Category

Health

Category


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission from the vendor at no extra cost to you. These business relationships allow us to keep bringing you great EatMoveHack content. All opinions remain our own.

At a Glance Info: Bicycle Crunch

Targets: rectus abdominus, internal and external obliques, transverse abdominus

Equipment Needed: None

Level: Beginner/Intermediate/Expert

Having a strong core and abdomen is essential to maintain our overall health and fitness. Regardless of age, gender or fitness goals, our core muscles work to support the body in our everyday life as well as during intense physical activity. 

Developing a healthy and strong abdominal core isn’t easy, it requires taking time regularly to exercise and train the muscles in our upper abdomen, lower abdomen and lower back. However, the results are worth the effort. A strong results in good posture, greater stamina, less back pain and, for those really devoted to the cause, an enviable six-pack.

But, what exercises are best for developing a strong core? There are plenty to choose from, and usually, the best exercise for you is the one you like best and are willing to do regularly. However, according to the American Council On Exercise,  when performed properly the bicycle crunch is the best exercise for increasing abdominal strength.

How to do Bicycle Crunches Safely and Effectively

What is a Bicycle Crunch and What are The Benefits?

woman doing bicycle crunch

Bicycle crunches are a classic core strengthening exercise. When performed properly, they are an ideal exercise that people of all fitness levels can use to improve abdominal and lower back strength.

Favoured by fitness trainers, bicycle crunches target several muscles in the body’s core simultaneously without the need for specialized equipment. Simple and highly effective, bicycle crunches are simply a great exercise to build core strength. They can be performed anywhere and be customized to meet every fitness level.

Muscles worked when a bicycle crunch is performed include:

  • Oblique muscles
  • Upper abdominals
  • Lower abdominals

Other muscles that benefit from this manoeuvre are the hamstrings, quadriceps and hips.

Benefits of the Bicycle Crunch

A bicycle crunch delivers multiple benefits to a person’s overall health and wellbeing. They are a strength-enhancing exercise which means they offer the same health benefits as other strengthening activities. Some of these benefits include:

  • Improved core strength.
  • Improved posture
  • Less back and neck pain
  • Increased energy
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Lowers the risk for bone-related diseases such as osteoporosis

How to Perform a Bicycle Crunch Safely

Performing a bicycle crunch properly is very important. It will help lower your risk of injury and allow you to get the most out of this challenging exercise.  Before adding these exercises to your physical fitness plans, read the following step-by-step instructions. 

Once you’re ready to try them out, ensure you’re body is warmed up and ready for vigorous activity. To warm-up, do 5 – 10 minutes of light aerobic exercise.

Step One – Lie Flat On the Floor

Start by lying down on a smooth surface. Use a yoga mat, towel or blanket if you find the floor too uncomfortable. Next, bend your knees while leaving your feet flat on the floor. Ensure your lower back is pressed into the ground while your knees are bent and elevated.

Step Two – Put Hands Behind Head

Once you’re lying down with your knees bent and feet planted on the floor, place your hands behind your head. Your hands are only there to support your head. DO NOT use your hands and arms to pull on your neck and propel yourself forward.  If having your hands behind your head is too uncomfortable, place them on either side of your body.

Step Three – Tighten In Stomach Muscles

While exhaling, engage your core muscles and lift your upper chest towards your knees. As you do this, ensure your neck is comfortable and your lower back remains pressed into the ground.

Step Four – Engage Your Legs

With your abdomen engaged, lift your feet and raise your knees to a 90-degree angle. Your knees should be pointing towards your nose. Keep your feet flexed to help support your hamstrings while they work.

Step Five – Ride A Bike!

With your upper body and lower body engaged, begin to move your legs in a forward motion that mimics pedalling. To do this, bring one knee up towards your shoulder while extending the other leg. Switch legs. When you extend your legs, keep your feet off the floor. As you pedal, keep your upper body engaged and shoulders off the floor.

Tip: The lower your leg is when extending it away from you, the more challenging the exercise will be.

Step Six – Add A Twist

bicycle crunch workout

To engage the obliques, add a twist to your motion. To do this, rotate your torso towards the knee that is bent as you try to bring the opposite elbow towards that knee. Then, as you extend the bent leg away and bring the alternate knee inwards, twist your core to meet the other knee with the opposite elbow.

Step Seven – Repeat

Aim to do 3 sets of 15 bicycle crunches with a rest in between. If counting repetitions isn’t ideal for you, try to do as many as possible in three intervals of 30 – 60 seconds each.

Common Bicycle Crunch Mistakes

All forms of physical exercise come with some level of risk. This is no different for abdominal exercises such as a bicycle crunch. 

As beneficial as a bicycle crunch can be, they must be executed correctly. if performed without proper form, these six-pack building exercises can be ineffective. Additionally, physical strain or muscle injury may also result when poor technique isn’t corrected.

When performing bicycle crunches, the 3 most common mistakes to avoid include:

Poor Neck Posture

With exercises that require your hands to rest behind your head, it’s easy for the upper body to bear the brunt of the activity. However, if your neck muscles engage, they can easily become pulled or strained. 

Additionally, if your neck and shoulders are doing the heavy lifting, your core isn’t working as hard as it should. In order to develop a strong and lean core, you need those ab muscles to do the work, not your upper body.

To avoid straining your neck, don’t lift your head more than you can comfortably do so without engaging your neck. This may mean you aren’t able to reach your knees with your elbows at first, but that’s ok. Engaging your abdominal muscles to their limit is more important in core exercises than risking a pulled muscle. 

Back Lifting Away From Floor

When performing core exercises from a laying down position, keep your lower back on the floor. To do this, imaging bringing your belly button to the floor below you and try keeping it there. 

Every few breaths, check in with your spine and see if your back is still pressed down. If not, readjust your posture and guide your belly button downwards again.

Rotating Hips and Not Torso

Relying on your hips for momentum when switching sides takes away from the integrity of the exercise. In order for a bicycle crunch to be as effective as possible, abdominal muscles need to be engaged continuously. Keep your hips on the floor and use your torso muscles to rotate.

bicycle crunch side view

Variations for a Bicycle Ab Workout

Without variety, a bicycle ab workout can become dull and uninspiring. However, these exercises are so effective, we have some variations you can use to keep them in your core strengthening repertoire. From beginners to seasoned athletes, there’s a bicycle crunch exercise perfect for everyone.

As with all exercise programs, check with your doctor or health professional before starting a new physical fitness regime to ensure it’s right for your body and fitness goals.

For Beginners

When starting with bicycle crunches, the most important thing to do is maintain the correct form. If your body slips out of good form, take the exercise down a notch. Ideas to reduce its intensity include:

  • Do crunches instead of a full twist towards alternating knees.
  • Drop the “pedalling” portion of the exercise. Keeps knees elevated and bent and focus on doing just oblique twists.
  • Move just your legs. With your back flat on the floor, pedal your legs and let your upper body rest.  Be sure to lower your legs as close to the floor as possible when you do this.

For Advanced

Ready to take the basic bike ab exercise to the next level? For ways to add intensity to your bicycle crunch routine, try the following:

  • Slow down. Slow down your movements to eliminate the help of momentum to switch from side to side. This will engage your abs further and definitely help you feel the burn!
  • Add resistance. Place a small resistance band around your feet and hold it there during the exercise. 


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission from the vendor at no extra cost to you. These business relationships allow us to keep bringing you great EatMoveHack content. All opinions remain our own.

At a glance

  • Time to complete project: 4 hours
  • Project difficulty out of 5: 2 out of 5

Supplies list

  • Calorie-tracking fitness app
  • BMI and TDEE calculators
  • Food scale
  • Water bottle

Whether you’re trying to lose a few pounds or have a more substantial weight loss journey ahead of you, getting started is always the hardest part. In addition to knowing where to begin, you also have to put together an effective weight loss plan so you stay on track.

How to Jumpstart Weight Loss Safely and Effectively

We’re passionate about healthy eating and staying in shape, and we want to help you get to a place where you look and feel good about yourself. We can’t help you drop pounds overnight (that’s not safe or realistic), but we can show you how to jump-start weight loss so that you see faster and better results.

With just a few simple tools and our tutorial below, you can make smart, honest changes that produce real results. Get started now, and you’ll notice a difference in your weight and well-being in just a couple weeks.

Instructions: How to Jump-Start Weight Loss Safely and Effectively

To lose weight, you have to know where you’re beginning, where you’re heading, and how you’re going to get there. Our tutorial will guide you through setting goals and tracking your progress, but it also offers easy tips for making the journey a little bit easier.

Warning! Making lots of lifestyle changes at the same time can be difficult. If you’re feeling overwhelmed following our guide, don’t hesitate to spread out our suggestions over several days or weeks. It’s much to move slowly than to give up before you’ve even started.

1. Set Realistic Weight Loss Goals

If your previous weight loss efforts haven’t quite panned out, it could be because you haven’t set out clear goals and expectations. Obviously you want to lose weight, but how are you going to do it? As in, what are the exact steps you’re going to take?

weight loss goals

Many diets fail because people skip the very important first step of creating an action plan. You have to determine where you are, where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there.

To put it another way: What is your current caloric intake, what is your goal weight, and what kind of caloric deficit do you need to get from point A to point B?

Here are the steps you need to complete to figure it all out:

  1. To determine how much you’re currently eating, download a fitness app that tracks calories and record everything you put in your mouth for two weeks. By the end of the two-week period, you can figure out your daily average caloric intake.
  2. To decide on a goal weight, talk to your doctor or consult body mass index (BMI) charts to determine an appropriate range for your height, age, and gender. Keep in mind that your goal weight doesn’t need to be set in stone; you can adjust it as needed or even set several goals.
  3. Once you know how many calories you’re currently eating and how much weight you’d like to lose, use a total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) calculator to figure out an appropriate and realistic calorie deficit. Depending on how many calories you burn, a deficit of 500 calories per day might be safe; stick with it, and you could lose one pound per week.

2. Create a Shopping List

What you put into your body is just as important as how much. The benefit of making smarter food choices is two fold: You’ll better nourish your body when you choose nutritious foods, and you can continue to eat throughout the day with little fear of consuming too many calories.

Before heading to the supermarket, create a shopping list — and then stick to it. A list can help you get your shopping done more quickly because it keeps you focused, all while keeping you away from those foods that cause the greatest temptations.

As far as what foods to buy, make sure the majority of your shopping cart is dedicated to fresh fruit and vegetables. These whole, unprocessed foods contain fewer calories per bite and many more vitamins and nutrients than anything else you’ll find at the grocery store.

