5 Best Weight Training Exercises For Beginners

The fitness world can be a daunting place at times, particularly when you’re first starting out on your lifting journey. Packed full of weights, machines and equipment that can look complex to use, even the avid gym-goer can feel somewhat intimidated.

But don’t panic, girls, because we’re here to help. As you know, we’re all about empowering women through fitness and we see it as our responsibility to give you the right tools to help you achieve your goals. 

So, if you’re new to lifting, we’ve rounded up some of the best weight training exercises to get you started.

Weight Training For Beginners


Before we get stuck in, there’s a few things you should know.


  • One lift of a weight or completion of an exercise is called a repetition or ‘rep’ for short.
  • A series of repetitions is called a ‘set of reps’ or ‘set’. For beginners, we’d tend to recommend 3 sets of ten reps per exercise.


Like with all workouts, it’s essential to warm up thoroughly, especially when performing exercises your muscles may not have used before. We’d suggest trying aerobic activity, such as walking or jogging. 


  • To begin with, try 1 or 2 repetitions with a low weight to get yourself familiar with the exercise. If you feel comfortable, try up to 10 reps consecutively. 
  • Adjust the weight accordingly. If you can only do less than 8 reps, it’s likely you’re lifting too heavy. If you can do more than 12 reps without too much effort, try upping the weight a little. 
  • Don’t forget to rest between sets to allow your body to recover and replenish its energy for the next round. 1 to 2 minutes is usually the recommended amount of time for a 10 rep set of low to moderate intensity. 
  • Be mindful that if you experience any pain or discomfort during your weight training exercises, this could be a sign that you need to correct your form. Try this with little or no weight and don’t be afraid to seek help from a fitness professional. 


Just like warmups, stretching is absolutely vital. This keeps your muscles flexible and strong and helps to maintain or increase the range of motion in your joints. Because the last thing you want is joint pains and muscle damage.



Squat lift exercises are arguably one of the best weight lifting exercises for building lower body power and strength. This is because it’s a compound exercise that engages multiple muscles, including the quads, glutes and core, and joints at once. 

Squats are also a great way to improve your balance, mobility and flexibility, which are all core components of lifting. 


Start this exercise without a weight and when/if you feel comfortable to do so, progress to the barbell (without weights).

  1. With your hands placed in a comfortable position, duck under the bar and place it on your upper back (traps). Pull your elbows back and squeeze your shoulder blades together to create a stable platform. 
  2. Step away from the rack and set your feet roughly shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointing slightly outward. Keep your feet flat at all times.
  3. Slowly bend your knees while keeping your chest up right until your thighs are at least parallel with the floor. Make sure to always keep your hips under the bar.
  4. Push through the floor to slowly bring yourself back to the starting position. 
  5. Repeat as many times as desired for a set - we recommend 10 per set (see above).
  6. Once complete, safely return the bar to the rack.

Weight Training Exercises | Squat


The chest press exercise targets (as you’ve probably guessed) the main chest muscle, the pectorals. It also uses muscles in the shoulders and upper arms. This particular exercise can help with daily activities which involve pushing or carrying and can also enhance your performance in sports, such as tennis and swimming.


You can use a variety of equipment to do chest press, but this particular set uses dumbbells.

  1. Lie on a bench or the floor with a dumbbell in each hand. If you use a bench, you can have your feet up on the bench or on the floor, depending on what is most comfortable for you.
  2. Position the dumbbells directly above your shoulders with your upper arms at about 45 degrees to the body and your elbows forward of the shoulder line. 
  3. In a controlled manner, push the weights upward while exhaling, taking care not to lock out the elbows in a sharp movement. The weights should almost meet above the top of the chest. Make sure to keep your head and shoulders on the bench/floor.
  4. Lower the weights, muscles contracted, while inhaling and controlling the return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat as many times as desired for a set.

Best Weight Training Exercises | Chest Press


If you’re looking for a weight training exercise to grow your glutes, this is it! Deadlifts target a range of muscles, including hamstrings, core, lats and the forearm muscles. 

If you’ve previously suffered from a lower back injury, deadlifting using the correct form can also help strengthen those affected muscles and significantly help prevent future back injuries.


  1. Place the bar on the ground in front of you and with your feet shoulder-width apart, position your toes underneath the bar. Push your hips up and back, creating tension in the hamstrings. Your hips should be above your knees. 
  2. Keeping your head and neck inline as you roll your shoulders back, pick up the bar and brace through your entire body.
  3. Push the floor away from you as you lift the bar upward. Be careful not to raise your hips first and make sure to keep your arms extended the entire time. Think of the legs and shoulders moving upward in unison with the hips as the balancing point.
  4. The bar should almost graze the shins and come to rest around thigh level. Pull your shoulders back as much as possible without bending backward.
  5. Lower the bar back down your legs by hinging at the hips and slightly bending at the knees. 
  6. Carefully return the bar to the floor and brace again before repeating.
  7. Repeat as many times as desired for a set.

Weight Workouts | Deadlift


This exercise is great for developing the forearm and back muscles. It works by using a pulling motion and encourages you to engage your abs while keeping your back straight. This can help prevent strain and injury. 


  1. Sit on the bench with your knees bent and grasp the cable attachment. Position yourself so that you have to reach to grab the handle with extended arms, yet without curling the lower back.
  2. Pull the handle and weight toward your lower abdomen. Be careful not to use the momentum of the row too much.
  3. Target your middle to upper back by keeping your back straight and squeezing your shoulder blades together as you ‘row’.
  4. Return the handle forward under tension to full stretch all whilst keeping your back straight.
  5. Repeat as many times as desired for a set.

Benefits Of Lifting Weights


As the name suggests, this exercise targets the latissimus dorsi, also known as the ‘lats’. Back weight training exercises are an effective way to improve your posture and to ease pulling movements, such as performing a pull-up or even opening a door. Having strong lats can help relieve some kinds of back pain.


  1. Sit comfortably on the seat with your feet flat on the floor. Check the height of the bar and adjust accordingly. The bar should be at a height that your outstretched arms can comfortably grasp the bar without having to fully stand up.
  2. Grasp the bar with a wide, overhand grip.
  3. As you exhale, pull the bar down until it’s approximately level with your chin. Aim to keep your torso still at all times and engage your abs as you pull. The bottom of the motion should be where your elbows can no longer move downward.
  4. From this position, slowly return the bar to the starting position. Do not let go.
  5. Repeat as many times as desired for a set.
Weight Workouts | Lat Pulldown


Resistance training is how you build strength not only in your muscles, but your bones and joints too. Not to mention you’ll also burn heaps of calories during your weight workout too, which will help boost metabolism. 

If you’re also into sport, weight training can improve your athletic performance and reduce the likelihood of injury.

If you’re still a bit anxious, it’s always worth watching someone else, such as a personal trainer or gym instructor, to show you how to do these exercises first. Remember, girls, it’s perfectly okay to ask for help! 

If you’re not confident asking someone else, you could always try watching a video tutorial on YouTube. Whatever the case, this is your sign to get up and go! You’ve got this!

Psst… Don’t forget to bag yourself a fresh ‘fit, so you can truly lift your best life!