increases. You can initially try using a resistance band to help you, or do an isometric hold, in which you jump up to the top of the movement and hold yourself there for as long as you can, to build your strength.

4. Planks

Planks are an excellent exercise for your core and abdominal muscles, and help you develop stability. Getting into the plank position is easy enough, but maintaining your form during the exercise can be challenging, especially for beginners. The core strength and stability it helps develop are useful for almost every physical activity.

Here are the steps to performing a plank:

  1. Lie down on your exercise mat and then push yourself up, with your toes and forearms touching the ground, and balancing your upper body on either your elbows or your palms

  2. Draw your belly button in to engage your abdominal muscles and keep your body straight from head to toe, with no bending of your spine. Make sure your shoulders are down and not in a shrugging position, while your heels are straight over the balls of your feet

  3. Hold this position for as long as you can. For beginners, 10 seconds should be enough, but over time, you will be able to push it to a full minute or more

This exercise becomes a sort of endurance challenge as the seconds tick by; you will find yourself fighting the urge to give up before the clock, but try your best to fight it and hang in there. You will know it is time to end your plank once your hips start sagging, meaning your abs have hit their limit. Make sure your head is facing the floor to avoid straining your neck.

5. Burpees

Do not let their odd name fool you; burpees are a high-intensity full-body exercise that is challenging, but also very effective at building overall strength and cardiovascular fitness. They work several muscle groups, including your shoulders, chest, arms, core, back, and legs, and increase strength, stamina, and metabolism over time.

Here are the steps to performing a burpee:

  1. Stand with your feet apart at shoulder width, with your arms at your sides

  2. Squat down with your arms on the ground in front of you

  3. From this position, kick your feet back so that you are in a plank position, with your arms straight and your body aligned from head to toe

  4. Lower your body towards the ground by bending your arms, like a push-up

  5. Push yourself back up into the plank position

  6. With your hands still touching the ground, hop slightly to bring your feet forward to the squatting position

  7. Stand up straight

  8. Jump up while reaching overhead with your arms

  9. Immediately get back into the squat position after landing to start the next rep

As you can see, a burpee is effectively a combination of a few other types of exercise, which is why it works out so many muscle groups and is so efficient, yet challenging. If you find burpees too tough, you can remove some parts of the exercise until you get used to them You could skip the push-up in step 4, or the jump in step 8. You could also slow down the speed at which you perform the entire exercise so that you develop better form.

Get the Most Out of Your Workout With Revive SC’s Personal Trainers in Singapore

Attempting the above exercises on your own as a beginner may be challenging, but you will find them much easier to perform at a personal training gym in Singapore. Not only will your trainer help you maintain proper form, but they will also motivate you to keep doing more reps and prevent you from giving up too easily. However, when choosing a personal trainer in Singapore, you need to make sure that they understand your fitness level and targets, which is why it is best to work out with reputed professionals.

Revive Strength & Conditioning can help you kickstart your fitness journey into high gear with some of the best personal trainers in Singapore. Having studied fitness, nutrition, and sports therapy, Revive SC’s personal trainers are well-equipped with the expertise to give you the best results from your workout. Contact us today to take things up a notch with a personalised fitness programme that perfectly meets your needs!

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