Even if you’re not practicing a low-carb diet, avoid stocking up on too many starchy foods like bread, pasta, and rice. These types of foods tend to be calorie-dense and burn off quickly; it’s better to choose foods that will sustain you throughout the day.

For protein, choose lean cuts like chicken, turkey, and fish. Other good protein sources include eggs, beans, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu, and peanut butter.

While it may be tempting to pick out prepackaged convenience items, resist them. Even those that may seem healthy, like a protein bar or chips made from vegetables, are actually fake health foods that are often packed with high amounts of sugar and fat, meaning more calories.

3. Track Your Calories

Hopefully it’s very apparent by now that calories are a big deal. They are one of the most important measures of food, especially when you’re losing weight, and they must be tracked carefully to ensure you stay on track.

calories

To ensure accurate recordings, it’s vital that you invest in a food scale. Most people are awful at estimating portion sizes, so if you try to eye your calorie count, you’ll almost certainly consume more calories than you’re supposed to.

On top of that, even product labels can be deceiving or just plain wrong. It’s not uncommon to find product labels that may claim a slice of bread is 25 grams or a cup of ice cream is 150 grams, only to see the truth once you weigh the food on a scale. If you blindly follow the food label and your bread turns out to weigh 50 grams, you’ll consume twice the calories intended.

In addition to a food scale, continue to use the fitness app from step 1. Using a digital calorie counter is so much easier and more convenient than tracking your calories by hand.

4. Invest in a Water Bottle

Drinking more water has lots of benefits. For starters, it has no calories, so you can drink as much as you’d like without worrying about whether it’s going to negatively impact your waistline.

drink water for health

In terms of weight loss, it can help you stave off hunger by filling your stomach. For the same reason, it can also make you feel fuller during meals. Other benefits include increased energy, better alertness, and improved digestion.

Drinking water throughout the day is one of the most healthy habits you can establish, but it can be difficult to get started if you’ve always reached for soda or just went without.

An easy way to incorporate H20 into your schedule is to invest in a water bottle. Fill it in the morning and keep it nearby, and you’ll find that you naturally reach for it just because it’s there.

If you find plain water boring, you can spice things up by adding flavorful mix-ins like mint, cucumber, and sliced fruit. Sugar-free drink mixes are also an option, but be sure to read product labels to be sure they really are zero-calorie.

5. Find Ways to be More Active

Diet is far more important for losing weight than exercising, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the latter.

Staying active can support weight loss by keeping your heart healthy, relieving stress to improve your mood, and helping you sleep better at night. In short, it will help you feel better, which can give you the motivation to stick with healthy habits.

If you’re not used to working out, don’t panic. You don’t have to invest in gym equipment if you don’t want to, and you can start out with short, easy exercises that won’t leave you too stiff and achy the next day.

A great way to incorporate exercise into your schedule is to fit it in a quick workout whenever you have a little bit of downtime. For example, you can jog in place during commercial breaks when you’re watching TV, do squats while transferring clothes from the washer to the dryer, or fit in some jumping jacks while waiting for the microwave to ding.

If you want to take exercise more seriously, consider buying a little bit of equipment. New shoes or workout wear can motivate you to hit the pavement or the gym. Hand weights and a jump rope are compact and affordable, allowing you to take your exercise anywhere you’d like.

As far as what exercise to do, it’s up to you. Cardio exercises like running or aerobics burns calories and increases your stamina, but if you’re looking to build lean muscle, you’ll want to turn to weight training.

You can stick with the same exercise every day if you’d like, or you can mix up your workout by alternating between cardio and strength training. Creating a solid exercise plan isn’t too important at this stage; just do what you need to do to move more.

6. Distinguish Hunger from Boredom

Hunger pangs can be a real problem when you’re trying to lose weight. You’re most likely to experience them if you greatly reduce your calorie intake or go too long between meals.

There’s also the issue of confusing boredom or stress with hunger. Feeling as if you have to eat when you’re bored or under pressure is known as emotional hunger, and it’s purely psychological. Eating when you’re emotional releases dopamine that makes you feel “full”, but your body doesn’t actually need the food.

Combating emotional eating isn’t easy, especially if it’s been a long-time coping mechanism. However, one way you can try to break the habit is to question yourself every time you feel hungry — are you really hungry, or are you reaching for food out of habit or comfort?

If you’re unsure of the answer, try doing something else for a little while. Call a friend to chat, read a book outdoors, or take a walk. These activities can increase dopamine levels just like eating does, relieving your craving. If you’re still feeling peckish after, reach for a small, healthy snack.

7. Stay Positive

As difficult as it may be to hear, you’re likely to hit roadblocks as you work to lose weight. There may be days when you don’t eat as well as you should and days when you feel like giving up completely.

This is all natural, because losing weight isn’t a chore that you can cross off a list; it’s a process, and sometimes, it’s a long and complicated one.

For this reason, it’s important to maintain a positive outlook. Consider keeping a journal where you track your milestones and celebrate your successes. Create new goals as you meet old ones so you stay engaged; they can be as general as “eat more fruits” or as specific as “switch to whole wheat bread”.

And if you feel as if you need help sticking with your new daily routine, don’t hesitate to find someone to connect with. Look for support at the gym, or join an online community of people who are working towards the same goals as yourself.


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission from the vendor at no extra cost to you. These business relationships allow us to keep bringing you great EatMoveHack content. All opinions remain our own.

Hiking is a vigorous form of exercise that takes you over varied terrain. Depending on your trail, you may find yourself traversing flat ground, gentle slopes, steep inclines, and other natural features that have you walking, jogging, crouching, and jumping before the trip is over.

tips for hiking on a treadmill

If it’s been a while since you last went hiking, it’s a good idea to ready your body for the increased intensity that comes with this type of activity. While you could hire a personal trainer or fitness coach to help you develop your calves, glutes, quads, and core, treadmill exercises can help you accomplish the same thing without the added expense.

We’ve compiled some awesome tips for using a treadmill to help you get ready for your next hike. Use them to build the muscle and stamina you’ll need for the great outdoors, even if you’re stuck inside in the meantime.

The Benefits of Hiking Treadmill Workouts

Jumping on a treadmill to do hiking workouts before the big day has tons of benefits. At the very least, it will help you prepare mentally for the upcoming hike — you’ll go through all the motions so you know exactly what to expect.

Beyond that, performing particular workouts on a treadmill can help you strengthen muscles you don’t normally use, especially important ones in your legs, hips, and thighs. The training will improve your overall fitness level, too, leading to more strength and better flexibility so you don’t get too sore or hurt yourself.

Regular exercise combined with the extra challenge of high intensity intervals to challenge your aerobic threshold will also improve your body’s ability to use oxygen; this results in better stamina so that you won’t tire halfway through the hike.

5 Tips for the Best Hiking Workout on a Treadmill

Practice for your fun day outdoors by following our tips below. You’ll transform your treadmill from cardio accessory to hiking machine in just a few, simple steps.

1. Use the Treadmill’s Incline Feature

Because most hiking trails won’t consist of purely flat terrain, the incline feature on your treadmill can be a huge tool for helping you get used to the ups and downs that come with outdoor excursions.

To start, set your treadmill at a 1% incline. You should immediately notice the change as different muscles in legs and hips are activated. Continue at this incline for a few days to prevent injury, and then steadily increase the incline as far as your machine will allow.

DIY Treadmill Incline

Have a treadmill that doesn’t allow for inclines? No problem. If you’re handy, you may be able to use stacked 2x4s under the legs of the treadmill to increase the height at the front of the machine to create an incline. Note that not every treadmill can handle the increased load of inclined walking, so proceed carefully.

If you’d rather not adjust your treadmill, you can instead adjust the surface on which it sits. You can create an angled platform using plywood, or you can look for an area of your home that already has an angled surface, such as an exterior walkway or patio.

2. Don’t Forget About the Decline

Many hikers concentrate on the inclines they’ll encounter on their journey, but remember that every time you go up, you’ll need to come down.

Downhill hiking may not take as much energy as going up, but it does require the use of often-neglected muscles to maintain balance and traction.

While your treadmill may offer incline, many don’t have the opposite. However, to make the most of your hiking workout, you definitely want to practice going down hill.

This is another instance where you can use 2x4s to change the angle of your walking surface — this time, you’ll position the blocks under the legs at the back of the machine to pitch you forward.

3. Work on Building Endurance

Even short hikes tend to require more energy and stamina than going for a jog over flat land. To build the endurance necessary for a successful hike, you need to train your body to do a better job of taking in oxygen and using it to replenish your muscles.

To do this, you need to continually challenge yourself. This means exercising for longer periods of time and regularly increasing the intensity of your workout.

In practical terms, this could involve starting with 30 minutes per day of hiking training. After a week, increase to 45 minutes of activity, and after another week, bump it to 60 minutes.

4. Practice High Intensity Interval Training

Increasing the length of your daily treadmill training will help your body cope with demands of hiking, but you also have to vary the intensity of those workouts to really prep yourself.

This is easy to do if you have a treadmill that has preset programs. At the start of your workout, you’ll just hit a button and let the machine vary your speed (and possibly incline) for you.

If your treadmill isn’t so advanced, you’ll need to manually change settings to experience different intensities.

Whether you use existing programs or create your own, the idea behind high intensity interval training on a treadmill is to create a workout that involves longer stretches of leisurely walking interspersed with shorter periods that have you jog lightly, run, or sprint.

Remember that to prevent injury and keep from depleting your energy too quickly, you’ll want to limit your high-intensity periods to just a minute or two at a time.

5. Put on Your Hiking Gear

While it may seem silly to don all your hiking gear when using a treadmill indoors, doing so offers some huge advantages.

hiking gear

For starters, you’ll become accustomed to the weight, size, shape, and feel of your shoes, clothing, backpack, and accessories. It’s much better to break in boots or figure out that something doesn’t work or feel right before your hike than during it.

Another reason to exercise with your hiking gear is that you can use it as part of your hiking workouts. For example, when you first start your training plan, you might wear your empty pack just to get used to having it on you as you move.

As you progress through your treadmill training, you can fill your sack with items you’ll take on your hike, such as water, snacks, and tools.

Over the course of several weeks, add more until you’re working out with a weighted backpack. This helps build endurance and ensures that you have the strength to carry everything you intend to bring.

hiking on a treadmill

Conclusion

Hiking is an awesome way to burn calories, increase your heart rate, and improve your overall well-being. But it’s not the type of workout that you can take lightly — if you don’t properly prepare for a hike, you could find yourself out of breath halfway through the trip or too sore to keep moving.

Use our tips for hiking on a treadmill, and you’ll be ready to take on every step, twist, and dip of your next trek.

Don’t have a lot of room for your workout equipment? We’ve got you covered. Check out our guide to best folding treadmills to find something that won’t take up too much space.


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission from the vendor at no extra cost to you. These business relationships allow us to keep bringing you great EatMoveHack content. All opinions remain our own.

You’re looking for a way to work in some fast, low-impact cardio and have decided that rowing machines with magnetic resistance are the way to go. We couldn’t agree more!

We’re big fans of the magnetic rower, and we’re eager to help you find the best machine. So that you don’t have to waste time or go through unnecessary expenses, we reviewed over 50 models to come up with this list of the best magnetic rowers.

5 Best Magnetic Rowing Machines and Complete Buying Guide

While these are all high-quality machines, we’re giving the top spot to the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine. If offers the best mix of value and features, and it’s a good fit whether you’re a new user or more advanced rower.

Learn more about this unit and others by checking out our magnetic rowing machine reviews below. If you need more help deciding, we’ve also included a quick buying guide outlining the most important factors to consider when shopping for a magnetic rower.

 

Affordably priced magnetic rower that’s comfy to use

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine Rower

We’ve included the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 on our list of the best magnetic rowers because it’s a high-quality, high-performing machine with a great price tag for new users.

This budget rowing machine costs less than many of the other options on this list, but it offers an incredible value.

For starters, it has a 48-inch slide rail, offering users as tall as 6’5″ plenty of room to maneuver. This is huge because many lower-priced machines just can’t accommodate larger exercisers.

The magnetic rower is also very comfortable to use. It has a cushioned seat that won’t leave you sore and foam-padded, anti-slip handles for a strong, stable grip.

Its foot pedals are large and roomy, but they have textured surface and adjustable foot straps to keep you securely in place.

One thing we were really pleased to see on this magnetic rower is floor stabilizers. They seem like such a little thing, but they’re super useful for helping you feel steady when you’ve got uneven floors.

We tested the machine over some lumpy carpet, and the stabilizers made it seem as if we were on the flattest surface.

If there was something for us to be nit-picky about, it would be that this home rowing machine doesn’t offer enough of a challenge for really advanced users. It’s not really designed for these kinds of people, but we also think that stronger magnetic resistance would make this a rower that newbies could use years.

What I Liked

  • Budget rowing machine for newbies and occasional users
  • Lots of comfort and safety features for easy, secure use
  • Large enough for exercisers up to 6’5″ in height

What I Didn’t Like

  • Only a 250 lb weight limit — this is rather low
  • Not enough resistance for hardcore rowers

Enjoy a whisper-quiet full body workout

Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine

If you prefer early morning workouts, you’ll definitely want to check out this machine from Fitness Reality. While all magnetic rowers are designed to be quiet, we found this one to be among the quietest.

To put things in perspective, we tested the rower in the living room around 5 am. When the rest of the household woke up, we polled them, and no one had heard a thing.

Later in the afternoon, we tested it again and were able to easily hear the radio over the nearly non-existent noise of the machine.

During our tests, we also found that this rower offered a true full body workout. It has 14 magnetic resistance levels, so it’s an ideal fit for both beginners and those who’ve been rowing for a while. We tested it on advanced levels, and we could definitely feel the burn.

Because this indoor rower has been designed to work with several fitness apps, including Apple Health and Google Fit, you can set health goals and track your progress.

With the My Cloud Fitness app, we were able to record important metrics like our distance, calories burned, and strokes per minute.

If we had to give you a word of warning about this machine, it would be to be careful during assembly. There were a couple of times that the instructions weren’t clear, but it was easy enough to eventually figure out what needed to be done.

What I Liked

  • Super-quiet operation lets you exercise at all hours of the day
  • 14 magnetic resistance levels will give you plenty of workout variety
  • Compatible with several fitness apps

What I Didn’t Like

  • Rower is very lightweight so it doesn’t feel as steady as others
  • Assembly instructions were sometimes unclear

Home rowing machine with lots of convenience features

JOROTO Magnetic Rower

We think that this JOROTO machine is the best magnetic rower for users who like to go the distance. It was built with so many convenience features for those who like long workouts.

It has a large, comfortably placed, and easily adjustable digital monitor that allows you to track how long you’ve been working out, how many calories you’ve burned, and more.

If you’d rather listen to music or watch videos while exercising, you can prop a phone or tablet in front of the monitor using the integrated device holder.

A built-in cup holder lets you hydrate without having to get up, and a contoured seat cushion and foam-padded handles ensure you stay comfortable no matter how long you work out.

We also love that storage is such a cinch with this rowing machine. It has built-in wheels to make it easy to move it out of the way, and you can hoist it up into standing position so it takes up less room when not in use.

Our biggest gripe with this rower is that the seat is fairly loud. The rest of the machine is quiet, as to be expected, but the seat squeaked and made noise as we moved back and forth.

What I Liked

  • Built-in monitor, device stand, and cup holder for convenience
  • Comfortable seat and handles for longer workouts
  • Stands up to take up less room when storing

What I Didn’t Like

  • Excessive seat noise takes away from the quiet operation
  • Would like to see the monitor track more metrics

 

Home rowing machine sculpts muscles with pull and push motions

teeter power magnetic rower

After thorough review, we think that this indoor rowing machine from Teeter is the best for building muscle and sculpting your body. Its unique method of operation lets you exercise your upper body and lower body muscles during the same workout.

The machine’s secret lies in its patented elliptical path. You’ll engage your arms, back, and legs when you practice traditional rowing motions, but when you switch to push motions, you’ll work your abs, chest, and glutes.

Don’t get us wrong: This thing is amazing for targeting your major muscle groups, but it’s also an amazing tool for cardio workouts.

It has seven quiet magnetic resistance levels, and we worked up quite a sweat just on level four (need to lose belly fat? You won’t go wrong here!)

Another thing we like about this rowing machine is that it’s adjustable to suit users of all sizes. You can tweak the stroke length and raise or lower the seat according to your height and reach.

This is one magnificent magnetic rower, but it’s hard to ignore the price tag. We can appreciate how its unique features contribute to its higher price point, but we also understand that this means it will be out of the price range of many users.

What I Liked

  • Patented elliptical operation targets all your major muscle groups
  • Offers strength training and cardio in one workout
  • Adjustable handle and seat to suit your height and size

What I Didn’t Like

  • Costs a lot more than many other magnetic rowers
  • Noticed some noise coming from around the plastic housing

Magnetic rower with a high-definition monitor

With the rise of technology, there have been some rather amazing advances in the world of fitness. When it comes to rowing machines, this behemoth from Hydrow is the cream of the crop.

Weighing in at 145 lbs, it’s a huge machine — that may be a negative for new users or people with limited space, but for those who live for rowing, it’s a sign of solid, high-quality build.

The defining aspect of this durable magnetic rower is its immersive experience. The rowing machine includes a 22-inch, high-definition, touchscreen monitor that works hard to replicate the sounds and sights of being out on the water. Turn it on, and you could be “rowing” in Miami or London rather than your living room.

With the Hydrow, you also have access to thousands of classes that are led by famous, accomplished instructors. Take a class, and you’ll feel like a member of an elite rowing team.

We could easily say that the Hydrow is the best rowing machine ever, but that would require ignoring something very important: a high price tag and ongoing monthly subscription that will put it out of reach of many users. It’s a highly specialized piece of equipment, but we think that many advanced users would be perfectly happy with a more affordable machine that doesn’t have as many bells and whistles.

What I Liked

  • Incredibly solid, well-built machine that will easily last years
  • Huge, high-definition monitor for an immersive experience
  • Access to classes taught by professional athletes and instructors

What I Didn’t Like

  • High initial outlay and ongoing subscription makes it an expensive investment
  • Cannot use any features besides rowing without an internet connection

What We Looked For in the Best Magnetic Rowing Machines

Magnetic resistance rowing machines may not be as popular as exercise bikes or treadmills, but with a single unit, you can enjoy incredible cardio workouts and strength training. We love them, and we’re excited that you’re thinking about bringing one home.

As we reviewed options for our list of the best rowing machines, we paid particular attention to three important factors:

  • Price: We recognize that outfitting a home gym can be expensive, so we made sure to look for affordable rowing machines that beginners and advanced users alike would value. Of course, we also recognize that function is sometimes more important than cost for some people when it comes to fitness equipment, so we also included a couple of premium models.
  • Quality: No matter the cost of a home rowing machine, it should be a high-quality, well-built unit. We made sure to only include those models that have proven themselves to be safe and effective.
  • Accessibility: Like people, magnetic rowing machines come in all shapes and sizes. For that reason, we’re only recommending units that can accommodate a variety of users or have adjustable settings.

How to Choose the Right Magnetic Rowing Machine

After testing a slew of magnetic rowing machines, we’re confident in calling the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine our top pick. It’s affordably priced, and it doesn’t skim on features.

Is it right for you? Consider the following the help make the most informed decision.

Style

While this buying guide focuses on magnetic rowing machines, it’s important to note that these are not the only types of rowers available. Two other popular styles include the air rower and the water rower.

As the name suggests, air rowers like the Stamina ATS Air Rower use air resistance from a flywheel. The harder you pull, the faster the flywheel turns, upping the wind resistance.

This type of rowing machine offers the closet feel to traditional rowing, but it’s also going to make for a loud home rowing machine.

A water rower uses water within a chamber to create resistance. When you add more water, you’ll create more friction; less water allows for a lower-intensity workout.

Though water rowing machines are rather peaceful and quiet since you essentially just hear the sloshing of water, many users find that other styles provide a better rowing workout.

When deciding between air rowers, water rowers, and magnetic rowers, you have to think about the type of experience you want to have — it’s going to be a balance between realism to actual rowing and the intensity of your rowing workout.

Budget

As you shop, you’ll find that here are many budget rowers. There are also lots of rowing machines that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Deciding how much you’ll spend on a rowing machine is a highly personal decision. However, you’ll want to consider how experienced you are with this type of equipment and how often you plan to use it.

If you’re a beginner, it’s not a bad idea to buy an entry-level home rowing machine and then later upgrade if you need something more substantial.

Size

Rowing machine dimensions are important for two reasons.

The first relates to how comfortable you’ll be when using it. Some inexpensive magnetic rowers cut costs by using less material; this typically means things like a shorter slide rail and smaller seat. If you’re tall, you’ll find such a small rowing machine to be difficult and uncomfortable to use.

Overall size is also important when it comes to use and storage. If you live in an apartment or only have a corner of a room to devote to your home rowing machine, a large unit won’t work.

Likewise, if you don’t want your magnetic rower to sit out all the time, you’ll want to look for a model that folds or stands to get out of the way.

Wrapping Up

Style, price, and size are the most important factors to consider when shopping for rowing machines. Finding the balance between these aspects ensures you pick a model that you’ll be happy to use for a long time.

