Resistance Training For Beginners

man doing resistance training at home

In this article:

What Types of Resistance Training Is Best for Beginners?
What Are the 5 Basic Exercises for Resistance Training?
Can You Do Resistance Training Without Weights?
The Benefits of Resistance Training at Home
How to Recover Faster

If you’re like most, you probably assume that the only way to get a good strength training workout is to join a gym and hit the free-weights. Luckily, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, all you need is a bit of extra space in your living room, bedroom, or even backyard, and you’ll be able to start resistance training at home.

But before you can start building muscle or really start pursuing the tips in our guide to resistance band training, you need to know how to make your training routine work for you.

What Type of Resistance Training Is Best for Beginners?

When it comes to resistance training for beginners, figuring out where to start can seem confusing and overwhelming. Though there are many different ways to begin resistance training, some are better suited to those new to the workout scene than others.

The truth is that any resistance training method is better than none at all. You just need to find the type of training methods that work for your body and your comfort level.

There are three main types of resistance training that you can do at home.

Bodyweight Training

Bodyweight training allows you to build strength and tone your muscles without the use of exercise equipment. All you use is the weight of your body. These types of exercises are ideal for beginners who aren’t sure they’re willing to commit to expensive equipment or don’t have a convenient place to store it.

Resistance Band Training

Resistance band training, whether for beginners or experts, uses sturdy rubber bands to add resistance to each movement you make. These bands and training systems take up minimal space and allow you to perform more diverse types of exercises that aren’t easy or possible with your bodyweight alone. Even better, they can help you hone your form as your skills progress.

Free Weight Training

Free weights are loose, individual weights that allow you to perform traditional strength training exercises, just as you would at a gym. They come in many different weights and sizes, making it easy to tailor your routines to your skill level. That said, they take up tons of space and can be a safety hazard if you use them improperly.

rack full of free weights

Each type of resistance training will help you build muscle in similar ways. This means that choosing the right method for your goals is really a matter of personal preference.

What Are the 5 Basic Exercises for Resistance Training?

No matter what type of resistance training method you choose to try, the exercises you’ll want to start with will largely be the same. There are five basic exercises that will help you develop a solid foundation for your strength training routine.


Squats target your legs, glutes, core, and lower back muscles all in one simple movement, but making sure you have the right form is the key to making progress. Stand with your feet spread hip-width apart. Then, picture an invisible stool or chair right behind you.

Drive your hips back, bending at the knees and ankles and pressing your knees slightly open as you would if you were going to sit in that invisible chair. As you move, be mindful of your knees. They should stay over your ankles rather than moving past them toward your toes. Also, keep your core tight and chest up.

Once you feel that you’re as low as you can get in the squat, stand back up. When you’re starting out as a beginner, try not to push yourself too far or too fast.

If you can get your leg and knee to a 90-degree angle without letting your knees drift in front of your ankles, great! If not, don’t push it. Only go as far as you’re comfortable with at first. As you build up strength, you’ll be able to deepen your squat.

As you develop strength, you can add lightweight resistance bands to the movements to further increase the intensity of your workouts.


Lunges are a great way to build core strength, balance, and strength in your legs. Even better, you can do them with or without resistance bands or free weights. In fact, when you’re first starting, you should just do them with your bodyweight.
Man exercising lunges with weights
Place one leg out in front of you and bend at the knee, keeping your knee in line with your ankle. Bend your back leg at the same time so that your back knee almost touches the ground. The goal is to get the line between your thighs and knees to form a 90-degree angle.

Once you reach that point, stand back up and alternate legs.

If you’re struggling with balance or aren’t comfortable doing a standing lunge, hold onto a table or do lunges by a wall so you can catch yourself.


Pull-ups are a wonderful way to build strength with or without strength training equipment. When you work out with a resistance bar with bands or use a bar on the playground to perform the exercise, you’re able to activate the muscles in your shoulders, lower back, arms, and core.

You don’t have to go straight into lifting your entire body weight on the bar. Start by keeping your feet on the ground and pulling yourself up, using your feet to take the extra weight that you can’t lift with your arms. If you’re using a resistance bar with bands, use a lighter weight band and work your way up.


Push-ups are a classic and are ideal for bodyweight-only resistance training at home for beginners. Get into a plank position on the ground with your arms outstretched, supporting the bulk of your weight.

Keep your wrists in alignment with your shoulders and lower yourself down slowly. Then, push yourself back up to the plank position.

If this exercise is too much, you can always rest your knees on the ground and perform the push-up that way. Doing so takes some of the weight and strain off of your arms and helps you focus on maintaining great form.


Rotation movements help you prevent injuries to your back when done correctly. All you need is a free weight or resistance band wrapped around a pole.

Hold the weight or band out in front of you with your shoulders down, with your back and your chest out. Engage your abs, tightening them slightly to help you maintain your posture.

Then, rotate from side to side. You don’t have to go far. Only push yourself as far as your range of motion allows.

As you build up strength, you can either increase repetitions or add more weight to the workout.

Can You Do Resistance Training Without Weights?

When most people start looking into resistance training exercises at home, they assume that they need tons of equipment and weights to create a solid workout and see results. Luckily, this is not the case.

Weights and gym equipment are optional, not a necessity. Here are a few great ways to incorporate additional resistance into your exercise routine.

Your Own Bodyweight

The best place for beginners to start is with their own bodyweight. You’re already used to carrying it around every day, so transitioning into resistance training at home for beginners without the use of tools is easy.

Go through the five main exercises without weights and work your way up. As you start to build strength and feel the need for more difficult workouts, you can start incorporating equipment into your routine.

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are a great alternative to bulky free weights and weight machines—and they pack a punch! The right combination of bands allows you to add hundreds of pounds of resistance to your routines if needed.

If you choose to incorporate resistance bands, do so slowly and make sure you’re doing the exercises with the proper technique.

Focus on Doing More Reps, Not Increasing Resistance

Of course, adding resistance and increasing the amount of weight you use in workouts isn’t the only option. You can, instead, increase the number of reps you do for each exercise.

Though you won’t be moving more weight, you’ll make your muscles work just as hard by making them work for longer periods of time.

The Benefits of Resistance Training at Home

Believe it or not, there are many benefits you’ll experience by starting resistance training exercises at home. And they extend far beyond simply making you stronger.
woman using the Gorilla Bow for resistance band training at home
By committing to a routine, you’ll experience the following benefits:
  • Improved muscle tone
  • Better balance
  • More energy
  • Improved flexibility
  • Better weight management
  • Decreased risk of muscle strain or injury
  • Stronger bones
  • Less fatigue
  • Greater stamina

Keep in mind that most of these benefits take time to achieve. But with easy to follow online training programs like Gorilla Bow’s All-Access Membership program, you’ll get the guidance you need to see these benefits quickly.

How to Recover Faster

After every exercise routine, you’ll want to give your body the tools it needs to recover from those exercises. The best thing you can do is focus on your overall health.
woman eating healthy after working out
Hydrate during and after each workout. Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeinated beverages, soda, and alcohol as they can dehydrate you further.

Eat plenty of fresh, unprocessed foods to give your body the nutrients it needs to help your muscles bounce back. And prioritize getting enough sleep each night, especially after workouts.

When you do, you’ll feel ready for your next session of resistance training at home.

Getting Started Is Easier Than You Think

Now is the perfect time to start resistance training at home, and this guide should help you find ways to build strength quickly without increasing your risk of injury.

Check out our workout videos for inspiration, and create your own routines each week!

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