There are so many changes going on at this time of year. We're starting new habits, trying new workouts, and cleaning up our diets — and it's all thanks to our New Year's resolutions. As you're thinking about how to get the most of out of your gym time in 2018, we partnered up with Ridge Davis, a personal trainer in West Hollywood, CA, who has some useful advice for you to keep in mind as you lace up your sneakers.
If you're going make any changes at all in your workouts this year, you should consider adding these four exercises to your routine. Ridge says doing these regularly will tone your body, strengthen your muscles, and help you lose weight (if that's what you're going for!). Get ready to take notes.
"Deadlifts are a must because they work all the major muscles groups in the body," Ridge told POPSUGAR. "This means you'll have a nicer booty, toned legs, a showstopper back, and stronger forearms for carrying your bag with even more style!" The deadlift is a compound movement that will give you a lot of bang for your buck, and Ridge recommends you do them "twice a week to allow your body time to recover and get stronger between sessions."
If you're too nervous to start with the barbell, no problem! You can do deadlifts with dumbbells, kettlebells, or the smaller bars that are at your gym. And as always, if you have no idea where to start, it's a good idea to schedule a session or two with a trainer so they can show you the proper form.
Having solid abs is about so much more than looking good in a crop top. A strong core prevents you from injury and helps you move around with greater ease. Ridge highly recommends doing reverse crunches "every day before [your] workout." Why so often? "Getting your core engaged before a workout helps burn more calories and prevents your body from lower back issues."
Reverse crunches are also "great for tightening up the lower part of your waist, but they also hit your obliques, which helps draw in your natural waist line." Pretty soon you'll see and feel a difference when you put your jeans on.
Whether you're chasing booty gains this year or you just want a stronger lower body, now's the time to learn how to do hip thrusts. Jason Walsh, a celebrity trainer who helped Emma Stone gain 15 pounds of muscle for Battle of the Sexes, told POPSUGAR that hip thrusts are one of the "best exercises" that "really isolate" the glutes and grow your booty.
Hip thrusts are performed when your upper body rests on a bench and you have a barbell on your lap (with a pad underneath). You thrust the weight upward until your torso is parallel to the floor, and you squeeze your butt at the top. Doing this movement two times a week will get you a bigger booty and stronger glute muscles in just a few weeks.
"Animal Flow is bodyweight movement program that integrates animal movements in a fun and challenging workout," Ridge explained. "These movements indirectly hit the upper body (especially the arms and shoulders) through various flows such as beast, crab, ape, and all the transitions between them." Animal Flow may not look hard from the outside, but it's a very challenging exercise that simultaneously strengthens the body and improves mobility and flexibility.
As for how often you should do Animal Flow, Ridge said, "It is great to do as a warmup before your workout to get your mind tuned in with your body. Also, it primes all your joints for any heavy lifting you plan to do in your workout."
Product Credit: Model Credit: @blairintheair