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Want to start working out at home but not sure how – which exercises to practice, how many times to repeat each… I got you covered. I’ll walk you through home workout routine for beginners, describing exercises and giving you tips.
These exercises, detailed below, will provide you a full-body workout with special emphasis on core strengthening plus strengthening arms, shoulders, abs, glutes, legs….which will be stated on each exercise.
Basic Beginner Level – General Guidelines
Every beginning is hard. Don’t stress about it. Be persistent and you’ll notice that it’s getting better day by day. For starts, it’s recommended that you complete 2 sets of 10-15 reps of each exercise. Start with 10 reps (or as many as you can), slowly adding up to 15, over a few days. For example, if you can do 8 reps for start, keep it for a few days and then add two more. Keep that number of reps for a few days before adding more.
When you complete one exercise give yourself 2 minutes of rest before starting the next one. When you finish the first set of exercises take a short break, take some water or juice and you’ll be refreshed for the second set.
- Bridge – this is a great exercise to use as a warm-up. You’ll activate your core and posterior chain (backside of your body). This exercise is also recommended to people having lower back problems but it’s also great for abs and gluts. Directions:
- Starting position: lie on the back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground, arms extended by your side;
- Pushing through your feet and bracing your core, raise your bottom of the ground until your hips are fully extended, squeezing your glutes at the top;
- Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
- Knee Push-up – this exercise will help you build strength (before attempting a standard push-up). Great for strengthening core, arms, abs, buttocks. Directions:
- Starting position: get into a high plank position from your knees;
- Maintaining a straight line from your head to your knees, bend your elbows to lower yourself down to the ground. Keep your elbows at a 45 degrees angle;
- Push up keeping a straight line from your head to your knees, tightening your abdomen muscles and buttocks. Now you’re in the starting position. Repeat.
- Plank to Downward Dog – this exercise will improve your posture, elasticity and mobility. Directions:
- Starting position: Get into a high plank position, with your hands stacked underneath your shoulders and your feet close together;
- Keeping your core engaged and your hands and feet stationary, pike your hips up and back into Downward Dog pose. Be sure that your head and spine are in a straight line. If you can’t do that, bent your knees and press your chest down. The accent of this exercise is on the spine. Be sure that your arms, head, and spine form a straight line even though your knees are bent. In time, you’ be able to straighten your legs and put your heels on the ground. Your body should form a triangle with the ground.
- Hold this pose for 5 seconds, then return to the plank (starting position). Repeat.
- Stationary Lunge – this exercise will strengthen your quads, hamstrings, and gluts. Directions:
- Split your stance with your right leg in front. Like making a huge step forward. Your right foot should be flat on the ground, and your left foot up on its toes;
- Bend your knees and lunge until your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Your knee should be aligned with your ankle;
- Push up through your right foot to return to the starting position. Tip: when starting to practice this exercise place a chair beside you to lean on. It will help you out at the beginning. Repeat 10-15 times then switch legs.
- Chair squat – strengthens your legs and core which will increase your flexibility and strength. You will need a chair for this exercise for starts. Directions:
- Stand in front of the chair with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly out. Raise your arms in front of you, aligned with your shoulders;
- Hinging at your hips and bending your knees, lower back and down until your bottom touches the chair;
- Push up through your feet and return to the starting position. Repeat.
- Straight-leg donkey kick -perfect for building your glutes. Directions:
- Get on all fours, with your hands aligned with your shoulders and your knees aligned with your hips;
- Keeping your back straight, push your right foot out behind you while keeping your leg straight;
- Your foot should remain flexed (toes pointing down to the floor) throughout. Keep your hips square to the ground; Squeeze your buttocks at the top;
- Return to the starting position. Repeat.
- Forearm plank – this is a full-body exercise. Especially strengthens core, abs and increases strength. Directions:
- Assume a plank position on your forearms. Your body should form a straight line from your head to feet;
- Tighten your abs, engage spine, be sure that your back and hips don’t sag;
- Hold this position for 30 seconds (for starts, then increase holding up to a minute). Rest and repeat.
- Bicycle crunch – engages the whole body but mostly targeted on abs. Directions:
- Lie on your back and bring your legs to a tabletop position. Bend your elbows and put your hands behind your head. Be sure that your lower back is flat on the ground.
- Crunch up and bring your right elbow to your left knee, straightening your right leg;
- Release the crunch slightly. Bend your right leg and straighten your left leg, then bring your left elbow to your right knee. Repeat.
- Bird Dog – this is a full-body exercise. It requires and improves balance and stability. Therefore it requires concentration. Often people think they are not good at it but it’s usually exactly that moment that was missing. Starting over, focused, results are much better and get better and better over time. Directions:
- Get on all fours ensuring your hands are directly underneath your shoulders and your knees are underneath your hips.
- Simultaneously extend your left leg and right arm keeping your hips square to the ground. Hold that position for 2-5 seconds.
- Return to the starting position. Repeat with your left arm and right leg.
These exercises will improve your mobility, flexibility, balance, and posture. Very soon you’ll notice that your everyday activities got easier, your posture is better, and continuing working out, adding new exercises, you’ll overall feel better, stronger and you’ll, also, look better.
When you come to the point when you can easily do 2 sets of exercises (described above), you are ready to “make them harder” which will contribute to increasing strength. For squats – take the chair out, which will allow you to master the form of a regular bodyweight squat. For bridge – start doing ‘single-leg bridge’. Steps for this exercise are the same as for bridge, but now you’ll be lifting one foot off the ground while keeping your leg bent. That will make this exercise harder.
I hope this article will be useful for you to start working out. As you progress you’ll be adding other exercises, whether full-body or specific for whatever you want to work on. Go for it!