Doing a great workout can make your day a little better. That’s because you’ve engaged your muscles and released chemicals in your brain that can help lighten your mood. Moreover, it makes you feel productive not only with what you’ve done for the day but also with the improvements you’ve made for your body.
If you’re a beginner at the gym, you might have a little problem with where to start. In this Forever Living deep dive into exercise routines, we’ll show you some of the things that you can do to help you get started. This article isn’t only for Nigerians who are only beginning to work out, this is also helpful for those who’ve stopped and need a refresher on how gym workouts go.
How can you consider a routine good?
A good routine isn’t determined by the number of minutes spent in the gym. It’s easy to go about a 45-minute workout halfheartedly without getting tired or sweaty. That’s not how you can make the most out of your gym session in Nigeria.
What you need to focus on instead is completing repetitions and sets efficiently with the correct rest time. You should also practice your form so that you don’t strain your muscles.
Quality is always important in gym workouts. This should be your focus instead of the quantity of reps that you do. This not only helps you get acquainted with the routine better but also help you improve gradually until you can move on to more complex exercises.
Workouts good for beginners
Sticking to the basics of form and routine is the best way for you to make the regimen effective. It’s best that you keep everything to a minimum at first before you move on to more complicated routines.
Here are some of the workouts that might help you get started on the gym floor:
Keep things short and simple at first with lunges. This exercise can help challenge your balance and promote functional movement on your lower body. Moreover, it also increases the strength of your legs and glutes.
Here’s how you can get started with lunges:
- First, stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands at the sides or keep them grounded to your waist.
- Take a step forward with your right leg then bend your right knee. Make sure that your right knee does not extend past your right foot. Your left leg should also bend with the knees touching the ground.
- Using your core and lower body strength, push up all your weight and return to the starting position. Do the whole process again but instead, start with your left leg. Completing everything is one rep.
- To make this effective, you must complete 3 sets with 10 reps of lunges.
Want to burn unwanted calories? You might want to consider adding squats to your routine. This exercise increases your lower body and core strength. It also improves your flexibility in the lower back and hips since the exercise engage some of the largest muscle groups in the body.
Here’s how you can get started with squats:
- First thing you need to do is stand up straight with your feet wide. This should be slightly wider than the shoulder-width apart stance. Place your arms either at the sides or clasp them together in front of your chest.
- Get your core ready and keep your chest and chin up. Your hips should be back and knees are bent as if you’re sitting on a chair.
- Drop down your lower body until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Bring your arms out in front of you in whatever comfortable position you can. Pause for a second then extend your legs to go back to the starting position. Completing this is one rep.
- To make this effective, you must complete 3 sets with 20 reps of squats.
- Push ups
Bodyweight routines are good for the whole body, especially the push up exercise. This is a challenging workout but considered one of the basics. This can engage a number of different muscle groups in your body and effectively burn out calories.
Here’s how you can get started with push ups:
- What you need to do first is start in a plank position with your core engaged. Your shoulders and back should be pulled down and your neck neutral without having any strain on it.
- At the beginning, your arms should be straight. Once your set with your form, bend your elbows and begin lowering your body down to the floor.
- When your chest is levelled on the ground, extend your elbow and return to the starting position. Make sure that your elbow are close to the body while doing the movement. Completing this is one rep.
- To make this effective, you must complete 3 sets with 20 reps of push ups.
- Dumbbell rows
Your upper body needs tough love, too. That’s why dumbbell rows are an effective compound exercise that you can do to strengthen multiple muscles at your back. You can choose a moderate weight of dumbbel to ensure that you’re squeezing and engaging the right muscles at your back.
Here’s how you can get started with dumbbell rows:
- First thing you need to do is prepare two 10-pound dumbbells, one for each hand. Start your form standing straight with both your feet as close to one another as possible.
- Bend your waist forward. This will enable your back to be at a 45-degree angle to the ground. However, make sure that your back is not arched.
- Let your arm hang straight down while holding the dumbbells. While doing this, ensure your neck is in line with the back and your core is engaged.
- Bend your right elbow first and pull the weight straight toward your chest. Make sure that you engage your lateral muscles as you do this. After that, return to starting position and repeat the process on your left elbow. Completing this is one rep.
- To make this effective, you must complete 3 sets with 10 reps of dumbbell rows.
This exercise is something that’s agonising but effective for your body. Although it can be tiring to do this with the amount of reps as well as movements you need to accomplish, this routine shouldn’t be skipped from your workout. Not only does it provide you muscle strength, it also is good for your cardiovascular endurance.
Here’s how you can get started with burpees:
- First, fix your initial form by standing upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your arms should be fixed at your sides.
- Place your hads in front of you and start to squat down. Once you’re near the ground, place your hands on the flat surface and pop your legs straight back into a push up position.
- While you’re on plank position, use your leg power to jump your feet up to your palms by hinging at the waist. Make sure to get your feet as close to your hands as possible without stepping on them.
- Go back to squat position and then push your body weight up so you can standstraight. Bring your arms above your head then jump. Completing this is one rep.
- To make this effective, you must complete 3 sets with 10 reps of burpees.
To target your abdominal muscles as well as your whole body, you need some static exercises like the plank. This can be excruciating at first for beginners but the effects are marvellous. Moreover, this exercise stabilises your core without having to strain your back the way sit ups or crunches can when you’re in bad form.
Here’s how you can get started with your plank position:
- First, you must begin ina push up position with hands and feet firmly planted on the ground.
- Your core should be engaged and your back straight without arching at any degrees. Moreover, keep your chin slightly tucked to your chest and your gaze just in front of your hands.
- In this rep, you’ll need to hold the position for 30 seconds while taking deep and controlled breaths. You should also maintain the tension throughout your entire body so that the abs, shoulders, triceps, glutes and quad muscles are all engaged.
- To make this effective, you must complete 2 to 3 sets with 1 rep each on plank position.
- Glute bridge
Your posterior also needs a bit of a workout from time to time so you can improve on your strength. The glute bridge is the perfect workout for this since it’ll strengthen your glutes as well as make them perkier and rounded.
Here’s how you can get started with your glute bridge:
- Lie on your back first and then bend your knees with your feet flat on the ground. Your arms should be straight at your sides with palms facing down.
- Using your strength, push through your heels to raise your hips off the ground. Make sure to squeeze your core, glutes and hamstrings to keep these muscles engaged throughout the workout.
- Don’t lift your upper back and shoulders that much. These parts of your body should still be in contact with the ground with your core and knees forming a straight line.
- Pause for 1 to 2 seconds when your core, hamstrings and glutes reach the top then return to the starting position.