There are a lot of videos and articles on how to achieve mega-burn in your workouts. From toning your thighs to incorporating variety in your workout ball routine, many instructional articles offer help for those who are already in shape. What do you do if you’re out of shape, starting over after a long break, or are overweight? At Skinny Mom, we aren’t only concerned with offering help to women who are already in great shape. We want to be a resource for women who have made a commitment to their own good health, whether they’re starting at 120 pounds or 320 pounds. So here are five exercises for anyone who’s starting at the very first step. Congratulations to you!

1. Squats: Squats are an excellent exercise to strengthen your legs and specifically target your quads and glutes. Squat down as low as you can while keeping your back straight. You should tighten both the quads and glutes as you lower yourself into the squat. Here’s how to do a squat.

Squat_ALL copy

2. Kneeling Leg Lifts: To target glutes, grab a towel or mat and hit the floor. Start in a kneeling position and raise your leg, moving your foot toward the ceiling. Lift your leg as high as you can toward a 90 degree angle. Also engage your back and abdominal muscles. Your body will work those muscles to keep you stable on the ground. Here’s how to do a kneeling leg lift.

Kneeling Leg Lift

3. Standing Upright Row: This move is great to use in your beginner’s arm workout. Rows target biceps, triceps, and shoulders all in one move. As a beginner, feel free to forgo the dumbbells. Begin with palms facing down on the tops of your thighs. Bend at the elbows and raise your arms to chest level, pinching with your shoulder blades, then return to start. Here’s how!

Upright Row

4. Standing Side Crunch: Obliques are an often forgotten part of your abdominal section, but they’re important in supporting your body and defining your waist. Strengthen them by standing and leaning to each side. Keep your core tight, but focus on the muscle stretch at your side. As a beginner, you can ditch the dumbbells and focus on engaging the right muscles. Here’s how to do it.

Weighted-Standing-Side-Crunch_EDIT-2 copy

5. Sumo Squat with Bicep Curl: This move will target your whole body! Again, there is no need to use dumbbells as a beginner. With your feet slightly wider than hip width apart and toes turned outward, squat as deeply as you can while curling with your arms. Sit in the squat, then lower your arms and stand to return to start. This move is challenging but will work to strengthen your whole body at once! Channel your inner Sumo wrestler and learn how to do the move here.

Sumo-Squat-with-Bicep-Curl_ALL