A Full-Body Workout for Beginners (or Beginning Again)

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5 fitness moves to get the blood and body moving…

This post comes from Tanya Poppett, our dear friend and Australian fitness guru. 

Exercise is for EVERYONE… we just start at different levels. Whether you are starting out or starting again, this workout is designed to get those muscles working and that heart pumping with these 5 modified moves. Please note that, before beginning any sort of exercise regime, it is important to get clearance from a health professional or general practitioner.

Here’s the rundown: perform each move for 40 seconds with a 20-second rest in between each. Complete 2 rounds.

Tip Toe Squats. This move is a great alternative to squat jumps for those who have knee injuries, weak pelvic floor muscles or if jumping is just not your thing. These work both the front and back of the legs just like squat jumps, whilst also helping to improve coordination and balance. Feel free to hold onto a chair or pole if you need assistance with balance.

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As you sit back into a squat, imagine that you are sitting back into a chair. Keep your chest lifted and your gaze forward. Once you have reached 90 degrees with your knees, hips and ankles, use your glutes to drive yourself up. Your weight should be in the back of your heels for your squat, not coming over the toes. Once you get to the top of your squat you will then shift your weight onto your toes and push your hips forward pulling upwards from the belly button. Shift your weight back into your heels as you come back down into the squat.

Step Out Burpees. Burpees are an exercise you will learn to love but may always dread. There is a good reason why we do them. They are one of the best full body exercises for toning, strengthening and conditioning. These have been modified to reduce impact and help increase mobility. If getting up and down off the ground is difficult, you can also perform these with your hands elevated on a bench.

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Begin in a plank position, aiming to keep your shoulders in line with your wrists. Step your feet one at a time to meet your hands. Lift your chest up and keep your gaze forward as you use your legs and glutes to bring yourself up to a strong standing position. Sweep your arms round and up whilst standing then lower them back down, planting the palms and stepping back to your starting position. Repeat.

Squat with Heel Tap. This squat variation is great because it not only works the legs and the glutes, it also hits most areas of the abdominals and hip flexors.

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Sit back in your squat, making sure that your weight is in the back of your heels, your chest is lifted and your knees aren’t coming over your toes. A great way to get the best activation in your squat is to imagine someone pushing in on the outsides of your knees and you need to push them outwards. Now as you come up, lift your left foot up and reach towards the heel, whilst maintaining a nice, proud posture. Return to your squat position and repeat on the right side. Begin slow and try to increase your speed as you progress, maintaining control over your form at all times.

Heel Tap Abs. You will feel this exercise in all areas of your mid-section, helping to strengthen and tone the abdominals.

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Begin laying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. The closer together your feet are, the harder this exercise will be. Start with them about hip-width apart and move them closer as you progress. Lift your head and slightly tuck the chin so that your neck is in a comfortable position and keep your gaze towards your knees. Pull your belly button up and in to engage your lower abdominals and try keep your lower back pressed to the floor. Maintain your breath as you reach for each heel returning to the center each time.

Knee Push-ups with Shoulder Taps. This push-up variation is great for strengthening and toning the upper body without the added weight of the legs. To modify these push-ups further you can perform them with your hands elevated on a high bench or wall.

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Begin in a push-up position with your knees bent and your shoulders in line with your wrists. Make sure your core is locked on by tuck up through the belly button and squeezing the thighs and the glutes. Slowly lower yourself down leading with the chest to protect your lower back. Aim to get as low as you can without dropping the hips. Once you’re there, use the muscles in your chest to push yourself back until your arms are straight. Then, keeping that core tight and those hips still, lift your right hand up and tap your left shoulder. Lower back down into your push-up and repeat on the left side.

+ See all of Tanya’s workouts on the Free People blog here

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