Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training Exercises

Knowing that you don’t need to do anything fancy to grow strong is helpful for beginners when it comes to strength training. Patience, consistency, and a few basic techniques will suffice.

Strength training might be difficult initially, so you may be rushing to find a way to gain muscle as soon as possible to make your session enjoyable. When every exercise feels like a battle, it might be difficult to find the motivation to begin a workout program and continue with it to the fullest.

Developing a strength-training regimen that is both pleasurable and successful requires starting with a strong base of exercises that target every body component. With time, you’ll notice that these few basic moves will become easier if you concentrate mostly on them. That’s your strength increasing (Hell, yeah!). After that, you can try harder or different weights, try more complex variations, or try entirely new workouts to see how far you can take the exercises.

We can help you with anything from traps to calves if you want to grow stronger but don’t know where to begin. Here are some striking advantages of muscle growth, along with basic exercises that should be a part of any beginning strength-training regimen, even if it’s completely unauthorized.

Benefits of strength training exercises:

Strength training, which uses resistance of some kind to test and develop your muscles, ought to be an essential part of your exercises regardless of where you are in your fitness path. Strength training has many advantages, and here are just a few:

  1. Burn more fat: Muscle has a higher metabolic activity than fat, therefore having more of it will increase your daily caloric expenditure.
  2. Prevent injury: Having strong muscles is correlated with having strong, supportive bones and connective tissue. All of it helps to make the body more resilient to stress than the bodies of individuals who do not engage in strength training.
  3. Stay young and healthy: Research indicates that resistance training can improve blood pressure, cholesterol, bone density, heart health, and low back discomfort. It can also alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia and arthritis.
  4. Boost mood: Studies reveal that strength training releases happy hormones called endorphins, which can help to reduce anxiety and panic attacks.
  5. Conquer fear: Confidence rises when one conquers a challenge.

Getting started:

Take into account the following actions and resources to get your strength training journey off to a successful start:

  1. Start with a brief, easy-to-use program: Four non-consecutive days a week should be dedicated to a workout that targets all muscle groups. By doing this, you’ll be able to establish a solid base and advance each week.
  2. Keep it simple: For each exercise, start with 5 sets of 5 repetitions and increase the weight progressively as you become proficient with form and technique.
  3. Use appropriate weight: Choose a weight that will not interfere with form and allow you to comfortably perform 8–10 repetitions.
  4. Allow sufficient recover time: In order to prevent extreme tiredness, take a break of at least 60 seconds between sets.
  5. Be patient: The keys to effective strength training are perseverance and steady progress.

Beginner strength exercises reps and sets:

Generally speaking, using a weight you can lift for roughly 8-10 repetitions each set with good form is advised while trying to gain strength. But if you’re just starting out, concentrate on a weight you can lift for 6 to 8 repetitions, as lifting too heavy before you’re at ease with the movements can put you at danger for injury.

Always give the best effort during the sets and also give enough time to muscles to recover between sets. Give yourself 2 to 5 minutes of rest. Although this seems like a lot of rest, it’s actually very typical for a workout intended primarily to increase muscle mass.

Perform 1 to 3 sets of each exercise if you are a beginner. You can increase to 3 to 5 sets of each exercise as you gain strength. Between workouts, give at-least yourself 48 hours to recover (i.e., stop doing heavy lifting for the muscle groups you worked).

Bodyweight Exercises Vs Weighted Exercises:

Both bodyweight exercises and weighted exercises have advantages, and the decision between the two often comes down to personal tastes, circumstances, and goals.

  1. Accessibility: Bodyweight exercises can be done almost anywhere without requiring special equipment, whereas weight training usually demands access to gyms or specialized equipment.
  2. Safety and Injury Risk: Bodyweight exercises pose a lower risk of injury due to reduced strain on joints and connective tissue. However, incorrect form can still lead to injury regardless of the method employed.
  3. Specificity: Weight training is more effective for building maximal strength and muscle size in targeted muscle groups, particularly when using heavier loads and isolation exercises.
  4. Variation and Scalability: Weight training allows for easier alteration of load, enabling progressive overload and continuous challenge. Bodyweight exercises can be modified by changing pace, positioning, or incorporating plyometrics, but scaling difficulty becomes more complex as strength increases.
  5. Measurement and Progress Tracking: Weight training uses standardized measurements (e.g., kilograms or pounds) to track progress, allowing for precise monitoring of strength gains. Bodyweight exercises rely on subjective assessments, such as repetition counts or perceived exertion.
  6. Flexibility and Mobility: Bodyweight exercises promote flexibility and mobility, as they require a greater degree of body awareness and control.

