5 Excellent Exercises To Add To Your Workout Routine

5 excellent exercises you should add to your workout routine

1. Deadlifts. Why? Because they're a full body, compound move that gets your heart rate pumping, your muscles burning, and your booty on fire (in a good way. Not the you-just-ate-something-spicy way). 

Deadlifts work your spinal erectors, glutes, hamstrings, quads, traps, abs and obliques, lats, and calves. So basically, they work everything and by doing a deadlift, you're saving time and effort by not having to do a million other isolation exercises. 

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2. Pushups. We all know that pushups are hard and that they're full of suck. But they're so good for you and should never be skipped. Like deadlifts, they're a compound movement that use almost all the of muscles in your entire body. 

Pushups work your chest, shoulders, triceps, back and if you're doing them properly, your abs.

If you can't do a full military style pushup, there is no harm in starting out with an incline pushup. Try doing pushups with your hands on a table, wall, or counter and then progress to the floor. And once you've become a pushup rockstar, you can make them harder by doing decline pushups with your feet on a chair, or around-the-world pushups. AND you can even move on to doing a handstand pushup. I'm still working on that one though. 

3. Lunges. Like pushups, lunges aren't very fun to me. But they're essential because they're one of the few single limb exercises out there that allow you to work on dynamic flexibility for your legs, ankles and feet. Forcing yourself to work on leg at a time also improves your balance and range of motion and can activate muscles that normally aren't worked during bilateral exercises. 

Win, win! 

And if you're a fire-breathing badass, then make your lunges harder by doing overhead lunges with plate above your head, pausing to a static lunge, then doing a cross over lunge. NOTE: I'll be making a video of this one as soon as I can convince my husband to make videos of me while at the gym. 

4. Rows. It doesn't matter which of the million awesome variations of the row you're using just as long as you're getting your row on or working your back in general. Why? Most people work their butts off trying to gain strength and size for the front of their bodies but tend to neglect their back. The back is important to work because we spend so much of our day twisting, turning, bending, etc which puts a huge strain on our back. Strengthening your back prevents future back pain and coupled with a strong core, can assist with other lifts.  

And if you add inverted rows to your routine, you'll eventually work your way up to being able to do full fledged pullups. Pullups are arguably the BEST back exercise out there. Cannot rave about them enough!

5. Kettlebell Swings. I love, love, LOVE kettlebell swings! They're another exercise that if done properly, work your abs, hips, lower back, hamstrings and shoulders.

It's an explosive move that helps you run faster, jump higher and further, and adds upper body power. They also get your heart rate pumping as if you're doing cardio and they're just plain fun for me to do. Side note, if you're doing these, make sure you're swinging from the hips and not lifting with the arms. Crush it with kettlebells!

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