June 16, 2024

Your Essential Exercise

Fit Body:

Squats with Dumbbells

Squats are an essential exercise. You sit down and stand up many times during the day, so adding a squat exercise into your weight routine is functional. A functional exercise helps us gain strength to perform a daily activity. Here’s how to start: Begin holding one weight in each hand. Bending from your knees and hips, sit back and lower down about six inches. Pause for one second. Return to standing to complete one rep.


*Consult your doctor before performing exercise.



Make the Squat Your Essential Exercise

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Make the squat your essential exercise!

A squat is a functional exercise. A functional exercise is a movement required often during your activities of daily living. How many times do you sit down and sit up during your day? Lots! Make the squat movement pattern your essential exercise. That means your main focus during a workout is to master, progress and challenge your squat exercise. Doing so will make this motion during your day much easier!

Here’s how to begin:

Hold a weight in each hand. Stand with your feet hip width apart. Bending from your knees and hips, sit back and lower your body down about ten inches. Pause for one second to reduce momentum, then stand up to complete one rep. Do eight to twelve reps in a slow and controlled pattern. Keep your spine aligned and belly button in.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Balance + Strength= Fit Legs!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Single Leg Squat

Do a Single-Leg Squat exercise to improve your balance and strength. Stand on your right leg only. Bending from your knee and hips, sit back and lower your body down into a squat. Maintaining balance and proper alignment, reach forward with your left hand and touch the floor in front of you. Stand up straight to complete 1 rep. Do 10 times standing on your right leg. Next, stand on your left leg only. Bending from your knee and hips, lower down into a squat. At the same time, reach forward with your right hand and touch the floor in front of you. Do 10 reps.


*Consult a physician before performing exercise.

Strong with Step Ups

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Get Strong with Step Ups!

Build strong legs with this challenging exercise. Hold a weight in each hand. Stand facing a stable bench or secure chair. Step up on the bench with your right leg only. Transfer your body up onto the bench. Slowly lower your body back to the floor leading with your left leg.  Return to your starting position with both feet flat on the floor to complete one rep. Next, step up with your left leg, then slowly lower leading with your right leg. Begin with ten reps total.

A few form pointers:

Maintain proper spinal alignment with your shoulders down and back.

Maintain core stability holding your belly button in.

Control is key. Slowly lift your body, pause, slowly lower your body, pause. No bounce. No swing.

Exhale when you lift. Inhale when you lower.

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.



Get Fit Quick Tip:


Add sprint intervals into your walking, jogging or running workout.

Find a 50-100 yard path that allows you to perform regular timed sprint repeats. After a sufficient warm up of 8-10 minutes, sprint your time trial for a base interval. Repeat the intervals as long as you can log a decreased time each one. All-out intervals challenge your cardiovascular system, and your muscles, all in one time-efficient workout. Perform your sprint workout once each week to allow recovery of your muscles. This workout is for intermediate/advanced exercise without injury concerns.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

For Core and Cardio- Meet Mountain Climbers!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Mountain Climbers!

If you’re looking for a multi-beneficial exercise to add into your routine, meet Mountain Climbers! With core and cardio benefits, mountain climbers challenge the stabilizing muscles of your abdominals as well as require many muscles to work together at the same time resulting in elevated heart rate. Begin with 10-20 repetitions, adjusting the technique to your desired intensity. Mountain climbers are for intermediate exercisers, without injury.

Here’s how to get started:

Begin in a plank position on the floor. Place your hands flat on the floor, directly below your shoulders. Place your toes on the floor, with your body straight and parallel to the floor. Maintaining proper spinal alignment, hop your right foot up toward your right hand, briefly touch your right foot (toes only) to the floor. Next at the same time, return your right foot to starting position and hop your left foot up toward your left hand, briefly touch your left foot to the floor, then return to your starting position. Repeat alternating until all reps are completed.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.


All About Legs by Tera Busker

All About Legs

Give your legs a boost! Here’s how to do it:

(Consult your physician before beginning exercise.)



20 Alternating Reverse Lunges
20 Squats
10 Burpees
1 Minute Jumping Jacks
20 Alternating Side Lunges
20 Mountain Climbers
10 Burpees
1 Minute Wall Squat

Rest for 1-2 minutes.
Repeat circuit 2-4 times.

Tera Busker is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Fitness To Go, an exclusive In Home & Private Studio Personal Training Service based out of Roberts, WI. www.fitnesstogo.net

Ask A Pro by Erin McGill

Question: I only have about 20 minutes to workout. What are the best exercises for lower body shaping? -Carol from Phoenix

Answer: When time is limited, the best way to make use of it is through circuit training. In circuit style programming, you will perform one set of each of your strength exercises immediately after one another prior to beginning your second round. This keeps the workout fast paced, increases lean body mass through the use of resistance exercise (which burns more calories 24 hours per day), and allows you to maximize your caloric burning potential.  Remember, “shaping up” any part of your body is a combination of body fat loss and increased lean body mass.  An example of a circuit style workout could include: 
Lunge with Overhead Press. Stand with your right foot about three feet in front of your left. Hold a weight in each hand in front of your body about chest level, with your elbows bent. Bend your left knee toward the floor, lowering your body down. Upon raising back up lift both weights overhead. Change legs and perform with your left foot forward.
Ball Crunch. Sit on a stability ball, and walk out so the ball is under your low back and you’re lying flat on top of the ball. Keeping your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent, curl your torso up about half way. Return to your starting position.
Ball Squat Curl. Hold a stability ball behind your low back against the wall. Hold a weight in each hand. Bend from your knees and hips, and sit back into a squat. As you stand back up, bend your elbows and perform a bicep curl.
Erin A. McGill, MA, NASM CPT, CES, PES
Training Manager
National Academy of Sports Medicine