The 4 Most Important Types of Exercise

Few people have a perfect workout routine. But even those who seem to be incredibly fit might not know that there are four essential types of exercises. Of course, you can get fairly fit without hitting all four types of exercise. But if you want great fitness, be sure to touch on each one.


The four major types of exercise are aerobic, stretching, strength, and balance. Covering each of these is important not only for optimal fitness, but also optimal aging. Correct training can prevent falls and injury as we age. Injury can happen to the best and healthiest of us over weekend sports, too. So don’t wait too long to start on a fully developed training program.

5 Most Important Types of Exercise


Aerobic exercise tends to use a large muscle group like the legs. It’s most often high-intensity, and it’s great for lowering blood pressure. You want to get your heart rate up to an optimal level for your training goals during aerobic activities. The optimal rate might be higher or lower depending on what you are trying to do.


Some popular aerobic activities are running, swimming, biking, hiking, and Zumba. These high-intensity workouts will develop some strength. But you still want to include other types of exercise to round out your fitness.


You’ve probably heard that runners should stretch well, for example. What you might not know is that strength training and flexibility exercises are not only important for the well-being of runners, they can actually prevent falls and improve running times.


Optimally, you will not just do static stretches if you tend to workout aerobically. Do some stretching exercises after a moderate-intensity warm-up, then do your aerobic exercise.

Strength Training

Strength training is popular with men. But did you know that women can benefit from strength training too? They can use their strength training to develop muscle mass, which improves athletic performance and overall fitness in women.


It’s noted by many trainers that women who strength train tend to have a leaner physique. Strength training doesn’t have to mean weights or high intensity. It can be a moderate activity using resistance training as well. Of course, feel free to ramp it up if it suits you!


Any physical activity will usually improve strength for women but try different types of workouts for great results. You’ll keep from getting bored if you alternate between plyos, plates, dumbbells, kettlebells, and more.

Flexibility Exercises

Flexibility exercises are lower in intensity most of the time. But they are still important for fitness. In fact, many people say that the more intense you want to work out, the more flexible you should become in order to prevent injury.


Flexibility exercises are very important if you want to improve your range of motion. A lot of people don’t take up flexibility exercises until they have injured themselves and find themselves in physical therapy, but you can always take the initiative to improve your range of motion while healthy!


Flexibility is its own achievement. Try yoga, ballet, or Barre classes if you want to make progress in this area.


We can all improve our balance. To improve your balance, try specific exercises or yoga. Great balance takes surprisingly strong muscles, so don’t be surprised if you become leaner and stronger as you seek to improve in this area!


Balance is also essential for athletes. Athletes practice balancing in all kinds of situations, from 180-degree turns to landings from sky-high jumps.


Don’t be afraid to spend some time on this one. Balance is an important factor of healthy aging, so you’ll get every bit of benefit from the work you put in.

In conclusion...

Above all, be safe when you’re exercising. Don’t push it too hard unless you have a trainer or physical therapist present. You can always get help going harder when someone is there.


You’ll be able to really put some time into the weekend league if you stick with a balanced workout routine that touches each of these four bases. The more balanced, flexible, and strong you are, the harder you can play.


Of course, everyone wants to be an aerobic champion. Just remember that the more you can play and the safer your body is, the more you can push your aerobic limits.


Few activities are all-encompassing of these four types of exercise. Try to supplement your favorite workout with a day or two a week of another type that will benefit you. Many runners who run every day will do two days a week of strength training, for example.


If you need help picking out a few great activities to keep your health in balance, try meeting with one of our trainers. They can work with you on finding a sport or class you love and supplementing with weights or personal training to keep you in tip-top shape.

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