Embarking on Strength: The Comprehensive Guide to the 5 Best Beginner Exercises for Women by Muscle & Fitness


Embarking on a fitness journey can be both empowering and transformative, and for women taking their initial steps into the realm of exercise, it’s crucial to begin with a solid foundation. In collaboration with Muscle & Fitness, this comprehensive guide explores the five best beginner exercises tailored for women. These exercises not only cater to beginners but also lay the groundwork for building strength, improving endurance, and enhancing overall fitness. From full-body engagement to targeted muscle activation, each exercise is meticulously selected to ensure a well-rounded and effective introduction to the world of fitness.

Section 1: Squats – Building Lower Body Strength

  1. Bodyweight Squats:
    • The bodyweight squat is a fundamental exercise that engages the lower body muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. It serves as an excellent introduction to squat mechanics and helps establish proper form.
  2. Goblet Squats:
    • Progressing from bodyweight squats, goblet squats introduce the use of a dumbbell or kettlebell. Holding the weight close to the chest adds resistance, further challenging the leg muscles and promoting proper squatting technique.
  3. Sumo Squats:
    • Sumo squats target the inner thighs and glutes. By adopting a wider stance, this variation emphasizes different muscle groups, offering a versatile and effective way to strengthen the lower body.

Section 2: Push-Ups – Upper Body Strength and Core Stability

  1. Incline Push-Ups:
    • Incline push-ups are an excellent starting point for building upper body strength. By placing hands on an elevated surface, such as a bench or sturdy countertop, beginners can gradually progress to standard push-ups.
  2. Modified Push-Ups:
    • Modified push-ups provide an achievable entry point for women building upper body strength. By performing push-ups from the knees, individuals can gradually build strength in the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

Section 3: Planks – Core Activation and Stability

  1. Standard Plank:
    • The standard plank is a foundational exercise that targets the core muscles. It promotes stability and engages the abdominal muscles, lower back, and shoulders. Beginners can start with shorter durations and gradually increase as strength improves.
  2. Side Planks:
    • Side planks add a lateral component to core engagement. This exercise targets the obliques, promoting overall core strength and stability. Beginners can perform side planks with variations to suit their comfort and ability levels.

Section 4: Lunges – Balance and Lower Body Toning

  1. Forward Lunges:
    • Forward lunges are effective for targeting the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. This exercise also promotes balance and stability, making it an ideal choice for beginners looking to tone and strengthen the lower body.
  2. Reverse Lunges:
    • Reverse lunges offer a variation that emphasizes the hamstrings and glutes. This exercise encourages proper form and allows beginners to focus on controlled movements while engaging multiple muscle groups.

Section 5: Bent-Over Rows – Upper Body Toning and Posture Improvement

  1. Bent-Over Rows with Dumbbells:
    • Bent-over rows with dumbbells target the upper back and biceps, helping to improve posture and develop a strong, toned upper body. This exercise is accessible for beginners and can be performed with light weights to start.


Embarking on a fitness journey as a beginner should be an empowering and enjoyable experience. The five best beginner exercises for women, as endorsed by Muscle & Fitness, provide a well-rounded introduction to strength training, targeting key muscle groups and promoting overall fitness. From squats and push-ups to planks, lunges, and bent-over rows, each exercise is carefully selected to accommodate beginners while laying the foundation for continued progress. As women incorporate these exercises into their routine, they not only build physical strength but also foster a sense of accomplishment and confidence on their fitness journey. The key lies in consistency, proper form, and a commitment to personal growth through the transformative power of exercise.