Being a beginner at the gym can be intimidating. So many machines, so many people, and you have no clue where to start. For most of us, the gym is a place we never go unless we have to, and we would rather do anything else than exercise in front of others. But what if we told you that you can have a womens gym workout for beginners that takes all the guesswork out of your time at the gym? Frequent exercise is really good for you. According to the National Institutes of Health, regular physical activity can reduce your risk for heart disease and other diseases, improve your mood and energy level, and even help you sleep better (6). Here’s our super simple guide to starting the journey to a healthy lifestyle with women’s gym workouts for beginners.
What Makes A Good Beginners Workout?
Because fitness is so trendy, you’ve probably been bombarded with loads of workout advice and plans. There are way too many different women’s gym workouts for beginners to try before finding the right fit for you.
In reality, there are only 3 qualities that make a good beginner workout. These are simplicity, good form, and consistency.
Keep Your Workouts Simple
As a beginner, it’s normal to want to jump right into the deep end. Who wants to do simple workouts? If you think that doing 30 different exercises is better than just doing 1, you’re wrong.
This is a mistake a lot of women make at the gym. They try too many new things at once and get overwhelmed. Before they know it, they have given up on their new workout plan. Remember, when you’re just starting out, simple is better!
It’s better to do a few exercises correctly than an endless list of incorrect exercises that are impossible to track. Doing workouts that are too complicated is the fastest way to lose motivation and remove you from your fitness program.
Prioritize Form Over Everything Else
Good form is your top priority (1). You will never see results if you don’t have good form.
If you aren’t familiar with what proper form is, it simply means that you are performing each exercise with the right technique for maximum benefit.
How do you know the correct form for each workout? The answer lies in knowing which muscle the exercise targets. Then, feel that muscle as you do the exercise. This process takes time to master, but like with most things practice makes perfect.
You can also look for demos from certified trainers, but make sure you aren’t looking at the newest hip workout that is only temporary.
When you’re starting out, you might want to see quick progress. But the key to getting results is actually consistency.
When you’re starting out, your body just needs time to adjust to your new workout plan. Once it does, there will be noticeable changes in your strength and endurance.
Working out consistently 3-4 times a week will show better results than not working out at all. Remember, it’s all about consistency!
Now that you know what makes for good women’s gym workouts for beginners, let’s take a look at a sample full body workout.
Sample Weekly Workout Routine
When you’re just starting out, aim to lift weights 2-3 times a week. Go for a full body workout to keep things simple. Once you’re confident with free weights or resistance machines, you may benefit from splitting your strength training into upper and lower body sessions or push and pull movements.
Here are 7 workouts that target all your muscle groups for a proper full body workout:
Barbell Hip Bridge
This exercise targets your glutes and hamstrings. While the hip bridge is a simple exercise, surprisingly few women do it correctly. Keep these tips in mind:
- Start with your upper back on the ground and hold a weight across your hips
- Position your feet shoulder-width apart and point your toes straight ahead
- Lift up using strength from your glutes and lower back muscles
- Keep your spine in a neutral position throughout the lift
- Hold at the top for 5 seconds before lowering back to the starting position
If you want, you can do this exercise with just bodyweight. Starting out with only your weight helps you master the correct form. Then, you can add weights progressively as you get stronger and more confident.
This exercise targets your legs, glutes, and hamstrings while also strengthening your core.
Here’s how to do lunges correctly:
- Start with your feet about hip-width apart or slightly wider
- Lead with your chest so your head is up and back flat
- Keep the dumbbells on each side of you, with your shoulders straight.
- Step forward into a lunge on your left leg. Hold for a beat
- Push off your left leg to return to a standing position. Repeat.
- Alternate legs and repeat the entire process.
This targets your hip flexors, quads, lats, calves, glutes, hamstrings.
Here’s how to correctly do squats:
- Hold the dumbbell with both hands right in front of your chest
- Engage your core and maintain a straight standing position
- Bend your knees to slowly lower your body into a squat. Keep your back flat at all times.
- At the lowest part of the squat, gently tap the weight on the ground before pushing back up to a standing position.
You can add weights to increase difficulty or just use bodyweight. If you’re doing this exercise regularly and want to challenge yourself, hold the squat for 10 seconds once you reach your maximum depth.
If you’ve mustered up the courage to crush your weight loss goal, let Betterme take the sting out of this demanding process. Our app will help you restructure your habits, remold your life and crank up your fitness results!
Dumbbell Bench Press
This move targets your pectorals (chest), anterior (front) deltoids, and triceps.
- Start with your feet on the floor and the weight in front of you
- Grasp it with both hands, keeping an elbow out to each side
- Lift it off the ground while taking care not to strain yourself.
- At a 90-degree angle from your body, bring it up towards your face.
- Lower the dumbbell back to its starting position on top of your chest.
- Perform these 3-4x for 8-12 reps.
You can do this exercise with just your body weight if you’re just starting out. Just remember to start out with much lighter weights to reduce the risk of injury, especially if you’re working out with supervision. Again, the goal is to master form and technique before increasing weights or frequency.
Dumbbell Russian Twist
This exercise benefits your core and abs. A strong core is the foundation to any fitness regimen.
