5 strength exercises for beginners (part one)

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5 strength exercises for beginners

Wondering what are the best strength exercises for beginners and where to start with training? I understand you.

Strength training is probably the most underrated form of exercise, but it’s great for adding some variety to your weekly activities. Not only will it help you reduce the risk of injury, but it will also make your body more resilient for everyday life by building stronger bones and muscles and improving overall fitness.

If you have some dumbbells or kettlebells tucked away in a cupboard that you can use, great, but you don’t necessarily need specialized equipment to get started as simply using your bodyweight is a great start. If or when you feel ready to add some weight, just use what you have available: household items like books, water bottles, laundry detergent, or food cans work well too.

I think the funniest memory has to be someone wearing a red stiletto in a kettlebell class! We made it work. A great advantage of any form of movement, including strength training, is that there is always one option that will make you feel good: less challenging or more challenging.

Choosing your team

If you’re doing your strength exercises at home, you can pretty much train in whatever you want, including your pajamas; but there are benefits to using a specific training kit.

For ladies, I would recommend a well-fitting sports bra, sweat-wicking top, leggings/shorts, and sneakers that support your feet while you work out. She would always recommend having a couple of different trainers for workouts like the ones she wears for running too.

The outfit I’m wearing in these pictures was given to me by adidas. For guys, your options are similar (minus the sports bra) – take a look at the selection of men’s gym clothes at adidas for inspiration.

5 strength exercises for beginners

Here are some beginner strength exercises you can try, using body weight, household items, or kettlebells/dumbbells if they’re available in your home. Together, they provide a strength workout that you can utilize using the time you have available.

It is important to start with a weight that you can lift comfortably, with good control, and as you progress, the weight can be increased. When you feel confident with each individual exercise, there are options to combine them to target more muscle groups and add variety.

1. Squats

Wear: body weight or an item/weight held against your chest

Squats are a lower body exercise that targets the legs, lower back, and core.

Stand with your feet comfortably apart (hip width is usually a good starting point) and then imagine you are about to sit down in a chair pushing your hips back and down.

Try to keep your chest upright facing forward and once your thighs are almost parallel to the floor press down through your heels and return to a standing position.

Attempt: up to 60 seconds

2. Biceps curl

Wear: 2 lightweights

Bicep curls will target the bicep muscles located at the front of your upper arm.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms at your sides, weight in each hand. Keeping your elbows close to your body and your palms facing forward, lift the weights toward your shoulders. Pause briefly at the top of the movement, and then slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.

Attempt: up to 60 seconds

Now try: Squat with biceps curl (1x biceps curl after each squat)

3. Lunges

A forward lunge is an exercise that targets the legs, glutes, and core.

Standing with your feet hip-width apart, step forward with one leg, keeping both feet pointed forward. Lower your body by bending your front knee until both knees are at 90 degree angles. Your front knee will be above your ankle, while your back knee will stay below your hip and close to the ground. Push back to the starting position by pushing through your front heel. Repeat with the opposite leg.

Now try: twist lunge

Once in the lunge position, rotate your body and weight to the side of the front leg before pushing back up to the starting position.

4. Plank

Strength exercise: Plank

Wear: body weight

Plank is an exercise that targets the core muscles.

Begin on your knees, on the floor with your hands shoulder-width apart. Lift your knees off the ground, over your toes, keeping your head, hips, and heels in line. Engage your core by pulling your belly button in toward your spine. Hold this position for the desired amount of time, keeping your body in a straight line and your core contracted. If the plank on your toes is too much, start on your knees.

Attempt: up to 60 seconds

5. Good morning

Wear: body weight or an item/weight held against your chest

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and toes pointed forward. Without locking your knees, lean forward at the hips, keeping your back straight and your head up (eyes focused where the wall meets the floor).

Lower your body as far as you can while keeping your back straight. You should feel a stretch in your lower back and buttocks. Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement, and then slowly raise your body back to the starting position.

Attempt: up to 60 seconds

Try these strength exercises for beginners, starting with one a week and working your way up to 2-3 times a week. Once you feel more confident, check out part 2 (coming soon) with a few more exercises that will build into a full body strength workout suitable for beginners.

However, if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments or contact me directly through the website or you can join my Discord community: kisE Studio.


PS Safety always comes first. If you are new to exercise, be sure to seek the advice of your GP. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, wear appropriate clothing, and exercise in a suitable space. Technique is paramount, and nothing should hurt. If you experience pain, discomfort, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, etc. STOP and see your GP.

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