One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to start exercising more. But, we appreciate that for some people the gym can be quite daunting, especially if you are new to exercising. Everyone has to start somewhere! It’s all about doing the best you can for your fitness level and goals. These easy exercises are a great place to start.
But first things first, pack a TREK bar! Trek bars are the ultimate gym snack! Whether you want a Protein Power Bar or Energy Bar to keep you going or a Protein Nut Bar as the perfect post workout snack, there is a Trek bar to support your training. So be sure to pack a Trek snack in your gym bag for your next workout session!
Lunges are a great way to strengthen your core and improve your posture. To start off with just use your bodyweight – you can add weights later to the exercise once you build up your strength. Remember to engage your abdominal muscles, keep your back straight and stand shoulder width apart. Then take a step forward and bend both your knees until the back knee is just above the ground. Repeat this action 10 times, alternating legs, for 2-3 reps.
Squats are the perfect exercise for beginners, but goblet squats in particular are great for building lower body strength which can help you work towards more difficult exercises. You will need one dumbbell which should be easily available at any gym. For beginners, it might be worth going for the lowest weight, or the weight that’s right for you without causing any strain. Then simply stand shoulder width apart, hold the dumbbell in the centre of your chest, face forward, engage your core and bend your knees with your hips pressed back. Inhale as you squat down, and exhale as you come back up. Repeat 8 times for 3-5 sets. This will work your core, quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves!
If you are new to weightlifting then standing barbell curls are a good place to start. You will need a barbell which should be available at your gym. To assemble a barbell, pick up the pole then select the weights to attach to each end – we recommend a lighter weight to begin with. Always make sure you complete a gym induction so you can use the equipment safely, or ask for help! Then stand up tall, face forwards and grip the barbell with your palms facing up. Then curl the bar up, bending your elbows, and slowly bring it back down again. Complete this movement 10-15 times.
Top tip: If you are uncomfortable with a barbell then a dumbbell in each hand can work just as well!
The Russian Twist is a simple abdominal exercise that is great for those who may struggle with sit ups or crunches. Grab a gym mat to make yourself more comfortable and sit on the floor with your back straight. Cross your feet so you are balancing more on your tailbone. Then cross your fingers so your hands are clasped together, and twist from side to side. To make this exercise harder, you can add a weight to twist with, or lift your feet off the ground.
The plank is one of the most well known exercises and is great for beginners! All you need is a gym mat to take the pressure off your elbows, and your own bodyweight. Then lie down face first and place your elbows under your shoulders. Make sure your legs are straight, and your spine is in a neutral position then push off from your elbows and hold this position for 20-30 seconds.
Top tip: If you are struggling to hold the plank then do 3 shorter reps of 10 seconds to build up your strength.
The treadmill is a great exercise for beginners because you are in control of your own pace. Whether you want to walk, jog, or run you can go at the speed that’s right for you. We recommend walking on an incline for beginners, making sure not to hold onto the handles. This has been found to be just as effective as jogging for those who prefer a slower pace.
We always recommend taking a bottle of water to the gym. If you forget, there is usually a canteen, vending machine or water fountain to ensure you stay hydrated. It is important to drink plenty of water before, during and after a workout in order to keep your performance levels up and avoid dehydration which can be dangerous.
If you’re new to the gym you may have big ideas of what your ultimate goals may be, or the type of harder exercises you want to try out. However, it is important to break these overarching goals into smaller milestones that are easier to achieve. For example ‘I want firm abs’ may be too broad a statement to achieve in the short term, whereas ‘I want to increase my sit up capabilities from 10 to 20 reps’ is an achievable goal you can build upon.
Read our guide to Fitness Goals You Can Stick To for more information.
Working out is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s best to start off relatively easy, then build the difficulty level of your workout routine over time. If you ever feel unwell, or strained, then it’s time to stop that exercise and grab a sip of water. After all, if you cause an injury then you may have to sit out of the gym for a while so it’s best to do simple exercises over more days.
It takes time to achieve the goals you want. Consistency is the key to success. Keep powering on with the gym a few times a week and you will start to build your strength and muscle. You will have to keep up with your workout routine in the long run to maintain results.
There we have it! Some simple exercises and gym tips for beginners. So what are you waiting for? Try some of these easy exercises out. You will become a fitness guru in no time!
For even more gym inspiration read our blogs on How to get Motivated for the Gym and How to Create a Home Gym. Remember to eat before you workout for a long lasting energy. Our high protein TREK bars will do just the trick! Buy a TREK bar here.