Of all the options we tested, we liked the Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine best. It ticks off all the important criteria above and truly is a pleasure to use. Whether you’re looking for a way to get in your cardio workouts or work on your strength training, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this pick.

Just starting on your fitness journey? Let us help you build a workout plan in just 10 minutes! We’ve got ideas for incorporating magnetic rowers, weights, and more.


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission from the vendor at no extra cost to you. These business relationships allow us to keep bringing you great EatMoveHack content. All opinions remain our own.

At a Glance Info: 

Targets: Lats (latissimus dorsi), Rhomboids, upper back

Equipment Needed: Adjustable cable machine with straight bar

Level: Beginner to Expert

Pulldown exercises are perfect for increasing muscle mass in the upper back and shoulders when building upper body strength. Variations of the classic pulldown can target and tone areas more acutely than regular pulldowns can. For example, reverse grip pulldowns can more efficiently target the lower lat muscles than an overhand pulldown. 

For those wanting to strengthen their lower back for better posture, reduction of lower back pain, or as part of a comprehensive bodybuilding program, reverse grip pulldowns are an effective exercise. They make a great alternative to pull-ups for those building their strength or seeking more variety in their upper body workout.

How to do a Reverse Grip Pulldown Safely and Effectively

What is a Reverse Grip Pulldown and What Are the Benefits?

The Reverse Grip Pulldown

A reverse grip pulldown is a strength training exercise that targets the lower region of the latissimus dorsi, known commonly as lats. It requires access to a cable machine with a straight bar from a seated position while facing towards the weight stack. This is a simple exercise that can be done by almost anyone.

Dorian Yates, a world-famous bodybuilder from England, suggests using reverse grip pulldowns to develop better lower lat strength and width.

Benefits of Reverse Grip Pulldown

A reverse grip pulldown targets the lats, which are the largest muscle of the upper body. They are found in the mid-to-lower region of the back. Lat muscles are instrumental for developing good posture, supporting a healthy spine and our core region. Reverse grip pulldowns help to keep lats strong and in good working condition.

Other benefits of a reverse grip pulldown include:

  • Improves lower back stability
  • Targets biceps and triceps in addition to the lower back.
  • Suitable for all fitness levels
  • Strengthens core (suggest linking to bicycle crunches blog)
  • Works upper chest and upper arms
  • Thickens waist

How to do a Reverse Grip Pulldown

You can do reverse grip pulldowns using either a V-bar or a wide straight bar. You could try using both bars to vary your workouts to maximize your results. This tutorial will explain the best way to execute a reverse grip pulldown using a straight bar.

When starting a new exercise routine, always check with your healthcare professional to ensure the program is right for you. Start slow and use lighter weights until you can maintain the correct form from the beginning of the exercise until the end.

Equipment

For this exercise, you will need the following:

  • Cable machine
  • Straight bar attachment
  • Water
  • Comfortable athletic clothing
  • Small towel

Step One: Prepare the Machine

Follow the machine’s directions to select and secure your desired weight. Adjust the height of the bench so that when you sit, your feet are flat and your knees are comfortable and at a 90-degree angle. If you’re using equipment at a public training facility, be sure to wipe down the equipment before use.

cable machine for reverse grip pulldown

How to Select the Correct Weight

When you are first starting out, it is crucial to select a comfortable weight. You should be able to complete the desired number of repetitions with good form. As you get stronger, you can gradually increase the weight.

How to Adjust the Seat

The seat on the pulldown machine should be adjusted so that your legs can bend at a comfortable angle. This is usually between 90 and 135 degrees to the floor. In addition, you should adjust your foot position so that you feel stable and secure.

Step Two: Prepare to Exercise

Stand in front of the machine with the bench between your legs. With palms facing towards you, reach up and grab the straight bar. Keep your hands close together, about shoulder-width apart. Curl your fingers around the bar to secure a firm grip.

While hands are holding the bar, sit down. Keep your arms relaxed and almost fully extended overhead, and allow the bar to pull down with you. Never overextend your arms. Elbows should be kept slightly bent throughout all steps of the exercise. 

Step Three: Check Your Form

Before starting the pulldown exercise, make sure your body’s form is correct. Your back should be straight and your core engaged. To engage your core, bring your navel towards your spine and extend your neck until you find a position that’s comfortable and stable. 

Avoid angling your head forward or backward; always keep your neck in a neutral position.

Step Four: Do a Reverse Grip Pull Down

reverse pulldown

Pull Down the Bar

With palms facing you, lean back slightly and bring the bar down to meet and pull your elbows to your waist. Your back and shoulder blade muscles should be engaged. Do not pull the bar lower than your chest. If this happens, move closer to the weights a couple of inches or adjust the height of your seat.

Raise the Bar

Slowly return the bar to its starting position. Keep your back muscles tight and shoulder blades pinched together as you do this. Return to the top of the movement until elbows are almost at full extension. Always maintain tension in your arms and back during the duration of the exercise.

Step Five: Repeat

Repeat steps one through four until you’ve completed your desired number of reps.

Common Mistakes to Avoid With Reverse Grip PullDowns

If done improperly, any strengthening exercise can result in injury. To prevent injuries, always maintain good form in every weight-bearing activity.  

Reverse grip pulldowns strengthen and support the lower back, shoulder, and even several muscles in your arms. Mistakes done during this exercise can lead to ineffective results or even muscle strain. A poorly executed reverse grip pulldown can lead to a painful pulled muscle in severe instances.

To maximize your exercise efforts and prevent injury during a reverse grip pulldown, avoid the following common mistakes:

1.Use of a Too Heavy Weight 

Many muscle injuries occur when the weight being used is too heavy. Remember, your body is constantly undergoing changes, and the amount of weight you can lift will vary. If you cannot maintain good form for the exercise duration, it’s best to lower your weight.

2.Improper Neck Position

Keeping your neck in a neutral position is paramount to avoid neck strain. In reverse grip pulldowns, it’s easy to unwittingly throw the head backwards while pulling the bar down or push your head forward when raising your arms back up. Pay attention to your head’s position.

A tip to keep your neck neutral is to focus your eyes on a single spot in the distance. This can help your head stay fixed in a relaxed, neutral position.

3.Hands Wider than Shoulder Grip

Hands should not be further than shoulder-width apart. Keeping them at this distance focuses the muscles in your lower back and inner shoulder blades on doing the work. If hands are wider apart, different muscles will do the job.

4.Engaging Your Forearms

Your forearms should not do the work of pulling the bar down. The muscles in your back should be activated. To avoid having your wrists and forearms do most of the work, imagine you are pulling down from your armpits. This will help to ensure your upper lats are activated.

Variations of a Reverse Grip Pulldown

While a reverse grip pulldown is a variation of the traditional pulldown, this exercise offers plenty of variety in and of itself. Some variations to try include:

Cable Machine Free Variation

Don’t let not having access to a cable weight machine stop you from earning the benefits of a reverse pulldown exercise. All you have to do is simply adjust your strategy and equipment. If you have resistance bands, try the following:

  • Take a resistance band loop it over a secure door frame or hook. 
  • Tie the ends of the band in a knot to create a loop.
  • Kneel down and grab the resistance band with palms facing towards you, hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Lean back slightly and pull through the full range of motion as you would with a cable pulley.


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission from the vendor at no extra cost to you. These business relationships allow us to keep bringing you great EatMoveHack content. All opinions remain our own.

If you’re aiming for beefy arms, you’re probably spending a lot of time working your biceps. But if you’re not also exercising your triceps, you won’t see the big results you’re hoping for. While it’s true that the biceps are what you see in the mirror while flexing, the triceps are a much larger muscle and need equal attention to create the complete package of chiseled arms.

best tricep exercises

To help you achieve your fitness goals, we’ve put together this list of the best tricep workouts. We’ve tried plenty of moves, but we think these offer the biggest bang for your buck. Incorporate them into your routine today to start seeing better gains for more muscle mass.

The Best Tricep Exercises

We thought hard about which moves to include on this list of the best tricep workouts. There are lots out there, but we think each of these is a great tricep exercise because they’re easy to execute, they effectively work the muscle, and they don’t require specialized equipment that’s hard to find.

8 Best Tricep Exercises

1. Close Grip Bench Press

The close grip bench press is a variation of the standard bench press that targets the triceps muscle

How to do close grip bench presses

  • Lie back on an workout bench with your feet flat on the ground.
  • Wrap your hands around the barbell with your hands just slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  • Make sure your core is tight, and then lift the barbell straight up.
  • Lower the barbell until your arms are at 90-degree angles.
  • Hold the press for a beat, and then raise the barbell until your arms are straight. Hold again, and then restart.

close Grip Bench Press

2. Overhead Triceps Extension

Low-impact exercise that helps you build upper arm mass

How to do overhead triceps extensions

  • Grasp a dumbbell, and stand straight or sit at the edge of an exercise bench or chair.
  • Transfer your grip so that you’re holding the dumbbell by one end using both hands.
  • Raise your arms to hold the dumbbell directly over your head.
  • Without moving your upper arm, slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head, and hold for a beat.
  • Forcefully raise the dumbbell back up until it’s back over your head. Hold for two seconds, and then restart the move.

Overhead Triceps Extension

3. Lying Triceps Extension

Powerful tricep exercise that produces fast results

How to do lying triceps extensions

  • Grab two dumbbells, and lie back on a workout bench with your feet flat on the ground.
  • Firmly grasp each dumbbell, and extend your arms until they’re straight, with your palms facing one another.
  • Keeping your upper arms in place, bend your elbows and lower the dumbbells until they touch the top of your shoulders.
  • Raise the dumbbells with arms completely straight to return to the starting position and hold before restarting.

4. Overhead Cable Triceps Extension

One of the most effective triceps exercises you can do at the gym

How to do overhead cable triceps extensions

  • For this exercise, you’ll need a rope handle and cable machine. Attach the rope to a high pulley point on the machine.
  • Grab the rope, lift it above your head with an overhand grip, and turn away from the machine.
  • Lean forward, bracing yourself by staggering your feet one slightly in front of the other.
  • Position the rope handle behind your head, and without moving your upper arms, pull it forward over your head and extend your arms straight. Hold for two seconds.
  • Bend your elbows to return to your original position.

5. Dumbbell Chest Press

Excellent beginner exercise to start your triceps workouts

How to do dumbbell chest presses

  • Grab two dumbbells, and lie back on an exercise bench with your feet flat on the ground.
  • Dig your shoulders into the bench and arch your back slightly.
  • Bring the dumbbells up over your chest; make sure they’re positioned below your shoulders to avoid unnecessary in this area.
  • Push the dumbbells up over our body with arms fully extended.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells, with your arms bending away from your body, until your arms are at 90-degree angles.
  • Hold with elbows bent for one beat, and then return to the starting position.

