Celebrity trainer Jason Walsh has worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood – including Emma Stone and Emily Blunt – and believes women should not shy away from strength training and muscle-building exercises.
“I think of strength training like building and maintaining the foundation of a house,” Walsh tells PEOPLE. “The house is only as good as its foundation. Having a strong foundation is everything, so strength training should be the focus, with conditioning, mobility and flexibility work as secondary or bonus work.”
For women who want to build strength – without bulking up – Walsh recommends doing classic moves such as deadlifts and squats.
“You can never go wrong getting back to the basic foundational movements, like all forms and variations of deadlifts,” he says. “The same can be said for squats. These moves should be included in everyone’s training regime – they will make you stronger.”
Even though squats and deadlifts seem like simple movements, they are both extremely effective.
“These moves are complex, compound, multi-joint exercises that reinforce the movements we as humans are programed to do,” explains Walsh. “By incorporating multiple muscle groups, you increase your overall workload, getting more work in less time. You can actually get a whole workout based on just one move!”
If strength training isn’t your thing, Walsh says walking more actively is also an effective way to get in a workout.
“I find that most people are poor, passive walkers,” he says. “Try increasing stride length a bit so that the push back activates the butt cheek every single time you step. You’ll find that you get an amazing butt workout by the end of the day.”
Walking with more intention can also benefit people who have back pain.
“I’ve actually fixed people’s lower back problems by having them focus on this simple tip,” says Walsh.
—Gabrielle Olya, @GabyOlya