In this article, we’ll go through 4 exercise types that are super important to make lasting health and strength gains. These 4 exercise types are; aerobic, strength, flexibility, and balance.
If you’re dedicated to being on this fitness journey; you have to include every type of exercise! Most people spend almost all of their gym hours on strength training or cardio, sadly they neglect important exercises like flexibility and balance. You should know that flexibility and balance exercise also improves cardio and strength gains! For example; if your legs and hips are not flexible enough, you’d have problems with squatting down.
So, what exactly should you do? Depending on your goals, of course, you should spend more time on a particular exercise type but, you should never neglect other exercise types. If you don’t include other types in your workout regime; you may injure yourself while training.
Now, let’s go through all 4 of the exercise types one by one.
Aerobic Exercise – Cardio
First of all, what counts as cardio? In short, if an exercise can elevate your heart rate above your resting heart rate, that’s cardio.
There are various cardio exercises such as; walking, running, cycling, swimming, rowing, dancing, etc. We recommend that you should do cardio exercises that you enjoy, so you can continue doing them consistently. Still, it would be ideal for you to change up your cardio type every once in a while to prevent your body from adapting to intensity.
For example, let’s take a look at three popular cardio exercises and their benefits;
Walking is an amazing cardio exercise as long as you feel like pushing yourself, so you can feel your endurance being tested. If you can’t do any other exercise, taking 10 thousand steps daily can help you lead a healthier life.
Running or jogging, helps you be more fit faster because basically, you push yourself more. You don’t need anything more than a good pair of running shoes to prevent injuries while running. If you love running, check our list of “Awesome Gym Shoes for Women That Are Relentless”.
Cycling is truly one of the best exercises you can do because it doesn’t only improve cardio but also build strength. Also, it’s a low-impact exercise which means your joints won’t be under a lot of pressure. Besides that, imagine taking your bicycle and going into nature, how liberating is that?
Besides them, one of the most popular cardio exercises is HIIT (high-intensity interval training), by doing this exercise you can strengthen your heart and make overall health gains.
Compared to the other cardio exercises, it takes much less time. HIIT exercises consist of high-intensity exercise and light exercise for resting. For example; 30 seconds of intense running, followed by 30 seconds of walking and then running for 30 seconds again! You should do these intervals according to your HIIT program but whenever you feel like it’s way too much, you should slow it down.
If you got a treadmill at the house, check our list of “7 Best HIIT Workout on the Treadmill That Will Make You Lose Fat”.
Aerobic exercises are known for weight loss. Nevertheless, cardio exercises have many health benefits such as; reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases by relaxing blood vessel walls, stroke, high blood pressure, inflammation, type 2 diabetes, and even breast and colon cancer.
It also helps you; burn fat, boost mood and make you less likely to be depressed.
You should incorporate some kind of cardio activity in your workout routine; combine HIIT and LIIT exercises to not miss out on any gains.
Check our articles below to find out which exercise equipment will give you the ideal cardio training:
So, obviously, strength training makes you strong and makes hypertrophy gains, but did you know that; strength training can increase your bone density, lose fat, have tons of health benefits, and improve your posture and balance?
You should mostly do strength training by doing compound exercises like squats and deadlifts. Those hours you spent exercising will help you throughout life.
For children; should do strength training to develop strength and have healthy bones. Don’t worry, as long as they know their limits, no exercise can risk their health.
Adults should exercise at least 3 times a week to do continue being healthy and not to lose muscle mass and bone strength later in life. Thanks to the strength training; you’ll have a nice posture, strong joints, and be less likely to suffer from lower back pain.
So, what are the most important strength exercises? Squat, deadlift, bench press, push-up, overhead press, pull-ups, crunches, bent-over row, etc.
You should create resistance by doing each exercise with the proper form. Before stacking up the weights, perfect your form by simulating the exercise without any weight. Form comes first, still don’t forget to add weight each week to continue making gains.