6. Tricep Dip

Tricep dips are an easy exercise that you can do almost anywhere using your own body weight

How to do tricep dips

  • Sit at the edge of an exercise bench or sturdy, non-rolling chair.
  • Grip the bottom of the bench directly below your shoulders.
  • Extend your legs to pull your torso up and away from the bench until you’re supporting your body weight on your hands and feet. You can exercise with legs slightly bent if you’re a beginner or with legs straight for greater intensity.
  • Keeping your shoulders and neck straight, lower yourself towards to ground by bending your elbow.
  • Stop when your arms are at 90-degree angles, and hold for a beat.
  • Exhale and extend your arms straight to lift yourself back up. Hold for another beat before restarting.

7. Elbow Extension

Simple but effective routine for stronger triceps

How to do elbow extensions

  • Grab a dumbbell with your left hand in an underhand grip, and stand straight.
  • Bring the dumbbell up until it touches your shoulder. This is the starting position.
  • Slowly extend your left arm downward until the dumbbell touches the top of your thigh. Hold the position for a beat, and then bring the dumbbell back up to your shoulder.
  • Repeat the exercise for a set before switching to your right arm.

8. Cable Rope Tricep Pushdown

Great beginner exercise that you can do at home or at the gym

How to do cable rope tricep pushdowns

  • For this exercise, you’ll need a rope handle and cable machine. Attach the rope to a high pulley point on the machine.
  • Grasp the rope with an overhand grip and palms facing each other.
  • Keeping your torso and shoulders straight, lean forward at the hips slightly with elbows tucked to your sides.
  • Not moving your upper arms, pull the rope down until your arms are fully extended and your hands are on either side of your thighs.
  • Hold the position for two seconds, and then bring your arms up until they form 45-degree angles.

Tips for an Effective Triceps Workout

triceps workout exercises

Before you dive into your tricep workout, consider these tips. They’ll help ensure you stay safe and see the best results from your hard work.

Always Warm Up

Jumping into a strenuous tricep workout without first warming up is a quick way to end up sore and possibly injured. Many of the best tricep exercises also involve the ligaments and joints of your elbows and shoulders — areas that are easily strained if you don’t first loosen them up.

The best way to warm up for tricep exercise is to do plenty of stretching. From there, start with low-impact moves before moving to extensions and free weights.

Focus on Form

It can be easy to get carried away when trying to sculpt perfect tricep muscles. However, be sure to focus on quality rather than quantity when going through reps. When performing presses and extensions, move slowly and only with your lower arms to keep from injuring delicate joints and straining supporting muscles.

Don’t Forget to Lock

You’ll notice that many of the best triceps exercises call for you to hold a position for a beat before moving on. This isn’t to give you a chance to catch your breath. Instead, it’s to ensure that you completely contract your triceps, squeezing them hard to gain the full benefit of the exercise.

FAQs

Where are the triceps?

Even though they’re a bit difficult to see because of their location, the triceps make up about two-thirds of your arm. You’ll find them on the back side of your arms, right above your elbows.

The triceps consist of three distinct parts: the lateral head, the long head, and the medial head. Because of the position of the muscle, with two portions running down the arm, bodybuilders train hard for coveted “horseshoe triceps”.

How often should I work out my triceps?

Allowing about 48 hours of recovery between tricep workouts is usually enough time to promote muscle growth and ensure you don’t overexert. This means you can safely work out your triceps 2 to 3 times per week.

Of course, many people exercise their arms more frequently than this. You can do so, too, just shorten your routines to make up for the increased frequency.

How do I relieve sore triceps?

Sore muscles often come along with weightlifting and strength training, especially if you’re a beginner. However, it’s important that you listen to your body and keep from overexerting yourself. Doing so could lead to injury.

If you’re suffering from typical post-workout tenderness, give yourself a break. Skip the tricep workouts for a day or two, but be sure to continue stretching to help with recovery and maintain your range of motion.

If you’re in pain, you should practice the R.I.C.E protocol: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Resting will give your muscles time to heal, while ice, compression, and elevation will help minimize swelling. If you’re still in pain after a couple of days or otherwise believe you’re suffering from an injury, consult your doctor.

rest, ice, compression, and elevation

Wrapping Up

Our list of the best triceps exercises can help you achieve those horseshoe triceps you’ve been dreaming of. Whether you’re a beginner or working hard for bigger gains, these workouts are sure to transform your upper arms.

Want to take your strength training out of the gym and into your home? Check out our buying guides for help finding the best tricep bars and best tricep ropes to outfit your exercise space.


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission from the vendor at no extra cost to you. These business relationships allow us to keep bringing you great EatMoveHack content. All opinions remain our own.

Strength training is important for everyone, but women in particular often ignore it. What you may not realize is that free weight exercises can help you lose weight just like cardio, all while giving you a sleeker, more toned appearance. Resistance training can also improve your cardiovascular health and reduce stress, long after your workout is over.

8 Best Strength Exercises with Weights for Women

If you’ve been considering a strength training workout, check out our suggestions below. We’ve put together some of the best free weight exercises for women for blasting body fat and strengthening core muscles. These exercises are all suitable for beginners, and when you’re ready to increase the intensity, all you have to do is select heavier weights and complete more reps.

1. Seated Shoulder Press

seated shoulder press

The seated shoulder press targets your shoulders, tricep muscle group, and upper back

How to do seated shoulder presses

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and sit on a flat bench.
  • Raise the dumbbells to shoulder height so that they’re on either side of your head, and rotate your wrists so that your palms are facing forward.
  • Push the dumbbells upward until your arms are fully extended.
  • Hold the position for a beat, and then return to the starting position.

2. Single Arm Row

single arm row

Activating multiple muscle groups, the single arm row targets your shoulders, bicep muscles, upper back, and lower back

How to do single arm rows

  • Grab a dumbbell in your left hand, and place your right hand and right knee on a flat bench.
  • Ensure your right arm is fully extended to support your upper body, your right knee is bent with the rest of the leg lying on the bench, and your left leg is fully extended.
  • Keeping your back straight and tight, lift the dumbbell as high as you can without overextending.
  • Hold the position for a beat, and then slowly lower the dumbbell until your left arm is fully extended.
  • Repeat the exercise for 10 reps, and then switch sides.

3. Split Squat

split squat

One of the easiest lower body workouts, the split squat targets your quads and glutes

How to do split squats

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and stand straight with your shoulders pulled back.
  • Take a step back with your left leg, and slowly bend it until your heel is off the floor.
  • Bend your left leg slightly until your foot is flat on the floor.
  • Keeping your left foot flat on the floor, slowly bend your right knee and lower yourself until your right knee makes contact with the ground.
  • Hold the position for a beat, and then lift back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat this exercise for 10 reps, and then switch sides.

4. Dumbbell Chest Press

Dumbbell Chest Press

The dumbbell chest press targets and builds muscle mass in your chest, tricep muscles, and shoulders

How to do dumbbell chest presses

  • Hold two dumbbells, and lie back on a flat bench.
  • Keeping your feet flat on the ground, dig your shoulders into the bench and arch your back.
  • Bring the dumbbells up, keeping them over your chest rather than your shoulders.
  • Push the dumbbells up over your body until your arms are fully extended.
  • Hold the position for a beat, and then slowly lower the dumbbells until they are on either side of your chest.
  • Hold the position again for a beat, and then repeat.

5. Seated Bicep Curl

Seated Bicep Curl

Easy to incorporate into any workout routine, the seated bicep curl targets both your upper and lower arm

How to do seated bicep curls

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and sit on a bench with your feet flat on the ground, your back slightly arched, and your arms straight down.
  • Lift your left arm and curl the dumbbell upward until it almost touches your left shoulder.
  • Hold the position for a beat, and return to the starting position by lowering the dumbbell until your left arm is fully extended.
  • Repeat the exercise for 10 reps, and then switch arms. You may also alternate arms instead.

6. Hip Thrust

hip thrust exercise

Concentrating on the lower body, the hip thrust targets your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and hips

How to do hip thrusts

  • Roll a barbel until it’s sitting parallel to a flat bench.
  • Sit on the floor perpendicular to the bench so that your shoulders touch the bench and the barbel is in front of you.
  • Stretch your legs in front of your, and roll the barbel onto your lap over your hips.
  • Spread your feet shoulder width apart, and then bend your knees to bring your legs in.
  • Planting your feet on the ground and your shoulders on the bench, push your hips up until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees.
  • Squeeze your glutes and hold the position for a beat, and then while keeping your upper body straight, lower yourself until your butt touches the floor.
  • Immediately thrust back up to repeat the exercise.

7. Step Up

step up exercise

Doing step ups targets your quads, hamstrings, and glutes

How to do step ups

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and stand in front of a flat bench, plyo box, or other platform. If you’re a beginner, you can start with an aerobic step and your own body weight, and then work your way up to a taller platform and dumbbells.
  • With your arms straight at your sides, lift your right foot onto the platform. This is the starting position.
  • Planting your right foot, push yourself up onto the platform.
  • Lower your left foot back to the ground, and then immediately push yourself back onto the platform.
  • Repeat the exercise for 10 reps with the same leg on the platform, and then switch legs.

8. Plank Row

plank row

More intense than most dumbbell exercises, plank rows target your arms, shoulders, lower back, and upper back

How to do plank rows

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and go into a plank position with your legs straight back with your weight supported on your toes and each arm straight and fully extended.
  • Keeping your body in a straight line from shoulders to feet, lift the dumbbell in your left hand until it’s at your side.
  • Lower your left hand, and switch to your right hand to repeat the same move.

The Benefits of Strength Training for Women

A lot of women shy away from weight training because they fear that they’ll become bulky. We’re here to tell you that absolutely won’t happen — unless you want it to! While you’ll certainly build muscle mass by lifting weights, it takes a lot of dedicated, targeted work to bulk up. So while you won’t immediately become a bodybuilder with our strength training exercises for women, you’ll enjoy an array of other exciting benefits.

Build Lean Muscle Mass for a Toned Body

If you’re aiming for a sleek body, weight training is just as important as counting calories and cardio. Lean muscle gives your body definition and shows off all your hard work.

Burn Fat to Lose Weight

You’ve probably heard that muscle burns more calories than fat, and that’s absolutely true. Because muscles are active, it takes more fuel to maintain them. That means a fit, toned body will burn more calories, even when you’re doing nothing at all.

Better Heart Health

Studies show that engaging in strength training can reduce your chances of a heart attack or stroke by up to 70%. This is partly because lean muscle require more blood flow. The more muscle you have, the more blood your heart can pump out, leading to less stress on your arteries.

