Karl Henry: The ten most important exercises you will ever learn
Week 1: Military press
Welcome to my new 10-part series on the most important exercises you will ever learn. Each week I will be showing you one new exercise that is crucial to your overall health and that you definitely should add to your regular routine.
Don't worry, I'm not going to give you some crazy elaborate movement that will put your body at risk. Rather I want to recommend an exercise that anyone, of any age, can do to impact your health in a positive way.
These are foundation exercises that will suit the beginner, the intermediate and the advanced fitness fan.
While social media can be fantastic for health and for motivation, the excessive work-outs that are so often recorded and posted tend to put people off starting or even trying to exercise.
Adding weight is great as you get stronger, but swinging a 10kg kettle bell is useless for a beginner starting off and increases the injury risk too.
My goal over the coming weeks is to educate you on the basics, what I feel you need to know to do each one safely and effectively as I have learnt and used with my clients over the last 17 years.
By building the right foundations and learning the movements you will be able to progress on to harder exercises and using more weight too.
You simply adjust the weight you use so that you are struggling for the last two reps of each set.
If you're not struggling at all, it's too easy and if you're struggling at the start it's too difficult, so just find the weight that feels right for you.
Remember, as you get fitter and stronger, you just keep upping the weight so that your body is constantly challenged.
All of the exercises are resistance-based.
Resistance exercise is so crucial for your health, yet so many don't do it. It will deliver great benefits and is so straightforward to do.
It is especially crucial as you get older, as you need to strengthen your muscles to offset the natural effects of ageing.
Try each exercise every week, aim for three sets of 15 reps - it's that simple.
Obviously if you haven't exercised for a long time, it would be a good idea not only to take it slowly at the start but to check with your GP before you begin.
Exercise of the week:
This is one of my favourite shoulder exercises that is so simple to do.
As well as being good for your shoulders, it will also help to improve your posture by ensuring your shoulders are pulled back.
You can use either a set of dumbbells, a barbell or even two water bottles if needs be.
To start off, begin with your feet shoulder width apart, back straight and belly pulled in towards your spine.
1. Begin with the weights at your shoulders.
2. Then extend the arms to the ceiling, returning back down to your shoulders.
Aim for 15 reps and repeat three times. You can add this into your current exercise routine or create a whole new routine with the exercises I will be giving you each week.