Performing exercises safely
I thought it’s time for another blog post. I have been a little busy as a single mum, working part time and studying my PT and in between I moved twice the last couple months. Never a boring life here.
The more I study the more I learn about fitness and nutrition and I want to share my knowledge with you all!
On my Instagram (healthyqueening.insta) and Facebook page (healthyqueening) I m posting small posts daily and share knowledge about a healthy lifestyle. If you are not following either of them, I highly recommend you follow one. This way you won’t miss out on any fitness videos, meal recipes or motivational videos and quotes. You will see and hear me quiet regular as well in my bubbly positive German English speaking accent. I m getting a lot of compliments for my positive vibe and that’s exactly what I like to share with you! My positive energy and vibes so you can absorb some of it for yourself!
I also have a YouTube channel (HealthyQueening Trisha) that you can subscribe to. However, most of the YouTube videos are linked into my blog posts or social media posts anyway.
In this post I m going to explain 5 basic exercises that you most hear about in almost every basic workout program. I will give you the target muscles and some tips on the correct form to perform the exercise safely.
It’s very important to complete all exercises safely to prevent any injuries
If you have not completed any of these basic exercises ever before, it might be best to get yourself a PT session booked in with a local personal trainer who can assess your movements and provide you with feedback.
Also, all exercises and workout videos and explanations are written and explained for an average client. If you have any medical condition, I highly recommend to get clearance from your GP before commencing any exercise programs.
My exercise explanations will be very simple and directed to a beginner. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment or contact me via email. I m always happy to hear from you!
Number 1: The bodyweight Squat
This is one of the most basic exercises you will hear. It is a great exercise that targets your lower body: quads, hamstrings and glutes mostly. You have some other muscles working as stabiliser, such as core and calf muscles.
Tips on how to do a normal bodyweight squat safely:
- Have feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart with about 10 degree outside rotation of the feet
- When you lower yourself into the squat think about “sitting back on a chair”, you want to put your butt back not your knees forward
- Keep your knees in line with your second toes
- Keep your chest upright
- Keep your spine neutral
Exercise number 2: stationary lunges
Lunges also can come in different forms and variations. A basic stationary lunge targets the lower body: quads, hamstrings, glutes, hips and knees. Again, core stabiliser and other muscles as stabiliser.
A lunge requires you to keep some balance. If you are new to lunges, use a chair or wall to hold onto for your balance.
Tips on how to do a stationary lunge correctly:
- have the most weight on your forward foot and back foot only on your toes in the lunging position
- Keep your forward knee above your heel
- Get down to a 90 degree angle of your forward knee
- Keep backwards knee just hovering above floor level
- Keep chest upright and neutral spine
- Keep position for couple seconds before standing up again
Exercise number 3: beginners push-ups
This exercise targets the upper body: chest, shoulders, arms and abdominal muscles. A push up is also used as a strength test in assessments. With practice you will progress in form and repetitions.
Tips on how to do a beginner push-up correctly:
- position hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart
- angle of hand depends on own preference (eg. fingers straight or slightly pointing outwards)
- If you have wrist issues use push-up handles or fist (make sure it’s a softer surface though) and get yourself clearance from a professional if there are any issues
- Hands should be chest levelled (thumbnails lined up under chest/nipple level, imagine drawing a straight line down from your chest/nipples to the thumbnails)
- Try to keep your elbows close to your body when performing the push-up
- You can start doing them on your knees as a beginner version and progress onto the toes in time
- Exhale when you push your body up again
Exercise number 4: Seated row with resistance tube
This is another great exercise to target your upper body muscles. This is a pulling exercise and works great in combination with the push-up to keep a balanced workout. The seated row targets the back muscles mainly: trapezius, rhomboids, and latissimus dorsi and the arms.
This can be done at home with a resistance tube (mostly available in light, medium and heavy). If you dont have any yet, you can get some here
Tips on how to do a seated row with resistance tube safely:
- start with the light resistance tube to get the correct form first
- Twist around feet and secure safely (!)
- Keep palms facing inwards when pulling resistance band handles towards your body
- Keep elbows close to your body when pulling back
- Squeeze shoulder blades when pulling back
- Keep neutral spine and chest upright
- Keep legs straight
Exercise number 5: Plank
This exercise is great to perform at the end a workout to target the core and fire up all other muscles groups when tightening up your whole body to keep the same posture. Again here, there are various forms out there. This is a simple plank demonstration.
Tips on how to do a plank safely:
- Position elbows below shoulders
- You want to engage all muscles and keep your body hard as a rock while holding the plank position
- Keep a neutral spine (do not arch back or drop your hips or raise your butt higher)
- Keep breathing normal
- Keep your head in neutral position (head should be in line with your spine)
- Use a timer to record how long you can hold your plank
Take away message
It doesn’t matter which exercise your are performing, correct form is essential to do the exercises safely and prevent any injuries. If you are unsure, I recommend you reach out to a local PT or physiotherapist to help you getting the correct form.
Other than that, adapt the safety tips and start practising the exercises. If I can do it – so can you! We all have to start somewhere!
I highly recommend to subscribe to my email list to get an access link to my HealthyQueening beginner workout sample video. A workout video for you to demonstrate a balanced beginners workout that you can complete at home with minimal fitness equipment. Depending on the number of sets this workout can be 20-30minutes long and it can be completed 2-3x a week.