Monday, October 10, 2011

Barebones Beginner's Guide to Working Out

Here is a very basic exercise technique overview for those of you who are just starting out.  It is best to learn proper technique from the beginning so that you develop good habits that deepen as you progress.  It is recommended that you work with a trainer to learn safe movement patterns.


General Technique: Video

hops and jumps: land as quietly as possible, focus on decelerating jumps by bending knees, when in doubt hop. Aim for forefoot first landing

squats: Keep your knees behind your toes & over your ankles. Press through a triangle from your heel to the ball of your foot to just below your little toe. Keep your spine long, neutral and aim for upright -though a slight forward lean will occur (do not round your back).

lunges: keep your knee over your ankle, behind your toe, keep your torso upright.

rows: engage your shoulders - draw your shoulder blades down and back as though you are creating a part line down the back of your shirt.  Keep your shoulders in this position for the duration of the exercise.  when doing body-weight rows, keep your body in an upside down plank position.

chest presses: keep your shoulders engaged!  If it is a body-weight exercise such as a push-up, keep your torso in a firm plank-position even though your shoulders are engaged.  When doing yoga style planks you will be creating space around your shoulder blades by pressing your rib cage upwards - please make a note of this difference when moving between the two positions.

shoulder presses: keep your arms in line with your shoulders, not in front.  when pressing up, keep your shoulders relatively down - if you look in the mirror, your shoulders should be below your ears.

dips: keep your shoulders down, ribs up.  Shoulder and elbow angles should both move to 90 degrees when in the dip.  bend your knees if you need to in order to reduce difficulty.

ab work: draw belly button to spine and move carefully.  when in doubt, reduce the range of motion, keep your low back in contact with the floor when doing leg raises etc..  (There is scientific discussion as to the relative risk of performing sit-ups with regard to disk compression. It is suggested that plank work is effective for strengthening the core).

Sample Beginner Workouts:
(Note: These workouts can be scaled up or down depending on your experience and current fitness level)

Begin each session with a dynamic warm-up of:

a. Circle your joints and perform dynamic stretching as needed for approximately 5 minutes (this includes forward leg swings, high knees, lateral leg swings, gentle head circles, shoulder rotation, hip circles)

b.walk or jog for 5 minutes

For now, spend 5-10 minutes post-workout stretching into the passive stretches of your choice.  Include a chest-opening stretch/doorway stretch, hamstring stretch, hip opener, quad stretch, cat-cow, and childspose with alternating hand positions.

Workout One:
20 squat jumps or hops
10 full or knee push-ups
10 dumbell bent over rows
20 squats
10 shoulder press
front plank x 20 seconds
repeat x 2, rest as needed

10 chair dips,
10 dummbell biceps curls
repeat x 2-3, rest as needed

10 burpees (push-up-jump-up or step-to-plank, step-to-stand)
repeat x 2, rest as needed

Workout Two:

5 - 10 x 30 second run/walk intervals (sprint/jog if you are able)

20 seconds walking lunges with biceps curls, 20 seconds triceps dips, 20 seconds rest
x 2 -4 sets

20 seconds band or dumbell row, 20 seconds shoulder press, 20 seconds rest
x 2-4 sets

30 seconds leg raises (keep low back flat to floor), 30 seconds supermans (face-down, arms and legs come off the ground together for a 2 count)
x 2-4 sets

5 - 10 x 30 second run/walk (sprint/jog if you are able)

As always, try this at your own risk, consult your physician before beginning an exercise program.  

Return to

No comments:

Post a Comment