I thought I’d put together a little post on my body exercises for each body part/muscle group. They can all be easily done by beginners, just by changing the weight according to your fitness/strength level. I ensure my workouts change weekly – I never do exactly the same workout week after week because your body gets used to it and you won’t progress if you train like this. I do, however, have a handful of exercises I usually include every week, I just change the rep ranges or the weights in order to mix it up a bit.
I train quads and calves together, but mainly focus on my quads on leg day. My absolute favourite exercises for quads at the moment is single leg extensions. It allows you to isolate each leg, and also target the quads on their own. As I mentioned in this blog post, unilateral training is great for your quads because your stronger leg often takes over and takes the brunt of the weight when training them together, so isolating each one is a great way to build both.
Squats. Squats squats squats. Like most girls, I love training glutes and I also incorporate some kind of squat when I train them. I normally do conventional barbell squats, starting with an empty bar to warm up, and gradually working my way up to my one rep max which is currently 65kg. I also love bulgarian split squats – grab two dumbbells (I use 8kg) and a flat bench. Place one foot in front of you and the other resting on the bench, pick up your dumbbells and squat! Other squats I do are: kettle bell squats, sumo squats, front squats.
Stiff/straight legged deadlifts are brilliant for your hammys. I either use dumbbells or if I’m going a bit heavier I’ll use a barbell at around 40kg, so not too heavy but enough that it really stretches my hamstrings out. When doing this, make sure you keep your back straight, and go down until you feel your hamstrings stretch. You can even do a pulse at the bottom if you really want them to burn!
I love love love training biceps, and my favourite exercises is a barbell curl. I don’t go particularly heavy, but I like to go for reps, or even include a drop set to really make my arms burn! You can use different grips for this to switch it up a bit. Curls are the perfect exercise to grow your lil guns.
Dumbbell overhead extensions are one tricep exercise that I always include in my workout, usually doing a drop set from 8kg to 6 or 5kg, or even just doing a few sets of reps to failure. To do this, grab a dumbbell with both hands and hold it over your head, with the weight resting in the palms of your hands. Lower the weight using your forearms, ensuring your upper arms remain stationary in order to put all the pressure on your triceps. Once you’ve reached the bottom, extend to the top again. Drop sets really make this burn, I often do 3x6x8kg dropping to 3x12x6kg. Ow.
Okay I know there are different parts of your back etc. but to save this from getting complicated I’m just going to tell you my one favourite back exercises. Pull ups. Assisted or unassisted, pull ups are a brilliant way to work your whole back, and also a bit of your arms too. Assisted pull ups are a great way to start, because even a beginner will be able to do them!
I actually quite like training chest. I’m not going for a chest split (I wanna keep the small boobs I do have…!) because that’s not my thing, but I do think training chest is really important for while body strength. My favorite chest exercises is cable flyes. They’re great because you can change the height of the cables to target different parts of your chest, and are really easy to do even for beginners.
I’ve always had quite broad shoulders (I was like a little fish at swimming when I was a kid) and I’ve really grown to like them, especially as they seem to be a body part that grow really quickly for me. My favourite shoulder exercise is plate raises, and I always include a drop set for this! I use a 10kg plate and drop to 5kg, but obviously your strength will determine which one you can do. When I first started doing these in the summer, I could just about lift a 10kg plate in front of me, now I can lift it all the way above my head!
This changes all the time, however my current favourite ab exercise is a superset that you only need a medicine ball for. Grab your desired med ball weight, and lie flat with the ball above your head. Grab the ball, with both hands and lift that and your legs at the same time – keeping your legs straight. Touch the ball to your feet (or as close as possible) and return to your starting position. Do this 10 times. Then, go back to the same starting position and do crunches: bring the ball up and bend your legs in the crunch, bringing the ball so it’s over your knees. Again, do this 10 times. I swear the burn is unreal but worth it!
So there we have my favourite exercises. I generally include these every week, but like I said at the start I do different variations to ensure I’m not repeating workouts every week.