Try This Exclusive Beginner Dumbbell Workout from Kayla Itsines' Latest Program
This easy-to-follow workout is all about building a baseline for fitness and strength, so you can feel comfortable taking it to the next level (when you're ready).
Kayla Itsines spent ten years of her life as a personal trainer and athlete before giving birth to her daughter, Arna, seven months ago. But becoming a mom changed everything. The 28-year-old found herself starting at square one, and for the first time in her life, she says she felt weak. The creator of the BBG workout program told Shape, that this time in her life is what inspired her to create one of her brand new programs: BBG Beginner.
"Looking back, I think it would have been inauthentic of me to create a program like this before I had a baby," she told us. "I really had to go through that feeling of vulnerability and starting all over again to really understand what women going through the same actually needed."
Itsines says she slowly got back into fitness once she was cleared to work out by her physician, but she was no longer able to do the high-intensity workouts that made her famous. (Related: 10 Unbelievable Transformations from Kayla Itsines' BBG Workout Program)
That's exactly why her BBG Beginner program is made up of eight weeks of low-impact exercises. Instead of three workouts per week like her original BBG programming, BBG Beginner will have one lower-body and one full-body resistance session. There's also one optional upper-body day during for the first six weeks, as Itsines says she felt that even just the two workouts a week could be a lot for someone who is entirely new to exercise. She does recommend adding that third workout in for the last two weeks of the program, however. (Related: Get Ready for More Heavy Lifting with the Latest Sweat App Updates)
There are also low-intensity cardio sessions (LISS) such as biking or walking weaved into the schedule. The best part? The first half of the program has no jumping whatsoever (bouncing is typically an Itsines signature) and includes 30- and 60-second rest periods, so you can really focus on form and building foundational strength, she explains. Once you've completed BBG Beginner, Itsines says you'll probably feel ready for BBG, another at-home program that's a bit more intense, and, from there, can work toward crushing the BBG Stronger program, which focuses on weight training. "I just really think this program will help women no matter where they are in their fitness journey," says Itsines.
Check out this exclusive full-body workout by Itsines designed especially for beginners to give you a taste of the new BBG Beginner program. Follow along and take the first step toward building greater overall strength. (Once you master form with your bodyweight and light weights, check out this beginner's guide to lifting heavy weights.)
Kayla Itsines' BBG Beginner At-Home Dumbell Challenge
How it works: Perform each of the five exercises back-to-back for as many reps as allotted, completing as many rounds as you can for a total of 10 minutes. Focus on your form and remember that this workout isn't about speed but building a foundation of strength.
What you'll need: A set of dumbbells and a chair
Goblet Sit Squat
A. Begin in a standing position with a chair placed directly behind you. Use both hands to hold a dumbbell against your chest in an upright position, planting both feet slightly further than shoulder-width apart. This is your starting position.
B. Inhale and brace your core. Maintaining an upright torso, bend at both the hips and knees until you are able to sit on the chair behind you. Lean back slightly to sit up tall.
C. Exhale and lean forward slightly to push evenly through your feet to extend your hips and knees and return to the starting position. Throughout the exercise, you should contract your glutes and keep your knees aligned with your toes.
Repeat for 15 reps.
A. With a chair in front of you, place forearms (wrist to elbow) firmly on the chair's seat, ensuring that elbows are directly below shoulders. Extend both legs straight behind you, balancing on the balls of your feet.
B. Inhale and brace your core, ensuring your spine remains neutral. Hold for 30 seconds, controlling your breathing throughout.
A. Start by lying flat on your back on a yoga mat. Bend knees and position feet firmly on the mat, ensuring they are hip-width apart and your spine is in a neutral position. Lay a dumbbell across hip bones, supporting it with an overhand grip (palms facing toward your body). This is your starting position. (Related: How to Do a Glute Bridge Using 3 Simple Progressions)
B. Inhale and brace your core. Exhale as you press heels into the mat, activate glutes, and raise pelvis off the floor until your body forms one straight line from chin to knee, resting on your shoulders.
C. Inhale as you lower pelvis to return to starting position. You should feel tension through your glutes and hamstrings during this exercise.
Repeat for 15 reps.
A. With a chair in front of you, place both hands on the chair's seat slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with legs stretched long behind you, balancing on balls of your feet, glutes engaged. This is your starting position.
B. Inhale and brace your core. While maintaining a neutral spine, bend elbows and lower torso toward chair until arms form two 90-degree angles.
C. Exhale and push through chest and extend elbows to lift body back into the starting position. Press away from the chair as much as possible. You should feel tension in your triceps and shoulders throughout the exercise.
Repeat for 10 reps.
A. Holding a dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip (palms facing toward body), plant both feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. While maintaining a slight bend in your knees, hinge forward from hips so that torso is parallel to floor. Extend arms directly below chest toward floor. This is your starting position.
B. Inhale; exhale. Bend elbows to bring dumbbells in toward sides of body. You should feel a small squeeze between your shoulder blades.
C. Inhale. Extend elbows to lower dumbbells and return to starting position.
Repeat for 10 reps.