New to strength training?

Exercise physiologist and strength and conditioning coach William Alexander shares a workout for beginners. Don’t worry, you don’t even need to step foot in a gym. You can sweat it out in a park, at home or even on your lunch break. It will have your core burning (in a good way!).

Go on! Break a sweat, get your blood pumping then bask in that killer endorphin buzz.

CIRCUIT 1

10 repetitions of each exercise for 3 rounds.

Body weight box squat
  • Start with feet shoulder width apart, toes pointing forward, with your back to the bench.
  • Allow yourself to crease at the hips, slightly sticking your bottom out.
  • Bend at the knees, lowering yourself towards the bench.
  • Ensure your knees track in the same direction your toes are pointing, and the chest stays proud.
  • If you find your knees wanting to go inwards, pay attention to realigning them.
  • As you stand up, make sure you squeeze your quads and glutes.

TOO EASY? Find something heavy to hold while you squat.

Push up (hands off)
  • Start on your knees, with hands just a little wider than shoulder width.
  • Keeping your core engaged, and spine straight, slowly lower yourself towards the ground.
  • Allow your chest to rest on the floor, take your hands off the ground before placing them back on the floor and pushing your body back the starting position.

TOO EASY? Try on your toes instead of knees.

Glute bridge
  • Start lying on your back, with heels together, and close to your bottom.
  • Lift the toes off the ground, and drive through the heels, sending your hips up toward the ceiling.
  • Ensure that your knees are slightly apart, and you squeeze your glutes at the top.

TOO EASY? Try with your heels slightly elevated on a step.

CIRCUIT 2:

10 repetitions of each exercise for 3 rounds.

Hip hinge
  • Stand with feet hip width apart with a slight bend in the knees.
  • Keeping your spine straight, and stomach muscles tensed, allow your hips to hinge forward.
  • You’ll feel the hamstrings at the back of your thighs lengthen.
  • Enjoy the stretch for one second before returning to the top and squeezing the glutes.

TOO EASY? Try single leg (you may need to stand beside a wall to catch your balance)

Towel row
  • Wrap a towel around an upright post, and hold onto each end of the towel.
  • Lean back, so that your arms are straight and your body weight places some tension through the towel.
  • Pull yourself towards the pole by bending at the elbows and sending them back behind you (imagine they are trying to touch each other behind you).
  • Make sure you are pulling your shoulder blades in towards your spine when you get to the pole.

TOO EASY? Walk the feet in a little closer to the pole!

Reverse lunge

This exercise will require a little bit of balance (use a wall for balance if you need).

  • Take a step backwards with one leg, sending it back far enough so that your front shin remains vertical.
  • Allow your knees to bend, sending your body weight towards the ground (but make sure you don’t let your knee touch the ground).
  • Ensure that your feet, knees, hips, and shoulders are all square to the front.
  • Once you’ve completed a step back, push the ball of your foot into the ground, sending you back to the starting position.

TOO EASY? Try holding onto something a little heavy.