Are you looking for a way to build muscles? Tone your body? Lose weight? Strength training is a wonderful way to achieve your body goals and improve your overall health. But the question everyone mostly starts with is, how do you properly start an efficient strength training routine? Knowing where to begin with is crucial to achieving your desired results. From the proper exercise equipment, to how much strain the body can handle, it is important to master the basics not only to achieve the best results but also for safety purposes. But fret not, this is the perfect guide to start your fitness journey with 5 beginner-friendly strength training exercises!
5 beginner-friendly strength training exercises!
LET’S GET STARTED!
- REPS and SETS. These two key terms play a crucial role in strength training. Repetition (rep) is a single instance of an exercise movement. Set is the certain number of reps performed. For starters, doing 1 to 2 sets of 10 to 15 reps for each exercise is ideal. As your body builds strength, gradually increase the number of sets, and you can even include weights!
- Start off with a beginner-friendly workout. Achieving your body goals will not simply be an overnight journey. The key is to build a strong foundation and consistent progress before you see visible results. For starters, a simple routine that targets all muscle groups for at least two to three days per week will work wonders. Use weights that are not too heavy, but also not too light. Focus on your form. Having rest days in between is essential to give your muscles time to recover and to prevent muscle strain that may lead to serious injuries. Remember: aim to challenge, not overwork your body!
CHOOSING YOUR EXERCISES
Your needed sets and reps for strength training exercises will depend on your goal/s. Your strength training goal may only involve toning your legs or developing your biceps, which is never wrong. The following exercises could help beginners start their strength training journey:
Planking strengthens not only your core muscles but also your back, arms, legs, shoulders, essentially your entire body!
How to Plank:
- Lay on the floor with your elbows directly under your shoulders with your hands flat on the floor or clasped together.
- Straighten your legs forming a straight line starting from your heels up to your head.
- Tighten and engage your core.
- Hold this position as long as needed.
*For beginners, you can place your knees on the floor.
Planking not only builds core and overall muscle strength, but also boosts your metabolism, and improves your posture by strengthening your back!
Squats target your lower body, particularly the legs, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calf muscles.
How to Squat:
- Stand facing straight ahead with your feet positioned shoulder-width apart.
- Slowly bend your knees while keeping your back straight and ensuring your knees do go past your toes.
- Repeat the sit-and-rise motion.
*For more resistance, carrying dumbbells or weights, and waring resistance bands on your thighs is ideal.
Squats strengthen the muscle groups in your lower body, knee joints, and also your lower back. You are not only toning your lower body, but you are also burning calories, fats, which promotes weight loss.
Push-up targets and builds both the upper body and core strength. The level of difficulty for push-ups varies from beginner to advanced, as it can be quite difficult to properly execute and may strain the body.
How to Push-up (Beginner Level):
- Get on all-fours and position both hands directly beneath your shoulders.
- Keep your elbows slightly bent.
- Get down on your knees.
- Tighten your core and contract your abdominal muscles.
- Inhale as you slowly lower your upper body to the floor, until your elbows are positioned at a 90-degree angle.
- Exhale as you push yourself upward, straightening your elbows and contracting your abdominal, chest, arm, and back muscles.
*For an advanced version, keep your knees off the floor forming a plank stance.
Push-ups are one of the fast and effective ways of building strength as it engages your upper body, lower back muscles, and abdominal muscles.
Lunges work on the lower body muscle group, mainly: gluts, hamstrings, quads, and core muscles. It also burns major calories as executing lunges targets the said muscle groups as a whole.
How to Lunge:
- Stand straight with your feet placed shoulder-width apart.
- Engage your core and tuck in your hips so your back won’t be arched during execution.
- Inhale while taking a big step backward, sideward, forward, depending on the type of lunge, until your heel touches the ground.
- Lower your body so your opposite thigh is parallel to the floor.
- Take a slight pause, then exhale while pushing yourself back to the starting position.
- Repeat with the opposite leg.
Doing lunges with incorrect form can cause serious injuries to your joints. Depending on your hip mobility, certain lunges may feel more comfortable for your body. So better find the perfect lunge type that suits your mobility.
- BAND PULL-APARTS
Band pull-apart makes use of resistance bands and is an isolation exercise designed to strengthen the upper back, arms, and shoulder muscle groups. Choosing the correct resistance level of the bands to be used is important to properly challenge and not overwork your muscles.
How to do Band Pull-apart:
- Hold the band tightly with both hands at shoulder level and stretch until slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Rotate your shoulder outwards to engage your shoulder and upper back muscles.
- Pull the band toward your chest by moving the band outward.
- Straighten out your spine, squeeze your shoulder blades together before slowly returning to the starting position.
It’s never too late to start strength training. The first step of your strength training may be tough, but good things take time. Strength training is never easy and that’s what makes its benefits amazing. Are you ready to start your strength training journey?
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