Everyone has to start from somewhere, no matter what it is that we’re trying to do. When learning how to work out, the two main goals are to figure out the structure of our muscular system, and to perform movements effectively.

When first starting out, it helps to simplify things, so let’s take a quick look at just what our bodies appear to be designed to do…..

We are built with the ability to push things away from us (out or up), pull things toward us, bend over, and use locomotion….walk, run, jump. It’s really that simple when you think about it!


So when you begin an exercise “program”, try to mimic those useful movements. Let’s address each of the four


For the push “Out”,  this motion can be accomplished with a bench press (“press” always means “push”). Always use a flat bench, pushing directly upward, and a slight incline bench (approx 30 degrees), also pushing directly upward. Let’s also not forget that we can always flip over, face-down, and do push-ups…same thing essentially.

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For the push “Up”, simply sit on a chair bench (with a back) and push directly upward/overhead. The top position should be just short of arm lock-out and the bottom position should leave your hands even with your nose and ears.


Any rowing motion or pulling-down-from-above motion will accomplish this, so a row and a lat pull-down will work well.

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One key here is that when you “push”, you are also working the back of the upper arms (triceps). When you’re “pulling”, you’re working the front of the upper arms (biceps) so these pushing and pulling motions work the upper body quite well.


By using good, safe posture, and bending over then standing back up straight, you will work the lower back, which is needed for this movement. Whether you use a barbell in hand, or dumbbells in hand, it is this added resistance that will increase your strength while doing that bending over and standing back up straight.

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Moving about is simply accomplished by leg flexion and extension. This is best done with two movements: squats and stationary lunges.


Use a barbell across the upper back or hold onto dumbbells in each hand. Descend by pretending you’re trying to sit down in a chair behind you. This will make the hips move backward to initiate the movement. You can descend all the way to thighs parallel to the ground but start with a more shallow range of motion and be careful not to use too much weight when going lower.

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Stationary Lunges:

Try these holding a dumbbell in each hand for a lower center of gravity and better balance. Put one foot a bit forward, flat-footed. Put the other foot behind and up on its toe. The distance between the forward and rear foot should be about two shoe lengths. Concentrating on the front foot heel, descend to a shallow depth, then reverse back up, pushing from the front foot heel. Repeat a bit rapidly so you’re kind of “bobbing” your reps. Very intense feeling of muscles working! Switch feet and repeat for reps.

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These simple movements are a great way to start your exercise program. Now of course you will want to use good form and safety in these movements. For the purposes of this discussion, I have not gone into all that tedious detail, rather I’m just trying to set you up with a simple structure for your program.

Please log into my WatchFit profile and you will find my other articles which are more specific for various exercises.

One other thing……we are here to help. This is particularly true for beginners. As a WatchFit expert, I can always be reached with a quick message from the website. Glad to be of help!

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


Chriz Zaremba Fitness Consultant
Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans