Basic Exercises For Neophyte Gym Goers

February 22, 2014
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It’s your first day in the gym and no trainer is in sight to help you out.  With all the gym equipment around you, what would you do in order to get the most out of your first day in the gym?

Knowing some basic training exercises will prevent your first day in the gym from becoming a total waste.  These training exercises are easy to perform that you actually don’t really need professional help in guiding you.

Seated Bench Press

Seated-Bench-Press-GymMembershipFeesFind a selectorized weight machine where you can perform this exercise. Sit with your back firmly against the backrest. You can adjust the height of the seat in such a way that the handles are of the same level with the middle part of your chest. Clutch the handles and keep the wrists aligned with the forearms all throughout the exercise. Your feet should be planted firmly on the floor.

As you exhale, push the handles forward even as you keep your arms straight. As you do this, your head should continue being aligned with your spine.  Once your elbows have straightened, pause for a second. Remember to keep the shoulder blades touching the backrest. Now bend your elbows again and slowly move to the starting position.

You may vary this exercise by working out one arm at a time.

Abdominal Crunches

Abdominal-Crunches-GymMebershipFeesFind an abdominal crunch machine where you can perform abs crunches and target your tummy muscles.  Lie on your back with the knees bet, feet on the foot rest and your head firmly against the head rest. Your elbows must be placed on the pads as you grip the handlebar lightly.

As you exhale, lift the shoulder blades upward. This will also lift your head and neck, both of which should be against the pad all the time. Then slowly return to the starting position to complete one repetition.

Remember that your lower back should be flat all the time. Likewise, your head and neck should be relaxed. Your abs muscles should be the ones doing the ‘lifting’ and not your upper torso.

Stationary Bike Workout

Stationary-Bike-Workout-GymMebershipFeesWho can forget the stationary bike that is a common fixture in any gym?  It is an excellent choice if you want to condition your heart and lower body without putting a lot of stress on your joints.

Start with a five-minute warm-up that lets you walk or run at a comfortable pace.  Then follow it with an increase in resistance by 1-4 levels that would last for three minutes. At this pace, you feel that your legs are working harder yet you are still able to talk to someone near you. After the three-minute mark, increase your resistance again for two minutes. Then decrease the resistance or go back to your baseline pace for three minutes.

After three minutes, increase your resistance again. Then go back to your baseline pace after two minutes. Sustain the pace for five minutes to cool down.

Expect your legs to tire quickly especially if you are not fond of using a bike. Perform this workout thrice a week. There should be a day in between workouts to allow your body to recuperate. As you progress, add a few minutes to your time until you can last up to 30 minutes on the bike. And don’t forget to stretch your body after getting off the bike.

Dumbbell Row

Dumbbell-Row-GymMembershipFeesThis exercise is also simple so you should have no problem pulling this one off. Find a dumbbell and grab it in your left hand. Then rest your other hand on a flat bench for maximum support. Now keep your back and shoulders horizontal with the floor. Lift the dumbbell towards your chest then slowly lower it to go back to the original position.

That completes one repetition, but you need 8-10 reps for this exercise. Once you are done with one arm, use the other arm. Remember to rest for several minutes before switching sides.

But one friendly reminder before doing these exercise and in fact, enrolling in any gym — make sure that you have medical clearance from your doctor.  Don’t risk any injury or illness that may happen to you while doing any of these exercises.

Speaking of gyms, you have many options when it comes to choosing the right gym depending on your budget and proximity to your office or home. Perhaps the most popular chain is Gold’s Gym that has been around since the ‘70s. Gold’s Gym is the preferred destination of celebrities, pro athletes and bodybuilders. Of course since it is the most popular it also happens to be one of the priciest in terms of gym fees.

If your budget is limited, you can try other cheaper alternatives like LA Fitness. It has more than 500 branches in the US and Canada. LA Fitness likewise offers more affordable rates compared to Gold’s Gym.

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