Beginner Workout #20: featuring Coach Courtney Townley

Posted on July 17, 2011 by


The most important thing to remember as a beginner exerciser is to GO SLOW and PAY ATTENTION to what you are doing.  Slowing down movement when performing new exercises helps to prevent injury and actually challenges the endurance of muscle tissue.  Paying attention means focusing on your form and proper execution of the movement to help prevent injury and to insure you are not creating poor movement patterns.

The exercises below can be done together as a beginner body weight training workout, or  you can sprinkle one or two into your already existing program to add more variety and challenge.

Plank Walks Over Bench

Begin in a well-aligned plank with hands on top of a bench and feet or knees (easier) on the floor.  Step your right hand and then left hand to the floor, so you are straddling the bench and then walk back up onto the bench.  Try to alternate which arm you are leading with.  Avoid rotating the torso or sagging into the lower spine.  For an added challenge, you can add a push-up when both hands are on the floor.  Repeat 8 times with 1 arm leading, and then repeat 8 times with the other arm leading.  3 sets.

1 Leg Balance Figure 8’s with Med Ball

This exercise can be performed with a medicine ball or a free weight (start light, 4lbs and work your way in weight as your balance gets better and your arms get stronger).  Hold the ball or free weight out in front of you with straight arms and make 5 figure 8’s one direction and then 5 in the opposite direction.  Be sure to do this on both legs, a total of 3 sets.  This exercise is all about balance and stabilizing the spine!

Sumo Walks

In a wide sumo stance, bend knees as deeply as possible without leaning forward, hands behind head with elbows wide and take 10 steps forward leading with your heels, then take 10 steps back.  Repeat 3 times.  Sumo walks are excellent work for inner thighs, quads, hamstrings and gluteals.


Start by lifting opposite arm to leg as you lift torso up at the same time.  Be highly aware of not overusing the lower back.  Then practice swimming continuously without rocking the torso from side to side.  This is a great way to work on torso stability, as well as, back, leg and shoulder extensors.  Swim as quickly as you can for 30 seconds, and repeat 3 sets.