The cornerstone of exercise is raising your heart rate, getting your blood pumping. When you have a nice, steady pulse, your body burns up fat, gains endurance, and increases in muscle mass, among the other obvious benefits of exercise.
But there’s a hidden benefit to strength training that you may want to pay a little more attention to, especially as you get older. Increases in muscle mass understandably accompany strength training, but what you may not know is that larger muscle mass makes it easier for your body to endure the strain of regular movement. It’s a lot easier for you to pull a muscle and hurt yourself if they’ve atrophied. So with that in mind, here are a few easy exercises you can do for some quick muscle-building.
First, find yourself a nice, sturdy box and do some simple step-ups. Step-ups are great because there’s pretty much no way to hurt yourself while doing them.
Next, the bridge. Lay on your back, bend those knees, and lift your buttocks off the floor. Bridges will hit your glutes, much like step-ups, but in addition to that, they’ll give you some definition in your lower back. Increased muscle mass back there can help to soothe chronic back pains.
Finally, the calf raise. Stand up straight and raise those heels by pushing through the balls of your feet. As the name may tip you off, this will work your calves, which will keep you nice and sturdy when you’re running or jumping. That extra muscle will also help to protect your leg bones and Achilles tendons.
Remember, more muscle isn’t about lifting stuff. Well, it’s not just about lifting stuff. It’s about giving your body a set of natural armor to weather the elements, and you gotta make sure that armor is in tip-top condition.