Top 10 Strength Training Moves for Beginners

Top 10 Strength Training Moves for Beginners

Beginning a new fitness routine can seen daunting, especially if you're incorporating strength training moves for the first time. But it doesn't have to be! Our team of expert personal trainers are sharing their ten favorite strength training moves for beginners. In addition to covering all of the major muscle groups, the moves below are simple enough to ensure proper form (meaning less change of injury). But as always, our personal trainers would be happy to demonstrate proper form or additional moves to add to the mix!

 Upper Body

  • Push-Up
    Push-ups are a fitness go-to, and with good reason! They work the arms, back and chest, using your own bodyweight. You can do them anytime, anywhere! For great form, be sure your
     shoulders are lined up over your wrists. Keep a straight spine and pull your belly button in to protect your back. 

  • Bicep Curl
    Be sure to begin with a weigh that allows you to maintain great form throughout your set. Ths move can be performed sitting or standing. Once you feel comfortable with this move, try adding it to a lower body move like squats or lunges to help you save time in the gym!

  • Lateral Raise
    This move is great for strengthening your shoulders, as well as increasing shoulder mobility. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, slowly lift out to the sides as you raise your arms until they are parallel to the floor. Slowly lower the arms back to the starting position. Maintain a slow movement to ensure your working on both the up and down phases of this move.

  • Chest Press
    Lying on a flat bench (or the floor), with arms at a 90-degree angle, push dumbbells up above chest, keeping your arms shoulder-width apart and your palms facing away from your face. Slowly bend the elbows as you lower the dumbbells back down to your chest. You can mix up this move by performing on an incline bench.

  • Overhead Press
    While this move can be performed sitting or standing, we recommend standing to help recruit more muscles in the body - just be sure to choose a weight that's light enough to ensure great form. Be sure to keep your core engaged as you lift and lower your way to amazing shoulders!


 Lower Body/Core

  1. Squat
    The squat helps tighten and strengthen the entire lower body, including your calves, quads, glutes, and hamstrings - saving you time in the gym! With hips shoulder width apart, bend at your knees and lower your body as if you are going to sit on a chair. Keep your core engaged as you lift and lower your body.   

  2. Reverse Lunge
    Similar to the squat, lunges work your entire lower body, but with the added benefit of challenge both your balance and core strength. While you can do either a forward of reverse lunge, we recommend the reverse when first starting out. Once you nail the form on the reverse lunge, give the forward lunge a go! As you step your foot back, be sure to keep your front knee  directly over your ankle to prevent knee discomfort.

  3. Glute Bridge
    If you spend the majority of your day behind a desk, your lower back, hips and glutes are probably weak. Strenghten them (and lift your booty) with this tried-and-true move.
     Make the move more challenging by holding one leg in the air as you lift and lower. 

  4. Plank
    Planks are an amazing all-over body exercise that also zeroes in on your core.  Get into push-up position and simple hold for 20-30 seconds. Be sure to maintain a straight spine to protect your back. As you get more comfortable with the move, try adding additonal seconds to the hold or experiment with lifting one arm or leg at a time.

  5. Superman
    This move strengthens your lower back and core. Lying face-down on the floor, channel your inner Superman (or Superwoman) by lifting your arms and legs off the floor simultaneously. Hold for a few seconds before lowering your body back down to the floor.  

Did you know?

New members of Onelife Fitness receive a complimentary SmartStart session with a personal trainer when joining the club. You and your trainer will discuss your health and medical history and discuss your individual goals. During our movement analysis, we'll identify physical imbalances in your body which may be causing chronic joint pain, back pain, headaches and more. You'll leave the session with a customized plan individuals for your goals and lifestyle!


10 strength training moves