5 Weight Lifting Exercises for Absolute Beginners

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January is nan period of Fitness New Year’s Resolution and contempt gyms being closed successful astir countries, nan number of group jumping connected nan workout and weight-loss train is higher than it has ever been.

Most group that are acrophobic of going to nan gym person been converted to home-training complete nan pandemic (most of you Lifehack readers mightiness moreover person purchased my Busy Yet Fit Home Workouts video course) and now—hungry for quicker results—are stocking up pinch dumbbells and barbells to adhd immoderate juice to their home-workouts.

Adding beginner-friendly weight lifting exercises to a elemental bodyweight regular is nan adjacent logical measurement to stimulate musculus growth, pain much calories, and summation wide strength.

The different broadside of nan coin is that poorly executed exercises pinch weights tin lead to superior injuries, and immoderate exercises mightiness not beryllium very effective, ending up wasting your clip doing thing that doesn’t really bring you immoderate benefits astatine all.

For nan above-mentioned reasons, I’ll stock pinch you my 5 favourite and astir effective weight lifting exercises that each beginner should maestro earlier jumping into analyzable routines.

Note: Nothing compares to having a trainer screening your movements. Most times, erstwhile I enroll a caller customer successful my programs, I person to walk a batch of clip addressing vulnerable activity patterns aliases stiff and achy joints. If you are worried astir your posture aliases person little back, shoulder, aliases cervix pain, please don’t effort to assistance dense weights without guidance.

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Weight Training Basics You Need to Know

Here are a fewer basal “gym jargon” you should familiarise yourself pinch if you want to assistance weights.

One assistance of weights aliases completion of an workout activity is called “repetition” aliases “rep” for short. A bid of repetitions is called a “set of reps” aliases a “set” for short.

A communal workout proposal for beginners is to do 3 sets of 10 repetitions of an exercise, often written arsenic 3×10—for example, 3 sets of 10 squats.

When starting, effort 1 aliases 2 repetitions pinch a debased weight to get nan consciousness of nan procedure. Then, effort up to 10 repetitions consecutively (one set).

Try lighter aliases heavier weights for comfortableness pinch useful intensity. If you tin only do little than 8 reps, past you whitethorn beryllium lifting excessively dense a weight. If you tin do much than 12 reps without excessively overmuch effort, opportunity 20, you whitethorn request to weight up a little, though immoderate programs for spot endurance usage this galore reps. This applies to each exercises described.

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You should remainder betwixt sets truthful that your assemblage replenishes its power strategy for nan adjacent round. Time taken betwixt sets tin beryllium arsenic short arsenic 60 seconds aliases arsenic agelong arsenic 5 minutes depending connected nan strength and weight. One to 2 minutes is usually capable remainder clip for a 10 rep group of mean to debased intensity.

Safety Basics You Need to Know

When doing aggravated workouts, particularly weight lifting exercises, you person to beryllium cautious because improper practices whitethorn lead to injuries.

Rounded back

Exercises for illustration nan squat, limb press, and deadlift require movements that spot nan spine nether unit successful ways that tin precipitate injuries, peculiarly to nan lumbar aliases little spine. In specified exercises, nan value of keeping nan backmost consecutive aliases somewhat arched successful nan neutral position cannot beryllium overemphasized, particularly for beginners. No rounded backs, please.


Hyperextension intends pushing a associated beyond its normal scope of movement. This whitethorn nutrient wounded erstwhile excessive associated activity stresses ligaments and tendons excessively much. This interest has led to nan communal proposal not to fastener retired nan arms astatine nan elbow aliases nan legs astatine nan knees erstwhile doing immoderate number of exercises pinch weights.

Okay, capable pinch nan boring stuff. Now, let’s get to nan meat—or should I opportunity “let’s get to nan iron.”

Compound Movements

These are nan main exercises you would usually execute pinch a barroom aliases pinch dumbbells. They are called compound movements because they impact respective joints astatine once, and they prosecute a ample number of muscles, making them your go-to exercises.

Every bully weight lifting workout programme for beginners will attraction chiefly connected compound movements to build a coagulated guidelines of wide spot and musculus mass.

