Strong is the New Skinny

Illustrated by Jacqueline Davis Moranti

Some of you may have an idea of my addiction to fitness, it's pretty serious! For me, fitness is a lifestyle, living a healthy life has always been important to me, from making smart choices with food to playing sports growing up. I blame my mother for always instilling healthy choices into my brain! For me, it's not about getting skinny or thin but, strong. As of late, I even find myself wondering if I can lift that person, in social situations! Being somewhat strong gives me confidence. I've compiled a short list of a few of my favorite exercises to get strong! 

Dead lifts- Dead lifting is a great strengthener for your back, legs, arms, glutes and also a great core builder too. It's an intimidating move but it provides great results! I attribute my great lifting strength to this move. To dead lift, you don't need a lot of equipment, just a bar, some plates and a lot of willingness to do to it! My personal record for dead lifting is 155 pounds for 4 reps, intense! 

Push Ups- The almighty push ups, classic exercise that really builds the strength of your arms. It was one of the first moves I tried to master and all it really requires is your own body weight. One of my main quests throughout my fitness journey was to perfect the pushup without any modifications, because it leads the way to muscular looking arms, and what lady doesn't seek great arms?! Pushups help with perfecting your posture and also helps out your core strength, which is another good reason to do this move. Lately, I've challenged myself to make my pushups a bit more difficult by crossing my legs or setting a weight on my back... My "big girl" pushups! 

Squats- I have a love hate relationship with doing squats. The results from doing squats consistently are absolutely amazing, great glutes, quads, and hamstrings while also strengthening the core and hips. Having good form is a definite must when performing this move because one wrong move could cost you your back! My personal record for squats is 175 pounds for 8 reps, it was insanely difficult but also invigorating. The key to a great backside definitely lies within this exercise, squats are considered "The King of Lower Body Exercises." 

Planks- Planks are one of my favorite ab exercises, it helps build strength and stability for your core. It's simple and easy, all you have to do is keep your body straight and in the air, while your toes are on the ground and your elbows or palms are flat on the ground. I try to keep my planks for a minimum of 1 minute and sometimes I'll challenge myself to do walking planks. I love a good thrill!

Lunges- One of the most simplest exercises to do that induces a lot of pain! Practicing lunges helps you improve your posture as well as your core strength, not to mention a firm derriere! Recently, I've been doing weighted walking lunges to advance my quadricep strength by keeping the lunges low to the ground and making sure that my knees don't go past my toes. Warning, this induces a lot of pain but you will love the results!

Being strong is not just for the guys, ladies can be just as strong and more! One of the main components to strength is will power and dedication, without either one trying to get strong becomes almost impossible. Hopefully my insight into my favorite strengthening exercises help you out with your workout routines. Dear readers, what do you like to do to gain your strength?

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Thanks for the sweet whispers! XO