Beginner Gym Workouts For Women

Beginner Gym Workouts For Women

Many people who sign up for a gym in January quit by February. Perhaps that’s because choosing the wrong exercise when you are new to the gym can leave you discouraged, overwhelmed, and ready to quit.

What helped me was back to basics. I avoided the intimidating weight machines and focused on exercises for key muscle groups using a mix of strength and cardio. These exercises built up my strength and performance quickly and reduced my weight! More importantly, I wasn’t overwhelmed. Before working out, I made sure that I warmed up for 5 minutes by running to prevent injury.

Best Strength Exercises

When starting, focus on mastering the form rather than doing too much. You can build up later as you progress.

Start with a few reps of each for 30 seconds (less for plank) using short breaks in between.

  • Legs
    • Squats: Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Push your butt towards the ground like you’re going to sit. Keep your back flat, hold briefly, then straighten and repeat. Squats help improve stamina and speed when running.
    • Lunges:
      Step your right foot forward while stepping back your left foot. Steadily try to bring your left knee to the ground. Keep your back flat and don’t let your knee come past your toes. Hold for a few seconds then switch sides.


  • Arms and Chest
    • Dumbbell Curls: Curl your arms to your chest, keeping elbows tight to your sides. Increase weight as you progress.
    • Pushups: Get on your hands and knees (or toes) with hands under your shoulders and chest close to the ground. Push up and down, keeping elbows near your sides.
  • Core:
    • Crunches: Lie with your knees bent, feet on the floor, and press your back into the floor as you curl up your shoulders. Keep your chin pointed to the ceiling, then repeat.
    • Plank: Lie face down with your arms or elbows under shoulders, supporting your weight. Stretch legs out straight behind you. Use your core muscles to hold for as long as you can.


Best Cardio Exercises

I learned that treadmills can actually prevent weight loss if not done just right. These cardio equipment choices make a better impact:

  • Bicycle:
    Try this: Cycle for 20 seconds as fast as you can, then slow down for 10 seconds and repeat for a total of 4 minutes.
  • Rows:
    Rowing machines alleviate stress on your feet and ankles and benefit both cardio and strength.

Whatever exercises you choose, be sure to cool down afterward by stretching for a few minutes. Stay hydrated as you work out and listen to your body to make sure you are not overdoing it. This slow but vigorous start will keep you coming back to the gym as you lose weight and grow stronger.

women in a row with weights in gym

Gina B
Gina Badalaty is the owner of, a lifestyle blog that helps moms raising children with disabilities. She’s a freelance writer and is passionate about nontoxic living. Gina lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, her two amazing daughters, and their cat.
Gina B
Gina B

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