Daily exercise for beginners | Progressions exercises part 1

In the previous article, two groups of exercises are proposed to help create a healthy habit of working out daily. The routine mentioned is aimed at providing a full body work out, while maintaining a busy life with lots of responsibilities and a minimal amount of available time.

The routine consist of 3 days in the week spend doing one hard set of the exercises programmed for that day. In between these 3 work out days, you have 3 cardio days, you spend working on your cardio in a functional manner. This can be by activities, such as boxing, working on your ground fighting techniques, swimming, rucking, jump rope etc. A combination of these activities is also fair game.

The routine used as an example in the previous article looks like this:

Groep 1   Group 2
– Squats   – Glute bridge
– Push-ups   – Pull-ups
– Dips   – Pike press
  Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
Week 1 Group 1 Boxing Group 2 Boxing Group 1 Boxing Rest
Week 2 Group 2 Boxing Group 1 Boxing Group 2 Boxing Rest

Due to not being in the best shape, it is entirely possible that some of these exercise mentioned are outside of your ability at the moment. This is not an issue, as long as you are willing to do something about it and reforge your body.

The first group of exercises consist of squats, push-ups and dips. These seem simple enough, but all have their challenges and can prove unpleasantly hard for the untrained.


Squats are often called the king of all exercises. There is at least one other exercise which gives it a run for its money in the department of full body muscle engagement, the deadlift. The challenge with the squat, for the majority of people living in a fairly developed environment with chairs being the predominant way to sit, is the lack of ankle, hip and knee mobility (in that order).

The limited mobility results in many having trouble squatting ‘ass to grass’. This while the Almighty has clearly designed our bodies to do so without any issues.  The thing is that we all squat (all of us that use chairs).

The moment we sit down on a chair, we initiate the first part of that coveted ‘ass to the grass’ squat. We just don’t follow through and terminate the movement at the height of the chair.

The best and easiest alternative to squatting ass to the grass is to squat as low as you can at the moment. Your ego might take a hit on this one, when you find out that even chair-height is challenging. This as more people actually drop themselves on a chair, then sit down in a controlled manner. The result is that when they try to squat to that exact same height, they find out that they don’t have the strength/control to do so.

Squats preformed to the approximate depth of a chair are often called ‘Box Squats’. The trick is to start using these box squats at the depth that is a little challenging for you but still do-able. You might need to start at the depth of your chair. Yes, this is ‘painful’ but you have started the process of improvement.

As soon as you have mastered a certain depth and perform a squat at that level without an issue, you restart the process, by now dropping to enough inches/cm below that until it becomes challenging once more.


Push-ups are one of those quintessential calisthenic movements. They are associated with the drill sergeant and sport coach who lovingly barks and screams you to a state of physical/fighting fitness.

If push-ups from your toes are not possible for you yet, don’t despair. The mechanics of the exercise are such that it becomes heavier as your body position is more horizontal. The more vertical you get, the less strength you need to perform the movement.

It might be possible that you need to start with your hands against a wall and push off from there. Slowly work your way to the back of a couch and between two chairs. Keep lowering the inclination, until you are able to do a push-up from the ground.


Like the push-up, dips are very well known exercises from the calisthenics corner of fitness movements. Dips also share with push-ups, that the exercise becomes more challenging depending on the weight distribution of your body position.

The best alternative for dips, if the full-blown version (where the weight of your full body is only supported on your arms) is not do-able right now, is to rest your feet on something to lower the total weight supported by your arms. The greater the difference between the level of your hands and feet, the less weight is actually supported by your arms.

People often begin with their hands on the seat of a couch and the legs stretched in front of them. The range of motion is limited by the floor. This is a good place to start if you can manage it. If need be do not let your ego prevent you from placing your hands somewhere higher. Eventually, you will master the exercise if you stay consistent.

In the next article, we will be going over alternatives for the second batch of exercises mentioned above, which might be more accessible for you at your current fitness level.

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