A Beginner's Guide to Working Out in the Gym
A Beginners Guide to Working Out in the Gym
The gym can be an overwhelming place, sometimes a little bit intimidating, especially if you’re new to the gym scene and lifting weights. There are countless machines, weights and equipment that may seem daunting to the irregular gym goer. If that irregular gym goer is you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’ve put together the best exercises and machines for you to use when you first start visiting the gym to ease your stresses and allow you to achieve your fitness goals.
Benefits of lifting
Whilst cardio has always been deemed the best form of staying slim and keeping fit, it lacks the ability to allow you to increase your strength. Resistance training is the best way to build strength in not only your muscles, but your joints and bones too. You’ll also burn loads of calories during a weightlifting session and boost your metabolism. Lifting is also a great way to increase your athletic and sporting performances and reduce the likelihood of injury.
What Beginners Should be Doing:
Warming up prior to lifting weights, especially heavy ones, is crucial. Without warming up you could increase the chance of injury. There are many ways you could warm up before your weight session such as; walking on the treadmill, stretching, and bodyweight versions of the exercises you are about to perform.
Keep it simple
Don’t overthink or stress about your new workout routine too much. Start with the basics and what you already know. You’ll have plenty of time to add new exercises here and there as you progress.
Start Light, Increase Weights Gradually
You should alway start lighter than you think. It’s important that you focus on nailing your form and technique before you begin lifting to reduce the risk of injury. Once you’ve got form and technique under control you can gradually add more weight. Once the exercise is starting to feel easy to complete, that’s a sign to throw on an extra plate, whilst maintaining your form of course.
Rest Between Sets
Resting in between your working sets is important to prevent muscle fatigue so that you are still able to perform your next set to the best of your ability. Resting for 60 - 90 seconds is usually enough time to allow your muscles to revive themselves before the next set.
Finish with Stretches
It is worth taking your time to finish your gym session with some stretches to ensure your body can recover. Stretching maintains flexibility and strength within your muscles as well as improving your mobility and health. Without proper stretching, muscles can become tight, restricting their movements and making them weak. This increases the chances of muscle damage, joint strains and pains.
Squats are a great exercise for engaging your hip flexors, quads, glutes and hamstrings, increasing your overall leg strength, balance, flexibility and mobility. With the ability to do this exercise using light dumbbells and your own body weight, it is an ideal exercise to begin with in the gym. Once you’ve gotten the hang of this exercise and have nailed technique and form, you’ll be able to progress onto using the barbell and eventually adding more weight to grow the peachy booty we all desire to achieve.
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- Bench Press
This exercise targets your pectorals, deltoids and biceps, increasing your upper body strength. Like squats, there are plenty of variations to begin with, you could start off lying on your back on the floor with lighter weights, or seated if that’s more comfortable. Dumbbells are a great piece of equipment to use for this exercise, it evens the distribution of weight ensuring that both arms are working at the same level. They also require some core activation to maintain balance throughout the exercise. Once you’re comfortable with using dumbbells for this exercise, you could move onto using a barbell and adding more weight to push yourself even further.
- Romanian Deadlift
The Romanian Deadlift is an exercise that hits so many muscle groups by utilising your upper and lower back, glutes, hamstrings, core, forearm and lateral muscles. This movement incorporates a hip dominant movement and requires the correct technique during performance to remain effective and reduce the risk of injury. With that being said, if you have previously suffered from back injuries in the past, deadlifting with the correct form can help strengthen and support those injured muscles and prevent any back injuries in the future.
Another great exercise to target your glutes, hamstrings and quads, are lunges. They can be performed with your body weight or dumbbells. This exercise focuses on stimulating your muscle fibres to increase in size. With the same muscle stimulation as a regular squat, the single-leg foundation increases tension on your abdominal muscles and boosts your overall functional strength whilst growing your booty.
- Bent Over Rows
Rows are an excellent exercise to incorporate into your workout routine. The exercise activates the middle and lower traps, posterior delts, rhomboids and lats. Muscles such as rear delts, biceps, forearms, core, hamstrings and glutes are also indirectly used. Bent over rows can be performed using light to heavy dumbbells and even a weighted barbell, depending on your level of experience with this exercise. It’s another great exercise to build strength that also requires the correct technique before increasing the weight, so be sure to invest your time into perfecting your form.
Pull ups aren’t easy, but if you want to push yourself in the gym and build your upper body this exercise is one to try out. Involving your lats, traps, arms and shoulder muscles, this exercise is extremely challenging to perform even with your own body weight. The exercise improves grip and is a movement that is great to overload during progression. If you’re trying this exercise for the first time it’s best to use an assisted pull-up machine or use a resistance band for assistance hanging from a bar. You can reduce the resistance of the pull-up the more your strength develops and could even advance to using a weighted belt or vest when your own body weight is too light to pull.
Ready to get Started?
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