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1. Squat


Lower body

Equipment Needed: Barbell aliases 2 Dumbbells

The squat assistance workout is arguably 1 of nan champion wide weight lifting exercises for building little assemblage and limb powerfulness and strength. Because this is simply a compound workout that engages aggregate muscles and joints astatine once, it takes immoderate instruction and believe to maestro safely.

Squats build little assemblage musculus strength, endurance, and power. Additionally, they prosecute nan halfway and amended spot and stableness successful nan trunk and precocious body.

Barbell Squat

Dumbbell Squat

2. Chest Press


Chest, arms, shoulders

Equipment Needed: Dumbbells, barbell

This workout targets nan main musculus of nan chest—the pectorals. It besides uses nan anterior deltoids of nan enarthrosis and nan triceps brachii of nan precocious arm.

Building thorax support and meaning is desirable for a fresh look, but building this musculus is besides functional. You request beardown pecs for powerfulness for sports wherever you plaything a bat, racket, aliases club. The thorax property besides helps you pinch immoderate regular activities that require pushing aliases carrying.

Barbell Chest Press

Dumbbell Ches Press

3. Deadlift


Full body, hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteals, little back, trapezius

Equipment Needed: Barbell aliases Dumbbells

The deadlift is simply a awesome measurement to build good-looking legs and backside. In a deadlift, you assistance nan weight from nan crushed to thigh-level utilizing chiefly your limb and hep muscles but pinch nan assistance of astir of nan ample musculus groups of your body.

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The deadlift is usually performed pinch a barroom and plates aliases a fixed barbell but tin beryllium done pinch dumbbells. It is simply a specialty of powerlifters that shouldn’t beryllium ignored successful wide fittingness weight training. To build musculus and functional fitness, make nan deadlift portion of your spot training workouts.

Barbell Deadlift

Dumbbell Deadlift

4. Overhead Press



Equipment Needed: Dumbbells

The dumbbell overhead property increases spot passim nan shoulders and engages nan halfway for stability. It tin beryllium done successful either a sitting aliases opinionated position and pinch dumbbells held horizontally astatine nan shoulders aliases rotated successful a hammer grip. A sitting position helps stabilize nan back, while a opinionated position useful a wider scope of muscles.

Beginners should prime ray weights to start, expanding it until you find a weight that you tin assistance pinch bully shape for 10 repetitions but consciousness fatigued astatine nan last rep. Women mightiness commencement pinch 5-pound dumbbells and men pinch 10-pound dumbbells. You tin usage this workout successful immoderate precocious assemblage spot workout.

Barbell Overhead Press

Dumbbell Overhed Press

5. Lat Pulldown (if you can’t execute pull-ups)


Shoulders, back

Equipment Needed: Cable pulley machine

Most beginners won’t beryllium capable to propulsion themselves up, therefore, nan Lat Pulldown instrumentality offers a bully starting action to build immoderate backmost muscles. The pulldown workout useful nan backmost muscles, particularly nan latissimus dorsi aliases nan “lats.” It is performed astatine a workstation pinch adjustable resistance, usually plates.

While sitting pinch your precocious thighs restrained nether a thigh pad, you propulsion a hanging barroom down toward you to scope chin level and then, merchandise it backmost up pinch power for 1 repetition. This workout tin beryllium utilized to execute a V-shaped back.

What About Body Sculpting Exercises?

I often get asked questions connected nan statement of “how do I get free of my flabby arms?” aliases “how tin I trim my soul thighs aliases emotion handles?”

The sadistic truth is that focusing connected mini assemblage parts doesn’t bring results contempt vigorous efforts. As a beginner, spending a batch of clip training your biceps, stomach, aliases obliques won’t get you nan assemblage of your dreams.

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Focusing connected building a batch of spot and a coagulated guidelines of musculus pinch compound movements while adding immoderate postural corrective exercises will guarantee agelong word improvement. That’s why nan 5 weight lifting exercises I listed supra should beryllium your main attraction for nan first 6 to 12 months of weight training.

More Weight Lifting Exercises for Beginners

  • 15 Bodybuilding Tips for Beginners
  • Revealed: The 6 Best Beginner’s Exercises for You to Get a Strong Core
  • The Ultimate List for Common Strength Training Mistakes to Avoid

Featured photograph credit: Sam Sabourin via unsplash.com

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