Working out 101
You don’t have to join a gym or invest in a lot of exercise equipment to start an exercise routine. If you’re not currently exercising, it’s better to start with something now than putting it off.
And here’s the good news: If you associate exercise with a sweat-fest of pain, heavy breathing, and a week of soreness afterward, it doesn’t need to be that way.
A solid, beginner-friendly program will help ease you into a routine, slowly ramping up the challenge and intensity at a sustainable rate. The last thing you need with a new exercise program is a new injury, too. So use these exercises for beginners (they target every major muscle group) as a way to start today. These 10 exercises are simple moves you can do at home right now. They require no equipment aside from water bottles; choose a size that works for you.
Since these are primarily strength-training moves, start by incorporating them into your routine twice per week. On other days, you accumulate roughly 20 to 30 minutes of cardio activity – walking is great! And when you feel ready, progress your exercises or increase your time as desired.
Modified jumping jacks
Exercises for beginners are simple. Modified jumping jacks are a great way to warm up before a strength-training workout or to add short bouts of cardio between exercises to keep your heart rate up.
The modified version ensures that one foot remains in contact with the ground at all times to reduce the impact of the exercise and make it more accessible for more people.
How to do a modified jumping jack
Stand with your feet together, your arms at your sides. Swing your arms up over your head as you simultaneously step your right foot out to the side. Next, swing your arms back down to your sides as you return your right foot to the centre.
Swing your arms up over your head again, this time stepping your left foot out to the side. Again, swing your arms back down to your sides as you return your left foot to the centre.
Continue performing the modified jumping jacks. Aim for at least 30 to 60 seconds before resting for 15 to 30 seconds and repeating the exercise.
A chair squat is one of the best squat exercises because it works all the major muscle groups of your lower body, including your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and even your calves. It also works your core when done correctly, as you have to engage your abdomen and back to maintain an upright torso as you squat down.
A chair squat is also an excellent way to learn proper squat form, as it encourages you to start the movement by bending at the hips, rather than the knees.
How to do a chair squat
Stand directly in front of a sturdy chair, your back to the seat, your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart, your toes angled slightly outward. Extend your arms in front of your chest – the goal is to keep them parallel to the ground the entire time as a reminder to keep your chest up.
Engage your core and press your hips back, lowering your glutes toward the seat. As you move, bend your knees to help lower yourself in a controlled fashion to the chair. Keep your knees aligned with your toes. Avoid tipping your torso forward from the tips – you want to keep your upper body upright and tall.
When your glutes touch the chair, you can sit completely before reversing the movement and returning to standing, or you can simply tap your glutes to the seat before returning to standing. Aim to perform at least two sets of eight to 12 repetitions.