Bodyweight exercises for obese beginners are a great starting point for someone who needs to start exercising but doesn’t have much strength built up yet. Workouts for obese beginners are more attainable than you might think.

overweight woman doing exercises

This is a huge shoutout to all those who are overweight and working to get healthy. I am currently working on my own weight loss journey. I reached my highest weight ever of 348 pounds over the last few years. It was not a pleasant weight to be at.

My body hurt, my knees, hips, back, and feet. My energy level was low as well as my self-esteem. I was depressed.

I have always been a little overweight. I come from a big family. I’m a big guy anyway, but extra pounds were always on me because I grew up really unhealthy in all ways. But I wasn’t obese until more recently. A few years ago I hit a low point in my life when I didn’t get promoted to my dream job at work.

I had worked for years to get to the point where I would qualify for this position. I am a great worker, I had the training and experience, AND I had worked at this company for 8 years, not to mention the gyms I worked at before that.

They promoted a young girl in her 20s who had been there for 2 years and was terrible to the customers of the facility. I was devastated. This sent me into a downward spiral in my life. I ate to feel better. And gradually gained a lot of weight.

This extra weight gave me a hernia and I had to have surgery. The doctor admonished me to lose this new extra weight or I would not recover well. I lost a few pounds, he did the surgery, but the fat in my stomach was so overwhelming that the surgery was very difficult.

The damage from the work he had to do was so extensive that I was in tremendous pain after the surgery. My wonderful wife had to take care of me and it was awful. I ended up hurting her back because I’m bigger than her and I was so heavy that she got injured trying to help me.

I was no longer independent. And I felt awful about myself. I had to get more of this weight off, but in a few month’s time, that hernia repair blew out because of the excessive weight and I get more new hernias.

I had to have an even more extensive surgery with a 12-inch incision. My intestines were just being held in by skin by this point I had damaged my abdominal wall so badly. So not only did I have to increase my workouts, not put any pressure on the incision, but I had to make an extreme change in the way I was eating.

I’m so grateful that I have an awesome and caring wife that changed our lifestyle with eating. She’s been right beside me doing it with me, so that keeps me motivated. She makes a plan and prepares me good food. I have to not cheat and rev up my workouts to burn the fat. I’m so blessed to have her in my corner. She even can make vegetables taste better and I hate vegetables.

If you want more of my weight loss story and how I grew up on little Debbies and soda and learned how to change my health and life through exercise and nutrition, check out this nutrition guide. It has some basic dos and don’ts that my wife and I used for me to lose 80 pounds and be on no medication at age 53. There are also some sample meal plans in there. It was a long process, not a quick fix, but if I can do it, so can you!

exercises for fat people

I have lost nearly 50 pounds now and we are still working hard on our plan. And my doctor wants me to lose more to prevent further injury. I have to remember to burn fat with all the workouts I do. I need to build muscle without putting strain on my abs and my incision. I need to do lots of cardio to burn even more fat.

what is the best exercise for an overweight person?

I know that many overweight or obese people don’t want to come to the gym. I work there, so it’s second nature to me and I know how many overweight people come in. We are so glad they are there. And many of our clientele are obese. So I’m not worried about what anyone thinks about me. I’m there to change my life and my future.

The best exercise for obese people is whatever you will do. If you like to walk, then walk. If you like to lift weights, then do that. If you like the bike, get on that thing. If you prefer the elliptical, wear it out. Whatever makes you feel good. Do as much of it as you can. Start slowly so you won’t burn out quickly and enjoy knowing you are doing the best thing for your body. Come into the gym and I’ll help you get started. Or call me at Training Kamp and I can set you up with personal training at Strictly Fitness or group exercise classes at Social Sphere. Here are some ideas if you go by yourself, gym workouts for beginners to lose weight.

exercise for obese beginners at home

If you would rather stay home while you get in shape, I can totally understand that too. Getting some good equipment at home is a great way to get in shape. But what if you don’t have any equipment or the budget for it or for a gym membership? Check out bodyweight exercises for obese people. (Check out these ways to save money on fitness gear to get you started.)

Bodyweight exercises are so good because you use the weight of your own body to give you the workout. Think pushups and pull-ups from gym class as a kid. The heavier you are the more you’re working out when you lift it. So you can really build some strength with these exercises.

A great bodyweight exercise is pilates, and obese people can do it too.

Exercises for obese

I have been more than 100 pounds overweight and I know where you are coming from. It’s hard to get started, but once you do, you are going to love yourself for it. You’ll get healthier and stronger by the day. I’m rooting for you!

How should an obese person start exercising?

The first step is to get some cardio going. We will use the KISS method. Keep It Simple, Smarty. What do you have around you at home or the gym?

If at home do you have access to a treadmill or bike? If so, use them. Shoot for 5 minutes to start with. If you don’t have machines, head outside and WALK! Use the easiest setting and once you get to 5 minutes, work your way up to 10, then 20, then 30, then 40. After that, change your program to a more difficult setting. We are off to the races.

This will help give you endurance, energy, and some strength as well as burn calories and get range of motion in some of your joints. Cardio can be done every day, but take a day off once a week to let your body recover for the best results. Vary your speed and intensity once you start to get the hang of it. Your body is amazing at adapting, so change things up a little.

