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  • Ryan Manning

5 Exercises You Should Be Doing


Squats are the ultimate lower body exercise. Everyone needs to learn how to squat properly and injury-free. Once you build up proper form then you can continue to challenge yourself with resistance or cardiovascular additions to your squat. For beginners, stay off the weights until you've perfected your form and are able to drop those glutes to at least parallel with your knee.


  • Stay back on your heels.

  • Keep a tight core – inhale on your way down and exhale while coming up.

  • Don’t arch your back – lower your butt as if you are about to take a seat.

  • Keep your eyes up and don’t lean forward.


RDLs or Romanian Deadlifts (or simply just deadlifts) will help develop your hip hinge and posterior strength. They may sound scary but they are incredibly important for your overall physical health. Living in a stationary society, it is critically important to learn how to properly utilize your hips. This is especially true if you find yourself sitting for long stretches of the day. Learning how to bend down without throwing your back out will literally be a lifesaver for many and keep us feeling great.


  • Stick that butt out there while bringing your torso down.

  • Keep that lower back engaged.

  • Slight bend in the knees depending on your hamstring flexibility.


Planks are a perfect way to activate and stabilize your core. A major issue in our society today are that many of us under-utilize our cores. This will result in injuries including lower back pain. Planks are a terrific way to strengthen your abs and establish a more clairvoyant mind-muscle connection with your abdominal region. You can also modify the static exercise and make it more dynamic. You can also shift the focus towards your obliques with Side Planks.


  • Try to hold yourself up with your elbows but full arm extension will help if that is too difficult.

  • Keeps your hips level – you should be able to draw a straight line from your feet to your head.

  • Focus on tightening that core to prevent your hips from opening.

  • Keep either your wrists or elbows directly under your shoulders.


Your gym teacher’s best friend; pushups are the perfect upper body exercise that utilizes many of the major muscles. With hundreds of variations and modifications, there is a pushup for everyone and is a great bench marker for progress on your fitness journey.


  • Keep your wrists underneath or in line with your shoulders.

  • If you’re having trouble going full extension, try from your knees.

  • Like a plank, you should make a straight line with your body from feet (or knees) to head.

  • The Push is the important part, try starting out on the ground.

  • Keep your abs or core tight to help from tipping over.


There are many ways to perform a row-like exercise but the imperative aspect must involve your shoulder blade and thoracic spine. You are retracting the shoulder blades towards the center of your back, bringing your elbows back while maintaining a strong posture. The best part of rows is you can do them practically if you have a boat or kayak.


  • Keep that core engaged to ensure you aren’t hunched over.

  • Feel the shoulder blades working.

  • If you are performing renegade rows – in a plank rowing weights one at a time – keep those hips level.

  • Utilize more than just a rowing machine – give suspension training a try.

As with any physical activity or exercise, you should consult your physician to ensure you are healthy enough to begin any fitness routine. With that disclaimer out of the way, I highly encourage you to utilize these exercises as they have real-world applications and will make your life easier in the long-term. What do you think of these exercises? Are there any you haven't tried? Let me know and as always, thank you for being awesome.

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