Some women think that doing strength training can make them bulky but the reality is quite the opposite. First of all, muscle takes much less space than fat, which means you can be lean by being 140 lbs. if your body fat levels are low. Also, if you do enough heavy squats and deadlifts; your booty and core would look much better compared to losing weight by doing only cardio exercises. You should know that fitness is a journey and overnight miracles don’t happen, you won’t wake up one day after a grueling workout looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger…
Flexibility Exercise – Stretching
Flexibility is all about musculoskeletal health. So, if your flexibility is bad, you may injure yourself while performing an exercise. Unless you are a natural athlete that’s flexible; you should stretch after each workout routine and stretch 5 to 10 minutes after you wake up.
Can you touch your toes? That’s a basic indicator if you are flexible enough or not. Even if you can, do various stretching exercises by doing yoga and pilates to improve your flexibility. There are 6 types of stretching; static, dynamic, passive, active, ballistic, and PNF.
Some people consider stretching not as important as strength or cardio training. Also, they don’t put any real effort into their stretching routine. Don’t be like those people, so; you don’t lose mobility, fall short on your fitness goals or injure yourself.
Don’t underestimate stretching because, if you put a stretching routine at the end of your workout; your muscles and tendons will be more flexible and that will make you less prone to injury, and also, you’ll lose less muscle as you age. Adding to that, you’ll be less likely to experience muscle pain, strains, cramps, and joint pain.
Stretching will help you in your daily chores and you won’t have problems regarding things you do every day like bending down to pick up something.
We can count main flexibility exercises as yoga and pilates. Perform the yoga and pilates moves with perfect form and breath properly to be healthier and achieve a clear mind.
Last but not least, balance is important to stabilize your body and help you control movements. Even though being balanced helps everybody, it’s more important to the elderly because losing balance and falling can lead to irreversible injuries. Also, for example; individuals who used to be overweight need to prioritize balance exercises to find their center of gravity.
Yoga and tai chi consist of balance exercises that can help you stabilize your body. Besides that, these exercises help you achieve coordination, body awareness, improve reaction time and overall health.
Let’s list some of the most important yoga poses:
- Tree Pose
This is one of the most well-known yoga poses and it’s super simple to do. It helps you concentrate better and help you be more balanced.
- Warrior II
Warrior II yoga pose requires you to be focused and be in the moment, if not you’ll lose your balance. It strengthens your legs and ankles while also keeping your mind clear.
- Downward Facing Dog
If you have problems with sore shoulders and back, this exercise will open up your shoulders, stretch your legs and lengthen your spine.
- Bridge Pose
This exercise not only works your glutes but also helps you decrease lower back pain.
- Seated Forward Fold
To lengthen your spine, this is one of the best exercises you can do. Besides, it also stretches leg muscles and opens up shoulders. Don’t forget to gently reach your feet.
- Upward-Facing Dog
An upward-facing dog helps you release the tension from your shoulders, chest, and lower back. If you can keep this pose for a minute, you’ll feel a lot of burn in your abs and hip flexors.
- Plank Pose
Whether you do yoga or not, you probably have done a plank exercise on your ab day. Yes, it’s quite hard to do, but if you can keep this pose for a minute like the upward-facing dog, that means you got strong ab muscles. Every week, try to stay in this pose for at least 10 seconds more than your previous timing.
If you do all the other exercise types during your exercises, don’t forget to put the last piece which is balance exercises! If you don’t; you can fall while running, lose your balance while squatting, or fall down as you stretch.
So, we’ve explained all 4 exercise types and their benefits. Now that you know all these exercise types, you should take action and make your own workout program according to your needs and goals.
Remember that a good workout program consists of all 4 of the exercise types. Allocate your time by prioritizing exercise types to make the physical and health gains you want!
In your opinion, which one of the exercise types is the most enjoyable? Let us know below in the comments section!
Thank you for reading.
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