Healthy Gym Tips

What are 5 Basic Exercises that I Should Know Right Now

It's good to know a basic gym workout you can do anytime, particularly as a beginner. Simple agility exercises that help you with your life of health and fitness.
basic exercises

Going to the gym for beginners can be a little daunting at first. Once you have the basic knowledge of the gym and have had a tour of the facilities, how do you know what to do next? While you are starting out it is important to know that you don’t have to rush to the machines to get the best workout. Sometimes it is best to get familiar first with basic exercises to start in the gym before moving on to more complex workouts.

Deciding to follow a healthier and active lifestyle is a fabulous starting point. But now that you’re in the action part of that decision be kind to yourself. Realistic expectations allow that it will take some time to get your muscles and joints in shape.

In your first sessions, the idea should be to combine cardio with strength training. Put into practice some of the fundamental basic gym workout exercises to get started.

A simple full body workout will get the ball rolling. It will give your body a chance to adapt and go through the muscle soreness from working out in new ways.

The best basic exercises you can do

We can start by saying that one of the most basic exercises you do is walking. Cardio exercise is easy to start with and it will help you increase your lung capacity and your heart rate. You can walk around the block, up and down some stairs or take your dog to the park. This is our go-to foremost recommendation for beginners.

But there is a series of basic exercises that will help you get your body moving and your muscles working. Remember, as you continue to do these workouts, your body will take less time to recover.

Dedicate the first sessions to learning how to do the exercises the right way. As you master it begin to increase the number of repetitions. Building up this way you can avoid the excessive aches, muscle pains or injuries.

The basic workout for beginners will generally include the following exercises:

1. Squats

It is one of the most complete exercises you can do at the gym, especially effective for working the lower body. You use glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings in all the different forms of squats. These exercises also work the back and core muscles to help with strength and stability.

To do a squat in the correct way:

  • stand with your legs apart, at shoulder height
  • contract your abdomen and push your chest forward
  • maintaining the correct posture, bend your knees and lower your buttocks as if you were going to sit down 
  • when descending, check that your knees do not obstruct the vision of the balls of your feet. If this happens, it means you need to lean further back
  • go as low as you can
  • raise slowly to the starting posture
  • repeat
basic exercises

2. Pull-ups

The pull up workout is a classic gym exercise that will help you strengthen your arms and upper back muscles. The pull-up consists of ‘hanging’ from a bar and raising the body to the bar. You have to overcome the resistance of your body weight. You will also have to tense your core and legs to avoid swaying when going up and going down again.

It is a good idea to learn the technique for doing pull-ups before including them in your starter routine. Depending on your physical condition, this exercise could be difficult to do. If that’s the case, there are ways to do small progressions of the movement to get towards doing it unassisted. You could use a machine to do it easier, but you could also use resistance bands as you start to learn the motion. Don’t rely on this long term as you want to build the strength to do it yourself for maximum results.

basic exercises

3. Push-ups

2- 3 sets of between 5 and 8 repetitions of this fundamental exercise is a great goal. Push-ups will help you to increase power and resistance in the legs, arms and trunk. It is a key strength building movement to a lot of basic exercises as well as other more complex exercises. To do push-ups:

  • get onto your hands and knees with your hands just wider than your shoulders
  • straighten your legs and arms with elbows slightly bent (also called a plank)
  • an alternative for the beginner is to stay on your knees
  • slowly bend your elbows as you lower yourself til your chest almost touches the floor
  • hold briefly, then raise yourself up to straight arms again
  • repeat

If you’re starting to do push-ups, try to keep your back straight at all times. If they are too difficult for you, you can start doing the push-ups with your knees supported. The unique thing about push-ups is that there are so many variations of the exercise to keep it fresh. There is a variety of push-up progressions as you develop.

basic exercises

4. Sit-ups

Sit-ups are a popular exercise because they help tone the core muscles. This exercise, when done the right way, can lead to increased fat burning and strength. They are the perfect complement to aerobic exercises.

Like push-ups, there are a variety of progressions to sit-ups. Some of these are crunches, the basic plank and dead-bugs. If you’re aiming for a 6 pack workout then sit-ups are going to be in the mix. You can even use equipment like ab rollers and pull-up stations as you look to add more of a challenge.

In any case, focus on making the effort from your abdomen, and never pull with your neck. Don’t hold on to your head either, you need to avoid pulling it in the workout. Make sure you spend your first sessions working on the proper technique. If you rush through it doing the wrong thing, not only are you limiting the benefits from it, but you are also increasing the injury risk.

basic exercises

5. Bench press

The bench press is one of the first exercises you should do in the gym if you want to focus on a strength training. With it you will work pectorals, shoulders and arms, especially the triceps. You can do it on a machine or on the traditional training bench. But always start with a low – moderate weight to avoid overload and injuries.

If it is your first time doing this exercise, start with dumbbells before progression to a barbell. This way you can learn the basics of the movement with a lower weight to avoid injuries. As you get better you can progress to the barbell, but try to have someone around to help ‘spot’ you as you do the exercise. This will help you stay safe if you fatigue while holding the bar, as they can help you to not drop it on yourself.

basic exercises

Always remember to warm up

As a last tip, especially to beginners, warming up before any intense exercise and stretching after the session is vital to help. Preparing your body will help you achieve the best results.

Also, don’t forget that you can count on the supervision of a personal trainer or a room monitor in the gym. It may be helpful to run through these exercises with a personal trainer or someone experienced in the gym. This way you can learn the ropes and hit the ground running.

Healthy Gym Tips

Healthy Gym Tips

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