How To Start Lifting Weights: Five Exercises To Master

Lifting weights is one of the best things you can do to limit joint pain, improve overall health, and maintain your lifestyle as you get older. Like most things, getting started is the hardest part. Learn how to start lifting weights with the following five exercises.

The Hip Hinge

Learning the hip hinge is the best place to start. Understanding how to perform the hip hinge while maintaining a neutral spine will help to avoid knee and back pain as you get started lifting weights. It’s also what we call a ‘foundational’ movement. Meaning that we use this exercise in a lot of other strength training exercises. Understanding how to perform the hinge will help you learn many more beneficial strength exercises.

Learn More About How To Hip Hinge Here

The Squat

The squat is a full body strengthening exercise that is also used to improve mobility and movement. It’s easily progressed or regressed to match all ability levels and, when performed correctly, is safe on the joints. The air squat is a safe variation for beginners and great place to starting when learning how to lift weights.

Learn More About How To Perform The Air Squat

The Lunge

The lunge (and it’s many variations) is one of the most functional strength training exercises. Building strength in this movement will help you walk, run, climb stairs, go hiking; many of the activities you perform in yoru daily life. I start my clients with the reverse lunge because it’s easier on the joints and easier to control.

Learn More About How To Perform The Reverse Lunge

The Lift

The deadlift is another important movement pattern that helps protect your joints as you move through your day. It also targets your glute and hamstring muscles which is required to protect you back, hips, knees, and ankles. The kettlebell deadlift is a great variation when learning how to start lifting weights as it’s much easier to control when compared to barbell deadlifts.

Learn More About How To Perform The Kettlebell Deadlift

Weighted Carries

Weighted Carries are great functional core strengthening exercises for beginners. Lifting something heavy and walking with it is one of the best ways to train your body for less joint pain. The Farmer’s Carrys is a beginner variation that can be used when learning how to lift weights. While traditionally used as a functional core strengthening exer

Picking the right exercises is key in learning how to start lifting weights. These full body strengthening exercises are great places to start for anybody new to strength training. They utilize many of the foundational movements that translate to 100’s of other beneficial exercises. Learn, practice, and understand these movements and you’ll be off to a great start.


For the last 10 years I’ve been helping adults build the strength and confidence to live active, healthy, and happy lives. My free program ‘Solving Pain With Strength’ gives you a step-by-step, approachable way to build strength without stressing your joints. Download it below and get started feeling better today.

Learn More About Each Exercise With Dr. Baird At The Video Below:

New To Strength Training? Get Started With Our Free Program

Solving Pain With Strength: An Approachable, Step-by-Step Strength Program For Adults Limited By Joint Pain

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