How to keep your workouts simple: Squats & Push-ups

Haven't gotten around to working on that New Year's resolution? Why not try this simple workout?

Haven't got time for complex workouts? Try these two exercises only!

Welcome to the second-half of 2019! Felt like it was just last week when you made your New Year's resolution? You're not alone. But how far have you come along and are you satisfied with your progress?


Maybe you just could not make enough time, or a gym membership is not in your budget. Fret not, we have the perfect solution for you: squats and push-ups. These two full-body compound exercises can be done anywhere and anytime. You just need to know the exact formula. But before that, let us tell you why.

The Squat

Many fitness experts recommend the squat as a daily exercise, especially if you have no time for anything else.


“50 squats a day will keep the doctor away—seriously,” Dr. Christopher Stepien, a sports therapist and chronic pain expert said. “Daily squats will help you mentally and will even give you better yearly check-ups with your primary physician.”


A fat-burning compound exercise, the squat works on all your leg muscles – quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves – and core. It also engages the ankle, hip and knee joints all at the same time, making them stronger. A high repetition of this movement will also create an anabolic environment, which promotes body-wide muscle building and improve muscle mass.


There are many types of squats such as the pistol squat, which target different intensities and muscle groups.

There are a variety of squats which target different muscle groups like your glutes or back muscles. Sumo squats for example, mainly target your inner thighs, whereas the normal squat targets your quads.


If you are new to working out or in rehabilitation stages, start easy with the normal squat and use a chair for support if you need – either in front of you for you to hold or behind you to catch you if you fall. Keep your arms extended in front of you and try not to let your knees go past your toes.


Stay in position for about three seconds and return to normal position. Repeat as many times as possible for a minute and NEVER rush. Performing it properly will build the foundation for other squats – jump squats, goblet squats, pistol squats or pike squats.



The Push-Up

While the squat is a full-body workout, there is more emphasis on the lower body. To compensate, push-ups are a great option. Engaging every muscle in the body, push-ups burn significant calories and actually tone up the abs quickly.


The all-in-one move strengthens the core, upper body and quads, but focuses on the chest and shoulders, developing a strong and defined upper body in a matter of weeks. The core does not lose out either, as push-ups help with the transverse abdominals to stabilize the spine – provided this is done correctly.


As it is a fast full-body workout, push-ups also wake the whole body up, giving you an instant energy boost. The move improves circulation and helps the brain work more efficiently.


Having the correct form to a push-up is extremely important to prevent injuries and target the right muscles.

Start by doing as many full push-ups as possible in a row – the correct form means going all the way down and coming all the way back up. Stop when you can no longer do anymore and this will be your benchmark number. For example, if you try it out and you can do ten push-ups, this is the minimum number that you will do everyday.


Everyday, add two more to the number and rest if you need to. But the key is to keep adding and this will build strength quickly. For those who struggle with one, try doing them on your knees and use the same method. Once you hit ten or fifteen, try doing a normal push-up and carry on with the same method.



The next step

But how do we incorporate both movements together? Here's a quick workout we designed that you can finish within ten minutes. Yes, you read that right: ten minutes. You should have your heart pumping and sweat beading by the end of it.



Start with one squat and one push-up, followed by two squats and two push-ups and work your way up to ten of each before working your way back down to one of each. So the sequence is: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.


For beginners, keep your form and NEVER rush. The cut-off time is ten minutes, so regardless of how much you do, stop within ten minutes. This is your benchmark and you should work your way to finish within the time limit. Keep challenging yourself by doing it as fast as you can with good form. Our head coach can do it below 3 minutes! Try and beat that!


#benchmarktheory #getfitright #nolimits #squat #pushup #simple


Want more advanced and tailor-made exercises? Why not join one of our sessions to see what we can do for you?

© 2019 by Benchmark Theory

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