The 5 Best Exercises for Women (And Everyone Else)

You want to be a strong, healthy woman. You crave the physical, mental and aesthetic benefits of having a lean, agile, muscular body. You’re looking for the power, the self- assurance, the contentment and outright joy that can accompany such well-being.

But your time is limited — how do you make sure the time you’re able to spend is used effectively? Walking by itself will take too long to give you the abs and thighs and arms you’re looking for. How do you best rev things up, and is it different from what a man would need to do? 

As it turns out, the best moves don’t really vary between genders, so you can choose whatever exercises meet your personal goals and needs. That being said, many women do have similar areas they want to concentrate on: core, thighs, buttocks, shoulders.

Here are five exercises that can be easily incorporated into any workout to get your heart, lungs and limbs pumping; little to no equipment required!

People still do these because they’re one of the best at engaging every muscle you have. But they’re especially great for toning your arms and building your overall upper-body strength, if you use the proper form. If possible, support yourself with your hands and feet while keeping your body in a straight line while moving it up and down while keeping your elbows locked. If this is too difficult, try doing it from your knees, where you’re still lifting just over 50% of your weight with your arms. Repeat 15 times or as many as you’re able.

These are essentially reverse push- ups, great for lower-body strength and sculpting your rear while also helping to keep your back strong and dependable. Keep your body straight as you lift your hips off the floor, holding them there for a few seconds before easing them back down. Repeat up to 20 times

Switching back to the upper body for a moment, these are great for your entire upper arm, including the trapezoid muscles that sometimes get left behind. Start in lunge position while holding a light weight in each hand in front of you (graduating to heavier ones over time). Lean over your front knee and lift the opposite arm straight out to the side, then switch sides. Repeat up to 30 times.

Doing these helps ensure you have full range of motion with your ankles, knees and hips and solid lower-body strength. Stand holding a kettlebell or barbell close to your chest, spread your feet out and bend your knees into as deep a squat as you can, then stand back up. Repeat up to 20 times.

High-intensity interval training is the ultimate time-saver for those with a little experience, these can be done with nearly any cardio or bodyweight exercise. A typical approach is to do the movement for 3 minutes at approximately 50% of your top capacity, then 20 seconds at 75% of your maximum effort and then 10 seconds at your absolute maximum capacity.