Strength training can sound intense and off-putting if you’re unfamiliar with it. So, to make it simple, these few exercises are great exercises for beginners.
They’re simple movements, you can do them from anywhere, and combined they work your entire body from your upper body, to your core (mid-section), to your lower body.
Why Strength Training
Strength training is great for several reasons, most notably, to get stronger. Strength training is also great for increasing muscle mass, which in turn increases the amount of calories you burn at rest (when you’re not working out). Strength training also improves bone density – so strength training is a good focus for females especially females over 30, to help prevent osteoporosis.
3 Simple Exercises
I mentioned three exercises that you can use to kick off your strength training journey. These three body weight exercises work your entire body, are simple, and can be done anywhere – the gym, your living room, your yard, a hotel room. Anywhere.
- Push Ups
- Sit Ups
Push ups work the upper body. Your shoulders are the most mobile joints in your body and are the most susceptible to injury. Therefore, it’s important to keep your upper body strong and ready for activities of daily living. Some of the major muscles that push ups work include the deltoids, triceps, biceps, pecs, along with abdominals, glutes, and quads.
Sit ups are a great simple exercise for strengthening the core muscles (the abdominal muscles). Your core is at the center of the body providing stability for all of the body parts moving around it, Strengthening your core will improve posture, reduce lower back pain, and help reduce injury through stabilization and balance. Core muscles include the obliques, transverse abdominis, and the rectus abdominis.
Squats are also simple exercises that help with balance and stability. The squat involves the abs, lower back, and the large leg muscles, the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calf muscles. Building strength and muscle mass in the larger muscles will help burn more calories (and lose weight if paired with a proper diet) after your workout.
Back to The Basics
I realize it may seem too simple to begin with just 3 basic exercises. However, these 3 basic body weight exercises for beginners, intermediate, and advanced strength trainees provide the foundation to develop a more complex work out regimen and are a great measure of strength improvement.
How Many Should I Be Able To Complete?
First, do as many reps as possible of each exercise to discover your base reps. A good number to shoot for is about 30 reps of each exercise. Average to good strength will fall somewhere between the following number of repetitions (reps) for ages ranging between 30 and 50. The numbers should be higher for younger folks and lower for older adults.
|REPETITION CHART||Push Ups||Sit Ups||Squats|
|Male||30 – 45||about 45||35 – 45|
|Female||25 – 35||about 40||30 – 40|
Where to Go From Here
As I mentioned, see how many you can do FIRST, to provide a baseline starting point for yourself. Then work up to the number of reps provided in the chart. Using proper form is important at this stage in the game too since you’re laying the foundation.
Once you get these 3 basic body weight exercises down, you can branch out and do more complex body weight exercises or use machines or free weights. You can always come back to these 3 basic exercises to test your strength, seeing how many reps you can do. It’s fun to see your progress over time.
A couple other things… be sure to stretch, drink plenty of water, and stretch some more. You’re on your way to a stronger, healthier you. You got this!