Friday, February 20, 2009

10 Best Beginner Bodyweight Exericses

Hey, coming to you from Washington, DC. Just wrapped up the first day of a big seminar, learning how to serve you better.

Nutritionally, I've been right on during this travel, unlike the businessman I saw at the Toronto Airport eating a chocolate bar and chugging a coke.

Bad idea.

I bet he felt terrible by the time the flight landed. On the other hand, I felt great because I packed some apples and cashews. Even if I didn't pack those, I could have bought raw almonds and some fruit at their airport. There is no excuse to eat bad on the road.

Then last night I had dinner with Susan Hill (I'm working on a golf project with her) and Vince DelMonte (formerly skinny vinny). I had a grilled chicken breast with an Italian vegetable salad. Haven't had artichokes, white beans, and olives in a salad before. Great stuff.

So this morning I hit a great workout in the gym. 2nd best hotel gym I've ever used. Heavy dumbbells, bench press, pull-ups, awesome.

But...even though there were 25 people in the gym at 6:00am, I was the only one lifting. They were all on the know what I think about that...

However, that wasn't the worst thing I saw in the gym...

Instead, it was another classic case of the well-meaning, but incompetent trainer. He was working with a beginner, overweight woman and they went through a round of machines first. That's fine. I won't grumble too much about that. But then he had her do lunges.

Why, why, why do trainers insist on making unqualified folks do lunges?

My favorite line was when he told his overweight, beginner, un-coordinated client that, "it's okay to fall over doing lunges, it means your muscles are doing more work".

Right, just like its okay to get in a car crash, because now you get to use your bumper!


Is it any wonder why I'm trying to change the industry with the Turbulence Training Certification and Fat Loss Revolution.

I'll be teaching trainers a better way of training clients for more results and fewer injuries.

Here are the 10 best beginner bodyweight exercises I would have used with this woman instead of advanced athletic movements and
generic machines.

1) 1-leg lying hip extension

2) Plank

3) Stability ball leg curl

4) Side Plank

5) Stick-up

6) Low Step-ups

7) Bird Dog

8] Kneeling or Incline Pushup

9) Stability Ball Hip Extensions

10) Beginner Inverted Row

Check out some of these exercises in video workouts here:


In a future email I'll give you my full progression of lower body and single-leg bodyweight exercises that will take a beginner from clutz to lean, athletic pro.

Coming soon.

Until then, stay strong, just say NO to cardio, and train safe.

Bodyweight to the rescue,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS


David at said...

The comment you made about the personal trainer really hit home with me. I've seen this kind of thing happen as well. It's like the trainer forgets that although they've been exercising for years, their client hasn't. You have to be able to walk before you run, or even crawl before you walk, in some cases.

Another great list of beginner exercises too, btw.

Have a great weekend,


Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS said...

Thanks Dave!

Juliet S said...

Hey Craig -- I feel that way too about so many trainers...thank you for that. I also wanted to clarify that you would use a plank for an overweight beginner. Don't you think that particular move already requires quite a bit of abdominal strength to protect the lower back - or are you modifying?

Mike Atkinson ACE CPT,Basketball Sports Specialist said...

I agree, I think a qualified expirienced trainer can be judged on the ability to adapt to special needs. Ovbiously all trainers are not created equal. Most people cant even body squat correctly, let alone learn a lunge.

Mike Atkinson