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New To The Gym? Look Like A Pro With These 5 Exercises For Beginners!

Your first day (or few weeks) on the gym floor can feel a little intimidating, especially when it comes to using workout machines of the weighted variety. But it doesn’t have to be! That’s why we have put together this ultimate how-to guide featuring 5 machine exercises for beginners.

Aside from making you feel stronger from your hamstrings to your shoulders, this guide to exercises for beginners will empower you to walk into the gym feeling:

  • Confident using weighted exercise machines.

  • Like you’re getting the most value out of your membership from day one.

  • One step closer to achieving your fitness goals.

  • Supported by a friendly team of exercise professionals who want to see you succeed.

A beginners guide to using a leg press

What muscles does a leg press target? 

A leg press will work your quads and glutes, so it’s a great option if your goal is to build strength in your legs, tone or build muscle in your glute or improve your core strength.

A step-by-step guide on how to use a leg press:
  1. After setting up your weights, sit down and place your feet on the plate in front of you. Engage your core and take a deep inhale.

  2. As you exhale, extend your legs to push the plate forward using your heel and forefoot.TIP: To avoid injury, never use your toes to push the plate forward, make sure your back is supported by leaning flat against the backrest and avoid locking your knees when you reach the top of your leg extension.

  3. Slowly draw your legs back, tucking your knees in as the footplate gets closer to you.

  4. Repeat these steps until you have completed your set. 

A beginners guide to using a chest press

What muscles does a chest press target? 

A chest press will work your chest muscles (a.k.a pectorals), shoulder muscles (a.k.a deltoids) and specific areas of your arms (a.k.a triceps). This is a great exercise if you’re looking to strengthen your upper body. 

A step-by-step guide on how to use a chest press:
  1. Set up your weight and adjust your seat so the handle bars are at chest height.

  2. Sit in the seat and make sure to press your back firmly against the backrest.

  3. Grasp the handles with an overhand grip, make sure your feet are planted firmly on the ground and push the handles forward as you exhale.

  4. Inhale as you reverse this movement and draw the handles back towards you at a steady pace.

  5. Repeat these steps until you have completed your set. 

A beginners guide to lateral pulldowns 

What muscles do lateral pulldowns target?

A lateral pulldown targets the back muscles (specifically the latissimus dorsi, or ‘lats’ for short). This is one of our ideal exercises for beginners whose goal is to strengthen or sculpt back muscles. 

A step-by-step guide to lateral pulldowns:
  1. After setting your weight, sit down and grasp the bar with your arms wide and an overhand grip.

  2. Make sure your feet are firmly planted on the floor, engage your abs and as you exhale, pull the bar down so it is approximately in line with your chin.

TIP: Use your chin level as a guide only. Essentially, the bottom of the motion should be where your elbows can’t move down any further without moving backward. Use your own discretion to discover your limit here.

  1. You should be able to feel your shoulder blades squeezing towards each other, activating the muscles in your back at this point. From here, slowly release and raise the bar back to the start position.

TIP: Make sure this return movement is controlled and avoid letting the weight plates crash down.

  1. Repeat these steps until you have completed your set. 

A beginners guide to a seated row

What muscles does a seated row target?

A seated row targets your upper and mid body. Think back, shoulders, arms and core. Seated rows are a great foundational workout option for anyone wanting to strengthen these areas. 

A step-by-step guide to a seated row:
  1. Firstly, set up your weight and adjust the seat and chest pad position. Sit down and position your feet firmly in the foot holders and place your chest firmly against the pad.

  2. With your palms facing down or in towards each other, grab hold of the handles. Let your shoulders shrug forward and then draw the handles back towards you and squeeze your shoulder blades.

  3. Slowly release this position and then repeat these steps until you have completed your set. 

A beginners guide to leg curls

What muscles do leg curls target?

Leg curls are great for a full leg workout targeting your hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, hips and even your lower back. If you're looking for leg exercises for beginners, this is a great one to improve strength and tone your legs muscles. 

A step-by-step guide to leg curls:
  1. Set your weight and adjust the roller pad so it is sitting comfortably at midway up your calf muscle. Then lay stomach-first on the bench, lightly grasping the handles underneath.

  2. With your legs sitting under the roller pad, lift your feet, bend your knees and bring your ankles as close to your glute as possible.

  3. Slowly release this movement and bring your legs back to the starting position.

  4. Repeat these steps until you have completed your set. 

We all need a little guidance as we embark on our individual fitness journeys. When it comes to getting back into things or restarting our health journey, nothing can beat the tailored advice that only a Personal Trainer can give. But, did you know that we can help you find the perfect PT to suit you and your fitness goals? In fact, connecting our members with the right PT and watching them smash their goals together is what we are most passionate about. 

Meet your perfect PT here.


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