Big weights and tough routines may be your future gym goal, but first you have to build fitness. These exercises have no fitness pre-requisites, and are safe for beginners while still working those muscles.
Begin with a back-friendly core exercise. Get on all fours with an ab wheel held in both hands. Roll forward with back straight, and then use your stomach muscles to return.
Dumbbells force even muscle development, as your stronger side cannot help your weaker side. All you do is step up on to a low bench, while holding a dumbbell at each side. Push through your heel for the step, and work hip muscles with a straight back.
Now turn to face away from the bench and rest one foot on it, instep down. Squat down until the knee of the resting leg almost touches the floor. Make sure the other knee doesn’t go in front of the foot.
Lie on the bench with feet on the floor. Hold the dumbbells at your shoulders, and then press them upwards and return under control.
This works all of your chest and shoulder muscles. Attach handles to the high pulleys of the cable machine. Hold a handle in each hand with arms outstretched and slightly bent. Face away from the machine. With one foot forward, pull down until your hands meet in front of you. Release under control and repeat.
Set up a column machine with an eye level handle. Stand opposite it, and pull the handle towards your face. You want upper arms parallel to the ground and to be pulling your shoulder blades together. Don’t start too light – you risk hitting yourself in the face with the handle!
This machine allows you to begin the road to full pull-ups. Set the weights on the machine for 10kg less than your body weight. Place one knee on the pad, take the weight on the handles and then lift the second knee. Pull yourself up as far as you can, then release under control.
Remember to warm up first, and don’t hesitate to ask the staff for guidance with the machines.
I'm not a newbie but that info on how to start pullups is really useful. Don't know if I'll ever get there but at least this allows me to have a go.
that's interesting about dumb-bells - it makes sense, I can see that if you are holding a bar with both hands the strong side does more work. With separate weights that can't happen. Simple but genius!
Thank you! Just starting out so this is v helpful, first time I went I stuck to the treadmill out of fear of looking stupid! ;)