I am well aware the gym, and especially the weight room, is an intimidating place for many. I myself, for the longest time hated working out alone, because I questioned if I was doing the exercises right. But I began to noticed that most exercises in the same muscle group share similar techniques to engage the primary muscle. Here is a beginner workout with no weight and can be done in the comfort in your own home. I will share 3 basic tips on how to properly engage the muscles.
Click on exercise to see videos to demonstrate the exercise.
Perform 10 repetitions per exercise sequentially with no breaks after all 6 completed, take a one minute break and repeat for 5 more times.
Body Squats – A leg workout that works the hamstring, glutes and quadriceps, and other smaller muscles. To perform a squat sit back and lowering the hips (like your sitting on a toilet). Focus on:
- Having the feet shoulder width apart and when coming up pushing through the heels.
- Keeping the back entirely straight through out the movement.
- Pointing the knees straight, not flaring out, and allowing the knees to never pass your feet.
Knee Push-ups – A chest and from shoulder workouts. Place the knees and hands on the ground, walk out the hands till the back is straight, lower yourself as far as you can go; don’t drop yourself. These 3 tips below also applies to barbell bench press or other chest press exercises. Focus on:
- Placing the hands shoulder length apart and fingers spread apart.
- Keeping the elbows pointed in a 45 degree angle, so the the shoulder does not take over the movement.
- Maintaining the back straight and shoulder blades pressed together, to only allow the engagement of the chest muscle.
Walking Lunges – An exercise for majority of the leg muscles. When doing lunges push through the back heel of the rear leg to step forward. Same principal applies in squats, as well as in most leg exercise, back straight, knees pointed straight and knees should never passing the feet.
Bi-cycle Crunch – Core workout that engages all the three ab muscles (obliques, lower and upper abdominal). Lay on the ground, knees up to where they are perpendicular to the floor, hands behind neck, and touch elbow to opposite side knee and then on the other side. Focus on:
- Keeping the back and neck straight, not pushed forward, to prevent using the back muscle to lift off the ground.
- Squeezing the glutes throughout the movement, which tightness the abdominal.
- Contracting the abs to perform the movement and just moving the elbow to the knee.
Reverse Snow Angle – A back exercise that focus on lats and middle back muscles, and is great exercise to demonstrates how to best engage the right muscles for most back exercises. Place yourself facedown on the ground, arms and hands palms down and off the grounds in a 45 degree angle, bringing them up and over the shoulders and back down. Focus on
- Keeping the shoulder blades down and pressed together throughout the movement.
- Fully extending the entire back at the top of the movement, feeling the back stretch.
- Pretending to be pulling something apart and not pushing down.
Bench Dips– This is a tricep workout, but the tips could also work for biceps. Use a bench to perform the exercise and place the feet flat on the ground for beginners. Focus on:
- Squeezing on the primary muscles (in this exercise the tricep) at the top of the movement, and fully extending the opposite muscle (in this exercise the biceps).
- Keeping the elbows close to the body and not flaring out.
- Relaxing the shoulders down to prevent engagement.