So, you’ve set your mind to it – you’re finally going to get in shape. Whether you’re a complete novice, or jumping back in after a longer-than-planned hiatus, sometimes the hardest part is figuring out where to start. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find some common mistakes to avoid, a full-body workout featuring the best exercises for beginners and guidelines for making the most of it.
- First and foremost, leave your cellphone in your locker or car! It’s a distraction most of us can’t resist, and when you’re in the gym, you should be 100% focused on your workout.
- Don’t try to use too much weight, too soon. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of being back on the grind, but injuring yourself will only set you back. Set your ego aside, use a weight lower than you normally would and focus on your form. If you are swinging the weight or using momentum, you are using too much.
- Having said that, not using enough weight isn’t effective either. If you can perform 20+ reps like it’s nothing, it’s time to move up. Play it safe, but make sure you are being challenged.
- Don’t rush your workout. Moving through your reps quickly accomplishes nothing, and you can create more muscle tension by lifting slowly, with controlled form.
- On the other hand, don’t rest too long between sets either – especially if you’re on a machine that someone else is waiting on. We get it: it’s your first day back and you’re tired. However, resting too long can kill your workout, so try to aim for 30-90 seconds between sets and 1-2 minutes between each exercise.
- You may be more intimidated by the machines than by free weights, but as a beginner, using the machines can help prevent injury. When you’re out of practice, your joints and core do not have the strength they need to support your body during training. The machines support these weaker areas and allow you to isolate the intended muscle.
- Do this workout at least two times a week with one day off in between each workout.
- If your goal is to be healthier, do 8-12 reps with enough weight to tire out the muscle you’re working. If your goal is gain muscle, do two sets of 8-12 reps with enough weight to fatigue the muscle you’re working. This means you shouldn’t be able to move on to the second set without a rest period after your last rep.
Full-Body Workout – Best Exercises for Beginners:
- Treadmill – Run at a moderate pace for 5 to 10 minutes to warm up.
2. Leg Press
3. Lying Leg Curl
4. Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
6. Triceps Pulldown with Rope
7. Bicep Curl
8. Military Shoulder Press
9. Calf Raises
10. Ab Crunch Machine
Remember, the key is consistency. Combining a nutritious diet, cardio and our best exercises for beginners will have you well on your way to a healthier, more toned you – but only if you stick with it.