6 Excellent bodyweight exercises for strength training:

1. Squats1:


  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your knees and press your hips back.
  • Lower your body until your hips are slightly lower than your knees.
  • Press through your heels to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement until the set is complete.
  • Maintain alignment by keeping your chest up and hips back.
  • Avoid letting your knees extend beyond your toes.
  • Put pressure on the heels of your feet.
  • Breathe in as you squat and exhale as you return to the starting position.

By following these steps and focusing on proper form, you can effectively target muscles such as the glutes, hip flexors, quadriceps, abs, calves, hamstrings, and lower back.

2. Push-ups2:


  • Assume a high plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your feet hip-width apart.
  • Engage your core and squeeze your glutes.
  • Lower your body until your chest is within an inch of the ground, keeping your elbows close to your sides and avoiding flaring them out.
  • Push back up to the starting position, fully extending your arms.
  • Ensure that your body remains in a straight line from head to heels throughout the movement, and avoid lifting your hips excessively or sagging them too low.
  • Primary muscles: Chest (pecs), shoulders (delts), and triceps
  • Secondary muscles: Back (rhomboids, lats), core (abs), and legs (glutes, quads).

Modifications for Beginners:

If traditional push-ups are too challenging, begin with modifications such as:

  • Knee push-ups: Perform push-ups with your knees on the ground instead of your feet.
  • Inclined push-ups: Perform push-ups with your hands on an elevated surface, such as a chair or bench, to reduce the range of motion and decrease the difficulty.
3. Lunges3:


  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Keep your back straight, shoulders back, and abs tight.
  • Take a large step forward with one leg.
  • Slowly bend both knees until your back knee is just above the floor.
  • Stand back up by pushing through the heel of your front foot.
  • Alternate legs until the set is complete.

Lunges effectively target muscles like the glutes, quads, hamstrings, abs, and improve hip flexibility. Mastering proper form is essential to maximize the benefits of this lower body exercise.

4. Plank4:


  • Begin in a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders.
  • Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels.
  • Engage your core muscles by squeezing your glutes and pulling your belly button towards your spine.
  • Hold this position, ensuring your body remains straight and rigid.
  • Aim to hold the plank for at least 20-30 seconds initially, gradually increasing the duration as you build strength.
  • Breathe steadily and avoid holding your breath during the plank.

Plank effectively target muscles like Core muscles (rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, obliques), Lower back muscles (erector spinae),  Shoulder muscles (deltoids), glutes and Quadrabiceps. By maintaining proper form and gradually increasing the duration of your plank holds, you can effectively strengthen your core and improve overall stability.

5. Rows5:


  • Lie flat on the ground under a bar, rings, rope, suspension strap, or a pair of dip bars.
  • Grab the bar or handles with an overhand grip, palms facing away from you.
  • Keep your body straight and rigid with your heels on the floor.
  • Pull your upper body up towards your hands by engaging your back muscles.
  • Keep your torso rigid throughout the movement.
  • Lower yourself back down in a controlled manner, maintaining tension in your back muscles.
  • Perform the desired number of repetitions while focusing on proper form and controlled movement.

Bodyweight rows target the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids, posterior deltoids, erector spinae, biceps, forearms, glutes, hamstrings, and abs. This versatile exercise provides a complete upper body workout while requiring minimal equipment.

6. Dips6:


  • Grasp the parallel bars with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip.
  • Lean forward and let your elbows flare out as you lower yourself until you feel a stretch in your chest.
  • Push through your chest, extending your arms without locking them out.
  • Bend your knees and engage your core to maintain proper form.
  • Keep the shoulder blades tight together while performing the movement.
  • Lower your body until the upper and lower arms form a 90-degree angle.
  • Push through the triceps until you reach full extension, flexing the triceps at the top position.
  • Keep your elbows tight to your body and maintain an upright position.
  • Avoid lowering your body too low to prevent excessive stress on the shoulder joint.
  • Focus on the lockout and contraction of the triceps at the top position.

By following these steps and focusing on maintaining proper form, you can effectively target your triceps and chest muscles while performing dips.

6 Excellent weighted exercise for strength training:

1. Dumbbell bench press7:


  • Start with the dumbbells resting on your thigh.
  • Lie back on the bench and use your legs to push the dumbbells into place at your chest.
  • Press the dumbbells straight up slowly until your arms are fully extended.
  • Lower them back down to your chest.


  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: Set up a bench at a 30-45° incline, lift the dumbbells to chest height, and press them up using your pecs.
  • Decline Dumbbell Bench Press: Set up a bench at a 45° decline, bring the dumbbells to your chest, press them up, and avoid letting the weights drift back over your head.

By following these steps and variations, you can effectively target your chest muscles while performing the dumbbell bench press.

