Absolute beginner needs advice about upper body strengthening

Hello wonderful community !

(I’m not totally fluent in English so please excuse my awkward writing).

This is my very first post on FB.

I apologize in advance for the very long post, but I am in great need of help and advice and I think I really need to explain my situation in detail for people to be able to help me. If the post is too long for you please jump directly to the conclusion part where I ask my main question.

First I would like to thank Daniel and Kelli for this wonderful website. What drove me to it in the first place was that there is actual contents for true begginers, and after doing a bunch of workouts I really appreciate the listen to your body / don’t push yourself harder than you can handle mindset, the very well explained workouts and the begginer-friendly choice of workouts available.

I have been spending a lot of time on FB to look for advice on how to start, and I realised there is really a wonderful community here, that’s why I am writing this post today.

So here’s the thing. I am an total absolute beginner with zero fitness level. I would like to be able to live an active life and be able to workout several times a week, in order to get stronger and have a body that is an ally to help me do what I want to do instead of an obstacle.

I was bored during lockdown so I thaught this was the perfect time to try to get in shape. So I read lots of article about fitness (and pretty much everything here on FB), and decided to try to do a schedule with workouts everyday from Monday to Friday, a long whole body gentle stretch day on Saturdays and a gentle beginner yoga workout to improve my flexibility on Sundays.

I started on May 6th with this workout : https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos/easy-pilates-and-cardio-workout-with-relaxing-cool-down-active-recovery-workout . It was difficult to do but I managed to complete it. I enjoyed doing it and was super exciting to try another workout the next day. BOY was I wrong. I had HUGE muscle soreness in my whole body for three days that made impossible to do any exercises (but I did stretching videos during these three days).

So I realised that this was too much for me at the moment. I decided to try to do the easiest 10 min cardio level 2 videos (that must not be enough for a rest day for most of you guys) 5 days a week. I have been doing this for 10 days now. This video : https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos/low-impact-beginner-cardio-no-jumping-quiet-cardio-workout made me realize I was definitely not ready for knee push-up yet ( just like the first video I did I am actually capable of doing them without any pain but it but gave me super sore upper body muscles for days). So basically doing this 10 min total beginner cardio workouts everyday made me realize that though I am capable of doing them my upper body needs days of rest to recover from them as soon as there is a movement that engage a little bit more my arms, pecs or shoulders. My lower body is fine the day following this workouts (usually I just feel super light soreness) so I added 3 days a week a 5 min beginner lower body toning / pilate workout like this video https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos/quick-5-minute-leg-leaner-booty-toner after my 10 min cardio. It burns like hell when I do them but my legs are just a little bit sore the next day, making me able to workout again as long as it is not too lower body focused.

However, my upper body is just not able to cope with this routine. Yesterday I did these workouts (as you can see in the picture), so still nothing really working my upper body. I exercised late in the morning, and early in the afternoon I started to experience a big pain in my left bicep. I am still feeling it today (so obviously no exercise today), and in addition to this I feel huge soreness in my shoulders. I also feel a little bit sore in my thighs but really nothing that would keep me from exercising today. I am sure that the « culprit » are the wall push ups from the second video, because I really felt it was engaging my upper body while doing them (but I wasn’t in pain during the actual workout).

I know I must not exercise until the pain is gone, especially for that troubling pain in my left bicep (I will go to the doctor if it doesn’t get better in a few days). Until the pain is gone I will only do super gentle stretching video like this one : https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos/3-day-flexibility-challenge-day-3-static-stretches-for-flexibility-and-range-of-motion that I planned for today (and do some modifications everytime it engages my biceps).


I am SUPER motivated. I am able to do the easiest short videos on FB but my upper body doesn’t allow me to exercise enough to be able to see some progress. I feel like my legs can cope with it but my upper body can’t. So my main issue is: how can I make my upper body stronger if even wall push ups leave me in pain?

Some info to help you understand my situation :

I am a pear-shaped female, 29, very obviously out of shape but not overweight, I don’t suffer from past injuries. I drink a lot of water, try to have a balance diet (but not counting calories) and get a full 8 hours sleep at night.

Additional notes: I add level 2 warm ups before each of my main workout and spend 10-15 min doing static stretches after every of them..

Thank you for taking the time to read my post and please help me with any type of advice / tips or anything. I really feel desperate because I don’t want to give up but don’t know what to do.