Learn How to Build Muscle

Beginner Strength Training Exercises

Contrary to popular belief, almost all strength training exercises are suitable for beginners. In most cases, the movement just needs to be modified or performed with less weight than an advanced lifter would use.

This article will discuss what beginners should know before taking on a strength training routine, safety concerns, and some exercises they should master.

First, the exercises that combine to make a routine should be ones that match your specific goals. For example, if you want stronger legs, bicep curls won’t help you reach that goal.

Often times, a beginner lifter will make the mistake of putting together a routine based on what they’ve seen other people do. Your routine needs to be individualized and it needs to address your goals. In the end, choosing exercises purposefully will help you see results much quicker. 

Secondly, women and kids usually have the most reservations regarding strength training exercises. It should be noted that as long as proper technique is used, it will only benefit the individual.

Most women are afraid to strength train because they don’t want to look big and “bulky”. This is an outrageous myth. Women do not have enough testosterone to produce muscle like men can. Women who strength train will develop a lean, athletic figure – so go lift some weights ladies!

Finally, safety is an important issue for all beginners wishing to start strength training. It is common for novice lifters to want to lift as much weight as they can the first time they try an exercise. Maxing out on exercises without proper muscle building techniques or a spotter can be extremely dangerous. Make sure you gradually work up resistance – everyone has to start somewhere! Also, a good warm-up and cool-down are essential for preventing injuries and reducing muscle soreness.

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Now that we’ve discussed what exercises beginners should use, who should start strength training, and safety, its time to review a few important exercises you should perfect. Strength training can include body weight exercises, free weights, machines or other forms of resistance (bands, medicine balls, balance boards). 

Traditionally, beginner training routines will include free weights and machines (but again, this depends on your goals). Since machines usually include instructions, we’ll review some popular free weight exercises.

As a beginner, you should take the opportunity to learn compound movements like the squat, bench press, and deadlift. All three exercises can be performed with dumbbells or barbells.

Squats: While lowering the weight, keep your core tight and your chest up. Don’t let your knees bow in or go over your toes. Bring your thighs below parallel and then explode up with the weight.

Bench Press: Make sure your feet are planted on the ground and your back is flat on the bench. Unrack the weight and lower while keeping your core tight. Bring it down to the middle of your chest and focus on using your pectorals, triceps and deltoids to raise the weight.

Deadlift: lift the weight by using a firm grip on the bar and exploding up with your legs. As you reach a standing position, keep your chest up and push your hips through the bar.
Some popular dumbbell isolation moves that beginners should learn are:

Bicep curl: As you raise the dumbbell in a controlled manner, focus on contracting your bicep. 

Tricep extension: sit straight up on a bench and raise the weight above you head. Lower the weight behind your head and slowly extend your arm up again.

With these exercises in your repertoire, you will see results in no time!

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