Let’s be honest, it can be difficult to look forward to exercising. Some exercises even have the honor of being “hated”. But these most hated exercises can be good for you!
- Burpees – Burpees are likely the most dreaded exercise on the planet. Between making you feel like you’re going to lose your lunch, to feeling like you can’t go on after only a handful of them, burpees have a distinct toughness that even athletes fear. High intensity exercises like burpees improve your cardiovascular function, aerobic fitness, and blood sugar regulation. Vigorous exercise like burpees may decrease your risk of early death according to a recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine.
- Planks – This exercise is easy for the first 10 seconds, but the longer you go, the more excruciating it can get. The mental challenge is extreme. There’s nothing to distract you from the fire in your abs or the shaking of your arms. Planks are going to help protect your spine, help give you better abdominals, and help everything look better, but also keep your spine safe and train your core the way it’s designed to function in performance, sports, and in life.
- Push-ups – When done properly, push-ups are done in a plank position. Growing up, many were told to do push-ups as punishment. This made it one of the most “hated” exercises. But push-ups not only help strengthen you shoulders and chest, it helps strengthen the core.
- Thruster – Anyone familiar with high-intensity programs have come to dislike the thruster. Comprised of a weighted squat, with a thrust of the weight overhead in standing position, it can blast the legs and shoulders at the same time. The repeated movement done with lighter weight can become a great cardio exercise as you will find the heart rate and breathing increasing in no time.
- Running – Running is a love/hate relationship. Some people love it, while others despise it. Running is a great cardiovascular exercise and is a foundational movement everyone. If you hate it, do it in intervals. If you love it, mix it up with hill/trail running to get that extra burn.
- Squats – Squats got bad press for putting extra pressure on the knees. But this is mainly driven by poor form. A properly performed squat will involve almost every muscle in your legs and hips. Strong legs help encourage quality of life as we age and protect us from falls and balance issues. Whether you perform the squat with weight or just bodyweight, it should be part of everyone’s workout.
While you may never love these exercises, understand the significant value the give to your health and well-being. Many of these exercises are designed for short intense bouts, so you know the discomfort will soon be over and you will “love” the results!