Beginner Exercise Routines: a follow-up from our guide to getting started with eating healthy and exercising.
Here is a list of beginner exercise routines (and videos) that you can follow from the comfort of your home.
You can browse these videos to see if there’s a certain routine or instructional style that you prefer. Remember to go slowly at first if you don’t exercise regularly or have past injuries (low-impact exercises are recommended if injury is a concern).
Let us know which videos you like, and feel free to share suggestions!
Click the table of contents to skip to a certain video or scroll to view them all. Each section contains information on the instructor and the type of benefits you’ll receive from these specific beginner exercise routines.
- Walking Video by Denise Austin
- Walking Video by Leslie Sansone
- Push-ups for Beginners by Bowflex
- HIIT workout by The Body Coach, Joe Wicks
- Beginner Low-Impact Cardio by POPSUGAR Fitness
- 5-Minute Morning Stretch Routine by Thomas (Tapp Brothers)
- 10-Minute Abs Workout by Bodyfit by Amy
- 15-Minute Cardio Dance Workout by POPSUGAR Fitness
- 10-Minute Beginner’s Zumba by Nestle Malaysia
- 15-Minute Strength Training for Beginners by HASfit
Get our PDF with 10 health and fitness quotes from Optimal Health Daily — to stay inspired with starting a healthy lifestyle!
Denise Austin is a fitness icon and AARP Wellness Ambassador who’s been in the industry for over thirty years. She is 62 years old and considers herself “blessed to be in good health.”
If you’re seeking an instructional, beginner exercise video from an expert with an upbeat and energetic style, you won’t be disappointed!
As a side note, I first started following some Denise Austin videos and DVDs when I was a teenager. I started with some abs exercises and a pilates DVD she had released. More than a decade later, I continue to follow her videos to stay in shape. Her videos exude happiness and feeling good about yourself through exercising at a level you’re comfortable with.
For more on Denise Austin, check out the following links:
With 2 million plus views, this is one of Leslie Sansone’s most popular miles segments. Sansone is a group fitness instructor who has released over 100 DVDs and four books.
This video is another variation of a walking routine that you can do from your home. My mom is a big fan of these videos as the pacing is good while being easy on the joints, and is a great one to try if you don't have much experience with beginner exercise routines.
You won’t even feel that you’ve walked a mile during these 15 minutes. The arm movements are a bonus as you typically wouldn’t swing your arms or work different muscle groups if you go outside for a normal walk.
For more on Leslie Sansone, check out:
Bowflex creates fitness equipment, along with weekly workouts and fitness videos on the company’s official YouTube channel.
This video shows a helpful breakdown of steps you can take towards doing proper push-ups. Push-ups require upper body strength, and a full push-up can be very difficult to do if your arms and shoulders are not used to exercise. This 1.5 minute beginner exercise sequence gives a quick overview of the modified versions you can do to strengthen your wrists and arms before doing a full push-up on the ground.
For more on push-ups as part of beginner exercise routines:
- OHD 731: 5 Common Push-Up Mistakes to Avoid, by Steve Kamb
- How Many Sets and Reps Should I Do? (blog post by Dr. Neal)
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training.
When you’re just starting out, you can concentrate on movements you can perform in your own home without any gym equipment. In this video, instructor Joe Wicks takes you through five exercises with a sequence that features 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest. The exercises by Wicks include:
- Marching High Knees
- 10 Punches
- High Knee Shoulder Presses
- Power Knees
Wicks separates HIIT from interval training by describing the former as more challenging and something that gets your heart rate really high.
For more on HIIT, check out:
POPSUGAR Fitness offers fitness tutorials and exercises. Class FitSugar is hosted by certified personal trainer Anna Renderer, who always has a cheerful vibe. Class FitSugar frequently covers popular workout classes and trends. Exercises that have been featured include the Victoria's Secret workout alongside celebrity trainers.
Low-impact doesn’t mean boring or ineffective, as you’ll see in this 15-minute video. Anna has a clear and easy-to-follow instructional style that won’t leave you feeling intimidated or overwhelmed. She takes the time to remind you to keep the weight on your heels (and not your knees) during the glute stretch section, as an example.
Links on POPSUGAR and Anna Renderer:
Do you ever wake up feeling stiff or rigid?
Mornings are a great time to get some stretching done. It invigorates your mind and muscles, helps with blood circulation, and can improve the tone you set for the whole day.
Limbs and muscles you’d want to “wake up” include the back, shoulders, hip flexors, and hamstrings, all of which this video covers.
For more info on the Tapp Brothers and the benefits of stretching, visit:
Certified fitness instructor Amy Kiser Schemper shows you how you can tone your abs within ten minutes. In this video, Amy sticks to low impact beginner exercise routines which target your core muscles to help you achieve a flat belly. The routine she’s chosen is easy on the back.
Core strength is important as it helps you to stay in an upright posture. It also helps you maintain a healthy back, which in turn supports the rest of your body.
For more information on core strength:
- Why Core Strength Is So Important (Shape.com)
- Strong Abs Are More Important Than Flat Ones (VeryWellFit)
For tips on how to reduce belly fat:
- OHD 282: 6 Simple Ways to Lose Belly Fat Based on Science, by Kris Gunnars
- How Do I Get Rid of Belly Fat? (by Dr. Neal)
This is a cardio dance workout led by personal trainer Allie Cohen.
Incorporating dance into your workout routine keeps exercising fun because you forget that you’re physically working out. It’s a whole-body workout that can help with balance and coordination.
Did you know that a thirty minute dance class burns about the same number of calories as you would with jogging?
For more about dancing and cardio exercise:
Trainer Ain leads you through this Zumba routine with her pleasant personality and smile. This routine will leave you feeling light and joyful while getting your entire body moving.
Zumba is a fitness routine that combines dance movements with Latin and international music. If energetic and heart-pumping music is something you enjoy, Zumba is probably going to be a fun routine you’ll always look forward to!
For more on Zumba:
HASFit offer more than 1,000 free workout routines and complete fitness programs for a variety of fitness levels.
All you need is a pair of dumbbells to get the most out of this routine. Exercises in this video include dumbbell lateral raises for your arms, goblet squats, and reverse lunges and curls.
According to fitness coach Nia Shanks, your focus as a beginner with strength training should be on learning a few basic movements, before getting stronger with these movements. You want to build a strong foundation that you can switch up later according to your fitness goals.
For more on strength training:
Beginner Exercise Routines: Which One's Your Favorite?
Whether or not you're new to exercise, you'll tend to enjoy your workout more if you find it fun. This helps you stick with the routine in the long run.
Remember to incorporate a mixture of cardio, stretching, and strength training to maintain your body in strong physical condition. Cardio works the heart, stretching keeps your muscles flexible, and strength or resistance training improves your bone health and muscle tissue.
For extra motivation, check out health and fitness quotes from OHD episodes, or download it as a PDF below.