THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON MEN’S HEALTH.

It’s probably something you’ve been thinking about while sat on the sofa, pawing at your doughy middle. Of course you could clear away the coffee table to create space. Sure you could get up 15 minutes earlier and squeeze in some exercises before work. Absolutely you could stock your new home gym with some muscle building essentials. But then what? With MH‘s help, taking your first steps towards fitness needn’t be daunting. Below is our collection of the best beginner’s exercises coupled with an explanation of what makes that move useful. Have a read and use the exercises to create a bespoke workout that fits your nascent training goals. Good luck.

Press-up

How to
Get down into a press-up position with your hands placed shoulder-width apart and back flat, so a straight line forms from your head to heels, via your glutes. Lower your body until your chest is an inch from the ground then explosively drive up by fully extending your arms. That’s on rep.

Why?
This move uses multiple muscle groups for maximum growth and strengthens your shoulder joints. This prepares you for progression to the more demanding shoulder exercises you’ll face in a gym, like the incline bench press.

Dumbbell standing shoulder press

How to
Stand holding two dumbbells at shoulder height with an overhand grip – palms facing forwards. Ensure your elbows are in front of the bar and don’t flare out to the sides. Press the weights up above your head until your arms are fully extended. Return slowly to the start position.

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