So, you made the first step and decided to invest in your health no matter what. Now you have the motivation, but not necessarily the knowledge to make the most out of your fitness journey.
Here’s a small overview of the basics that should always have a place in your routine: stretching exercises, weighted exercises, and bodyweight exercises.
Stretching should be done as part of your cooldown and on your days off (active rest).
You can stretch all areas of your body and all muscles, but especially stretch the ones you train regularly.
Here’s one way how to group stretches along with examples of easy stretches for each group:
- Neck and Shoulder Stretches: Side-to-side neck stretch, Neck circles, Anterior deltoid stretch
- Chest and Arm Stretches: Standing chest stretch, Tricep stretch
- Back Stretches: Cat-cow pose, Upper back stretch, Figure four stretch
- Leg stretches: Standing or Prone Hamstring stretch, Standing quadriceps stretch, Standing assisted calf stretch
You can find articles on how to perform all of these stretches right here on our website.
Check out our articles for more:
- Lower back stretches
- Glute stretches
- Shoulder stretches
- And more!
Resistance Training with Free Weights
If you want to build muscle and increase your metabolism, including free weights into your workout is the way to go.
Here’s a list of exercises you’ll see everybody doing in the gym:
Arms and Chest
- Bicep curl
- Tricep curl
- Bench press
- Chest fly
- Lat pulldowns
- Back fly
- Pullups (bodyweight and weighted)
Legs and glutes
- Squats (many variations)
- Weighted lunges (standing or walking lunges)
- Leg press
- Calf raises
Working with your own body weight as a beginner is often necessary, but also very beneficial.
Going bodyweight will remove stress from your joints and enable you to focus on mastering proper form while you build up the strength you need before doing the same move with added weights.
It will also help you build mind-body awareness and teach you to activate and engage your muscles.
Any exercise can be made more challenging by adding weights to it or by changing another element, for example, your center of gravity (that’s why doing pushups on a fitness ball is much harder than doing them from the ground).
Here are some examples of must-do bodyweight moves to target your whole body:
- Lunges (front, back, side)
- Plank holds
- Side plank
- Tricep dips
- Glute bridges
- Side leg lift
If you’re not sure where or how to start, invest in a couple of sessions with a personal trainer who will take you around the gym and show you how to use each machine to reach your goals.