When it comes to body composition and health benefits, strength training is where it’s at. Looking to lose weight, tone up, increase metabolism, muscle and strength, AND feel empowered by your body? Look no further than your living room, park, playground or local gym. You will be amazed at the stunning results when you apply these simple exercises, daily.
Through high school and college, I was a cardio queen. 7 days a week I would run between four and six miles, or slog it out on the “divine” elliptical that everyone waited to get on. I never did a pushup or squat in my life, before I became a trainer. Like most college kids, I found myself 15-20 pounds heavier than I had ever been, despite my vigorous cardio schedule. Frustrated and feeling fat, I decided that what I was doing wasn’t working for me anymore. Once I was finished with my RD certification, I decided to go right into my personal training certification. That’s when the magic happened. Not only did I find a new passion with strength training, but my body transformed that year. I saw a new shape that I never knew possible. Better than ever before and I was happy with my body before college. I found strength training to be so rewarding both mentally and physically. Physical accomplishments (my first pull up) lead to my hunger for more, and left me feeling insanely powerful and strong in my body.
Strength training can certainly sound and look daunting when you have never done it before. I am here to tell you that it’s not hard to learn and anyone can make it happen, if you have the determination.
Below, I have listed some of the easiest exercises to get you started. You don’t even need equipment, although a coffee table, staircase or chair may be useful for some modifications. I also posted a video so you can see these exercises being done properly and with modifications.
Beginner Strength Training Exercises
- Heel taps
- Stationary lunges or Step ups
- High plank or cross-unders
When learning these exercises for the first time, I suggest doing 10-20 reps of squats (for example), resting 15-30 seconds, and repeating squats again for a total of 2-3 sets. Repetition of the movements back to back, will allow you to focus on your form and commit the movement to memory. It will help boost your confidence and easily allow you to work towards a circuit style workout.
You can also check out this VIDEO which featured the Peddar Fitness boys and myself. It’s a great example of a circuit style workout that includes many of the above exercises. Try for 30 seconds of each exercise. Use a coffee table for exercises that may be too challenging at first, like the mountain climber, plank jack and cross-under.
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