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5 of the best beginner gym exercises

5 of the best beginner gym exercises

It can be intimidating when you first join the gym. If you’re feeling unsure, there are some simple exercises you should start with that won’t make you feel inadequate. 

Try these 5 for starters:

Seated barbell press

Sitting down takes the strain off your back so this is one of the safest ways to get muscle on your shoulders.

Sit on the bench holding a barbell in front of your shoulders with an overhand grip. Press the weight up above your head until your arms are fully extended.

Return slowly to the start position.

Inverted rows

Using your own bodyweight can be less intimidating than lifting enormous weights.

At waist height, set up a bar in a rack. Hold at shoulder-width and hang underneath.

Your body should be straight and then flex your elbows to pull your chest up to the bar. In a controlled way, lower back down.

Seated row

Moving in just one plane of movement, any fixed resistance machine is foolproof and means you are less likely to hurt yourself.

Set your feet firmly at the base of a pulley column.

Holding the handle, extend your arms and lean back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs.

Now, pull the handles back towards your chest, squeezing your back muscles hard.

Seated dumbbell curl

Sitting down ensures you don’t use your back and hips to swing the dumbbell.

Sit on a bench, hold two dumbbells at arms’ length and let them rest by your side.

Use your bicep to curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders, then slowly lower them back down to your side and repeat.

Underhand lat pulldown

Using a cable machine means you don’t drop your arms down too quickly so prevents injury.

Grab the overhead bar with your hands narrower than shoulder width apart and keep your palms facing towards you.

Lean your torso back to around 30 degrees and pull your core muscles tight.

Keep your elbows in and your upper body stationary, pull the bar down until it touches your chest.

Hold for a second before slowly extending your arms to the start position.


the author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running, strength training, Pilates and Yoga. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.