Karen’s Top 5 Exercises That You Need To Include In Your Workout

One of the most common questions I get asked is “What are the most effective exercises I should be incorporating into my workout for best results?”  Many times you worry whether or not you are lifting too heavy or not heavy enough, how many reps and sets and what new exercise will give me fast results, all at the expense of using proper form.  The trick is to keep things simple by sticking to fundamental movements and then you will see your results excel!

Here are my top 5 exercises that you need to include in your workout for best results!


Squats are excellent for a complete lower body workout. They effectively work most of the major muscle groups of the butt, hips and thighs. Squats are also a versatile exercise. They can be done in almost any location, with or without the use of weights or equipment. Squats are one of the best ways to tone and tighten and tone your legs, strengthen your hips and perk up your butt!  As well, squats will help strengthen your core and increase your joint flexibility in your ankles, knees, hips and lower back.


Every leg workout I do myself and with clients incorporate lunges, they are by far my favorite, mainly because they work! You can’t develop your lower body properly without incorporating some variation of lunges. They require strength, balance, coordination and stability, and they promote functional fitness. Think about your daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs or kneeling down to pick a box; we’re lunging all day long without even realizing it! Base your exercises around lunges to ensure you’re developing your quads, hamstrings and glutes. They’ll keep your hips, knees and ankles injury free by promoting optimum muscle function, too. Plus they will help perk up your butt!

Push Ups

If you want to build a stronger foundation then you need to add pushups to your training routine.  I will either begin my workout with pushups as a warm up, add them as a superset to my weight exercises or save them for the end as a finisher.  Pushups will help to stabilize your shoulders by developing your scapular muscles and rotator cuffs, and they help to correct the poor posture that is so prominent in todays work society. Push-ups are not only great for enhancing your physique, they’re also important for developing a strong, toned chest and shoulder muscles. And the best part, you can do them anywhere!

Pull Ups

If you are adding pushups to your routine you will have to add a pulling exercise to balance. If you don’t master pull-ups right away do not be discouraged, it takes time to increase strength while using proper form. Even I still find them challenging, they’re not easy! The process of attempting to get them right is as beneficial to your training as any other goal you set yourself. Pull-ups work your lats, rhomboids, forearms, biceps and triceps – all in one exercise!


Everybody wants abs however they seem to be the most challenging muscle group for people. The fact is, abs are made in the kitchen! No amount of sit-ups will cancel out the chocolate or muffin a day syndrome and that’s a fact. With that said, it is still crucial to focus on your core when you work out as it is a stabilizing force for your entire body and the key to maintaining proper health and posture. Practicing plank exercises protects your spine by strengthening the muscles that surround it as well will help you to stay stable while performing other fundamental movements.

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Karen Gallagher

Karen Gallagher

As a fitness expert and Holistic Nutritionist, Karen brings a unique blend of experience gained working in the health industry for over 20 years. Her holistic coaching offers an individualized process to help you move forward in life and to end the diet/binge cycle for good. She provides coaching tools and assists with strategies to promote self-discovery and the exploration of different perspectives to help inspire you to reach your health and wellness goals. She has had great success with her clients by taking a holistic approach to health. Karen believes every individual requires support, knowledge and compassion to achieve great health and wellness.

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About Karen Gallagher

Karen is a Holistic Lifestyle & Fitness Expert on a mission to cut through the over-complicated B.S. around food, health and well-being so that busy women, can learn how to transform their bodies and nourish their souls so they can feel strong, fit and confident.

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