Get Fit With These Workouts for Obese Beginners

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Obesity can be a severe health concern for many. In the United States alone, nearly one-third of adults are obese. Obesity is associated with cardiovascular diseases and other symptoms that significantly affect quality of life. 

If you’re obese, it’s a good idea to take action to lose excess weight and start living a healthy lifestyle. This may include cultivating healthy eating habits and staying physically active. 

As society has progressed, we’ve evolved from physically demanding tasks to choices that may make our lives easier. On one hand, this is a benefit, but on the other, it’s taken away from the physical toil we need to stay fit. In this guide, we’ve compiled a list of physical workouts for obese beginners to lose weight and stay fit. Read on!

Workouts for Obese Beginners

obesity woman doing workout with personal trainer

Being obese means that workouts requiring advanced levels of flexibility and stamina aren’t the best options. Having said that, there are several beginner workouts that may work.


Our list commences with unarguably the simplest workout of all – walking. Walking comes naturally to us, irrespective of our fat levels – it should hardly be a surprise if you’re looking to lose weight and improve your overall fitness levels. 

Walking can indeed be a great exercise to focus on. It’s estimated that walking for a mile can help us lose up to 100 calories, even though the results vary between weight and gender. 

Variations of the standard walk, like Nordic walking, where you carry a ski pole in each hand, can add levels of complexity to this simple workout. Walking is a highly recommended workout for obese beginners, due to its simplicity and effectiveness. 

Plus, walking is a great exercise to help build your stamina over time. For instance, start with half a mile or a full mile, depending on your energy levels. Then, slowly build from there. We recommend adding a quarter mile to your regimen every two weeks or so.

Push-up Modifications

Push-ups are one of the best workouts if you wish to lose weight or increase muscle. However, the standard variation of push-ups can be a tad strength-intensive and might not be easy for obese people, especially for beginners. 

There are many push-up variations one can use to get similar results. The three easiest modifications of push-ups include the following:

  • Wall push-ups – The easiest version is where you stand prone against the wall and push your chest against it. 
  • Incline push-ups – Instead of lying flat on the ground, rest your hands on a higher level, like a table, and push your chest against it. 
  • Knee-down push-ups – Lie flat on the ground, but rest your knees on the floor while pushing your chest down towards it. 

Performing these push-up variations will not only help you lose extra weight but strengthen your core, and significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. 

Indoor Cycling

Cycling is one of the best ways for obese people to stay mobile and fit. However, if you can’t go biking, you can join a spin class or try a stationary bike at your own home. 

Cycling indoors is a great way to get your heart rate up and improve your body. For people with beginner skills, indoor cycles are even more convenient, as they come with a backrest that offers a substantially more comfortable experience. 

Did you know that in a 30-minute session, a person weighing 185 lbs can lose more than 300 calories with moderate riding? 

The exercise also manifests other benefits, including the strengthening of your lungs and heart by expanding the body’s ability to use oxygen. Indoor cycling is one of the best cardio workouts a beginner obese person can include in their regimen. 

Side Hip Abductions

Hip abductions, or leg lifts, are a great workout for your lower body. While there are several variations of hip abductions to try, side hip abductions are some of the best. 

To do this, simply lie on the ground sideways and move your legs up and down away from your body and back. Repeat the same number of reps on both sides of the body for a balanced workout. By moving your lower portion, you can get a good well-rounded exercise that extends benefits across your entire body. 

Other than weight loss, side hip abductions can also be beneficial to patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). Performing this exercise regularly helps reduce pain and build strength, with increased muscle performance. 

Glute Bridge

Glute bridge is named such because your body takes on the appearance of a curved bridge while being supported by gluteal muscles. As a beginner, you can improve your personal fitness vastly by performing this exercise. 

For this exercise, start by lying down on your back with your knees bent. Then, lift your hips upwards off the floor to the maximum extent possible, hold the position for a second, and slowly bring them down to the ground. 

Over time, the workout will greatly strengthen your core and also help reduce back and knee pain. It also helps build muscles around the middle to the bottom portion of your body, and allows you to lose fat and reduce weight. 

Squat Modifications

Squats are one of the oldest and most popular exercises for every fitness level and purpose. They’re aimed at improving your general fitness levels while being especially useful for building leg muscle and bringing stability. 

Starting with squats is simple. Stand on your legs, lower your body till your thighs are parallel to the ground, and then stand upright again. Keep repeating the same movement till fatigue or your targets are reached. 

If you’re an obese person just starting out with your exercise routine, try an alternative variation of the squat by lowering your body into a chair or a similar resting position before getting back up. 

Knee Lift with Weights

confident fat women

The next workout will involve a ball or a weight of some kind, and is primarily targeted toward working your core. Stand upright with your arms hoisted above, holding a ball or a weight for added effect. 

Now bring your arms down to waist level, while bringing one of your knees up to meet your hands. Repeat with alternate legs and perform as many reps as you can. 

This is a great beginner-level workout to try if you’re overweight. This workout will build strength and reduce pain. It also can be especially helpful for those who suffer from osteoarthritis and need assistance in pain management. 

Seated Leg Lifts

Seated leg lifts are one of the easiest exercises to perform if you’re obese. In fact, the ease of this workout makes it a recommended option for the elderly as well. 

The reason for this is that there’s no need for you to support your entire body while doing the exercise, and you can instead be seated in a chair. It targets your lower abs as well as the hip muscles. 

To start, sit in a chair, keeping a firm grip on each side. Start with your feet on the ground, then bend your knees, raising your feet towards your chest. Take note that your spine should be straight at all times. 

Hold your knees near your chest for a second before reverting to the original position. Repeat this workout several times for a complete workout. 

If you have trouble with mobility due to being overweight, this exercise can help you lose weight without having to support your body.

READ MORE: Can Fat People Be Flexible? Tips for Every Body Type


Another workout that’s recommended for beginners who are obese is crunches. Here, start the workout by lying flat on your back on the floor or on a bed. Be comfortable – with crunches, there is no need to support your own body weight.

Make sure your knees are bent and feet are together before starting out. Place your hands flat next to you and press into the ground for stability. In this position, start lifting from your head and shoulders toward your knees until the shoulder blades can be completely off the ground. 

Take care not to bend your neck or lift your lower back at all. Once your upper torso reaches your knees, hold for a little while before slowly reverting to the starting position. 

Even though this is a simple workout, it’s highly popular due to its effectiveness. It targets your core, which acts as a fat repository and helps reduce weight by breaking down the fat deposit. 


Contrary to popular belief, there are many workouts for obese beginners. And instead of jumping into intense cardiovascular workouts where you eventually quit due to high difficulty levels, these exercises are far easier to perform, and frequently work wonders when done diligently over time. 

The key, as always, is in doing these exercises regularly, with a focus on getting fit, losing weight, and leading a healthy lifestyle. 

Though these workouts can easily be performed from inside your home, we actually recommend you contact your nearest gym or a health center and perform them under expert supervision. 

Not only do you get the assurance of doing these exercises perfectly and optimally, but you also gain a lot of motivation that’ll help you quickly move up the progress scale. 

Now that you know there is a world of beginner workouts to explore, go ahead and pick one to start with. As you lose weight and build strength, stamina, and confidence, you can pick more complex workouts and lead a happy, healthy, and more fulfilling life.

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