When you join a gym and turn up for your first workout, it can be a little daunting when you’re faced with the huge range of exercise equipment and machines there are available for use. You may not have encountered many of the forms of exercise available before, or perhaps you’re just not sure of the proper technique to use with each machine. While the personal trainers and supervisors on hand at your gym can help you out as a first point of call, check out some of these machines we’ve listed below to quickly get started on a great workout for improved fitness and a better body.
The rowing machine is an excellent piece of equipment that provides an intense total body workout, and is a machine you should really prioritise at the gym. The rowing action gives a muscle-strengthening workout to both the arms and the legs, while the constant movement really works the cardiovascular system, burning calories and fat quickly. The seated position and seamless motion of the rowing machine really takes a lot of stress and strain off the joints and lower back, making this exercise ideal for older user or those with joint or back problems.
Rowing really provides an intense aerobic workout which thoroughly improves endurance and strength capabilities, and burns up to 750 calories an hour. Because the motion involved can be a little unfamiliar to those of us who haven’t rowed before, it’s a good idea to consult some instructions or enlist the help of a gym supervisor when first starting on the rowing machine, in order to obtain the maximum benefit.
The exercise bike is another excellent machine for anyone who wants a powerful aerobic workout without putting too much stress and strain on the joints. The body’s largest and strongest muscles are in the legs and buttocks, and these powerful muscles get a focused workout on the exercise bike, helping to burn total body fat as well as up to 700 calories an hour.
The other benefit of the exercise bike is that it can also come in a ‘recumbent’ variety, which means you can take a more relaxed sitting position while you cycle if your back and core muscles aren’t yet strong enough to seat on the high bike seat. Because of the seated position and constant cyclical motion on all bikes, this is a workout form that’s high impact for cardiovascular fitness, yet safely low impact on joints.
Wonderfully versatile and easy enough for anyone to use, the treadmill is a gym machine favourite and for many good reasons. Walking is a simple and comfortable exercise for many, but the treadmill can also help you escalate the intensity to jogging or running when you’re ready. But even if you’d rather stick with walking, a treadmill can allow you to increase and decrease the incline, meaning you can step up the intensity by simulating walking uphill, and get a powerful fat burning workout without having to run.
Professional treadmills offer a running surface that is cushioned and supportive, much different to the hard, unrelenting pavement outside. This means it’s much gentler on the joints than running or walking on a hard surface. Most treadmills offer a huge range of speed and incline capabilities, as well as preset programs to help keep your workout interesting and effective. Don’t forget to give this favourite gym machine a try when you’re at the gym.
The weights are often overlooked or avoided because they look too difficult to use or because of the belief they are only used by professional body builders. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. While good technique is important on the weights machines, weights are perfect for anyone to use and are especially important for those with weak muscles or decreased function. Correct use of the weights can help strengthen and tone muscles, strengthen bones, improve blood glucose levels, lower blood pressure and help you burn more fat, even after you’ve left the gym.
It might be a good idea to invest in a personal training session to get an orientation to the weights machines and see which ones will benefit you the most. All gyms would be happy to provide you with this service. Using weights correctly will not necessarily make you large or bulky, and they can be an important part of a fat-burning regime. Using the weights 2-3 times a week is ideal to build strength and tone muscles for optimal health and functionality.