If you’re a newcomer to fitness, getting started at the gym can seem a bit daunting.
There are machines you’ve never seen before, people contorting themselves into impossible-looking positions and a lot of sweat. Everywhere. Plus, it gets especially hard if you're getting started at home and there's no one to help you!
So if you want to ease yourself into the exercise scene, we’ve got just the thing to help you.
You can try these beginner's workouts at the gym, or simply go through the moves at home if you’re not quite ready to be working out in a public space. Each exercise move is suitable for complete beginners. Don't overdo it though—too much exercise can actually make you put on weight...
1. Punching with weights
Punching is an easy way to raise your heart rate and add cardio into your routine. By using small weights (even just 1kg), you’ll increase the resistance and force your arms, shoulders, chest, back and core to work harder.
2. Leg lifts
These are great for targeting your bum and upper thighs. Get on all fours and clench your glutes as you lift one leg. Keep your tummy pulled in to stop wobbles, your hips square (no legs swinging out to the side) and make sure you alternate legs for an even workout.
The best thing about skipping? We all know how to do it – and you might even have a rope stashed away in your parents’ garage somewhere.
It provides a full-body workout, while being less harsh on the joints than running. It’s a great HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) exercise, and is thought to burn around 1300 calories per hour. Amazing.
4. Superwoman pose
This is a yoga pose, which stretches the chest, shoulders, arms, legs, abdomen and lower back muscles. It can also be a good workout for the abs and stomach.
5. Lateral raise
These target the arms and shoulders. Don’t feel pressure to use heavy weights, it’s more important to keep your back straight, brace your core and stay moving at a steady pace.
Make a gentle effort to stretch your arms and legs away from your torso, and take care to ensure your elbows and knees aren’t bent.
Aim for 10-12 reps with perfect form.
Planks are brilliant for developing strength in the core, but it’s key that you get your technique right.
Find a flat surface to practice on. Lie on your front, push yourself onto your forearms with your elbows into your sides and your toes tucked under, pushing into the floor. Squeeze your glutes to stabilise the body and push back your heels slightly. Neutralise your neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor, and keep your head in line with your back. Make sure your shoulders are relaxed, not hunched up and you're tuck in your butt, so your back isn't dipping or arched. Hold the pose for 30 seconds, then repeat.
Sagal is a journalist, specialising in lifestyle, pop culture, fashion and beauty. She has written for a number of publications including Vogue, Glamour, Stylist, Evening Standard, Bustle, You Magazine, Dazed and Wonderland to name a few.
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