>Do you have a basic workout routine or tips for someone just starting out? I’ve been running for the past few weeks but haven’t done any weight training. I can’t afford a gym but I do have adjustable dumbbells.

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If you are just starting out then you need to figure out what your goals are first.

Swimming and running will help you to improve your fitness and tone but if you are looking to gain weight then you will need to consider some weight training.

Even though you are not thinking about joining a gym, most gyms will offer a free session with a trainer. Take advantage of this opportunity to get some professional advice.

Before you start to hit the weights you will need to do some kind of strength building exercises. Push ups are a good start. Try 3 sets of ten and then each week work on increasing the number. You will be surprised at the difference it makes.

There are a variety of push ups you can do that will work different areas of your chest and shoulders.

When I can’t get to the gym I do 3 sets of 25 push ups over 3 different exercises.

Of course there are more exercises than just push ups that you can do at home. You will need to do a little research but hopefully this will help you make a start.

Classic Push-ups

Push-ups are a great exercise for your chest and shoulders when done correctly.

First, place your hands a little more than shoulder-width apart with your feet together (with wide feet, you take out the balancing portion of the exercise, minimizing the core initiation). Be sure to contract your glutes, abs and quadriceps to keep your back completely straight throughout the exercise. This is where most people go wrong!
It’s not just a chest exercise – it’s a chest, arms and core exercise. So, be sure to tighten up that midsection throughout.

Lower yourself slowly until your face is just off the ground (or as far as you can go). Don’t go farther than you’re able to return, or you’ll defeat the purpose. Your elbows should flare out slightly.

With an explosive movement, press yourself back up to the starting position.

Diamond Push-ups

This is great for the pecs and shoulders but is a killer for the triceps.
Kneel down on your knees and place your hands on the ground. Position your hands so they make a diamond shape with thumbs and index fingers touching
Lift your body up so that only your toes and hands are making contact with the floor. Make sure your back is straight by tightening those core muscles (quadriceps, glutes, abdominal muscles, lower back muscles). This is important!
Bending your elbows, lower your self to the ground slowly while keeping your body as straight as possible (don’t bend your back or allow your hips to sag!). Go as low as you can, but not so far that you can’t push yourself back up. Don’t be a hero here – go as far as you can and come back up. Even if you can only manage a few inches, that’s perfectly fine. You’ll get better and stronger with time! Going farther than you’re capable doesn’t really do any good.
Do as many reps as you can!
Military Push-ups

This one can be hard for beginners who have not built up their triceps strength yet.
Kneel down and place your hands on the floor underneath your shoulders. Make sure your fingers are facing forward. Come off your knees so that only your toes and hands are making contact with the floor. Tighten your abdominals, lower back, quadriceps and glutes to keep your back in a straight line. This is important! If you don’t flex these muscles, you’ll compromise the purpose of the exercise.
Now, with your back straight and your fingers facing forward, slowly drop your body towards the floor. The important point here is to make sure your elbows pinch your sides. Do not allow your elbows to flare outwards!
Keep moving down until your elbows are just off the floor. Hold this position briefly, then start moving back up to the starting position. Don’t lock your elbows at the top!
Your dumbells are very versatile. Jump online and have a look at some of the exercises that can be done with them. Make sure you concentrate on the correct technique or you will injure yourself. Again professional advice is important here.

Also key ingredients to getting fitter and stronger are good diet and sleep. No amount of weights and training will help if you don’t give your body the fuel and rest it needs.

Good luck with it 🙂 I hope you reach your goals.