As a beginner to weight lifting, the best way to start is with a combination of functional exercises which mimic movements that you use in daily life and compound lifts. Learning these following movement patterns, including squat, push, pull, hip hinge, and hip extension, is key for establishing a foundation that can help you build more complex exercises to get comfortable with powerlifting and progress safely when you become stronger.
1. Goblet Squats
- Hold a weight at your chest in two hands, stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and your elbows close to your body.
- Bend your knees while dropping your butt back and down to lower. Make sure to keep your chest high and core tight.
- Push your knees out and keep the weight in your heels.
- Squeeze your glutes at the top and push through your heels to stand back up.
2. Shoulder Presses
- Kneel with your back straight and core tight or stand up with your feet a little bit wider than hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and raise your arms up to shoulder-height so the weights are in the air. Rotate your wrists to make your palms face forward.
- Press the pair of dumbbells overhead while keeping your elbows facing forward during the press.
- Once your arms are fully extended, pause at the top. After that, return the weights slowly to starting position.
3. Basic Stiff-Leg Deadlifts
- Stand with knees slightly bent, feet hip-width apart, holding a pair of dumbbells in your two hands.
- Bend your knees slightly and hinge at your hips when you lower your body. Keep thinking about pushing your butt back.
- Hold the pair of dumbbells close to your legs when you descend. Pull back on your shoulder blades and remember not to let your back arch.
- Push through your heels to stand up straight while keeping your core tight. Keep the weights close to your shins when pulling.