Many beginner energy manipulation techniques revolve more around moving your energy within yourself.
There's the almost cliche exercise of holding one's hands in front, palms facing and not quite touching. The person practices making energy flow between, through the arms one way and back, build up between the palms, attract or repel the palms, etc.
There are others, associated with breathing exercises and related to other energy centers. They involve greater flows of energy around the body, moving up or down depending on location and breath.
Still others are simple such as feeling one's own energy pooling at a certain place, typically naming a chakra or other location in the body for the sake of correspondence.
Of course, learning about grounding and centering, and about absorbing 'free' energy from the surroundings or universe, or even the divine, also becomes a practice to many.