Welcome to the world of fitness! Deciding to start is a huge first step, and we congratulate you on it.
It doesn’t matter if you're looking to improve your health, gain strength, or just feel better in your day-to-day life, it’s important to master the basics. Even if you’re someone who’s just getting back to it, we still recommend starting with these seven foundational exercises. They are designed for complete beginners and will help you build a solid foundation in your fitness journey. They're simple, effective, and a great way to get acquainted with the world of exercise.
The Fundamentals: Squats are a staple in most workout routines because they target multiple major muscle groups in your lower body, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
Proper Form: Stand with feet a bit wider than hip-width apart, toes facing forward. Bend your knees and push your hips back as if you're sitting in a chair, keeping your chest up and back straight. Ensure your knees don’t go past your toes. Slowly rise back up to the starting position.
Beginner Tip: Start with bodyweight squats, and once you’re comfortable, you can add light dumbbells. Increase the weight as you progress.
The Fundamentals: Lunges are excellent for developing leg strength, balance, and coordination.
Proper Form: Step forward with one foot and lower your body until both knees are bent at 90 degrees. Your front knee should be directly over your ankle, and your back knee should hover just above the ground. Push through your front heel to return to the starting position, then switch legs.
Progressions: Try reverse lunges or lunges with dumbbells. Those with a little more experience can also try Bulgarian Splits.
The Fundamentals: Planks are a phenomenal exercise for building core strength, which is crucial for overall stability and injury prevention.
Proper Form: Lie face down, then rise onto your elbows and toes, keeping your body in a straight line from your head to your heels. Engage your core and glutes to maintain the position. Avoid letting your hips sag or rise too high. (best check in the mirror, if you have that option)
Progression: Start by holding the plank for 20 seconds and gradually increase the time as you get stronger.
The Fundamentals: Push-ups target the chest, shoulders, and triceps and are great for building upper body strength.
Modified Version for Beginners: Start with your knees on the ground, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor, then push back up to the starting position.
Progression: As you gain strength, try standard push-ups from your toes. Remember, it’s all about doing the workout properly. Take your time and progress to your toes only once you’re ready for it.
The Fundamentals: This exercise targets your glutes and helps strengthen your lower back, a common area of weakness.
Proper Form: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Push through your heels to lift your hips, forming a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Squeeze your glutes at the top, then slowly lower back down.
Progression: Aim to do this exercise regularly for best results. You can up the number of reps or add some weight that you can put on your hips. You can also use a band around your thighs and do various variations of Glute Bridges.
The Fundamentals: This exercise strengthens the back and biceps and helps improve posture.
Proper Form: Hold a resistance band or light dumbbells with your palms facing down. Hinge at your hips with a slight bend in your knees, keeping your back flat. Pull the weights towards your ribcage, squeezing your shoulder blades together, then slowly lower them back down. Keep your core engaged to protect your spine.
Progression: You can add more weights or even start with a bar.
Standing Shoulder Press
The Fundamentals: This exercise is key for building upper body strength, focusing on the shoulders and arms.
Proper Form: Hold light dumbbells at shoulder height, elbows bent. Press the weights overhead until your arms are straight, then lower them back to shoulder height. Keep your core tight and avoid arching your back as you press the weights.
Progression: Up the number of reps or the size of the weights.
In this blog, we covered the 7 exercises for good basics.
- Glute Bridges
- Bent-Over Rows
- Standing Shoulder Press
We explained how to do them, and gave you some progressions.
As a beginner, these exercises will help you lay the groundwork for a successful and sustainable fitness journey. Remember to focus on form over speed or intensity, listen to your body, and gradually increase difficulty as you become more comfortable. Celebrate your progress and enjoy the journey towards a healthier, stronger you!