2. Dumbbell rows8:


  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand by the sides of your body using an overhand grip.
  • Create a small bend in your knees and hinge at the hips, leaning forward with your chest directed towards the floor and hips pushed back.
  • Maintain a neutral spine and keep your neck in line with your back to reduce any unnecessary pressure on your lower spine.
  • Take a breath in and as you exhale, bend your elbows, and pull the dumbbells towards your hips in a rowing motion.
  • Engage your back muscles by squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.
  • Retract your shoulders as you pull the weight towards your body and protract them as you extend your arms towards the floor.
  • Perform the desired number of repetitions while focusing on proper form and controlled movement.

Dumbbell rows target muscles like the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius, posterior deltoids, erector spinae, biceps, and triceps. This exercise helps strengthen the upper back, shoulders, and arms when performed correctly.

3. Deadlifts9:


  • To perform deadlifts correctly, approach the barbell with proper foot positioning, grip the barbell, maintain a neutral spine.
  • Lift the barbell by pushing through your heels and thrusting your hips forward, then lower it back down with control.
  • Focus on breathing, engaging your core, and maintaining proper form for a safe and effective deadlift.

Deadlifts target a variety of muscles including the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, lats, traps, lower back (erector spinae), core muscles, and more. This compound exercise is excellent for overall strength and muscle development when performed with proper form.

4. Overhead press10:


  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Lift the barbell to chest height.
  • Keep chest up, elbows forward, and back straight.
  • Squeeze glutes and lock knees and hips.
  • Tilt head back as the bar passes, then raise it until elbows lock.
  • Breathe deeply, lower the bar to upper chest, and repeat.
  • Start light, focus on technique, and progress gradually.

Overhead press targets the deltoids (front and side heads), trapezius, triceps, and core muscles. It is an effective exercise for building upper body strength and developing well-rounded shoulders.

5. Bicep curls11:


  • Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, feet shoulder-width apart, and arms by your sides.
  • Lift the dumbbells towards your shoulders by bending your elbows.
  • Hold for a second at the top, then lower the dumbbells back down.
  • Repeat the movement while focusing on proper form and controlled motion.

By incorporating bicep curls into your workout routine, you can strengthen and tone your biceps, and also target muscles like biceps, forearms and can also improve arm strength, and enhance upper body aesthetics.

6. Tricep extensions12:


  • Sit straight with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold dumbbells or cable handles with elbows bent.
  • Keep shoulder blades down and back.
  • Push hands down towards the ground until arms are fully extended.
  • Return to the starting position slowly.
  • Maintain proper technique and form to avoid injury.
  • Tricep extensions target the triceps muscles, located at the back of the upper arm, aiming in arm strength, stabilization of elbow and shoulder joints, and improved performance in various sports.
Tip: These are just samples, and you can adjust them based on your needs, goals, and available equipment. It's crucial to listen to your body, take rest days, and progressively overload (gradually increase weight or difficulty) to see continued progress.

Important Takeaways

  • Strength training is a valuable investment in your overall health and well-being.
  • By incorporating these exercises, coupled with proper guidance, discipline, and the information provided in this comprehensive guide, you can embark on a rewarding journey towards a stronger, healthier you.
  • Remember, consistency, proper form, and progressive overload are key to maximizing your results and achieving your fitness goals.
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  2. Association Between Push-up Exercise Capacity and Future Cardiovascular Events Among Active Adult Men. Nutrition, Obesity, and Exercise, February 15, 2019. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(2):e188341. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.8341
  4. How Long Should You Hold a Plank and Do They Burn Belly Fat?. BY MENS HEALTH, 31 MAY 2023.
  5. How To Do Rows | Bent Over Rows & Variations. BY PUREGYM
  6. Bench, Bar, and Ring Dips: Do Kinematics and Muscle Activity Differ?. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Oct; 19(20): 13211. Published online 2022 Oct 14. doi: 10.3390/ijerph192013211
  7. Dumbbell Bench Press Standards, Measured in lb. BY STRENGTHLEVEL
  8. How to Do Dumbbell Rows and What Muscles They Work. BY POWERBLOCK
  9. Statistics About The Average Deadlift. BY GITNUX
  10. Overhead Press Strength Standards for Men and Women (lb). BY STRENGTHLOG
  11. Biceps Brachii and Brachioradialis Excitation in Biceps Curl Exercise: Different Handgrips, Different Synergy. Sports (Basel). 2023 Mar; 11(3): 64. Published online 2023 Mar 9. doi: 10.3390/sports11030064
  12. ACE Study Identifies Best Triceps Exercises. BY ACEFITNESS
  13. American Council on Exercise (ACE):
  14. National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA):
  15. Mayo Clinic:


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