Remember, before starting ANY kind of exercise, consult with your doctor to make sure they recommend it.

Now to the best part, building strength. It’s super important. It helps you conquer your everyday activities and work tasks and helps you in an emergency. If you are a woman and you are worried about bulking up, you will get some definition, but you have to lift a lot of weights to bulk up.

Obese woman doing bodyweight chair squats


Squats are a very important exercise. They work quadriceps, butt, and hamstrings. Find out how low you can go. Grab something to sit on. Whether it be something taller like a chair or bar stool, make sure it’s stable.

Stand upright with your arms crossed in front of you and your back straight. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Slowly squat until your butt just touches the chair but don’t sit. Slowly lift and return to a standing position. Keep your back straight and your head up. Don’t let your knees move past your toes or let your knees point in. Don’t bounce. It’s a slow, controlled motion. Try to work up to 12 of these. This is one of the best bodyweight exercises for obese beginners that you can do.

woman doing wall ups bodyweight exercises against a wall

Wall ups

Wall-ups work the chest and triceps as well as the core and shoulders.

Stand an arm’s length away from the wall or a sturdy surface. Stand with your feet under your hips. Put the palm of your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Keep your core muscles tight like you are bracing for someone to hit you in the stomach. This will support your back. Bend your elbows and rotate your shoulders until you touch the wall with your nose and press back to the starting position. Exhale as you press away from the wall. That is one repetition. Shoot for 12 repetitions. To increase difficulty, try using a window sill or sturdy bench and work your way to doing them on the floor.

Don’t forget pushups for beginners too!

figure doing single leg pull in for obeset

Single leg pull in

Single leg pull-ins work the core.

Lie on your back on the floor or bed with your legs extended and your hands under your butt. Have your palms facing down and one leg bent while the other one is straight. Bend the leg that is straight and pull it up to your chest. To increase the challenge, bend both of your knees and pull them into your chest at the same time. Slowly return to the starting position. Work up to 12 repetitions on each side.

woman doing pelvic lifts on the floor

Pelvic Lifts

Pelvic lifts can be done on the floor on in bed. They help strengthen the core, hips, and butt.

Lie on your back, with your knees bent and feet slightly apart. Extend your arms over your head with your palms facing upward. Slowly lift your pelvis up towards the ceiling. Raise yourself until your back is straight and squeeze your butt together. Don’t let your back arch. Slowly lower yourself to the starting position. Work up to 12 repetitions.

obese beginners doing crunches


Crunches will build your abdominal muscles.

Lie on your back on the floor or bed with your knees bent and your feet together. Place your hands by your sides, palms down. Curl your upper torso towards your knees until your shoulder blades are off the ground. Do not lift your lower back or bend your neck. As you come to the highest point, hold for a moment. Slowly lower yourself to the starting position. Work up to 12 repetitions

woman sitting on a chair doing seated leg lifts

Seated Leg Lifts

The seated leg lifts strengthen hip flexors and lower abs.

Sit on the edge of a chair or bench with your hands holding firmly on each side of your butt for support. Bend your legs with your feet together, flat on the floor. Lean back, keeping your back straight, and bring your knee up to your chest. As you progress, work up to doing both knees at the same time. Hold this petition momentarily. Slowly return to the starting position. Work up to 12 repetitions.

woman standing in front of a mirror doing 3 point hip rotations

3 Pointed hip rotation

The 3 pointed hip rotation move strengthens the hip rotation range of motion.

Stand straight next to a sturdy chair or wall. Stand on one leg with your toes pointed. Touch your toe to the front and rotate your hip. Touch your toe to the side and rotate the hip. Touch the toe to behind you and back to the original position. Work up to 12 repetitions on each side.

women doing high steps

High steps

High steps work the lower part of the abs and the hip flexors. They improve balance, coordination, and help you walk better.

Stand straight and hold onto something sturdy. Lift one knee as high as you can towards a 90-degree angle. Swing the opposite hand toward the knee and slowly twist the body. Lower them both and then repeat on the other side. March in place twisting from side to side as you work up to 12 repetitions on each side.

someone doing heel raises

heel raises

Heel raises work your calves and improve stamina for standing.

Stand straight with your feet flat on the floor. As you work up to it, you can try this with your toes on the edge of a step. Lift your heel as high as you can go. You will feel this in your lower calf. Slowly lower back to the original position. Work your way up to 12 repetitions.

obese beginner doing bicep curls with weights

Curl and Shoulder press

Curl and shoulder presses work the shoulders, triceps, and biceps.

Sit or stand up straight using weights or without. Keep your arms straight and your hands at your sides. Bend your arms towards your shoulders and curl your arm. Then lift your hands straight above your head. Work your way up to 12 repetitions. Then you can grab a can of soup or bottle of water to challenge yourself even further.

Do these exercises until you can work up to the full 12 repetitions. Once you have mastered that, you can continue to add sets of 12 until you can do 3 sets of each. Then you’ll be getting a great full-body workout.

You’ll be able to see changes in your body and progress toward your goals. I believe that you can do these bodyweight exercises for obese beginners! I am proud of you for every effort you put in. I can’t wait to hear all about your progress! Remember that you can start a fitness journey right where you are.

For more information on how to measure your weight loss in inches correctly, click here.

For more beginning workouts, check these out: