I will write what I intended to, but here is a blog post I just had to link to. It is a list of top trainers favorite exercises. You’ll see a pattern. Which is a segue into what I intended to write.
There are a lot of exercise options out there. Exercise does not have to complicated. You want to work all your major muscle groups, you want to sweat, you don’t want to get hurt. You will want variety over time, for both the boredom factor, and to avoid adaptation. If you do the same thing every time, you will get very good at it, so get less “bang for your buck”. Efficiency is not good for exercise. All of the exercises in the top picks linked above are full body exercises. Squats, presses, “ups”- chin ups and pull ups, and dead lifts.
So here is some more basic information for you, you can research these on the web or get books:
- Learn your body parts. You will hear words like “glutes, hammies, lats, and delts. Those are slangy abbreviations of muscle groups. When you exercise, you should know what muscle group you are targeting, and if you don’t feel it there, chances are you are not doing it right. I recommend “The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises.” Or, if you are a guy, “The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises”. They are the same book with different pictures. “New Rules of Lifting” is a good book as well.
- Learn the names of exercises. While exercise doesn’t have to be complicated, there are a lot of them out there. If you don’t know what the exercises are that I mentioned above, look it up. Again the web has TONS of info. Go to you tube to see people do them. The books I mentioned above are good resources too.
- Don’t be afraid of the mirror. Good form is extremely important to exercise. Having a mirror where you exercise is very helpful. Is your back straight? Are your feet in proper position? You can get hurt if you don’t perform an exercise properly.
- Don’t feel you have to buy a lot of equipment. Especially don’t buy equipment to only works one body part. I would recommend 5 and 10 lb dumbbells to start (for girls). I would get a variety of stretchy bands. A swiss ball, also called a stability ball. Something to pull up on. You could get in shape with those to start. After that, there are a lot of goodies to amp things up. Barbells, Bow-flex or Total Gym. Exercise bikes, treadmills or elliptical machines. Free weights beat machines as you have to stabilize them, using more muscles.
You can do all you need to do at home. Joining a gym offers motivation, community and more equipment. Training at home has no travel time, your equipment is always available, and no one sees you exercise. I would recommend a personal trainer to start, unless you are very motivated and have done your homework. If you can’t afford a trainer, please do your homework and read everything you can get your hands on.