Less Stress and Improved Mood

Physical exercise causes your body to release endorphins, chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Strength training, in particular, has the added benefit of making you stronger, which in turn can also make you feel more confident and in control.

How to Warm Up for Strength Exercises with Weights

Warming up before weight training is a great way to loosen your muscles and prevent injury.

To start, do some gentle stretching. Be sure to stretch every muscle that you plan to engage during your strength training exercises.

From there, move on to heavier stretching and warming up by completing a few reps of the free weight exercises you’ll be doing — sans the free weights. For example, do some split squats without dumbbells to activate your quads and glutes and some hip thrusts without a barbel to ready your hamstrings and hips.

Choosing the Right Weights for Strength Training

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how heavy your weights should be for these weight workouts for women. Instead, you’ll need to consider your fitness level and what you intend to get our of your workout.

When selecting weights for each of your strength training exercises, you should make that you can lift the weight, maintain correct form, and complete all of your reps. If you’re working out to build muscle, you’ll want to ensure that your chosen weight also challenges you but doesn’t overwhelm you.

FAQs

How often should women practice weight training?

If you’re new to strength training, you’ll want to take things slow so as not to cause injury or excessive soreness. Once you’ve built up some strength and stamina, aim for three days of weight training per week.

What kind of equipment do I need for strength training?

To complete the strength training for women exercises above, you only need a flat bench, a set of dumbbells, a barbel, and a plyo box. As you progress and become more confident in lifting weights, you may want to expand your collection with more weights or even take a look at weight machines.

Are strength training exercises for women safe during pregnancy?

Yes, it is generally safe to practice strength training while you’re pregnant. We actually encourage it because building muscle will support your changing body. However, you should always check in with your doctor to make sure that exercise is safe for your particular situation.

Wrapping Up

Strength training workouts offer a ton of benefits, and it’s so easy to get started. If you’re a beginner, you can invest in minimal equipment and start out with our dumbbell exercises. As you build strength and confidence, you can expand your equipment to include other free weights like barbels and maybe even a weight machine.

Ready to upgrade your workout routine right now? Check out our best home gyms buying guide for advice and our top recommendations.


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission from the vendor at no extra cost to you. These business relationships allow us to keep bringing you great EatMoveHack content. All opinions remain our own.

It can be argued that strong quads are the basis of a strong body. In addition to being some of the largest muscles in your body, your quads also stabilize your knees so you can power through chores and workouts alike without injuring yourself.

If you’re ready to strengthen your lower body, check out the quad-focused exercises below. These are some of the most effective routines you can perform to target these specific muscles. Depending on your reps and resistance, you can use these exercises to build muscle, boost endurance, and improve strength — or all of the above.

8 Best Quad Exercises to Strengthen Your Legs

1. Bodyweight Squat

Basic lower-body exercise that requires no equipment and is perfect for beginners

bodyweight squat

How to do bodyweight squats

  • Stand straight with your feet should width apart, and cross your arms in front of your chest for balance.
  • Dip into a deep squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  • Using controlled movements, power back into a standing position.

2. Front Squat

Another basic squat variation with a bit of added resistance for greater intensity

front squat to strengthen quads

How to do front squats

  • Pick up a weight bar, and stand straight up with feet shoulder width apart.
  • Lift your arms to bring the weight bar up against your shoulders.
  • Move your hands until they’re just outside your shoulders, and hold the weight bar with a fingertip grip.
  • Keeping your elbows high to keep the weight bar in place, perform a deep squat, bringing your hips below your knees.
  • Hold for a beat, and then power up to the starting position.

3. Bulgarian Split Squat

The Bulgarian split squat works your quads, calves, glutes, hamstrings, and core muscles

Bulgarian Split Squat to Strengthen quads

How to do Bulgarian split squats

  • Stand with your back facing an exercise bench.
  • Lift your left leg back to rest your upper foot on the flat surface. Keep your right leg straight.
  • Hold your arms in front of your chest for balance, and then dip into a lunge, stopping before your knee touches the ground.
  • Hold the move for a beat, and then raise yourself back up, pushing up with your heel.
  • Complete a set, and then switch to having your right foot on the bench.

4. Barbell Squat

Great exercise for working your quads and posterior-chain muscles

barbell squat to strengthen quads

How to do barbell squats

  • Stand in front of a barbell rack dipping station, and wrap your hands around the barbell bar at about shoulder width apart.
  • Dip under the barbell, and let the bar rest across your shoulders.
  • Lift the barbell off the rack, and make sure to keep your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Keeping your back straight and your core engaged, dip into a squat position.
  • As you reach the bottom of the squat, power upward back to the starting position.

5. Modified Reverse Lunge

Taking a smaller step back allows you to work both your quads and hamstrings

Modified Reverse Lunge

How to do modified reverse lunges

  • Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart, and hold your arms in front of your chest for balance.
  • Take a small step back with your left foot, and continue the movement into a deep lunge, stopping before your knee joint touches the ground.
  • Power back up to the starting position, and then repeat the move with your right foot.

6. Squat Jump

These simple jumps target your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and hips

squat jump

How to do squat jumps

  • Stand straight up with your feet shoulder width apart and arms at your sides.
  • Lower yourself into a squat, bringing yours arms straight in front of you to help with balance.
  • When you reach the bottom of the squat, push with your heels and jump upward as high as you can.
  • When you land, continue back down into the squat position to restart the move.

7. Single Leg Squat

A bodyweight squat variation that’s a bit more challenging

single leg squat to strengthen quads

How to do single leg squats

  • Stand straight up with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Keeping your left leg straight, lift your right foot up about 6 to 8 inches from the ground, with your toes pointing up.
  • Lift your arms directly in front of you for balance, and then bend your hip joint to go into a squat.
  • Hold for a beat, and then power back up into the starting position.
  • As you become comfortable with the move, dip into lower squats for a greater challenge.
  • After completing your set, lower your right foot, and raise your left foot to work your other leg.

8. Leg Extension

Targeted lower body exercise specifically for the quads

leg extension

How to do leg extensions

  • Prepare a leg extension machine by adjusting the backrest, leg pad, and weight stack.
  • Sit down on the machine, with torso upright and back firmly against the backrest, and grip the handles.
  • With controlled movements, extend your legs up and hold for a beat. To prevent injury, don’t aim for legs straight; instead, leave a slight bend to your knees.
  • Lower your legs until the weights on the stack almost touch, and then immediately repeat the exercise.

What are the Quad Muscles?

As the name suggests, the quadriceps muscles are made up of four muscles: the rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, and vastus intermedius.

These muscles make up most of your thighs, extending from your hips to your knees on the front and sides of your legs, and are responsible for stabilizing your hips and allowing for forward propulsion as you walk.

The Benefits of Having Strong Quads

One of the biggest benefits of quad training is that it will help you build up bulk in your upper legs. Strong legs better support your hips and knees so you can get around easier and reduce your risk of injury.

As an added benefit, having more muscle also helps you burn more calories, even when you’re not actively exercising.

If you like the idea of power lifting, it’s important to strengthen the muscles in your legs as they have a direct correlation to your overall performance. The stronger your legs, the more strength you’ll have for your other workout training.

Getting the Most Out of Your Quad Exercises

Use the following tips alongside the quad-focused exercises above to see the best results from your workout sessions.

Vary Your Sets to Build Strength, Bulk, and Endurance

Deciding how many reps and sets of quad exercises you should do during each workout depends on what you’re trying to achieve:

  • Gain strength: 3 to 6 reps per set
  • Add muscle: 8 to 12 reps per set
  • Build endurance: 15 to 20 reps per set

If you’re trying to achieve all three goals, vary your routine with each workout. For example, set aside one day to work on strength training, and then concentrate on muscle building during your next workout.

Defeating Plateaus

Should you find yourself hitting a plateau, try a process called overloading. At your next workout, pick a barbell or weight exercise and add one rep to each set.

After doing this for a couple of weeks, return to your original number of reps, but increase your weight by 10 pounds.

Do Your Harder Quad Exercises First

Many of the best quad exercises are compound exercises that target multiple muscles throughout your legs, hips, and core. These types of movements ask a lot of your body, so you’ll want to ensure you practice proper form to prevent injuring yourself.

As such, perform these exercises at the beginning of your workout routine, when you have lots of energy. As you become fatigued, you can shift to exercises that aren’t as challenging.

Split Up Exercises as Needed to Maintain Performance

If you’re aiming for muscle growth, you need to make sure that you don’t overwhelm your workouts by trying to fit in too many quad exercises.

If you find yourself slowing down, unable to make your reps, other otherwise lacking in performance, it’s time to split up your leg exercises over several days.

Warming Up for Quad Exercises

Warming up before exercise is an important part of the process. It prime those muscles you’ll be targeting so they’ll be more responsive to your efforts.

To start, stretch thoroughly to increase your range of movement. When it comes to squats, especially, you need that range of motion to get into those deep squats that will produce the best results.

From there, concentrate on specific muscles. Perform exercises that require weights, but do them without the load to get pumped up. Increase the intensity of your warm up until you’re ready to complete your full sets.

quad muscles

FAQs

Do I need equipment to work out my quads?

There are lots of quad exercises, and while many require a weight bar, barbell, dumbbells, and other weight equipment, there are also many that don’t require any equipment at all.

The bodyweight squat is an excellent example of an effective exercise that doesn’t require any equipment. It uses your own weight for resistance. If you want more of a challenge, you can do single leg work, carrying the entire load of your weight on one leg at a time to essentially double your resistance.

Can I strengthen my quads without bulking up?

Exercising your quads doesn’t have to lead to huge muscles, though it certainly can if you want it to.

The key to gaining strength without building bulk is to limit reps. Aim for just 3 to 6 reps per set, and you’ll strengthen and tone your quads for a sleek look.

How often should I exercise my quads?

As a general recommendation, you should work out your quads three times a week. Limit your exercise to 20 minutes per session, and allow at least one rest day between workouts.

If you’re aiming to build muscle, you can increase your workouts to four times per week, but don’t go over this as these large muscles need adequate rest so you don’t get hurt.

Are lunges and squats the same thing?

Lunges and squats are similar exercises; a starting lunge position and a starting squat position can look exactly the same. But there is one key difference: Lunges are a motion exercise, taking you forward, backward, or side to side. A split squat, on the other hand, is a static exercise — the only movement is the up and down as you dip into the squat.

Wrapping Up

Strong quads play a big role in improving your fitness and overall health. They stabilize your knees and lower body for all kinds of activities, from walking to power lifting, to keep you moving forward.

