Foundational Strength Training Exercises for Beginners

Starting an exercise routine at the gym, home, or fitness centre for the first time can probably elicit a mix of emotions. When you try something new, it is always exciting, but, at the same time, it may also confuse you.  Starting a functional training exercise routine can be a bit overwhelming and daunting. Many questions may pop in your mind like:

Where do you start?

What areas should your strength workout routine focus on?

How do you ensure you are doing exercise carefully and appropriately?

Here in this blog, we have covered some simple and effective strength training exercises. It will let you build a sturdy base that you can use as a jump-start point to get further strength and results.

Below are the basic five exercises that are great for almost all beginners to start with.

1) Plank ( Front and Side)


Plank is the number one on the list of strength exercises for beginners. You should make sure that you get good at these. The reason behind it is simple: It helps keep you strong and safe in all other exercises.

It will improve the strength and endurance of your core. So, you can able to stabilize your spine during exercise. Plank sets the foundation for more advanced core exercises.

How to Do Front Plank

While doing a front plank, keep the following key points in mind.

  • Start on elbows, with hands directly under the eye.
  • Maintain the straight line from head to heels
  • Keep your hips tucked under and glutes squeezed.
  • Now, focus on long exhales and that through your mouth.
  • In starting do 2-3 sets of 10 -30 holds/side

How to Do Side Plank

  • The first step to follow is. You should begin on the side with elbow directly under shoulder
  • At that time, keep hips squared and high
  • Keep up the straight line from head to heels
  • Keep your hips tucked under and glutes squeezed.
  • Now, focus on long exhales and that through your mouth.
  • In starting, do 2-3 sets of 10 -30 holds/side.
2) Squats


If you want to build lower-body strength and mobility, then squat is a fantastic exercise.  Let us start learning the proper squat technique.

How to do Squats

  • First, stand with your feet somewhat wider than hip-width apart. At that time, keep your toes slightly turned out, arms at your sides, and palms in.
  • Engage your core. Keep your chest lifted and back flat.
  • Push your hips back. Then, bend your knees to lower into a squat.
  • Now, bend your elbows and bring your palms together in front of your chest.
  • Finish tall with glutes squeezed
  • Start with 2-3 sets of 8 reps.
3) Push-ups


Push-ups are a good exercise and a great way to build the strength of your arms and shoulders. It also plays a significant role in building the stability of your core.

However, while doing push-ups, the biggest mistake as a beginner is dropping to the floor too quickly. As your strength and core stability increase, progress your push-ups closer to the floor.

Let us learn how to push-ups correctly.

  • Start with hands directly under shoulders, legs extended behind you, and core and glutes engaged.
  • Then, bend your elbows to lower your body to the floor. Drop to your knees if needed.
  • Now, to straighten your arms, push through the palms of your hands.
  • If you are a beginner, you can start with three sets up 6-10 reps.
4) Reverse Lunge

Reverse Lunge

When you lunge, you are giving your body training of doing single-leg movement. Usually, you can do four types of lunge. For example, forward lunge, reverse lunge, transverse lunge, and lateral lunge.

When you do a lunge, you can train your body for balance and stability. At the same time, you are also working your glutes, quads, and more. Here we have chosen reverse lunge because they are easier on the knees and more comfortable to control than a forward lunge.

For reverse lunge, you should follow the below steps

  • Stand with your feet together and arms by your side
  • Step back with your right foot, land on the ball of your foot, and keep your heel off the floor.
  • Bend both knees. Your left knee should be above your left foot, and your butt and core should be engaged.
  • Then, to return to the starting position, push through the heel of your left foot.
5) Wood-Chop


Finally, yet importantly, on the list is wood-chop. This exercise can help you in getting comfortable with rotational movements. However, be careful while twisting your spine. You can try this exercise by simply keeping a hand towel or another small object in your hands. It will help you to keep your arms straight. Wood-chop will give you a sense of what rotating your torso should feel like. In reality, this exercise is a feel-good stretch.

Follow these simple steps to do this exercise.

  • First, stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart. At that time, keep your core engaged, hands clasped together, or you can even hold some small objects by your right leg.
  • Then, raise your arms diagonally. Allow your torso and toes naturally rotate to the left as you twist.
  • Now bring the weight across the front of your body and aim for your right ankle. Let your torso and toes to rotate in that direction naturally. While exercising, focus on keeping your lower body stable while turning from your core.
  • You should do a few reps on one side. After that, you can switch sides and repeat.

Wrapping Up

We can sign off by saying that you can do countless exercises for strength building when you join nearby gym classes, but different exercises can work a range of different muscles.  If you want to design a routine that is targeted toward achieving your personal goals, then keep the above-discussed workouts in mind.

Also consider joining nearby health clubs or group fitness classes as they will keep you motivated and engaged.

Remember, strength is important, but its not the only component. When developing a workout routine, you should also think about your cardiovascular, flexibility with stretching, agility, power, and balance.

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