Although I regularly work with strength training ‘newbies’, I’ve somehow neglected this group when creating workouts for readers of Fitknitchick. (Thanks Brittany @AHealthySlice for the heads up!)
Below, you’ll find a short, whole-body, at-home beginner workout. (If you’ve trained with me in-person, you’ll recognize this circuit; I almost always use it during our first ‘assessment’ session because it includes all of the functional movements that need to be mastered before you can progress to more challenging, and FUN, exercises).
The only equipment you’ll require is a stability ball and a pair of dumbbells (3, 5, 8 or 10 pounds, depending on your upper body strength). Focus on form before attempting to increase the difficulty of the move or the amount of weight you’re lifting. Watch the video at the bottom of the post for a demonstration of each of the 6 exercises in the circuit.
1. Start with a light, 5 minute warmup. Include movements like walking, marching, arm swings, stair climbing, low impact jumping jacks and cross-country skis.
2. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions of each exercise (except the plank; just hold it as long as you can), one after the other, with a short break between exercises. Move slowly and through as big a range of motion as is comfortable.
3. If one circuit completely poops you out, stop and stretch (see 5. below).
4. If you have a bit more energy, repeat the circuit a second time, then stop and stretch (see 5. below).
5. Finish your workout by stretching the muscles of your thighs, chest, back, glutes and shoulders. Not sure what to stretch (or why you’re stretching at all)? Read this post and watch the imbedded video.
6. Perform this workout two to three times per week for a minimum of three weeks before trying to make the exercises harder. Consistency trumps progression when you’re new to strength training!
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Disclaimer: Although I am a registered Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. Always adapt workouts to suit your body and fitness level. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.