The Best Strength Training Exercises For Beginners

While running on a treadmill every day certainly has its benefits, cardio exercises like this do not contribute much to the effort of building muscle mass or giving you those rock-hard abs you've always wanted. According to Women's Health Magazine, the best way to build muscle mass, strength, and endurance is to add strength training to your workout regimen. Typically, strength training involves using your own body weight or equipment — like dumbbells, resistance bands, and kettlebells — to add some resistance. 

Aside from building muscle mass, the American Cancer Society reports that strength training exercises can also increase bone density, improve joint flexibility, control your weight, and increase flexibility and balance. As fitness trainer Joel Freeman told Shape, using strength training to increase muscle mass is beneficial for every area of the body. "Basic strength training is key to develop a strong muscular foundation," Freeman told Shape. "Bones give our body structure, but muscles are what allow us to move and well."

According to Aaptiv, newbies should begin their strength training journey by simply mastering core moves like the squat, hinge, push, pull, and core work using your body weight before adding any weight equipment. Moving forward, whether or not you're using weights, Shape recommends a strength training workout consisting of eight to 10 exercises that target every major muscle group at least a few times a week.

Try these strength training exercises perfect for beginners

Ideally, your strength training workouts should include exercises that target every major muscle group of the body. One of the best moves is the squat, as it targets your legs, core, and upper body. You can add a dumbbell on each side or at the heart center for more resistance, Aaptiv pointed out. Push-ups and planks, which challenge you to hold the pushup position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your heels over your ankles for at least 30 seconds at a time, are some of the best strength exercises to challenge your core. "If you can't hold a plank for one minute, your body will have a lot of trouble properly completing any other exercises. Master this move, and you'll have a strong, stable core that will keep you injury-free and ready for more challenging exercises," trainer Natalie Carey told Aaptiv.

The Romanian Deadlift is another great exercise to add to your strength training regimen as it trains hip-hinge motion and targets your hamstrings, glutes, and core with or without the use of weights. The Romanian Deadlift can be done by standing with your feet hip-width apart and hinging forward at the hips and bending the knees slightly as you lower your arms along your shins (while keeping your back flat) until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Then, you will push through your heels to raise your arms back to the starting point, according to Self.