Start with 5 for a strong life!

Start with 5 for a strong life!​

Here’s 5 exercises that we should do for life to build our strength and stability. No matter our age or our ability, there a few exercises that will bring incredible benefits for all of us. These are called functional strength exercises and mimic movements in our everyday life and will help build our core. Our core is made up of our abdominal wall, back and hips and needs to be strong to make everyday activities easier (and help prevent back problems and aches and pains that develop with age).

Start with six repetitions of each exercise

Squat: the squat is a compound movement that uses lots of different muscles to improve our balance and stability. This exercise helps create strong, flexible hips to enable us to sit and stand without discomfort or assistance. It targets the gluteal muscles to help relieve pressure from your back and knees as walk up and down stairs. It’s a great exercise if you sit at a desk all day!

Squat tips: Keep your weight in your heels as you push your hips back and push your heels into the floor to stand up tall and complete one rep.



Lunge: Like squats, lunges are movements that increase strength, balance and stability.

Lunge tips: Keep your spine straight as extend your left leg behind you. Place the toes of your left leg on the floor as you slowly soften your knees lowering your body toward the floor. Go as low as you feel comfortable. Drive upward through your legs to complete one rep. Complete six reps on one leg before switching legs. You could add some hand weights as your progress.

Press Up


Press up: Press up develop postural support and upper body strengths to aid your daily life as you push and reach for things.

Press Up tips: Yes you can!...Just try one, and then add one each day, until you can to do six quality press ups. Start with your knees or toes at hip width apart. Place your hands on the floor a little wider than your shoulders. Slowly bend your elbows and lower your body towards the floor, whilst maintaining a straight, aligned back (no bum in the air!). Push back up to compete one rep.



Plank: Planks develop postural support and strengthen your abdominal, shoulder and core muscles. Planks also increase stability and balance.

Plank tips: Beginners start on your forearms and knees. On your forearms with bent elbows placed below your shoulders and your knees behind your hips. Maintain a straight and neutral spine and hold the position for as long as you can – start with 10 seconds and build up each day. Come up on to hands and toes for increasing difficulty.

Single Leg Balance


Single leg balance: Single leg exercises increase postural support, balance and stability. It is far harder than it looks and of great benefit overall!

Balance tips: Start by standing up straight and tall with shoulders relaxed and spine aligned. Pull your right knee up and balance on your left foot. Hold for ten seconds, switch legs and repeat with six on either side. To progress, start by slowly extending one leg back straight behind you and allow your upper body to slowly shift forward. Keep your spine completely straight as your upper body moves forward. Return to standing and do 6 repetitions per leg. 


Sally is the Founder of LifeBuddy. She is an Organisational Development consultant and is a Practitioner with the Association for Business Psychology.