The quad exercises above are some of the best for strengthening your lower body and will help you add muscle, build endurance, and gain strength, depending on how you perform them.

Looking to fill out your upper body too? Check out our best triceps exercises for ways to strengthen and sculpt your arms.


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission from the vendor at no extra cost to you. These business relationships allow us to keep bringing you great EatMoveHack content. All opinions remain our own.

Because you’ll count on a hybrid bike to comfortably take you over various types of terrain, you need to make a smart purchasing decision. Choose the wrong bike, and you’ll pay for it in discomfort and possibly injury.

But who has the time or money to test ride dozens of bikes to find the right one? We’ve taken on the chore for you and developed this list of the best hybrid bikes.

After extensive testing, we found that the Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike is best for general use — whether you need a commuter bike, fitness bike, or mountain bike, this model is a solid choice. Learn more about this option and the others on our list to find the best hybrid bike for your specific needs.

It’s one bike that can do it all and do it well

Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women, 21-Speed, 28-inch Wheels, 18-inch/Medium Frame, Black

This Discover series hybrid bike from Schwinn is a smart choice for commuting, fitness, and fun. It handles trails and grass just as well as asphalt and sidewalks, so it will go wherever you’re heading.

The hybrid bike features an alloy frame that feels quite sturdy, but it is also a bit heavy at 40 pounds. The step-over frame measures 18 inches, so it’s ideal for men and women standing 5’8″ to 6’3″, but it will also work for riders just outside these parameters. However, if you’re shorter than 5’3″, you may be able to climb up on the bike, but balancing reach isn’t great.

As far as the ride, we found it to be nice and smooth. The hybrid bike has a suspension seat post that does a great job of minimizing the effects of bumpy travel. A large, saddle-style seat is sufficiently comfortable, even on longer rides.

The Schwinn Discover has 21 speed shifters that make it easy to tackle any terrain. I would have liked to see disc brakes on this bike, but its rim brakes functioned very well and are easy to maintain. The bike’s four-finger brake levers allow for ultimate control, while ergonomic handle grips help the stave off fatigue.

I really like how versatile this hybrid bike is — you really can take it nearly anywhere. For trips to the store, you have a rear rack for transporting grocery bags or small packages. For wet surfaces, splash guards above the tires keep you dry and clean.

If I had to name a negative about this bike, it would be the assembly process. The instructions are lacking, so if you’re not the handy type, you could easily spend a few hours putting it together. It took me about an hour, and I consider myself pretty handy.

What I Liked

  • 21 speeds to handle all types of terrain with no issues
  • Suspension seat post minimizes the jarring of bumps
  • Rim brakes with four-finger levers often lots of stopping power

What I Didn’t Like

  • Not suited for riders who are 5’7″ or shorter
  • Assembly is a bit complicated due to poor instructions

Smaller aluminium frame for a more comfortable ride

sixthreezero EVRYjourney Women's 3-Speed

If you’re shorter in height, it can sometimes be tricky to find a hybrid bicycle that’s comfortable. The EVRYjourney from sixthreezero solves that problem.

Designed for women who measure 5′ to 6′ in height, this hybrid bike features a 14-inch, aluminum, step-through frame. It’s easy to climb on and ergonomically styled for an upright riding position. There’s no hunching here, so your back and shoulders won’t suffer.

We tested this bike on several kinds of terrain. We took rides on the local park’s trails, on the asphalt around the neighborhood, and on the packed sand by the beach. The bike handled each nicely thanks to its Shimano hub and three speeds.

One thing we couldn’t ignore is that three speeds is lacking when compared to other options on this list of the best hybrid bikes, with most bikes offering 20+. This means this bike is great for relatively flat terrain, but it does make you work for climbing, and we didn’t even try uneven, off-road terrain that would normally require a mountain bike.

This said, we can’t complain about comfort when riding this hybrid bike. Its semi-slick tires offered excellent traction, and the dual-spring seat cushioned us from bumps and drops. We also liked that the seat was made from a high-density, supportive foam that kept longer treks pleasant.

In terms of looks, this bike has a beach-cruiser style and comes in several attractive colors. It has fenders to keep dirt and water off of you, and while it doesn’t come with a basket, it does have space for one. It also has a pannier rack mounts in the rear.

What I Liked

  • Rear rack has room for carrying cargo
  • Ergonomically styled for an upright riding position with no hunching over
  • Dual-spring seat with foam cushioning for comfortable ride quality

What I Didn’t Like

  • Only offers three speeds, so rough surfaces are difficult to navigate
  • May require some adjustment of pre-assembled parts

Easy handling makes it a great road or commuter bike

Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike

This hybrid road bike from Vilano is for riders who prefer to stick with pavement and trails. It handles these surfaces with incredible ease, making it a great commuter bike or fitness bike. Mountain bike is definitely not a good descriptor as taking it off-road will probably leave you sore.

Speaking of soreness, do yourself a favor and change out the seat before going for a ride. The adjustable seat post will help with clearance, but the factory seat itself is hard and uncomfortable.

The bike has a 22.5-inch step-over frame; it’s larger than the other options on this list of the best hybrid bikes, so take care to measure your inseam before making your purchase. If you are shorter than 5’7″, you will likely not be able to comfortably extend your legs, much less stand with your feet on the ground.

This hybrid road bike offers an aluminum frame that weigh about 25 pounds assembled. The lightweight frame definitely contributes to its speediness and responsiveness.

You’ll find this bike has flat handlebars for riding in a more upright position. Again, so long as you’re sticking to trails and pavement (and not aiming for lots of speed), you’ll find this incredibly comfortable.

This is not to say that this bike isn’t zippy, because it is, and it’s got powerful, all-weather disc brakes to keep you in control. We’ve tested this bike in dry and wet weather, and the brakes handled both very nicely.

Our only major annoyance with this bike is that it requires a trip to a local bike shop for professional tuning after assembly. This in an inconvenience, but it’s one that we urge you to undertake because the increased performance after a tune-up is like night and day.

What I Liked

  • Fast assembly takes an hour or less
  • Incredible stopping power thanks to disc brakes
  • Lightweight frame is perfect for commuting or leisure riding

What I Didn’t Like

  • Needs to be professionally tuned for best performance
  • Many may find the included seat to be uncomfortable

Pre-assembled hybrid bike gets you on the road quickly

Royce Union 700c RMY Womens 21-Speed Hybrid Bike

Royce Union is a bicycle company that has been around for over 115 years. Today, it’s owned by Huffy and offers a range of road and mountain bikes, as well as its RMY hybrid.

With a 17-inch step-through frame, this hybrid bike is marketed as a women’s model, but it’s appropriate for either gender so long as you take note of the your height. For those too tall for this bike, a common complaint is that the handlebar and pedal positions are awkward.

This bike is constructed with an aluminum frame, but it weighs a lot more than you’d probably expected. Pushing 40 pounds, it can be cumbersome to handle if you need to strap it to bike racks or carry it for transport or storage.

But once you get it out on the road, this bike is actually quite nice. Its seat and handle pads are just okay, and you’ll probably want to upgrade them eventually, but the front suspension fork, 21-gear drivetrain, and Shimano Tourney rear derailleur make easy work of most smooth terrain, including hills.

To save time, the bike come pre-assembled. However, getting the job done will take a bit of bike-building experience because the included instructions are very bad. Also note that you may have to do some slight adjustment to the already-assembled parts because they may be loose or off-center.

What I Liked

  • Arrives 90% assembled to get you on the road sooner
  • 15-inch frame can accommodate riders of varying sizes
  • Easy shifting with a 21-speed Shimano drivetrain and Shimano Tourney rear derailleur

What I Didn’t Like

  • You’ll have to buy a kickstand separately
  • Bike’s heavy weight might be cumbersome

Affordable bike with 24 gears and mechanical disc brakes

Hiland Road Bike Hybrid

We like the affordability of this Hiland hybrid road bike. It’s not as pricey as other options in this category, but it still offers excellent quality and workmanship.

If you’ve built a bike before, you won’t have any trouble with this one. It comes mostly assembled out of the box, and it could take as little as 15 minutes to get on the road.

While testing this bike, we noticed that the front brakes were rubbing. It was easy enough to make adjustments to fix the problem, but we would have preferred better quality control to avoid the issue in the first place.

Aside from that, we were pleased with the ride quality. It was very smooth as we took it for several 10-mile treks over asphalt, grass, and sandy gravel. For this reason, we think it’s one of the best hybrid bikes for commuting, running errands, and general city riding.

We were especially impressed with the 24-gear drivetrain. It got us up and down hills with no issues, and the mechanical disc brakes were very reliable after our previous adjustments.

What I Liked

  • Offers a fair compromise on affordability and craftsmanship
  • Pre-assembled hybrid bike only needs about 30 minutes to finish
  • 24 gears lets you take the bike over all kinds of terrain

What I Didn’t Like

  • Brakes needed immediately adjustment to correct rubbing
  • Factory seat isn’t comfortable and should be replaced

What We Looked For in the Best Hybrid Bikes

Seeing as it’s an increasing popular product category, new hybrid bikes are constantly popping up. It can be difficult to distinguish a quality product from one that offers a miserable ride.

Beyond quality and features, we looked for hybrid bikes that also fit the following criteria to ensure you end up with a bike that will keep you happy:

  • Ease of use – Hybrid bikes are meant to pull double or triple duty: The best hybrid bikes can easily tackle pavement, dirt, grass, and rough surfaces so that you can get from one place to the other, no matter what lies in between.
  • Comfort – We looked for hybrid bikes in a wide range of sizes to accommodate riders of differing heights. Whether you’re petite, tall, or right in the middle, we’ve found bikes that will keep you safe and comfortable as you pedal.
  • Customer support – A hybrid bike is a considerable investment, so we looked for reliable brands that you can trust. All of our recommended bikes have easily accessible customer service departments so you can get quick help if you need it.

How to Choose the Right Hybrid Bike

Of all the hybrid bikes we reviewed, we liked the Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike the best. It’s a quality product that’s suitable for all kinds of riders and riding circumstances.

Is the Schwinn right for you? Consider the following factors to make sure this bike (or one of our other suggestions) will fit your needs.

Budget

Hybrid bikes are more expensive that the general-use bikes you may find at a big-box store. That’s because these bikes are designed to withstand the rigors of various kinds of terrain.

Mountain bikes aren’t great for riding on pavement, and road bikes will be painful to ride over rocks and roots, but the best hybrid bikes can handle both and more.

Considering how you’ll use your hybrid bike and how often can help you set an appropriate budget. For example, if your bike is meant to replace a car for commuting to work or shopping, you may want to spend more to ensure you purchase a reliable bike that won’t let you down.

