It can be daunting to walk into a gym for the first time. You might feel like everyone else is so fit and confident that it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
If you are a woman who has struggled to find the courage to start your fitness journey, learning how to properly use gym equipment can help you get started.
It is tempting to skip the cardio section in favor of the machines. We’ve all been there. You don’t have to forgo the benefits of strength training!
Strength training can build muscle, strengthen bones and maintain strength. Strength training can help you burn fat by increasing your metabolism.
The best gym equipment for beginners
Here’s a guide to the essential ntaifitness gym equipment you will need for the Sweat program.
Lat pull-down machines target your ‘latissimus Dorsi’ (or “lats”), one of your largest muscles. Your shoulders and biceps will also be engaged by lat pull-downs. Your posture can be improved and your spine protected by working your lats. You can also strengthen your back muscles and sculpt your back.
A lat pull down can help build strength, especially if you want to pull up. You’ll find that your pulling strength improves and you can move on to the assisted pull up machine, then eventually to the unassisted pullup.
The seated cable rows work on your lats. Focus on your mid-back to engage the shoulders, biceps, and rhomboids. This exercise is great for strengthening your postural muscles and allowing you to have a better posture.
The compound exercise barbell bench press works multiple muscles simultaneously, including the pectorals (chest muscles), and the anterior deltoids. The bench press engages these muscles, unlike push-ups. It doesn’t place as much strain on your wrists or shoulders.
A bench press can be difficult if you are just starting out. A dumbbell bench presse or a chest press machine are good options. You can also use a cable machine to do a chest press.
The width of your grip will affect how much you load. The close grip barbell bench press will engage the triceps as well as the chest, front and back of the shoulders. A wider grip will place more emphasis on the chest and use the front of your shoulders and triceps. As your confidence and strength increase, you can begin with the bar.
The leg presse lets you lift heavy weights with your legs without compromising your form. This movement is similar to the squat but the weight has a limited range of movement to reduce injury.
When doing the leg presses, make sure your hips touch the backrest of seat. This is so that the weight of the weight does not shift onto your tailbone or lower back. During the movement, your knees should be straight and not bow out or collapse inward.
Although many women believe they are unable to pull up, the truth is that anyone can pull-up with the right equipment. The assisted pull-up machine helps you build strength slowly by reducing your body weight.
Assisted Pull-Ups will require you to stabilize your entire body so that you can work more muscles than with a pull-down.
You’ll find it easier to reduce the offset as you gain strength. You should take it slow and do as many reps you can while keeping the proper form.
You can also use a long resistance band to offset your weight if there’s no assisted pull-up machine.
To stabilize yourself, loop the band around the bar. You should choose a band that can do 5-10 pull-ups. As you become stronger, you may be able to use a lighter band.
The Smith machine is a horizontal bar that moves within steel rails. This machine is safer than using barbells or free weights, and it can be used by those who are just starting to lift weights. The Smith machine is capable of performing squats, a shoulder press, and bench presses.
To use the Smith machine safely and correctly, you should consider your form.
The Smith machine can be used in place of other equipment in the gym.
You can use the free motion dual-cable machine to exercise almost any part of your body with a variety resistance exercises. You can adjust the weight by placing the pin into the weight stack.
The cable machine is a great piece of equipment to use for your workouts. It allows you to work from all angles and not just against gravity. It provides constant tension through the entire range. This is not something you can always do with free weights.
The cable machine allows you to challenge your muscles with a full range of motion. This gives you more control, flexibility, and reduces any imbalances. You can stabilize your core with the pull of the cable, which activates more muscle groups to build strength and energy.
This machine can be used standing, seated, or kneeling. It’s worth taking the time to get comfortable with this versatile piece.
You can use the cable machine to do chest fly, upright row, trunk rotations such as the ‘woodchop,’ and during tricep workouts.
How to effectively use your gym equipment
These tips will help you get the most out of your gym and avoid injury by helping you understand the basics of the machines and how they work.
The machine can be adjusted to fit your body
Make sure the machine is set up to fit your body when you use it in the gym. You should be able to see the adjustment handles, which are often brightly coloured.
A diagram of how to use your gym equipment and the muscles that you will be working on will often be included. Before you start, make sure to review these diagrams.
Start small and work your way up gradually
We recommend that you begin with a lighter weight the first time you use new equipment. As you feel more comfortable with the movement, increase resistance as it becomes easier.
You can improve your fitness and still keep your form. Once you feel comfortable using the machine, choose a weight that is sufficient to complete the set’s last two challenges.
Do not limit your attention to ‘problem areas’
Beginners often make the mistake of focusing on the ‘problem areas’ in their bodies.
Working out your entire body is the best way to get a toned, fit body.
You can increase your chance of injury by focusing on one area.
Make sure you have filled out the form correctly
Videos with each exercise are available for those who use our Sweat program for the gym. These videos will show you how to properly perform the exercise.
The Sweat programs PWR (formerly BBG Stronger), FIERCE, BUILD, and High Intensity strength with Kayla Itsines offer a guide for getting started at the gym. There are beginner weeks that you can use.
Confidence in using gym equipment
We hope this guide helps you feel more confident at the gym . If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the Sweat community. They can help you overcome your fears about using strength equipment.