14 Truly Beginner Exercises That Every Newbie Should Try — No Equipment Needed
Beginning your fitness journey and have no idea where to start? We gotchu. These truly beginner moves will allow you to build strength and create a mind-body connection while you get comfortable with exercise. No dumbbells or fancy machines required: just you, your bodyweight, and a little space to move. Get these moves dialed, and you'll be feeling stronger and more confident in no time!
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders, feet parallel or toes slightly turned out.
- Bend your knees, lowering your hips deeply. Bring your thighs parallel to the floor and bend the elbows, keeping weight back in your heels.
- Rise back up, straightening the legs completely, squeezing the glutes at the top of the movement to get the most out of the exercise.
- This counts as one rep.
- Stand with your feet wide, toes pointing out. Hold your hands comfortably in front of your chest and bend your knees, lowering your hips deeply so your thighs are parallel with the floor. Make sure to keep your weight back in your heels.
- Then rise back up, straightening the legs completely, squeezing the glutes at the top of the movement to get the most out of the exercise.
- This counts as one rep.
Standing Russian Twist
- Stand with your knees slightly soft, holding your hands at chest level.
- Keep your pelvis stable as you rotate your rib cage right and left to complete one rep. Be sure to keep your abs pulled toward your spine as you twist from side to side.
- Twist once to the right and once to the left to complete one rep.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands on your hips (or at the back of your head) with your elbows opened wide.
- Pull your abs to your spine and keep your back neutral while pressing your butt backward, hinging at the hips until your back is almost parallel to the floor.
- Keep a slight bend in your knees as you hinge forward.
- Return to standing, squeezing your glutes when you are upright to reset. This completes one rep.
- Stand with your hands behind your head, with your elbows wide, and bring your right knee to the floor, onto a yoga or exercise mat for padding.
- Bring your left knee down so you are kneeling.
- Lift your right knee up and place your right foot in front of you. Bring the left foot forward, coming into a deep squat, then press through your heels to come to standing.
- Reverse the move and bring your left knee to the floor to repeat the sequence on the other side to complete one rep.
Alternating Side Lunge
- Start with your feet directly under your hips. Step your right foot wide to the side coming into a lunge with your left fingers touching your right foot. Your right knee shouldn't go beyond your right toes. Keep your chest lifted and your weight in your heels.
- Push into your right foot to return to standing, then lunge sideways to the left to complete one rep.
- Start from standing, and step your left leg behind you and to the right so your thighs cross, bending both knees as if you were curtsying. Make sure your front knee is aligned with your front ankle.
- Return to standing, and switch sides to complete one rep.
Reverse Lunge With Reach
- Stand with your hands at your waist, and step back with your left leg into a deep lunge. Increase the stretch by lifting your left arm overhead and reaching to the the right.
- Return to standing, and repeat this move on the other side to complete one rep.
- Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground (pull your abs down to also target your deep abs). Interlace your fingers and put your hands behind your head.
- Bring your knees in toward your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the ground.
- Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow toward the left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows.
- Now switch sides and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep (and to create the "pedaling" motion). Do this exercise with slow and controlled motion.
Seated Trunk Rotation
- Sit on the ground with your legs extended out in front of you and lean ever so slightly forward.
- Keeping your elbows relaxed, lift your hands so they are even with the bottom of your rib cage.
- Pull your navel to your spine and twist slowly to the right, touching the floor by your hip. The movement is not large and comes from the ribs rotating. Inhale through center and rotate to the left. This completes one rep.
Beginning Seated Russian Twist
- Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your heels about a foot and a half from your butt.
- Lean slightly back without rounding your spine at all.
- Place your hands behind your head with elbows wide.
- Pull your navel to your spine and twist slowly to the right. The movement is not large and comes from the ribs rotating. Inhale through your center and rotate to the left. Come back to center.
- This completes one rep/rotation.
Pilates Side-Lying Leg Lifts
- Lying on your side, lengthen your bottom leg and cross your top leg over it. Rest either your knee or foot on the floor. Prop your head up with your hand or rest your head on your arm.
- As you exhale, lift your bottom leg up and inhale as you lower it back down. Your torso should stay still while you do this.
- Complete on the other side.
- Lie on your belly, extending your arms and legs straight out in front of you.
- As you inhale, lift your arms and legs off the floor. Slowly alternate your arms and legs in a flutter movement, continuing the movement for 30 seconds.
- Start on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
- Keep your right knee at a 90-degree angle as you slowly raise your leg to the right until it is parallel to the ground. Avoid lifting your right hip, as you should keep both hips squared toward the floor.
- With control, lower your leg back to the ground.
- Continue for 30 seconds on the right side, then switch to the left leg for another 30 seconds.