Find Your Top 5 Basic Fitness Moves
11 March 2021
When you think of fitness or workouts how do you feel? Do they make you feel excited? Do they put you off? Or are you simply baffled by the choice on offer?
We have access to millions of different ways to workout. Which is a fantastic thing. YouTube and zoom have brought workouts to our homes. Yet, for many of us, it just brings on a feeling of failure.
If you feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start you’re not alone. So many people tell us at Find Your Calm that they don’t even look at a workout, fitness class or gym membership. Because they don’t know where to start and don’t want to make a fool of themselves. What even is a jump squat anyway? A jump squat? How do I do that?
If this is you – fear not. By the end of this blog you’ll be equipped with the basic moves to strengthen and support your body.
Start with the Basics
What you need to know is there are a few basic moves available to all of us. And they are ridiculously effective for strengthening and shaping your body when done right. Where do you think gym instructors or the instagram pros started? That’s right - with the basics. Master them first, then worry about the jump squats!
The main reason there’s so much on offer is because we like variety. It’s natural – it’s wired into us as humans. But variety can quickly turn into overwhelm, or fear of getting it wrong.
Just keep in mind any form of movement is brilliant for us physically and mentally.
Walking, jogging, running, gym sessions, aerobic workouts, HIIT, weight training, swimming, cycling, playing football with your kids, dancing... All of these (and more) count. They all ‘work’ to get you feeling better and fitter. It’s simply about trying different things until you find the one you love! And if you love them all, then fantastic!
Why bother with Fitness?
At Find Your Calm we don’t prioritise looks. It’s not about getting ‘beach body ready’. It’s about how you feel. Here’s some happy science for you; when we exercise, we release chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, a little like a drug. This feeling naturally enhances our moods helping us stay elevated and focused to deal with other daily tasks better!
It’s pretty impressive to think our bodies can do all that just by us working out!
This is why we incorporate fitness into our planner at Find Your Calm. To find balance we need to support and stimulate our physical bodies and well as relax our minds. Helping people move in some way every day has been a huge goal of ours. Because we know how important it is for feeling good.
Keep it Simple
So, getting back to the feeling of overwhelm, try not to beat yourself up if you can’t quite choose between the gazillion YouTube workouts on offer out there!
Here we will guide you through the top five basic moves for overall fitness. You can practice and merge these together as a workout whenever you’re ready to.
Some more biology for you: human evolution led us to these five basic movements, as they encompass our main muscle groups. So if you want to keep it really simple, you only need five exercises in our workouts. And here they are:
- Push (press away from you)
- Pull (pulling towards you)
- Hip-hinge (bending from the middle)
- Squat (flexing at the knee)
- Plank (core stabilizing)
By using these basic exercise movements you will stimulate all the major muscle groups in your body!
Knowing these five basic moves gives you the freedom to put together your own workout whenever you need to. Freedom from those missed gym sessions, or the Youtube gurus, finally!
Your Step-by-Step Guide
We’ve detailed each of the main movements step-by-step for you to master in your own time. If you are already a member of Find Your Calm you can also link through to the video demonstrations. (And if you’re not, why not! At £36 for the whole year it’s a steal – find out more here.)
1. Push Move: The Push Up
Push-ups are perfect for targeting chest, triceps, and our front shoulder muscles. They work by using your own body weight to strengthen your muscles.
- Start in a high plan position with your hands flat on the floor and wrists directly under your shoulders
- Keep your body in one long line, core engaged
- Inhale as you lower your chest to the floor
- Bend your elbows enough so your chest almost touches the floor
- If the long plank position is too difficult, lower your knees to the floor and press from there
- Exhale and push back to your original position.
Push ups can seem daunting, but I promise you they are worth it. Our demo shows why the good old press up is one of our favourites.
Try starting with 5 reps for 3 rounds leaving 30 seconds between each round. And build from there.
2. Pull Move: The Superman Punch
This move is excellent for targeting your posterior (the backside of your body’s muscles) which is easy to forget about. This move targets your back, shoulders and bum. This gives great balanced strength all round.
- Lie on your stomach with your arms extended over your head
- Lift your chest, arms, and legs off the ground and squeeze you bum.
- Keep your arms and legs off the ground, pull your elbows in toward your sides, then punch over your head.
- Keep repeating the punching motion and keep your arms and legs off the ground the entire time, remembering to engage your glutes too!
This move can seem very intense very quickly. But persevere, we
promise you will not be sorry. Start with 5 or 6 punches for 3 rounds
taking a 15 second break between rounds.
3. Hip Hinge Move: Glute Bridge
This move targets your hamstrings, lower back, core and glutes! It is is super simple and super effective. It is also a great move for people unable to squat due to back, hip, or knee pain.
- Lie on your back with your hands by your sides
- Bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
- Squeeze your glutes and push up through your heels to lift your hips a few inches off the floor until your body is in a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
- Pause and squeeze your glutes at the top, drawing your core in.
- Slowly lower your hips and return to the starting position.
Try 20 reps of these to start for 3 rounds. If you can do more then go up to 30 reps. And work up from there.
The basic squat is marvellous. We strengthen the major muscles on our lower body and build great core strength. And let’s face it - squats can be done anywhere!
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips
- Roll your shoulders back and hold your spine naturally, allow your hips to naturally tilt engaging your glutes
- Lower your body down, flexing at the knees.
- You’ll feel your glutes fire up – put your weight into your heels
- Then power back up to standing
Aim to do 12-15 reps for 3 rounds. You may want to challenge yourself to hold a squat for 20 seconds several times a day and build up the length of time you can hold it. A fun and easy challenge to do anywhere!
5. Core Stabilizer: Plank
There are many variations to the plank position; this is the original version. The plank position strengthens your whole body when done correctly, so it’s a great one to use daily.
- Plant your hands directly under your shoulders (or slightly wider is fine) as though you’re about to do a press up.
- Go up onto your toes and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body. Your legs should feel fired up too. Keep your knees nice and soft, not locked.
- Neutralize your neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor just beyond your your hands. Your neck needs to be in line with your back. And hold.
As a beginner work towards doing a 60 second plank hold. Rest for 30
seconds then repeat for 3-5 rounds. Progress to a longer hold when you
There you have it!
Master these five moves and do them regularly – and you have the basics of a fitness regime that will strengthen your body and leave you feeling good! No more overwhelm – hurrah! If you want more workout demos, alongside recipe ideas, yoga postures, meditations and a planner to help you put it all together, check out our membership here!