Bodybuilding exercises for beginners

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If you decide to connect your life with bodybuilding, we recommend starting with a set of exercises for beginners. Such a program will help prepare the body for serious power loads, so that in the future you come to perfect physical shape. We offer a set of bodybuilding exercises for the first three months of training: novice athletes will be able to practice both in the gym and at home.

If you are going to perform exercises at home, you still need shells – dumbbells and barbells. Bodybuilding is not a sport in which you can work exclusively with your own weight.


Forget about programs from glossy magazines – all of them are aimed at advanced athletes. A beginner must undergo initial training and pump over all muscle groups. After all, the goal of bodybuilding is to develop all the muscles and create ideal body proportions.

Here are the basic rules for a beginner bodybuilder:

  1. The first three months, the duration of the training should be no more than 60 minutes, of which 20 minutes – to warm up. The remaining 40 minutes are spent on strength training.
  2. A good program should include a maximum of basic exercises that are aimed at strengthening the muscles and joints.
  3. Exercise no more than twice a week. This will allow your body to have time to recover between workouts. In the future, when the body is already getting stronger, it will be possible to increase the frequency.
  4. Do not forget about good nutrition, especially in the first six months of bodybuilding training. From stress, the body experiences an increased need for carbohydrates, proteins, fats, macro- and micronutrients. During the adaptation period, this need is extremely important to satisfy, because your body needs to be prepared for a serious transformation.
  5. Relax a lot and sleep more. Muscles recover and grow precisely in a dream.

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Since all muscle groups are pumped in bodybuilding, the full complex should include the following exercises:

  • on legs;
  • back
  • chest;
  • deltoid muscles (shoulders);
  • arms (biceps and triceps);
  • press.

A set of exercises is best developed individually. If you do not want to work with a personal trainer, then rely on your own feelings. Exercise until you easily overload, because the most complex approaches are the most effective in terms of muscle growth. This means that while the exercises are easy for you, the muscles do not grow. In this case, it is extremely important not to overdo it and not to earn an injury. Increase the load gradually and be very attentive to what your body says. Leave the room with a feeling of fatigue, not a faint.

General recommendations for a set of exercises:

  • At least one of 5-6 workouts must be circular. This means that in one session you do exercises for all muscle groups. One exercise follows another with a break of 30 seconds. Then the circle is repeated 3-5 times. During the training, you can make 1-3 circles with different sets of exercises. Each will have 3-5 repetitions.
  • The rest of the training will focus on specific muscle groups. For example, on Tuesday you swing your legs and back, on Friday – your chest and shoulders. This will allow the muscles to recover better between classes.
  • Biceps and triceps exercises are best included in every workout. Do some hand exercises at the beginning of the lesson to warm up these muscles, because they will participate in many exercises for other muscle groups. It is important not to overload them, so it is enough to do one exercise for triceps and one for biceps. For each, three approaches will suffice.
  • The press is also involved in many exercises, and this muscle is most difficult to bring in perfect shape. An overloaded press will interfere with the exercises, so it’s better to swing it at the end of each workout.
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Next, we recommend the recommended exercises for different muscle groups. Those exercises in which simulators are involved can be performed only in the gym. If only shells are used, then you can do it at home.



  1. Stand facing the bar, grab it in your hands and place it on the trapezoid (muscle of the upper back and neck).
  2. Straighten completely, grab the bar with a comfortable grip, slightly wider than the shoulders.
  3. Put your feet shoulder-width apart, slightly toe your socks to the sides. The back and shoulders should be straightened, and the weight of the bar should be evenly distributed over the body.
  4. Take a breath and squat gently. Do not slouch and look straight ahead.
  5. Squat to the lowest level possible to keep your balance.
  6. Slowly return to starting position. When you go through the most difficult phase of lifting, exhale.

During movement, the knees should look sideways and not go forward beyond the line of socks.

Women are encouraged to place their legs wider than the shoulder line. So you can use the gluteal muscles in the exercise.

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Dead Dead

This strength exercise is performed with a barbell.

  1. Take the starting position – chest forward, shoulders back, back slightly arched, legs shoulder-width apart.
  2. Take the bar with straightened arms, closed grip, palms shoulder-width apart.
  3. Pull your hips and buttocks back lightly.
  4. Lower the barbell along the line of legs.
  5. Hold for a second in its lowest position.
  6. Go back slowly.

If you are just starting your journey in bodybuilding, use light weights. Before exercise, it is recommended to warm up and stretch.

Dumbbell Lunges

  1. Take the dumbbells in your hands, stand straight, feet shoulder width apart or a little closer.
  2. Step forward with one foot.
  3. Gently lower down so that the knee of the exposed leg does not extend beyond the toe, and the thigh is parallel to the floor. At the same time, the second leg remains behind, it is bent 90 degrees, and the knee almost touches the floor.
  4. Push off with your front foot and return to starting position.
  5. Repeat the exercise for the second leg.
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Simulator exercises

One of the most effective exercises for beginner bodybuilders – leg press in the simulator. Its advantage compared to squats is to remove the load from the back. In this way, you can swing your leg muscles more steadily and put in larger weights than during squats.

