If I had to choose only 6 exercises to recommend to fitness beginners, these six would be on that list. None of the six require any fancy equipment (except a jump rope), are safe to do alone and will build lean muscle tissue and/or burn calories.
I’m a big believer in starting off slowly while building core strength and lower back strength. Without a strong core and lower back, injuries are inevitable.
See the beginners exercise program to implement some of these exercises.
Top Six Exercises:
1. Lie face down on the floor with hands palm down, fingers pointing straight ahead, and aligned at the nipple line.
2. Place hands slightly wider than shoulder width, and feet should be at hip width with toes on floor.
3. Start position: Extend the elbows and raise the body off the floor.
4. Lower your entire body (legs, hips, trunk, and head) 4-8 inches from the floor.
5. Return to the start position by extending at the elbows and pushing the body up.
6. Remember to keep the head and trunk stabilized in a neutral position by isometrically contracting the abdominal and back muscles. Never fully lock out the elbows at the start position and avoid hyperextension of the low back.
Full Sit Up
Core (body weight)
1. Start position: Lie back onto floor or bench with knees bent and hands behind head. Keep elbows back and out of sight. Head should be in a neutral position with a space between chin and chest.
2. Leading with the chin and chest towards the ceiling, contract the abdominal and raise shoulders off floor or bench until you are seated in an upright position.
3. Return to start position.
4. Remember to keep head and back in a neutral position. Hyperextension or flexion of either may cause injury.
1. Start by placing feet shoulder width apart and holding your arms out in front of you.
2. Proceed to squat down like you are going to sit in a chair. Your upper body will lean forward slightly and your hips will shift backwards while going down.
3. Remember to keep your knees from going out in front of your toes while squatting.
4. Repeat according to your required repetitions. If you want to make the exercise more challenging hold your arms at your sides or behind your head.
Core (body weight)
1. Start by placing your forearms on the ground and forming a plank with your forearms and feet.
2. Hold this position keeping your body parallel to the ground for the required time.
1) Lie face down on floor with arms extended overhead. You may place a rolled towel under forehead to clear face from floor.
2) Raise right arm and left leg 4-8 inches off floor.
3) Lower and raise alternate opposite arm and leg.
Remember to keep head and back in a neutral position. Shoulders and hips should remain squared throughout movement.
Jump Rope (basic 2 feet)
Start with the jump rope in each hand.
Jump off the ground and start swinging the jump rope under your feet.
Continue jumping up and down as you bring the jump rope under your feet.
Continue for the prescribed number of jumps or time.