Did you know that a beginning level exerciser is defined as someone who hasn't worked out consistently for 1 year or longer? Even if the person has had long stints of consistently working out in their lives, has been extremely healthy, or has even been an athlete. If they have been out of an exercise routine for 1 year or longer, they are a considered a beginner when they return to the gym.

As a “beginning exerciser" or someone returning to a routine, these 4 functional exercises should be incorporated into your exercise routine.These exercises are the foundation to building a safe, well-balanced and healthy routine that yields great results:

  • 1.Squat
  • 2.Lunge
  • 3.Bent Over Row with Barbell
  • 4.Cable Woodchop


Squats recruit multiple muscle groups and increase strength rapidly. As a beginner, focus on your range of motion, posture and form. A stable object, such as the vertical bars of a squat rack, are a good starting point. After mastering the squat using a stable object as a point of balance, you can move onto a squat with added weight.


Lunges provide the foundation for many functional movement patterns such as: lunge cable push, lunge cable pull, and walking lunges with an upper body movement incorporated. Begin by practicing lunges using a wall as a stabilizer for balance. Once you feel confident, move to the middle of the room and progress from there.

Bent over Row with Barbell:

This is a great introduction before you get into more complicated lifting. The feet should be shoulder width apart, knees bent to 45 degrees, and the back should be strong and stable. Grasp the barbell shoulder-width apart and pull the bar towards the chest. Make sure to always maintain a neutral spine throughout the entire exercise. The movement is meant to focus on releasing and contracting the scapula (shoulder blades) which will benefit your posture.

Cable Woodchop:

Rotational movements of the body are an important element of any exercise program; It builds strength in the spinal and abdominal muscles, as well as adding in multi-planar movements which help to prevent injury. To execute the cable Woodchop, begin with a solid foundation with the feet slightly wider than shoulder width and the knees slightly bent. Grasp the cable with both hands and pull to your full range of motion across your body.

For all these exercises, keep a solid foundation, and go through 1-2 sets of 10-15 repetitions 3 times per week for one month.At this point, increase volume, weight and repetitions.Most of all, breath deeply, have fun and know you are doing your best for your body.

About the Author:

Passionate, fiery and super excited about health, Adam has been a Personal Trainer in San Diego for the past 8 years. Through the years, he has expanded his skills in a variety of therapeutic environments (including a chiropractic office, a neurologist office, a gym and spa). Adam has assisted a long list of clients ranging from individuals suffering from chronic pain to high performance athletes. Clients' ages range from 15 to 85. Adam received his B.S. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in exercise science and he holds a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and CHEK Level 2 Practitioner Certification. For more information on Adam Winter you can go to his website at Adamwinterlifestyle.com or email him directly at adamwinterlifestyle@gmail.com.

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