The Absolute Beginner Resistance Workout
If you're new to exercise, make sure you warm up. It’ll get your muscles ready to work and lower your risk of injury. Walk in place for 3 minutes, then do two squats and two lunges, alternating legs. Finish the warm-up with 30 seconds of no-weight arm curls or the overhead arm movement of a jumping jack.
The Workout You'll go through the following 5 exercises, doing 15 reps of each, until the 15 minutes are up. "At any time during the workout and as many times as necessary, stop and take an active rest by slowly walking in place," says Jordan. When you feel ready, begin again exactly where you left off. A few of these moves call for dumbbells—start with whatever weight feels manageable for you, even if it's just a couple of pounds. You can also do the workout without them. "Just make sure you really squeeze the muscles in your arms and shoulders as you do the movement," says Jordan.
Move 1 – Squats to Press
With your feet about hip width apart and your heels firmly pressing into the ground, dumbbells at your shoulders, lower down into a squat position. Only go as low as feels comfortable, keeping your knees behind your toes. As you stand back up from the squat, raise the dumbbells over your head with your palms facing each other. That’s one rep.
Move 2 – Jumping Jacks
As you do the movement, allow your arms to fully extend overhead. If jumping feels uncomfortable or too difficult, do the "jacks" by stepping out laterally to the left and right as you raise your arms overhead, without jumping.
Move 3 – Lunges to Row
Standing with your feet together and dumbbells by your sides, take a big step forward with your right leg. Your front knee should be in line with your ankle and forming a 90-degree angle (it’s ok if you can’t get quite that low yet). Lean your torso slightly forward and pull the weights up and back by squeezing your shoulder blades together and bending your elbows. That's one rep.
Move 4 – Jumping Jacks
Move 5 – Step Up with Curl
Use a small step or a curb that feels stable. Facing the step with the weights in your hands and arms hanging by your sides, step up with your right foot, squeezing your core and glutes, followed by your left foot. As you step up, do a biceps curl by bringing the weights towards your shoulders with your palms facing you. Bring the weight back to your sides as you step down. That's one rep.