Strength Training for Beginners

A strength training workout should include between 8 & 10 exercises that will target the major muscle groups. The workouts can be done as little as twice a week or as many times as 4-5 times a week. It is up to you to know what your body can handle as well as to make sure that you aren’t straining yourself.

In order to see the most benefits of strength training it is suggested that you work out at least 3 times a week for the first few weeks. And by doing so, it may take your muscles several weeks to adjust due to the increase of activity. Here, the importance of knowing when to cut back comes into play.

The areas you will want to target are:

  • Chest
  • Arms
  • Shoulders
  • Back
  • Legs
  • Core

Here are some beginner exercises to try:

Chest

  • Bench Press: Lie down on the bench. Use dumbells or a barbell. Make sure your elbows are bent at 90 degrees out to sides, then straighten arms up and return.
  • If working out at a gym, use the Inclined Bench Press or Chest Fly Machine.

Arms

  • Biceps Curl: Stand with arms extended and palms up and curl weights toward your shoulders.
  • Triceps Extension: Standing with legs apart the width of your hip, lean forward from the waist with your elbows bent 90 degrees at your sides and straighten your arms behind you.

Shoulders

  • Lateral raise: Stand with your arms down by your sides and palms facing in; raise your arms straight to shoulder height.

Back

  • One-Arm Dumbbell Row: Stand with your legs apart the width of your hips and place one hand on a bench; using the opposite arm holding the weight, bring elbow up toward your ribs and then lower it. This works the upper back.
  • Superman: Lay face down on the floor and lift opposite arm and leg then switch sides. This works the lower back.

Legs

  • Squats: You can do squats with or without a barbell. Make sure you bend your knees apart at the width of your hips, pointing your feet out slightly. Look straight ahead; keep your back straight and bend your knees as if you were going to sit back in a chair.
  • Lunges: Can be jumping or walking lunges.
  • Jumping lunges: Stand up and jump, landing where one leg is bent into a 90 degree angle and the other should be the same, but in reverse.
  • Walking Lunges: Take a step and kneel into the same position as the jumping lunge and then take another step.

Core

  • Bicycle Crunch: Lay down with your back flat against the floor with your hands behind your head. Then bring your shoulders off of the floor as if you were doing a normal crunch. Your shoulder blades need to be off of the floor during the whole exercise. Lift your legs off of the floor and place one leg in a 90 degree angle and the other in a 45 degree angle. Then move your legs as if you are pedaling a bike.
  • Vertical Crunch:Lay down with your back flat against the floor and extend both of your legs towards the ceiling (make sure to keep them close together). Slightly raise your head off of the floor with your fingers behind your head (as if you were doing a normal crunch position). Then raise your shoulders off of the floor by contracting your abs and raise your feet towards the ceiling and lowering your feet and shoulders.

 

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