The Absolute Workout Guide for Beginners
by Dr. Surya Bhagwati on Jan 22, 2021
Starting out as a newbie is never easy, but every ripped athlete or bodybuilder that you can think of was once a beginner. Of course, it’s always easier to get started when you already have an action plan laid out for you. Ideally, a beginner’s strength building workout should include at least 8 exercises that target the major muscle groups, giving you a complete body workout. We’ve put together just such a sequence of simple strength building exercises that you can practice at home, with nothing but dumbbells.
Needless to say, any workout routine should start with some basic warmup exercises. Most yoga asanas work well at doing just this and some good choices would include balasana, savasana, and siddhasana. Once, you’re done with these yoga asanas, you can move on to these exercises as part of your full body workout for beginners.
The Ultimate Beginners Strength Building Workout
Chest or pectoral muscles, triceps, and shoulders, as well as the lower back and abdominal muscles or core.
Benefits: The chest or pectoral muscles form the largest grouping of upper body muscles, and when it comes to working these muscles, you simply can’t go wrong with pushups. This simple calisthenic exercise is used in every type of physical training to build strength and discipline. As a compound movement, pushups are great as they don’t just work a single group of muscles, although the pectoral muscles may be the primary target.
2. One-Arm Dumbbell Row
Muscles Targeted: Lats or latissimus dorsi, as well as the back, shoulders, and arms
Benefits: The one arm dumbbell row is a simple and effective dumbbell exercise that should be included in any strength training workout. The exercise is mainly targeted towards the lats, upper and lower back, while also strengthening the shoulders, biceps, and hips. It also helps build core stability, especially if done standing with the right form. Like any good compound exercise, when done correctly it involves multiple joint actions. Keep in mind that the goal is not lift heavy weights, but to build strength and muscles. You can start light and gradually increase your weights.
3. Biceps Curl
Muscles Targeted: Biceps, as well as lower arms
Benefits: This is one of the simplest isolation exercises to target the biceps and it’s the ideal introduction to strength training for any beginner. Biceps curls may be simple, but its still important to pay attention to form or it won’t be as effective as it should be. If done right, biceps curls can also help you develop greater shoulder stability.
Muscles Targeted: Triceps, as well as shoulders and chest
Benefits: Overhead Triceps extensions are fantastic as isolation exercises to target the triceps. Although often neglected, triceps exercises are important as the muscles constitute about two thirds of the arm, making them just as important as the biceps if you’re looking to gain muscle mass and arm size. Standing overhead triceps extensions are also more beneficial than other types of triceps extensions as they encourage and help develop trunk stability.
5. Lateral Dumbbell Raise
Muscles Targeted: Shoulders muscles and deltoids
Benefits: Lateral dumbbell raises are among the best exercises to increase shoulder strength and mobility and they are often used as a core training staple. Although the movements involved are extremely simple, this can be deceptive as its not an easy exercise. By the 8th rep you will really start to feel the burn in your arms, back, and neck, not just the shoulders. It’s also important to start with really light weights, because it gets increasingly tough to maintain form with each successive rep and the risk of injury is high if your form is bad.
6. Dumbbell Squats
Muscles Targeted: Leg muscles, particularly the quads and glutesBenefits: Many beginners focus so heavily on building upper body and arm strength that they neglect the largest muscle groups in the legs. Dumbbell squats are the perfect addition to your beginner workout routine to keep things balanced. This is one of the best exercises to build muscle strength and burn calories, as it works on the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves, increasing functional fitness.
7. Mountain Climbers
Muscles Targeted: Glutes, hamstrings, quads, shoulders, and absBenefits: Mountain climbers may not be the go-to move for strength building, but they are an excellent addition to any full body workout. They are also ideal for beginners as they are pretty simple to practice and require no equipment. Mountain climbers are regarded as a compound exercise because of the joints and muscles involved. The exercise also strengthens balance and agility, increases your heart rate, and strengthens the core.
Muscles Targeted: Lower back, glutes
Benefits: This is another simple exercise that you can practice anywhere as it requires no gym equipment. The Superman is a good exercise to include in any beginner workout as it strengthens the lower back and reduces the risk of injury. At the same time, it engages the glutes and is the perfect antidote to the hours we spend seated at desks. The exercise can also be a good workout for your core and hamstrings.
Once you’re done, don’t forget to cool down with the same yoga asanas we mentioned earlier. You should also keep in mind that exercise alone will not help to build strength, endurance, and muscle mass if you aren’t eating right and getting adequate rest. For additional gains, you can also turn to nutritional supplements to compensate for any nutritional deficiencies, while Ayurvedic herbs like ashwagandha and shilajit can be used to boost energy levels and support muscle growth.
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