Full-Body Workout for Beginners
Are you just looking for some simple, easy-to-understand exercises to help you get started? Today, I'm going to go through a simple way to get started by really focusing on your larger muscle groups. We're going to really focus on your legs, on your chest, on your back, things like that.
As you advance and get a little bit more progressive in your program, you can hit more of the smaller muscle groups as you feel comfortable.
I'm going to show you six exercises, starting off with about two sets of 10 to 12 reps. But again, as you get better, your sets can change and so can your reps. Follow along in this video and read on for some helpful tips.
You want your feet a little bit more than hip-width apart, toes pointed outward.
The big thing is when you go to sit back, you want to make sure you're actually hinging backward and sitting back toward a chair as if you're going to try and find it and barely touch your bottom on it.
You'll do these for about 10 to 12 reps, just squatting up and down. Knees are over my ankles. So this is the first exercise. Just a simple squat.
As you get more comfortable with this, you could hold dumbbells on either side, in the middle, or up here. Again, the big thing is chest up. I'm not leaning forward. My chin remains open. I can put a fist in between my chin and my chest, so then my airways are open correctly too. And my spine is in line. So you want to make sure you're following that.
If you're having trouble doing squats as I demonstrated, squat down to a chair behind you, maybe not as low as this bench, something a little higher, and do chair stands. You can also put a giant stability ball behind you on the wall and do those, so you have a little bit more support.
2. Lunges (Forward and Backward)
Lunges can be done in different ways. You see people walking through gyms doing lunges. You see them standing in one place. I'm going to show you forward and backward. In my experience, many people, when they do forward lunges, have a tendency to carry their bodies forward. So you want to be careful.
When you do a standing forward lunge, you're going to take a small step out, but the back leg that stayed back here needs to drop straight down.
When you go forward, you're going to lunge out. One knee drops down and you come straight back up. I'm not going forward and making big motions in that direction. You're up and down. You step forward, down, and then straight up.
Typically for many, I have people start off with the reverse lunge because they have a better time keeping their posture.
So chest is up in reverse lunge. Still, one step back, the leg that drops back drops straight down and back up, and step forward. And then you do again.
Do 10 reps on the right, 10 reps on the left. If you find yourself wobbly or in pain, shorten your range of motion. You don't have to drop the back knee all the way down to the ground. You can do a smaller range if you're more comfortable.
3. Chest Press
When you do a chest press, you do not have a bench. You can lay flat on the floor with the same range of motion. You can still do it at home with nothing.
You're going to need two dumbbells for this. And then you're going to come back onto the machine here. Make sure you center your weights in the center of your body.
When you lean, don't lay back with your weights dropped to your side, because when you go to lift them, you're going to pull your shoulders. Always bring your weights into the center of your body.
Make sure your head is rested on the bench. You're going to put both hands out to the side at a 90-degree angle, and you're going to be pushing straight up for a chest press and straight back down. Make sure you find weights that are comfortable for you.
Make sure your spine and your low back remain on the bench at all times. No arching up. Stay nice and flat and supported. As you get more comfortable with it, you can increase your weights or you can increase your repetitions. But the chest is one of your larger muscle groups, so that's an easy one to focus on.
4. Single Dumbbell Row
The next exercise is called a single dumbbell row. You can also do this on the ground, on all fours. Again, you don't need a bench, but I'm going to demonstrate on the bench.
When doing this one, again, straight spine. Don't arch or move back. It's a nice, safe, neutral spine. You're going to put your left knee on a bench, or on a chair, and your upper arm on the bench as well. And I'm going to be lifting with the opposite side of my body.
The big thing is to notice my back alignment. I'm straight. I'm not arched. I'm not hunched. I'm not slumped over. Nice and flat. You can stick a ruler from my tailbone through my neck.
And you'll drop your arm down. And you're just going to row up at a 90-degree angle. So I'm going to switch things so you can see my arm that's actually in motion. And when you do it from this side, you'll see my arm in motion.
My elbow is being pulled up along the side of my body, along my ribs, and back down. My shoulders are not swinging forward.
I'm literally pulling up like a string is attached to my elbow and it's coming right along the side of my body. Very important. Please make sure your spinal posture is correct.
If you're worried, meet with your health coach so we can properly review your form. Injuries are quite common when people get started and typically it's low back injuries due to posture being incorrect.
5. Shoulder Press
The other exercise I wanted to show you is a shoulder press. Another large muscle group for you. You can do these seated, standing, either way. You can do it on a ball.
I'm just going to show you seated. If you have a bench at home that can come all the way up when you get started, that's great. Or if you have a chair, you can slide all the way back in so your back is fully supported.
A lot of people have a tendency to arch their back off the chair going forward. And it's going to put a lot of that strain on your low back.
You want to make sure your feet are flat on the ground, out in front of you, nice and comfortable. Looking forward the entire time.
Don't be looking down. You're going to close off your airways. You're also going to hurt your spine. Look straight forward, chin up, eyes forward the entire time. Chest up, shoulders are rolled back when you press.
A lot of people have a tendency to put their shoulders in their ears and you're going to cause a neck strain.
When you do a shoulder press, you can start off with both dumbbells, 90-degree angles, simply going up and back down.
If two at one time is too much, that's fine. Lower one down, press up slower, then switch arms. You can either do 10 one at a time or 10 both together.
For any of my impingement shoulder patients, I have informed many to do inward. So you bring your elbows from out to a 90-degree angle inward and you're going to press up and press down. It takes a lot more relief off the joint. And so that may assist you when building programs. Again, this is where the customization from a health coach will be very helpful, especially if you've had previous injuries.
6. Ball Crunch
The last exercise I'm going to show you is on a ball. It's just a simple ball crunch. I'm just incorporating legs, chest, back, shoulders, and some core. There are a lot more things to be done. But when you get started, you want to keep it simple.
So a ball. It's great support for your back. You can do crunches on the floor if you don't have a ball.
Again, don't run out and buy things you may not be ready to have. But you'll just sit on a ball, roll forward, nice and slow, and support your back. And as long as the back is fully supported, that's fine.
You can rest your head in your fingertips. Use your fingertips outward and use the balls of the fingertips to support your head. Do not interlock them. Do not pull on your neck and you're going to crunch up and down. And that's a basic ball crunch.
There are tons of different ways to do it. If it hurts you to do full ranges of crunches at any time, you can do a 45-degree angle.
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