Exercise. Some people get excited to hear that word, while others are filled with dread. Whatever your feelings on exercise, sooner or later, most of us realize we need it. Whether you want to lead a healthier lifestyle, run a marathon, lose weight, or just feel stronger, exercise can help you achieve these goals and many more. But if you haven’t exercised much before, knowing how to work out can be a bit daunting.
If you consider yourself a novice to exercising and fitness routines, then we have some great beginner workouts for you to try. Beginner workouts are exercises that can be performed without any special strength or flexibility. Almost everyone can perform beginner exercises in some form, and all of our suggested workouts can be done at home with no equipment.
Keep scrolling to learn more about beginner workout routines and how to perform each exercise to increase your own personal health and fitness.
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The benefits of beginner bodyweight workouts
If your goal is to start being more active or lose weight, heading straight to the treadmill or the elliptical isn’t always the best way to build muscle and lose weight.
Here’s where a beginner bodyweight workout comes in. These routines offer more efficient ways to build muscle and get stronger and fitter. When you do a beginner bodyweight workout, you burn calories doing the exercises, your body continues to burn calories while you rest, and then it builds muscle over the next few days. And bonus: These workouts allow you to keep burning calories after you finish your exercise.
Bodyweight workouts are also way more convenient since you don’t have to pack up and go to the gym to do them. OK, let’s stop talking about the workouts and show them to you.
How to do fundamental bodyweight exercises
There is no such thing as an easy workout, or there shouldn’t be. But these exercises are the building blocks. Again, they aren’t the easy blocks, but they are the fundamentals to bodyweight workouts. If you’re unsure of how to do any of the workouts in the at-home circuit, below are detailed instructions.
Remember that if you’re just getting into the swing of things, these aren’t going to be pretty. You won’t do them perfectly! Don’t let that get you down, though. If you push through the first awkward stages, then one day you’ll have the reward of dropping into a beautiful squat or holding a plank for an entire minute.
- Start with your legs spread knee width apart and your hands straight out in front of you.
- Lower yourself straight down until you are only three inches off the ground or can’t go down anymore.
- Make sure your knees don’t go past your toes. That will help you get the most out of the exercise and prevent injury.
- If you’re unable to do regular bodyweight squats, hold onto a table while lowering yourself.
- Start by getting down on your knees and spreading your arms out. The farther apart your arms are, the easier it will be to get lower in the push-ups, but don’t go so far that it’s uncomfortable.
- Once your arms are positioned, lift yourself onto your toes, so you’re just on the palms of your hands and toes.
- Lower your entire body close to the ground by bending your arms at the elbow. Try to get to the point where the tip of your nose is only about three inches from the ground. At first, you might only be able to lower yourself a little bit, and that’s OK.
- Raise your body back to the starting position.
- Start by standing up straight with your feet together.
- Step forward about two feet with your preferred starting foot and land on the ball of your foot with your heel off the ground.
- Bend both knees to create 90 degree angles with your legs and touch your back knee to the floor.
- Push through to return to the original standing position. Then repeat the process but step backwards this time to perform the lunge with the opposite leg stepping out first.
- Doing both the forward and backward lunges are one rep. Try to fit as many reps as possible into the 45 seconds during the circuit.
- Start by lying down on your stomach and clasping your hands together underneath you.
- Lift yourself onto your bent elbows underneath you and your toes.
- Hold this position and make sure to engage your core.
- If you want to do a side plank, start in the regular planking position but then move to holding yourself up sideways with one of your hands. Raise the other hand into the air and hold this position.
Mountain climber twists
- Start in a push-up position on your hands and toes with your hands only shoulder width apart.
- Bring your right knee to your left shoulder by going underneath your torso. Keep your hands and arms straight, but you should be twisting your core.
- Return to the starting position and touch your left knee to your right shoulder. This is one rep.
Touching jumping jacks
- Start with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes turned out just slightly, and keep your arms down at your side.
- Jump outward slightly and then lower yourself like a squat to have one hand touch the floor.
- Make sure to keep your shoulders and chest as straight as possible. The goal is to work the leg muscles, not the shoulders.
- Jump together again and stand up straight into the starting position.
- Repeat this again with the other hand to complete one rep.
The Home Circuit
Bodyweight workouts are more effective than simple cardio, but is circuit training really more effective than interval training? Circuit training helps burn calories more efficiently, which for those purposes, makes it more effective.
So, here you are: a beginner workout at home without equipment. If you’re unsure how to do any of the exercises, the next section will explain each one in detail.
- Start with a warm-up. It’s crucial to start by warming up your muscles. Warm-ups help prevent injury and increase your range of movement and flexibility. We recommend simple warm-ups like jumping jacks, a few push-ups, squats, or stretching.
- Do bodyweight squats for 45 seconds. These bodyweight squats will help strengthen the leg muscles without any equipment. Rest for 15 seconds if you need to after the squats, or move into the next exercise directly.
- Do-push ups for 45 seconds. Push-ups will help strengthen your bicep muscles and core muscles. Try to do as many push-ups as possible in the 45 seconds, but at first it might only be two or three. Rest again or move into the third exercise.
- Do pendulum lunges for 45 seconds. After working your arms and core, it’s time to move back into the lower body. Rest for 15 seconds or move on.
- Do a plank for 45 seconds. There are alternate ways to do this plank section, including doing two side planks for an additional 45 seconds as well. The goal of the plank is to help strengthen your core muscles. Rest again after or move into the next exercise.
- Do mountain climber twists for 45 seconds. This exercise will work the core, arms, and even the legs a little. Rest afterward or move right into the last circuit exercise.
- Do touching jumping jacks for 45 seconds. Jumping jacks help strengthen the leg muscles even more. This is the last exercise in the at-home circuit, so you should rest for 15 seconds before moving into the cool down.
- Finish with a cool down. We recommend stretching and doing yoga poses such as downward dog or the child’s pose.
Complete the circuit twice for about a 10-minute workout, or complete the circuit again for a more intense workout. You can rest for about 15 to 30 seconds between each circuit.
Timing of Beginner Bodyweight Workouts
It’s best to do the same at-home workouts only two or three times a week. Make sure you are never doing this workout on consecutive days to allow time for your muscles to rebuild. If you want to have some kind of exercise every day, you can alternate this circuit with other interval training workouts or normal cardio. Also make sure you have one rest day a week to help prevent injury and let your muscles rebuild and rest.
The Importance of Nutrition
Imagine finishing a hard-core, sweat-dripping workout just to realize that it hadn’t helped you reach your fitness goals. Well, most workouts are that way unless you pay attention to what you eat. Your diet can make a workout effective or ineffective in the long run. You won’t lose weight, even while exercising vigorously, if you aren’t eating right. And it’s pretty difficult to tone your muscles without getting the right nutrients. Here are some basic nutrition tips to make sure you don’t waste all that hard work.
- Try to eat enough protein each day. Foods like chicken, fish, and beans can help your muscles rebuild and get stronger.
- Cut back on sugars from processed and junk foods, including soda. While it’s OK to eat these things occasionally, try not to eat them every day.
- Eat as many vegetables as possible. Other foods like grains are good for you as well, but it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough vegetables. Try to eat about two to three servings a day.
Remember that food isn’t your enemy to getting healthier; it’s your partner.