Size

Hybrid bikes are available in many different sizes to accommodate riders of varying heights. If you choose a bike that’s too small, you’ll have to deal with awkward limbs and not being able to fully extend your legs while pedaling. Purchasing a bike that’s too big could lead to fatigue and injury as you strain to grasp the handlebars or pedal.

The best way to determine the right size hybrid bike is to use a bike manufacturer’s sizing guide. Not all sizing is standard, so don’t assume you’ll need an XXL bike just because you’re tall.

Assembly

As you read our best hybrid bike reviews, you may notice a common theme: Assembly isn’t always easy. If you don’t have experience assembling a bike, you might really struggle with getting yours put together. This could result in many hours of frustration or a bill from your local bike shop when you take it to them to put together instead.

Spending more for professional assembly may be unavoidable, but it is something you should be aware of as you navigate the purchasing process.

Features

Hybrid bikes offer many of the same features that you’ll find with fitness bikes, road bikes, and other options. Carefully considering how you’ll use your bike will help you decide which features are most important to you.

A common choice you’ll need to make when choosing a hybrid bike is whether to go with rim brakes or disc brakes. The former are common on many bike styles and offer good performance, but you may feel more comfortable with the increased power and reliability of disc brakes.

Bike construction is another feature you may need to consider. Hybrid bikes with aluminum frames are sturdy and lightweight. Those with a steel frame will be even stronger and will last longer, but they do come at the cost of increased weight.

Wrapping Up

Making the jump from commuter bikes or mountain bikes to hybrid bikes can be an exciting proposition — now you can tackle all kinds of terrain with a single piece of equipment!

Of all the bikes we’ve reviewed, we consider the Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike to be among the best hybrid bikes. Finding a bike that can truly tackle rough, bumpy terrain as easily as hard asphalt can be tricky, but this Schwinn model does it and does it quite affordably.

Even though most hybrid bikes can tackle wet conditions with ease, we understand that you might not always want to ride in the rain. Keep up your exercise routine from the comfort of your living room with the best exercise bikes for losing weight — our guide will help you pick the right one.


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission from the vendor at no extra cost to you. These business relationships allow us to keep bringing you great EatMoveHack content. All opinions remain our own.

Maintaining mobility as you age is essential for keeping up with your daily activities, including dressing, driving, and cooking, as well as fun stuff like engaging with kids and taking a pet for a walk.

Check out the following strengthening and stretching exercises for older people for easy ways to improve balance, flexibility, and overall mobility. Many are beginner friendly, and none require any special equipment.

best mobility exercises for seniors

Before You Begin with Senior Mobility Exercises

Before trying out our best mobility exercises for seniors or any other fitness routine, it’s very important that you warm up. Warming up will prepare your cardiovascular system for exertion and bring extra oxygen to muscles so that they move more freely and don’t hurt as much after exercise.

Good ways to warm up include taking a brief walk and mimicking the moves you’ll be performing while exercising.

The Best Mobility Exercises for Older Adults

1. Bird Dog Exercise

An effective trunk mobility exercise that can help you improve balance and reduce lower back pains

How to do the bird dog exercise

  • Get on your hands and knees on an exercise mat or other soft surface.
  • Extend one leg backwards, lifting it parallel to the floor.
  • Extend the opposite arm up, lifting it parallel to the floor.
  • Concentrate on maintaining a straight line from your foot to your hand, holding the move for 5 seconds before returning to the starting position.
  • Switch sides, lift the other leg and arm, and repeat the exercise.

2. Cactus Arms

The cactus arms exercise is a beginner-friendly pose that helps stretch and strengthen the shoulders

How to do the cactus arms exercise

  • Stand straight with your arms at your sides and feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Raise your arms and bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
  • Extend your arms outwards so that your biceps are on either side of your head with your hands facing forward.
  • Hold the pose for a few seconds, and then raise your hands higher until your arms are fully extended upward.
  • Hold the pose again for a few seconds, and then return to the starting position.

3. Clam Pose

Similar to cactus arms, the upper body clam pose is one of the best shoulder stretches for seniors

How to do the clam pose

  • Sit on a chair, bench, or stool with feet flat on the floor.
  • Raise your arms and bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
  • Extend your arms outwards so that your biceps are on either side of your head with your hands facing forward.
  • Bring your arms inward until your forearms are touching in front of your face.
  • Return to the starting position, making sure to squeeze your shoulder blades.
  • For an added challenge and to build shoulder strength, hold small barbells while performing this exercise.

4. Lower Back Rotation

A range of motion exercise for seniors that increases flexibility and reduces stiffness

How to do the lower back rotation

  • Sit on a chair, bench, or stool with feet flat on the floor.
  • Twist your upper body to the left until you meet resistance in your shoulder and back.
  • Hold the pose for several seconds before returning to the starting position.
  • Repeat the exercise in the opposite direction.

5. Neck Rotation

Neck stretches such as the neck rotation help you maintain range of motion through the upper back and neck

How to do neck rotations

  • Sit on a chair, bench, or stool with feet flat on the floor and your face facing forward.
  • Slowly rotate your head to the left until it’s just past your shoulder, or as far as you can turn it.
  • Hold the position for several seconds, and then returning to the original position.
  • Repeat the exercise on the opposite side.

6. Quad Stretch

The quad stretch exercise targets the front of the legs to improve mobility

How to do the quad stretch

  • Sit on a chair or bench that has no arms.
  • Scoot across the seat until only one leg remains over the seat.
  • Lower your free leg until your knee meets the floor.
  • Using the chair or bench for support, lean back slightly until you feel the stretch in your front thigh muscles.
  • Hold the position for up to 30 seconds, and then return to the original position.
  • Repeat the exercise by switching sides to work the other leg.

7. Seated Ab Press

A move that anyone can perform, the seated ab press strengthens your core and improves posture

How to do the seated ab press

  • Sit on a chair, bench, or stool with feet flat on the floor and your face facing forward.
  • Put your hands on your and lock your elbows in place.
  • Press your hands into your knees until you feel your abdominal muscles engaging.
  • Hold the position for several seconds and then relax.

8. Side Bend

A mobility exercise for the elderly that improves core strength and stretches your abs, hip flexors, and thighs

How to do the side bend

  • Stand straight with your arms at your sides and feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your waist towards the left, allowing your left hand to travel down your thigh to your knee.
  • Hold the position for several seconds, and then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the workout moving in the opposite direction.

9. Side Bend with Overhead Reach

For an added challenge, this exercise for the elderly with limited mobility incorporate the arms

How to do the side bend with overhead reach

  • Stand straight with your arms at your sides and feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Raise both arms directly overhead with your fingers pointed upward.
  • Slowly bend your waist towards the left, all while keeping your arms extended upward.
  • Hold the position for 15 seconds, and then return to a standing position.
  • Repeat the exercise on the opposite side.

10. Side-to-Side Squat

A more advanced exercise to improve mobility for seniors, the side-to-side squat focuses on maintaining healthy joints

How to do the side-to-side squat

  • Stand upright with your legs spread comfortably apart.
  • Bring your arms up in front of you, interlocking your fingers, and bend your knees slightly.
  • Lean forward, and then moving slowly to maintain control, shift your weight to your left leg, extending your right leg until it’s straight.
  • Hold the position for just a second, and then immediately shift your weight to your right leg, extending your left leg until it’s straight.
  • Repeat the motions for several reps before returning to an upright position.

11. Single-Leg Stand

Practicing a single-leg stand improves balance and coordination while strengthening your leg muscles

How to do the single-leg stand

  • Stand behind a chair in case you need support to do this exercise.
  • Stand with feet close together and your arms at your side.
  • Bend your left knee to bring your left leg up.
  • Stand on one foot with your other knee bent for up to 30 seconds.
  • Lower your leg, and repeat the workout with your opposite leg.

12. Sit-Down Squat

Also known as chair squats, this exercise to improve mobility and balance will also strengthen your core and legs

How to do the sit-down squat

  • Sit on a chair, bench, or stool with feet flat on the floor and your face facing forward.
  • Cross your arms in front of your body, resting your hands on opposite shoulder blades.
  • Lock your knees and slowly raise yourself from the chair until you are in a standing position.
  • Take a breath, and reverse the position to return to a seated position.

The Benefits of Elderly Mobility Exercises

The benefits of mobility and range of motion exercises for seniors cannot be overstated. Keeping active keeps the elderly health in many different ways.

old people exercising

Better Mental Health

Being able to get up and move when you please plays a huge role in support good mental health — in this case, freedom equals happiness. Working out can also improve your mood and help you relieve tension and manage stress.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Stretching and light aerobic exercise helps you maintain a stronger heart without too much strain. It also improves circulation, which can help with maintaining good blood pressure and heart rate.

Increased Weight Control

There is a strong correlation between decreased mobility and obesity. While physical activity alone won’t cause you to drop pounds, exercise can decrease inflammation and help burn fat.

Stronger Social Ties

When you have the ability to get up and move, you’re more likely to maintain active relationships with friends and loved ones. Being able to get out of bed, get dressed, and drive can be what separates you from a senior who stays isolated.

Resistance to Injury

Range of motion exercises for the elderly allow you to maintain balance and flexibility. When you feel steadier and stronger on your feet, you’re less prone to accidents, such as falls. Stronger muscles can also help you recover faster should you injure yourself.

FAQs

How can the elderly improve mobility?

Becoming active is one of the best ways to improve mobility. Physical activity keeps your muscles strong and your joints flexible so that walking, climbing, and other day-to-day activities go a little easier.

How to get the elderly walking again?

The first step to improving mobility is to take things slowly. Moving too quickly can easily lead to falls and other injuries. Start with stretches for older people to improve flexibility. From there, perform strength training that focuses on the core and legs to support the body in movement.

Where should I do these mobility and stretching exercises?

One of the best things about these full body mobility exercises is that you can do them nearly anywhere. Many only require a chair, while others need no equipment at all.

How do I start a full-body mobility routine?

Consider your mobility shortfalls to decide which workouts you should concentrate on. For example, if you’re suffering from poor range of motion in your shoulders, look for stretches and strength training that target these particular muscles.

What are the best mobility exercises for beginners?

Most of the mobilization exercises we describe above are suitable for beginners. They don’t require any special equipment or skills, so you can perform them anywhere and anytime. If you’re just starting a mobility program, it’s best to start with stretching exercises. From there, look for workouts that will assist with your daily activities. For example, exercises to help put socks on or reach overhead will help keep you independent.

Wrapping Up

Practice the above exercises to increase mobility, and you’ll be well on your way to better balance, increased flexibility, and better overall health.

If you’re looking for more ways to stay active in your golden years, we can help! Check out our recumbent exercise bike buying guide for advice on choosing the right piece of equipment.