5 Workout Moves for Beginners That a Trainer Says Will Set You Up for Success
Once you’ve determined that you’re ready to begin a new fitness regimen, the following step is to master some basic workout moves. And it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it all. “While starting a new workout program may appear scary, it can actually be quite exciting and fulfilling,” says Scott Thompson, F45 Training’s director of athletics.
Don’t know where to start? “Functional HIIT training, which mixes strength training and cardio, is a wonderful place to start,” Thompson explains. “High-intensity interval training helps individuals to continue high-intensity exercise for longer lengths of time than continuous exercise, and because each motion is performed in short bursts, it prevents monotony.”
It’s worth mentioning that everyone’s definition of “high intensity” will vary, so if you’re new to exercising, don’t worry if your speed is slower at first as you work on your form and conditioning.
In general, focusing on functional movements is beneficial to everyone since they replicate actions we undertake in our daily lives—for example, carrying groceries or standing from a seated position—so you’re also training your body to perform these motions more effectively.
Finding confidence, especially when starting a new exercise routine, is crucial, according to Thompson. And the beginner workout moves listed below can help you develop yours.
5 basic exercise moves that will get you started on the right foot
1. Fast feet close-to-wide
“In any workout, this is an easy, effective technique to warm up the body, start the blood moving, or raise your heart rate,” Thompson explains. “Get some quick feet moving and settle into a comfortable pace.”
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart in a shallow squat (knees bent, butt back). Begin sprinting in place, elevating your feet only a few inches off the ground to move them as swiftly as possible. “Once you’ve established a beat, alternate between taking a few steps closer together and a few with a wider stance throughout the performance.” Aim for two to three 30-second rounds.
Push-ups are an essential part of any basic training routine. “This technique is simple to adapt to all fitness levels and works the body in numerous areas,” Thompson explains, “pressing into the chest and then opening up with some rotation.”
Begin in a high plank position, aligning your wrists, elbows, and shoulders. Return to the high plank position by lowering yourself to the ground and pressing yourself back up. “Keep a strong core to avoid dipping into the lower back,” he advises. Come down to your knees to modify.
3. RPG plank
This plank version, according to Thompson, puts the muscles in your core to the test. “Gently rock a few inches forward and back, keeping control for a full 40 seconds,” says the author.
4. Bicycle crunches
“These are a great way to burn up your entire core, particularly your obliques,” Thompson explains. (The abs muscles that run along the sides of your stomach and aid rotation are known as obliques.) Begin by lying on your back, knees bent, hips over knees, shins parallel to the floor, and hands behind your head.
Draw your belly button into your spine, tuck your chin and curl your head up so you can see your thighs, then rotate your torso to bring your left armpit toward your right hip while extending your left leg to a 45-degree angle. To return to the beginning, reverse the movement and repeat on the opposite side.
5. Squat with alternating lunges
“Staying low in between lunges will fire up your quads and glutes while also challenging all the smaller stabilizer muscles,” Thompson explains. Begin with your feet about hip-width apart and your toes turned out slightly. Squat down to a half-squat position (think: knees bent at 45 rather than 90 degrees).
Thompson explains, “Extend one leg back into a reverse lunge and then bring it back to the starting position.” “Repeat on the other side, staying low in that half-squat position and making sure your chest is proud the entire time.” On your back, this indicates wide collarbones and shoulder blades pressed together.