11 Exercise Beginner Workout Routine

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Fitness is not only great for your overall health but having a healthy body leads to a healthy mind and exercising regularly can greatly improve your mental health. I became interested in going to the gym so I could feel happier in myself and more confident in my body. Going to the gym soon became a way to lift my mood and not only was I boosting my self-esteem by becoming fitter and healthier, but I was also improving my mental health and feeling much more positive.

I didn't know where to start when I first went to the gym. I never stepped foot in the weights section because I was too scared and intimidated (which you shouldn't be, at all, because everyone is too concerned with what they're doing themselves.) I'd never used much gym equipment other than the treadmill and elliptical, which I found extremely boring and repetitive.

It was only when I started taking group workout classes that I began to learn techniques and exercise routines that aren't boring and repetitive, but challenging and rewarding. My favourite classes to take are HIIT (High intensity interval training) and core/ab classes.

I'm going to take you through step by step the full body workout routine that I use in the gym. These workout moves are some of my favourite to do and they keep my workouts interesting and fun. When I go to the gym myself, I do my own circuits and mix up which exercises I do on each day. So this is my own little circuit workout routine that I do in the gym. This is a high intensity, quick, fat burning workout routine that will tone you up and shred those pounds while working up a mean sweat.

Read next: 10 ways to improve your mood instantly
How to take control of emotional eating

Here are my favourite 11 exercises to tone my body and burn calories at the gym.

Warmup: I warm up by doing five minutes on either an exercise bike or the Stairmaster. I keep my intensity between four and ten and just warm myself up before getting into the workout.

Do each exercise for 45 seconds, with a 20-second break in between and repeat the whole circuit x3 times.

In the second round, you can go up to 1 minute for each exercise and increase your break time to 30 seconds, and then back down to 45 seconds per exercise in the third round. (The less rest time between exercises, the more effective the workout will be at toning and burning fat.)

1. Squats
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Everyone's favourite for toning the booty, squats! Bend your knees, keep your back straight, stick your bum out. and go as low as you can to feel a good burn. Squeeze out as many squats as you can while keeping a good form during your circuit. Squats are great for toning your glutes and firming up your butt.

2. Squat jumps
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To get your heart rate going more, add a jump into the squat. Squat down, and when you come back up, go straight into a high jump. Go straight back down into your squat when you land from your jump. Jump high and with power! You'll be sweating in no time with 10-15 of these jump squats. 

3. Hill Climbers
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Start in a plank position and bring alternative knees up to your chest in a running motion. It's essentially a running in place plank. Go as fast as you can with full power for 45 seconds.

4. Burpees

The dreaded burpees, which really shouldn't be dreaded at all! Burpees are a great all over body workout and little and often, you'll really see a difference. Start by standing shoulder width apart, go down into a squat position with your hands on the ground in front of you and jump your legs back into a plank position. Jump back up to your starting position with a strong, powerful high jump.

5. Box Jumps
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Choose a medium sized box and jump up strong and high onto the box, landing in a squat position. Either jump or step down and do as many box jumps as you can during the set. Box jumps are great for cardio and toning the glutes and legs.

6. Wall Sit

Sit with your back against a wall at a 90-degree angle, with your feet shoulder width apart, and hold for the duration of your set. To make this exercise harder, march your feet in place, you'll feel your legs burning in no time.

7. Battle Ropes
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There are several variations for using battle ropes, one of my favourites is to use alternate arms to create a wave in the ropes, getting low into a squat and moving the ropes as fast as you can. You can also make a wave with the ropes using both arms at the same time and use full force to slam the ropes off the ground. 

Read next: Signs of emotional eating and how to take control of it

8. Sandbag Slams
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Or commonly known as medicine ball slams, depending on what equipment your gym has. Sandbag slams are a great way to relieve stress as well as getting a workout, win-win! Stand on your toes with the sandbag, or medicine ball, held high above your head, and with all your force, slam it into the ground, bringing your body down into a squat position.

9. Dumbbell Rows
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Holding a dumbbell in each arm (I use 5 or 7kg dumbbells), bend your knees slightly and keeping your back straight, bend at the waist so your upper body is almost parallel to the floor. Bend your elbows and bring the dumbbells up to your side, keeping them close to your body, in a rowing motion.

10. Jumping Lunges
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Start in a lunge position, with one knee in front of the either, bent at a 90-degree angle. Jump high and alternate legs so the opposite leg is in a lunge.

11. Kettlebell Swings
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Choose a kettlebell weight of your choosing, I usually use 8-12kg. Stand over the kettlebell, feet shoulder-width apart. Bend down and grab the kettlebell and swing through your hips, thrusting your hips and squeezing your glutes at the end of the movement.


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