Sometimes, it does a body good to go back to the basics -- no fancy equipment required. "The push-up is super effective because it's a full-body compound exercise," explains NYC-based personal trainer Eric Crane. "It uses multiple muscle groups simultaneously, including your arms, chest, back, and core. Additionally, it strengthens your core musculature, so its benefits transfer to all other exercises."
The Turkish get-up (TGU) is a full-body beast of a movement, especially if you're looking to strengthen your core and work on stability and mobility in your hips and shoulders. "The TGU gets you to move in all three planes of motion while utilizing nearly every joint and muscle in your body," says Minna Lee, Precision Nutrition coach and SFG personal trainer.
For the unfamiliar, here's how to do a rep: lie on your back with your right knee bent, foot flat on the floor; left leg is extended (hold optional weight in right hand) while left arm is extended diagonally by your side, palm down. Press weight straight overhead in line with your shoulder, then roll onto your left elbow and forearm. Then, straighten your left arm, bridge hips up, and bend the left knee to sweep your leg under behind you, keeping the left knee lined up under your left hip. Next, lift your upper body into a kneeling lunge position with your right arm overhead, and stand up from the lunge. Reverse movements in rewind before switching sides.
If your brain just exploded reading that, don't be bashful about asking a trainer at your gym to demonstrate it -- it'll be worth it. "Depending on your overall goal," says Lee, "the TGU can be performed as a conditioning exercise by doing multiple reps with lighter weight, a strength exercise by doing lower reps with heavier weight, or as a corrective and rehabilitative move with little to no weight."
This do-anywhere Pilates exercise is amazing because it's both proactive and preventative. "The single-leg bridge works and tones the muscles all around the thigh, butt, back, and deep core," says Erika Bloom, NYC-based certified Pilates teacher and founder of Erika Bloom Pilates Plus. "It also improves pelvic and lower-back stability, and helps treat and prevent injuries by balancing out hip muscles."
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat, and heels in line with your sit bones. Inhale, then exhale to wrap your lower belly around your waist like a corset. On the next exhale, press into your feet to lift hips up into a bridge. Inhale and reach the knees away from the top of your head to lengthen the spine. Then, exhale and stabilize your pelvis with your core as you extend one leg straight, keeping knees aligned; hold position for 10 slow counts. Continue to press standing foot into the mat, keeping hips level and thighs parallel. Repeat on the opposite leg.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.
Brooke Sager is an NYC-based contributing writer for Thrillist who wears hot-pink gloves to kickboxing class as an extra incentive to kick ass. Give her a follow on Instagram and Twitter: @HIHEELZbrooke.