One of the biggest roadblocks people seem to face when it comes to losing weight is where the heck to actually start. There are SO MANY options these days and plans to follow and honestly, it’s really confusing. When I was first starting out I remember it was easy for me to pick my “food program” (Weight Watchers) because it was what I had seen my mom do growing up and it always worked for her. BAM, step 1, taken care of pretty easily. BUT when it came down to me walking into a gym and knowing what to do or what plan to follow I was completely clueless. I ended up joining a gym and hiring a personal trainer all on the same day because for me I needed to not think about my workouts. Sometimes, when you first start you need to just be accountable for showing up, and for me it worked.
I was over 200 pounds when I started training and I would see my trainer 3-4 days a week. I remember so vividly a lot of my first workouts with my trainer. I was determined to become a strong woman and I thought for sure I would be picking up as much weight as I could carry. W.R.O.N.G.
Instead, I used my very own body weight to sweat the pounds away. That’s right, bodyweight exercises are extremely effective, especially when you are just starting a new workout program. I needed to learn how my body moved and performed before I could start adding additional weight.
So today, I wanted to share the 5 bodyweight exercises I did almost every time I saw my trainer. These exercises might not look challenging but believe me (even still to this day they challenge me) they definitely are! Most importantly, they are amazing to help build a strong core and foundation so you can start adding additional resistance eventually!
The Best 5 Body Weight Exercises for Beginners
The Bear Crawl
Be a sexy beast and start crawling your way across the gym, yes you might feel like you look ridiculous but who cares, your shoulders, booty, and core are getting a run for their money with this move! This move is a MAJOR calorie burner, trust me. After I got pretty amazing at these my trainer would strap resistance bands around my waist for the added challenge!
You know the drill here, form-arms or high up on your hands, this move works the entire body and again is a major calorie burner. Start by holding these as long as you can, even if it’s just 15 seconds. Take a short breather and pop back up into the plank position and keep repeating until you reach 5 minutes! I would finish in a pool of sweat!
The Knee Push-Up
Find something soft to rest your knees on and get to work! Push-ups are amazing for building upper body strength, which everyone needs to help support themselves and have great posture. And have ZERO shame doing a push-up on your knees, they are just as effective this way!
These are a great warm-up and will give you a nice little stability challenge as well. Start on all fours, hands, and knees. and extend your opposite arm and leg. Reach in both directions and make sure to keep your hips level then when you feel stable bring your elbow to meet your knee in a sort of crunch motion. Repeat on each side 10 times.
The Jumping Jack
Yes, I’m taking you back to grade school with this retro cardio burner! Jumping jacks are amazing and sort of fun. If you need to take them slowly by taking the jump out and stepping your legs side to side and raising your arms up and down. Work your way up to the full move when you are ready.
I hope you all found this helpful! I would love to hear how you all started out on your “gym” journeys! Did you go at it alone and teach yourself, go to fitness classes or hire a trainer as I did?! Let me know in the comments below!
And to all those who are just starting out, remember, we've all been in your shoes! Don't be afraid to ask for help or ask questions!