You finally made the commitment to prioritize your health and fitness: you have a goal, you’re eating healthy and you have created a workout schedule that you are going to stick to. But when you walk into the gym you become overwhelmed by the virtual maze of machines that span across the floor. So you head to the familiar and friendly treadmill to get your bearings, and bide some time in order to figure things out…
The task of figuring out how to use a piece of equipment can seem daunting, but exercise machines are designed to be very user-friendly. Here are 4 tips so you will never again have to be afraid or embarrassed to try a new piece of equipment.
- Machines are often grouped together by muscle group – You don’t have to search around to find two different leg machines. This is because the machines that work your legs are likely in close proximity to each other. The same goes for the rest of your major muscle groups like chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders and back. But how will you know which machine works each muscle group? The next tip has the answer.
- Each machine has easy to follow directions – Every machine has a placard, or sign, on it that gives you step-by-step directions about how to safely use it and which muscle groups it targets. Concerned about your form? Keep reading…
- Machines are designed to keep you in proper form – That’s right! The same machines that intimidated you are actually a great way to learn how to properly go through the motion of the exercise. Resistance training machines are designed to guide you through the full range of motion, from the beginning of the exercise to the end. Hopefully that takes a load off your mind, now you can put the load on your muscles!
- When in doubt, go slow and light to learn – Your safety and progress are of the utmost importance, so if you are still uncertain about a piece of equipment, start with a very light weight and use a slow and controlled motion so you can get a feel for the machine. Once you know how it works you can gradually add weight until you feel your muscles are being challenged.
It always appears that the gym is full of people who are in great shape as they seamlessly go through their workout routine and bounce from one machine or exercise to another. It is important to remember that everyone in the gym, regardless of their fitness level, had to start from the beginning and learn how to use the equipment. It won’t be long before you are that person who is an expert at using all of the equipment and designing your own great workouts!
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