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What Are The Best Exercises For Beginners
The Plank is one of the best exercises for beginners for several reasons. The first reason planks are so important is because there are many muscles involved in the plank. You use all of your upper body including your core muscles. On the floor set your hands shoulder width apart and feet together. Keep your body as straight and tight as you can, never allowing your midsection to slump down. Keep track of your time and each day you do the plank try to add more time.
Push ups, I know ladies you’re all groaning at the sound but you can start standing with hands on the wall with feet only a foot away and build strength until you can get on the floor and do push ups with your knees down. You can do full push ups if you build the muscles needed to accomplish them. You will get stronger IF you do them often! Guys this works for you too! We all have to start somewhere. Practice will get you there.
Squats and please don’t say you can’t because…. You can, most important thing to remember is to keep your knees behind your toes and your knees will not carry your weight! Have your feet hip width apart, toes pointed slightly outwards, drop down slowly with your butt pushing back and down. Extend your arms out in front of you at shoulder height for balance. Return to stand and do not lock your legs, another important thing to remember for those with knee issues, do not lock them out!
Wall Sit- A wall sit is exactly how it sounds. You want to look like a chair and the wall is the back of the chair. Press your back against the wall, slowly walk your feet away from the wall and allow your body to slide down(slowly) until your knees are directly in front of your hips. Your feet should be directly under your knees. Now stay there as long as you can.
Lunges can be tricky but start with standing in place first. Stand with you feet hip width apart, pretend you have skis on and slide one foot back until you're in a split stance. Slowly drop the back knee straight down towards the floor and return to the standing position without locking the knees. Keep your body straight and looking forward. After repeating 12-15 times switch legs.
Bicep curls- If using a suspension trainer, keep elbows up at shoulder height throughout the exercise. Bring you finger tips in towards your head by squeezing the biceps. If using a bar or dumbbells, keep the bar slightly in front of you not allowing it to bounce off your body. Lift your arms, keeping your elbows in place, bend at the elbows and bring the weight to your shoulders. Each rep should finish in a full extension.
Dips for triceps can be done on a bench, dip station or on the floor if you're not quite ready for all of your weight. Place your hands just behind you at your sides if on a bench or floor. By bending at the elbows your body will move downwards keep your arms going straight behind you and not out to the side this becomes more difficult as you go down. Be careful not to hyperextend your shoulders. Go down until your shoulders are in line with your elbows. Return to fully extended arms.
Superman, at least that’s what I call it. Best back strengthening exercise! Let’s start in the beginners position. Lay face down with arms at you side and feet just a few inches apart. You are going to lift just you upper body by flexing your back. Don’t worry, you’ll only be a few inches off the floor. Start with this and hold for a few seconds and repeat 2-3 times. As you get stronger at this you can then move your arms, extend the out from shoulder height and bend at the elbows make a 90 degree on both arms. Now repeat the lift. D not use the arms to lift, continue to flex your lower back lifting your entire upper body including your arms.
Glute Bridge Lie down on your back, knees bent. You want to drive your heels into the floor pressing your hips upwards as far they can go, lower back down but don’t touch and repeat for 12-15 reps. If not enough of a challenge then lift one leg and repeat the exercise.
Shoulder press should start and finish at the height of your shoulders pressing palms upwards wether using weight or not. Fully extend up then return hands to shoulder height for 12-15 reps.
These exercises are a great starting point for the beginner and should remain as part of your workout routine as you advance.
Written by Christina Widmark