5 Strength Exercises For Beginners (Part One)


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5 Strength Exercises For Beginners

Wondering what are the best strength exercises for beginners and where to start with training? I got you.

Strength training is probably the most underestimated form of exercise, yet is great to add some variety to your weekly activities. Not only will it help you to reduce your risk of injury, it’ll also make your body more resilient for everyday life through building stronger bones, muscles and improving overall fitness. 

If you’ve got some dumbbells or a kettlebell packed away in a cupboard you can use – great – but no specialist equipment is necessarily needed to get started as simply using bodyweight is a great start. If, or when you feel ready to add some weight, just use whatever you have available – household items like books, bottles of water, laundry detergent or cans of food work well too. 

I think the funniest memory has to be someone using a red stiletto in a kettlebells class! We made it work. One great thing about any form of movement, including Strength training, is that there is always an option which will feel good for you – less or more challenging. 

Picking Your Kit

If you’re doing your strength exercises at home, you can pretty much train in anything you like, including your pyjamas; but there are benefits to wearing training specific kit.

For the ladies, I’d recommend a well fitting sports bra, sweat wicking top, leggings / shorts and trainers that will support your feet while working out. I’d always recommend having a different pair of trainers for workouts as those you use for running too.

The outfit I’m wearing in these images was gifted from adidas. For guys, your options are similar (minus the sports bra) – check out the selection of mens gym clothing over on adidas for some inspiration.

5 Beginner Strength Exercises

Here are some strength exercises for beginners you can try, using bodyweight, household items or kettlebells / dumbbells if available in your household. Together, they provide a strength workout you can utilise using the time you have available. 

It’s important to start with a weight that you can lift comfortably, with good control, and as you progress, the weight can be increased. When you’re confident with each individual exercise, there are options to combine them to target more muscle groups and add variety.

1. Squats 

Use: bodyweight or one item / weight held to your chest 

Squats are a lower body exercise targeting legs, lower back and core. 

Stand with your feet comfortably apart – hip width is usually a good place to start – then imagine you’re about to sit on a chair by pushing your hips back and down. 

Try to keep your chest lifted by looking ahead and once your thighs have reached about parallel to the ground, press down through your heels and drive back up to standing. 

Try: up to 60 seconds 

2. Bicep Curls 

Use: 2x light weights 

Bicep curls will target the bicep muscles located on the front of the upper arm. 

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides, weight in each hand. With elbows kept close to your body, and your palms facing forward, raise the weights towards your shoulders. Pause briefly at the top of the movement and then slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.

Try: up to 60 seconds 

Now Try: Squat with bicep curl (1x bicep curl after each squat)

3. Lunges

A forward lunge is an exercise that targets the legs, glutes, and core.

Standing with your feet hip-width apart, take a step forward with one leg, keeping both feet pointing forward. Lower your body by bending your front knee until both knees are at 90 degree angles. Your front knee will be above your ankle, while your back knee stays below your hip and is close to the ground. Push back up to the starting position by pushing through your front heel. Repeat with the opposite leg.

Now Try: Lunge with twist 

Once in the lunge position, rotate your body and the weight towards the side of your front leg before pushing back up to the start position.

4. Plank 

Strength Exercise: Plank 

Use: bodyweight 

Plank is an exercise that targets the core muscles.

Begin on knees, on the ground with hands shoulder-width apart. Lift knees off the ground, onto your toes, keeping your head, hips, and heels aligned. Engage your core by pulling your belly button towards your spine. Hold this position for the desired amount of time, keeping your body in a straight line and your core engaged. If plank on your toes is too much, start on your knees. 

Try: up to 60 seconds 

5. Good Mornings

Use: bodyweight or one item / weight held to your chest 

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointing forward. Without locking your knees, bend forward at the hips, keeping your back straight and your head up (eyes focused where the wall meets the floor). Lower your body as far as you can while keeping your back straight. You should feel a stretch in your lower back and glutes. Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement and then slowly raise your body back to the starting position.

Try: up to 60 seconds 

Give these strength exercises for beginners a go, starting one a week and building up to 2 or 3 times each week. Once you’re feeling more confident, check out part 2 (coming soon) with some more exercises which will build into a full body strength workout suitable for beginners.

Got any questions though, drop them in the comments or get in touch with me directly via the website or you can join my Discord community – kisE Studio.


P.S Safety always comes first. If you are new to exercise ensure you seek advice from your GP. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, wear appropriate clothing and carry out drills in a suitable space. Technique is paramount, and nothing should hurt. Should you experience pain, discomfort, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath etc, STOP and consult your GP. 

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