It’s been awhile since I last shared a beginner workout, so I thought I’d put one together for today.
This full body workout is perfect for those who are just starting to get back or into fitness for the first time (as always, before to check with your doctor before beginning to workout). Do each exercise for 30 seconds before resting for 30 seconds. Repeat for each exercises listed. Rest as needed at the end, before repeating the entire two to three times through. Below the graphic I’ve added descriptions of each exercise in case you’re unfamiliar with any of them. I’ve structured this workout so that there’s three core, lower body, upper body, and cardio exercises, to make sure that all the major muscle groups are worked.
Want to make this workout a bit harder to challenge you if you’ve been working out for awhile? Increase the amount of time that you’re working or decrease the amount of rest.
Plank // The plank is very similar to the starting position of a push up. Ensure your elbows slightly wider than shoulder width and your forearms on the ground, and your body is a straight line from your head, through your shoulders, hips, and knees, to your heels. Just like with the push up, if you need an easier modification, use your knees instead of your toes. Make sure your ankles, hips, shoulders, and head are in a straight line.
Bodyweight squats // With feet hip width apart and hands in front of you to help with balance, use the glutes to lower your hips back and down while bending at the knees. Once you’ve reached the lowest position you can without leaning forward too much or letting the knees collapse in, return to a standing position, using your glutes to propel yourself.
Overhead press // Stand with your feet hip width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. With your upper arms in a 90 degree angle to your torso and your hands directly above your elbows, lift your hands straight up so that your arms are straight above your head. Slowly lower your hands back down to the starting position.
Jumping jacks // Stand with feet together and arms at your sides. Jump both feet apart from each other while raising your hands above your head with straight arms. Jump your feet back together and lower your arms to the starting position.
Bicycle crunches // Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. With your hands behind your head and elbows out to the side, bring your feet off the floor so that your shins are parallel to the floor and your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Bring your shoulder blades off the floor and alternate bringing your left elbow towards your right knee, and your right elbow towards your left knee. Your feet should look like they’re pedaling a bike.
Alternating lunges // Stand with feet hip width apart. Step forward with one foot so that the forward leg’s thigh is parallel to the ground, and the back leg’s shin is parallel to the ground. The back knee shouldn’t touch the floor. Use your quads and glutes to step the front foot back towards your back foot and end by standing straight up with feet hip width apart again. For the second lunge step forward with the other foot. Continue alternating legs for the entire 30 seconds.
Bicep curls // Start with the feet hip width apart, and back in a neutral position. With a dumbbell in each hand, keep your elbows in close to your side and raise the dumbbell upwards. Movement should be at the elbow, not the wrist. Lower the dumbbell with a controlled movement, not allowing gravity to take over.
High knees // Starting in a standing position, quickly bring your left knee up in front of you as high as you can. Step back down and repeat with your right leg. Repeat.
Side plank // To perform a side plank, lay on your side with your elbow beneath your shoulder and your forearm on the ground. With your top foot stacked on top of your bottom foot, lift your hips off the floor so that your shoulders, hips, knees, and feet are in a straight line. Hold and then repeat on the other side.
Glute bridge // Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet close to your butt. Raise your hips up off the floor by contracting your glutes, leaving only your feet, shoulders, and head on the floor. Relax your glutes and return your hips to the floor. To do a single leg glute bridge, raise one foot up so the knee is straight. Use your remaining foot on the ground to push off the floor and raise your hips while contracting your glute.
Tricep kickbacks // With a dumbbell in each hand, flex at the ankles, knees, and hips so that your torso is leaning forward slightly. Bring your arms close to your body with your elbows back slightly. Start with your forearm in a 90 degree angle to your upper arm and slowly extend your forearm until your entire arm is straight and your triceps muscles are contracted. Slowly reverse the movement so that your arm is once again at a 90 degree angle.
Side shuffles // Stand with feet hip width apart and knees bent so you’re slightly squatting. Leading with your left foot, shuffle sideways. Then shuffle to the right with your right food leading. Move as quickly as possible.
As always, remember to check with your doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for you.
What’s your favorite upper body exercise?