- Sit on your mat holding a weight with both hands
- Keep your back straight and lean back slightly while keeping your feet on the floor
- Slowly bring the weight towards you while rotating at the waist to one of your sides.
- Return the weight back to center before twisting in the opposite direction.
- Here’s a quick tip: Keep your shoulders square and don’t let your back touch the ground.
- Alternate sides and do this for 4-6 reps. You can also repeat it up to three times holding heavier weights if you want more of a challenge.
Seated Bicep Curl
This move works your biceps, forearms, shoulders, and upper back.
- Sit on the bench holding a weight straight in front of you.
- With your elbows tucked at your side, slowly bring the dumbbell up towards your face.
- Lower it back down to the starting position. Here’s where the form is key: Don’t lean back or let your elbows flare out.
- Curl the weight up and slowly lower it back down. Repeat this for 4 to 6 reps.
When you’re just starting out, you can also do just bodyweight curls if you don’t have any weights available. As with all the exercises, make sure your form is good before using heavier weights.
Planks are a great exercise for targeting core and abs.
Here’s how to do it correctly:
- Position yourself on your forearms, leaning your weight forward
- Your elbows should be directly below your shoulders. Keep a straight line from the back of your head to the heels of your feet.
- Hold this position for thirty seconds before slowly releasing.
- When you’re starting out, don’t worry about hitting 30 seconds yet. Just hold the plank for 10 seconds and rest before repeating.
How Long Should A Beginner’s Workout Be?
A good workout is not determined by how many minutes you’ve spent at the gym. It’s determined by the quality of your workout. A good workout should be efficient and target all major muscle groups (4).
You can spend hours at the gym, half of them on your phone. Or you could spend less than 45 minutes and get a truly effective workout, without spending too much time on the phone.
When deciding whether you had a good workout, think quality over quantity. Did you target the right muscles? Did you do enough reps? It’s okay to go a little longer, but you shouldn’t approach physical activity as a race.
How To Increase The Intensity Of Your Workouts?
If you’re consistent, you’ll soon be wanting a more intense or challenging workout. There are a few ways to achieve this:
You don’t have to go from zero to 100 in the gym. Your body adapts quickly and requires more stimulus in order to produce results.
Start slow and use lighter weights at first. Gradually increase intensity by adding more weights or reps over time.
Confused? Don’t be! Try this: If you’ve been doing bicep curls at 12 pounds for a month now, it’s time to move up to 15 pounds.
Lift To Failure
If you’re new to the gym, lift light weights. If you’ve been working out for a while, have a high-intensity weightlifting session at the end of your workout. This is referred to as lifting to failure (3).
- When performing a bench press, go as heavy as possible and stop just short of failure.
- When going through the rest of your bodyweight exercises, don’t do too many reps.
These two techniques work well together and will help you to get results faster.
Start Using Workout Splits
For example, if you work out Monday through Friday, you could try one day on, one day off and so on. It’s important to give yourself enough recovery time in between intense workouts so that your muscles can grow and get stronger (5).
Try This: If you find your muscles need more recovery time, use a 3-days on, one-day off split.
You can also work out different muscle groups on different days so that you give your muscles the best possible chance to grow.
Reasons why BetterMe is a safe bet: a wide range of calorie-blasting workouts, finger-licking recipes, 24/7 support, challenges that’ll keep you on your best game, and that just scratches the surface! Start using our app and watch the magic happen.
The Importance Of Diet And Nutrition
A good diet that includes a lot of lean protein and healthy carbs is essential for getting results in the gym (2). So if you’re just starting out, it’s vital that you listen to your body and eat well.
- Look for sources of lean protein such as turkey, chicken, fish, lean beef or beans.
- Include small amounts of complex carbs at every meal. Examples include oatmeal, potatoes, rice and whole wheat breads.
- Include plenty of veggies in your diet as they are full of vitamins and fiber. You can also have them at any meal.
- Don’t try to restrict your calories or cut out food groups when you’re just starting out.
As you gain more knowledge about your body, eating right will become second nature.
It’s far more important to be consistent in your workouts and fuel with nutritious foods than it is to limit the number of calories you eat in a day.
Finally, rest well. We often underestimate the impact of sleep on our health and productivity.
If you’re exercising regularly, your body needs to recover well in order to get stronger. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep per night (7).
So there you have it-a simple,clear guide to follow as a newbie to the gym. Simply start slow, stay consistent, and make lifestyle changes to help you see results faster.
Include the elements above in your regimen and you’ll be on your way to a more fit, healthy body with a happy mind.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 7 tips for a safe and successful strength-training program (2015, health.harvard.edu)
- Food as Fuel Before, During and After Workouts | American Heart Association (2015, heart.org)
- Is Resistance Training to Muscular Failure Necessary? (2016, frontiersin.org)
- No Time to Lift? Designing Time-Efficient Training Programs for Strength and Hypertrophy: A Narrative Review (2021, link.springer.com)
- Overtraining Syndrome (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Real-Life Benefits of Exercise and Physical Activity (2020, nia.nih.gov)
- Sleep, recovery, and metaregulation: explaining the benefits of sleep (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Split or full-body workout routine: which is best to increase muscle strength and hypertrophy? (2021, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)