Fitness newbies have the toughest time trying to figure how to start exercising. What comes first, what really works, and most importantly, if you’re doing the right exercise for the results you want. Here are seven bodyweight exercises that are easy to follow and really work for beginners. By Ridhika Bora
2 Sets of 15 squats each
Ever heard how the most regular gym-goers have a tough time after a leg day? While they do a lot more than just squats, we’re pretty sure this is where they started. For a squat, stand with your back straight, hands raised in front to form 90 degrees, and your feet parallel to your hips. Your knees should be pointed straight as should your toes. Start to lower your body, but instead of bending your knees to lower yourself, bend your hips. Stay in that position for a few seconds and come back up to the starting position.
Target Areas: Add muscles to your lower body—thighs, hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes.
2 Sets of 15 tuck jumps each
This will be easier to do once you’ve tried squats. Start by standing upright as you did with squats. Now use your legs to jump high in a way that your knees touch your chest when you are mid-air. Now land back softly to the position you started. Don’t worry if your knees aren’t touching your chest in the first few months—it takes time.
Target Areas: Unlike a squat, tuck jumps are effective for losing stubborn belly fat and shaping your hips.
2 sets of 10 push-ups each
We’ve all attempted push-ups at some point in life. When done right, push-ups can yield tremendous results. Start in a high plank position. Your wrist should be directly below shoulder joint, holding your body’s weight as it assumes a straight line between your toes and shoulder. Make sure your elbows are near your body and the fingers pointed slightly outwards. Now lower your body till your chest nearly touches the ground. This is one complete push up. If you can’t do this right away, try a modified pushup, which means your knees will be touching the ground and your toes will be together.
Target Areas: Pushups help you build the upper body-the triceps and shoulders. It can also strengthen the lower back and the abdominal muscles.
2 sets of 10 Burpees each
Stand straight with your feet together. Now touch the ground in front of your feet and shoot your legs back so you lie on your chest in a straight line. Use your hands to push your upper body away from the ground now and at the same time, use your core muscles to pull your legs in and stand back up. Jump and clap your hands above your head to complete one burpee.
Target Areas: Burpees are a complete body workout that helps tone your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and abs.
2 Sets of 5 lunges for each leg
Stand straight with your feet together and back straight. Now extend your right leg forward and bend the knee at the back till it is almost touches the ground. Make sure your shin is perpendicular to the floor. This is one lunge. Now pull yourself back to the standing position and repeat with the other leg.
Target Areas: You should feel your quads, your hamstrings and your glutes engaged with this exercise. Lunges focus on your leg muscles.
3 Sets of 10 crunches each
Crunches test your will power one week into your fitness routine. It activates your core and your stomach area, and you may feel the need to summon other-worldly forces just to complete the sets. Lie on your back and bend your knees till they point up. Keep your knees just a little apart and your feet together. Now, with your hand behind your head, pull yourself up to get your head as close to your knees as possible. Be careful not to pull your neck with your hands. Instead, pull your body up. For more results, keep your shoulder suspended to a point before it touches the ground, expect when you’re resting between sets.
Target Areas: Crunches helps you strengthen the core of your body.
Hold for as long as possible
Want to know what the world is going crazy over at the moment? It’s the power of a plank. Planks burn a lot of fat when done right and help strengthen your core. Lie on your chest with your hands on your side. Now use your elbows and forearm to raise your body till it forms a straight line between the toes and your shoulders. Make sure your hips are not arching downwards and your back is straight.
Target Areas: Hold that position for as long as you can and release. This exercise helps your abdominal muscles and core.
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