There are hundreds of exercises and variations which can make everything seem daunting but we are here to tell you that all you need are these 10 exercises in your back pocket to get the results you want while developing your strength and learning about the world of weight training.
Whether your goal is to grow muscle, develop your strength, or lose weight these exercises will help you to achieve your goals.
Once you have the basics down and have perfected your form you will be able to start doing variations of all of these exercises as well as incorporating weights if you have solely been using your bodyweight or heavier weights if you have been using weights from the beginning of your training.
Top 10 Weight Training Exercises For Beginners
The below exercises are the top 10 weight training exercises for beginners. Once you have nailed the form for these exercises you can add more weight or start to perform more difficult variations.
These exercises will help build your strength so that you can progress onto more complex exercises in time.
Equipment Needed: No (weights can be added to increase difficulty)
The basic squat is a great exercise to have in your repertoire. Squats work out every muscle group in your body but are especially great for building strength in your glutes and leg muscles.
Equipment Needed: Yes, dumbbell weights or a weighted bar
Deadlifts are a difficult exercise to master so we recommend perfecting the form without using weights initially and then gradually building your way up to a heavier weight.
You can use dumbbells or weighted bars when performing this exercise but weighted bars are easier as you don’t have to focus on moving both arms at the same time, as you would when using two dumbbells.
Equipment Needed: Yes, leg press machine
The leg press machine is great as there are a number of variations of this exercise and you can also work your calf on this machine.
The main thing to remember here is to always have a bend in your knees, never lock your knees at the top of the exercise to avoid a serious accident.
Equipment Needed: No (dumbbell weights can be added to increase difficulty)
Lunges are great for working your legs as well as working your balance.
There are lots of variations when it comes to lunges but take the time to master this basic form before moving onto more complicated variations.
Equipment Needed: No
Working the obliques is important as core strength will help you to lift more. During all weight training exercises, your core is engaged so it is important to work this muscle specifically.
When beginning with crunches, focus on using your core muscles to lift you up to avoid straining your neck.
Equipment Needed: No (resistance bands and weights can be added to increase difficulty)
Planks are a fantastic way of building up your body strength as you hold your entire body weight up and taught.
Begin this exercise on your knees and build your way up. Try holding for 30 seconds and build up the time from this starting point.
Equipment Needed: No
If you want toned and defined arms then this is the exercise for you. Push-ups are a great way of working the arms, shoulder, and back.
Equipment Needed: Yes, a pull up frame or assisted pull-up machine
This exercise can be tricky to begin so we recommend looking for a weight-assisted pull-up machine when starting out with this exercise.
Mastering pull-ups will help with your ability to hold your body weight in other exercises as you progress into more difficult weight training exercises.
Equipment Needed: Yes, dumbbells weights
Curls can be performed two ways, one of which works your biceps and the other way works your triceps.
Don’t use any weights and go through the motion before introducing weights. Start with light weights and slowly progress onto higher weights.
This basic move will really benefit the strength of your biceps and triceps.
Equipment Needed: Yes. dumbbell weights
Similar to the curls, this exercise is performed using dumbbell weights usually and can be performed standing up or sitting down.
This exercise links in with pull-ups and push-ups as they all strengthen the upper body, with this exercise focusing on your upper back and shoulders.
Tips For Weight Training Beginners
Always Start With Your Body Weight
When learning a new exercise, perfect the form using only your body weight before introducing any other weights.
This will help you to feel what the motion should feel like when performed correctly and allow you to correct your form when you introduce weights.
Warm-Up Before Exercising
Preparing your muscles before exercising is an essential part of weight training.
By warming up you loosen the muscles meaning that they are ready for exercise and injury becomes less likely.
Follow a schedule & track your progress
Following a schedule will allow you to become more comfortable in the gym as you will know what you are going to do each time you go there.
Following a schedule will also give your muscles rest days while you alternate working different muscle groups depending on the day.
It is also useful to track your progress so you remember what weights you have lifted previously as well as tracking your reps and sets to ensure you are achieving your goals.
Always Remember The Correct Form
It is always useful to complete an exercise with only your body weight to remind yourself of the correct form before lifting weights.
Correct form is the only way you will get results and also the only way you can protect yourself from getting injured.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Weight Training Do?
Weight training is a great way to build up your strength as well as work on your aerobic health.
When performing weight training exercises your muscles are put under stress which makes them learn how to adapt which leads to an increase in strength.
Your aerobic health is linked to your lung and your heart, working your aerobic health is a great way of strengthening your heart and lungs which can help prevent serious illnesses.
Will Weight Training Make Me Gain Weight?
No, this is a gym myth. Weight training, when performed correctly, will increase your strength which will make your muscles grow but it also is a great way of losing weight as lifting weights burns fat.
As you lose fat your newly strengthened and enhanced muscles start to show which makes you look toned and strong.
Weight training is a great way of working the entire body through only a few exercises, like those outlined in the guide above.
Is It Safe To Lift Weights Every Day?
It is safe to weight train every day so long as you are not exercising the same muscle groups every single day. Often when weight training you will have a schedule that you follow.
This schedule gives certain muscle groups a rest so that they can repair after being trained. Resting your muscles is extremely important to avoid injury and also to see more visible results.
A basic schedule would be to work your way down your body, starting with a day dedicated to the upper body and a day dedicated to the lower body.
Depending on how often you work out you could divide your upper body workouts across two days, having one push day and one pull day.
You could also include a day for cardio and a rest day which would give you a full five-day schedule, it might look like this:
- Day One: Upper Body Push
- Day Two: Upper Body Pull
- Day Three: Cardio
- Day Four: Lower Body/Legs
- Day Five: Rest Day
Are you new to lifting weights? Unsure where to start? We hope the above 10 exercises will help you to get the results you want while developing your strength and learning about the world of weight training.