5 Best Simple Exercises for Women : Squat, Lunge, Plank, Pushup, Deadlift
If you’re a beginner to the gym and wondering and where to start, these five workouts are excellent for women who want to strengthen their whole body with minimal equipment or space! They can be completed within the same day as a regimen, or be supplemental to other workouts.
Squats are amazing for building leg, back, and core strength. This is also a basic movement that serves plenty of real-world utility! Practicing squats, and knowing how to execute one safely, is one of the best things you can do to maintain a healthy and strong body.
How to do a squat:
- Stand with your feet shoulder- width apart and toes pointing slightly outwards. Your toes should be in a healthy alignment with your knees (not too outward or too inward.)
- Lower yourself into a squat position until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor. Ideally, you should hit “depth” which means you are in the lowest, but safest, squat you can reach.
- For a lighter workout, you can come immediately up when the squat is complete before repeating OR you can practice a pause squat (pause at the lowest point of your squat for 5 seconds before coming up.)
- This can be completed with no weight (bodyweight squat), with a single kettlebell (in your arms and close to your body), or with free weights and a barbell (using a squat rack.)
- This workout, on average, should be completed 3 times a week. Weighted squats are great using a 5×5 method (5 squats for 5 sets). Bodyweight squats can be completed using a 4×8-12 method (8 to 12 squats for 4 sets.)
If you have never completed a squat using weights before, watch a few videos of how to complete one safely, there are many great online resources like this video.
Lunges are the quintessential lower body exercise. They work the quads, glutes,and build strength in the rest of your lower body as well. The lunge is also a great way to strengthen your core, improve balance, and increase flexibility in the hips.
There are several variations of lunges that you can do to make this exercise more challenging or less so depending on your current fitness level:
- Forward Lunge – This variation keeps an upright torso while extending one leg forward until it’s straight behind you.
- Reverse Lunge – This is like a forward lunge, but with the opposite leg motion: Instead of walking forward, you step back with one leg straight behind you before bending into a squat position with both feet planted firmly on the ground.
- Walking Lunge – Place dumbbells in hands. You can let the dumbells hang at your sides or you may rest them up on your shoulders. Complete your lunges as you walk forward; repeat for desired number of repetitions.
Planks are a great exercise for core strengthening, balance, and developing abs.
How To Perform A Plank:
Begin by lying on your stomach, then place both palms on the floor underneath the shoulders, so that only your toes and elbows touch the ground. Then lift yourself up off of the floor until you are just resting on your forearms and toes with a straight line from head to heels. Hold this position for as long as you can (start with 30 seconds and work up from there). There are two variations of planks: bodyweight planks require you to keep your body raised off of the ground without assistance from any weight or aid; weighted planks involve having a partner place a flat free-weight on your upper back for resistance (or you can practice this alone if you are comfortable).
Pushups are a great exercise for women because they work many parts of the body, including your chest, shoulders, and triceps. They can be done anywhere and are easy to modify if you’re not able to do them right away!
To do a pushup:
- Assume the top of plank position on your hands and toes, with your weight balanced between your hands and feet. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, elbows close to your sides, back straight, butt lifted off the ground slightly and legs straight behind you (but not locked).
- Bend at the elbows until they reach 90 degrees perpendicular from the floor; then return to start position by raising up onto toes before lowering back down again into starting position again (this counts as one rep). Repeat until you’ve completed 10 repetitions total in sets of 2 or 3 reps each time before moving on to another set; try doing this for 3-4 sets total per session when trying out these exercises for beginners! You’ll notice how much easier it gets after just two or three days!
- To modify this exercise by making it easier to complete – place your knees on the ground and perform the pushup using your upper body.
Deadlifts are a compound exercise that works your lower body, core and arms. Deadlifts are one of the best exercises for building strength and muscle. They can be done with dumbbells or a barbell, so you can use whichever weight suits your level of experience. This is also a great exercise for beginners or experienced athletes because it works almost every muscle in your body. Although simple in practice, doing it correctly is essential for spine health so refer to the following videos if you have never completed a deadlift:
Building strength is important for your bones, muscles, and joints. These 5 exercises are great for women at all levels and can be completed within or outside of the gym. Exercise, supplementation, diet, and all things wellness are a top priority in 2023. We hope this article helped in your endeavor to building a stronger you!