When you’re a beginner and starting to exercise, it can be intimidating to step foot into a gym. Seeing all that high-tech equipment and people who look like they know what they’re doing can be overwhelming, especially if you’re looking to incorporate strength training.
Building muscle is a critical part of any fitness routine, whether it’s to burn more fat and calories at rest, or to strengthen your muscles for everyday activities. But the good news is you don’t need to a gym membership or expensive workout gear to build muscle at home.
In fact, most beginner-friendly exercises require nothing more than your body weight and the furniture in your living room. These five best beginner workouts for women can strengthen your entire body with minimal equipment or time needed.
Squats are one of the most effective exercises you can do for your legs, back and core, while also targeting your glutes and thighs. To perform a basic squat, stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of your chest with both hands. Bend at the knees, lowering until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then, push through your heels to stand back up. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
2. Side lunges
Side lunges are an effective total-body exercise for beginners that targets your quads, hamstrings and calves. To perform a basic side lunge, start with your right leg forward and your left knee behind it. Then, lower into a “lunge” position by pushing through your back heel, pulling your knee up toward your chest and returning to the starting position. Repeat with your other leg.
A bridge is a simple, effective exercise that targets your abs, shoulders and back. To perform a basic bridge, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Then, lift your upper body off the ground, contracting your abdominals to keep your body stable. Hold for five to ten seconds, then rest for one minute before completing another set of 10 to 15 repetitions.
Getting up and down stairs can be an effective full-body cardio workout for beginners that’s easy to do at home. Walking up and down stairs burns energy, builds leg and core strength and increases balance and flexibility.
5. Standing jumps
Standing jumps are a great way to increase your jumping power while working your core, back and obliques. To perform this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and then jump up to lift your upper body off the floor. Then, squat down to the point that your hips are about 90 degrees with your legs. Return to the starting position and repeat. You can add to the challenge by adding a jump up and down while holding a dumbbell in each hand or doing jumping lunges. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can try jumping up and down while putting your arms in the air for an even more challenging upper-body workout.
Milena Estêvão is a YouTuber passionate about sharing her experiences (challenges, successes and motivations) in the fitness activities she is involved in.
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