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Inclined rod pull

When performing this exercise, the latissimus dorsi, posterior deltas, extensors of the back and biceps are involved. Tilt barbell pulls can be performed by both professional bodybuilders and beginners. In order not to injure your back, you must carefully monitor the performance technique.

  1. Starting position – feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. The barbell should be taken with the usual grip from above, arms slightly wider than the shoulders.
  2. Bend in the lower back, torso forward. The upper body should tend to be parallel to the floor. For a novice bodybuilder, a tilt of 45 degrees is enough. Look forward, hold the barbell in front of your bent knees.
  3. As you inhale, pull the bar toward you, almost touch the lower part of the abdomen with the bar.
  4. Breathe out and straighten your arms.

Beginning bodybuilders are recommended to first perform the exercise with an empty bar and gradually move on to building weights.

Dumbbell Dumbbell

For this exercise you will need a bench and a dumbbell.

  1. Take the dumbbell in your right hand and take its starting position: the lower back is bent, the upper body is parallel to the floor, the right leg rests with the knee on the floor, the left hand and left knee rest against the bench.
  2. As you exhale, lift the dumbbell toward you until your elbow is above your shoulder. Move your hand along your back.
  3. As you inhale, lower the dumbbell to its original position. When moving, you can not take your elbow to the side and rotate the lower back.
  4. Perform the required number of repetitions, and then do the same exercise for the left hand.

Simulator exercises

It will be useful for beginner bodybuilders to perform the following exercises in the gym:

  • Pullups in the crossover – first with a counterweight, and then with its own weight.

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  • Thrust of the upper (vertical) block.

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  • Traction of the lower block.

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You can ask the trainer for the rules for doing the exercises or see the instructions on the simulator itself.


The most effective chest muscle exercises are known to all. This is a bench press and dumbbell on a straight or inclined bench. Beginners in bodybuilding can also use the breeding dumbbells in the supine position. Technique of execution:

  1. Lie down on a bench and put your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Take dumbbells, lift them up on slightly bent arms.
  3. Lock the angle at the elbows and do not change it with the movement of the hands.
  4. Keep your arms outstretched as you inhale, try to lower your dumbbells as much as possible.
  5. Bend your arms as you exhale and maximize muscle tension at the highest point.
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While practicing in the gym, you can also perform:

  • Push-ups on the bars – including a crossover with a counterweight.
  • Hand reduction in the simulator.

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Army Press

Exercise is also called standing barbell press.

  • Take the barbell: grab from above, arms slightly wider than shoulders. Stand upright, hold the bar on outstretched arms, the bar touches the hips. Legs shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. One leg can be slightly advanced forward for greater stability.
  • Lift the barbell to the chest so that the bar touches the upper part of the pectoral muscles. You have taken the starting position for the exercise.
  • Inhale and lift the bar up above you. Exhale after completing the most difficult climb. At the top, the arms should be straightened and the shoulders raised. At this point you need to linger for a second.
  • Lower the bar to the starting position and repeat the movement as many times as necessary.

It is important to perform the army bench press at a uniform pace without jerking.

Chin rod

The exercise is performed while standing.

  • Take the bar with a direct grip, arms slightly wider than the shoulders. The back should be flat and slightly curved in the lower back. Shoulders down.
  • Pull the bar up, spread your elbows. In the upper section of the movement, the elbows should be at the level of the deltoid muscles.
  • Slowly lower the bar and do the desired number of repetitions.

Biceps Exercises, Triceps, and Press

The best biceps exercises for beginner bodybuilders are lifting the barbell and dumbbell back grip. For triceps, you can use a narrow grip bench press on a horizontal bench. The technique is the same as when performing a bench press on the chest, only the neck is taken with a narrow grip.

The most effective abdominal exercises are twisting and lifting legs while lying down. You can also use special simulators.



The set of exercises for girls is practically no different from men’s, but there are a number of nuances that are important to consider before starting workouts.

Firstly, before doing strength training, you need to strengthen the joints. This is due to the fact that in women the joints are narrower and more fragile than in men.

Secondly, the joints may require additional protection already when performing strength exercises. To do this, you can use an elastic bandage on your knees and elbows.

Thirdly, in women, the lower part builds up muscle mass faster. Therefore, in training, you need to pay more attention to the upper body.

Fourth, at the initial stage, it may take more time for cardio. This is due to the fact that the female body accumulates fat faster, which will have to be burned.

Fifth, women should include pelvic muscle exercises in the training program, for example, the abduction of the platform.