This Beginner Bodyweight workout can be done as is, or with dumbbells. You will not need a ruck for this workout today. Yeah, we start off ugly. You'll be okay.
You'll note in most exercises that have a squat, I use a cue, "knees over second toe." Why? Squats, as simple as they can be, are often done incorrectly. Usually when they're done wrong, it's because there is a minor muscle imbalance or the right muscles aren't firing all the way. When you look down to see your knee tracking over your second toe, you'll want to follow that as you lower into your squat. Keeping your knees in proper alignment also means your hips will be in alignment too. Always be sure to keep your core engaged and sit up into the squat, using your core to lift your body, rather than dumping your weight forward.
WHAT EXERCISES DO I NEED TO KNOW?
BURPEES I'm guessing most are no strangers to burpees by now, but if you're intimidated by them, there's no time like the present to embrace the suck. Begin standing, feet hip width apart, knees in alignment with your second toe. Drop down into a Plank (you can skip push-up if you're new to burpees or just coming back to exercise, but if you're doing this workout as a recovery or off-day, do the push-up!). Jump your feet up to your hands, and burst upwards, arms raised in a jump.
THRUSTERS TLDR: Squat with an Overhead Press. I prefer Thrusters with weights of some sort. For Beginners, if you've got dumbbells, we can start there, but you can do thrusters with any weight you've got around. Begin with feet hip width apart, knee tracking over second toe.
PUSH-UP WITH ROW This is also known as a renegade row. Compound movement time! We're training multiple muscles at once with a push-up, and getting more bang for your buck with a row. This exercise is best done with dumbbells, but if you're just starting out or have wrist issues, you can leave your weights to the inside of both hands. Perform your push-up (knees are fine), the eye of each elbow tight and pointing up to the ceiling above you. Once your push-up has been completed, making sure your hips are low, grab your right weight with your right hand (or ball your fist) and row your weight up, elbow to the ceiling, weight to your chest. Return the weight, then opposite side.
ALTERNATING ARM L-RAISES I prefer these be done kneeling by Beginners/Intermediate athletes. When you kneel, you engage more of your core in the movement, and you work more on form naturally. (Use a towel for your knees if you need to.) In your kneeling position, weights (or fists) in both hands, simultaneously raise your left arm straight in front and right arm straight to the side in a lateral raise. Bring arms down, and then bring them back up in the opposite direction (right arm raised in front, left arm raised laterally).
ALTERNATING REVERSE LUNGES W/ BICEP CURL Split squats are equally fine here for Beginners - a split squat is half-lunge - your knee doesn't touch the ground. When you lunge, think railroad -- your legs should not be one behind the other but like you're standing on both sides of a railroad track. Alternate leg, sending your lunge behind you and curl your weights up. Stand, and repeat on the other side.
BIRD DOGS Bird Dogs begin on your hands and knees, back in table-top (flat) position. Raise your left arm as you raise your right leg to point, in line with your spine. Hold for a count, lower, and perform on the other side. Bird Dogs are all core, and make sure you feel your abdominals engaging.
RUSSIAN TWISTS I honestly don't think there's a better abdominal exercise (aside from plank). Begin seated on the floor, knees out in front, feet flat. Keep your chest lifted, back straight as you slowly tip backwards, feeling your abs turn on. If your back rounds, you've gone too far. Bring your weight (or clasp your hands) from hip to hip. I like Beginners to use something that touches the floor (like a swiss ball) to cue the correct movement, so if you have one, use it for this! If your core is strong, progress to feet hovering just off the floor.
BICYCLES Begin laying on the floor. Bring your hands up to the bony part behind your ears. Bring your knees up to table-top position (knees bent parallel to the floor). Lift your shoulders off the ground as your twist opposite knee to opposite elbow. Be careful not to strain or pull your neck.
THE WORKOUT x 3 Rounds
- 6 x Burpees
- 12 x Thrusters
- 12 x Push-Up with Row (aka Renegade Row)
- 12 x Alternating Arm L-Raises
- 12 x Alternating Reverse Lunges with Bicep Curl
Core Finisher x 2 Rounds BODYWEIGHT
- 12 x Bird Dogs
- 12 x Russian Twists
- 12 x Bicycle Crunches