let's get moving - where to start?

let's get moving - where to start?

Are you a beginner looking for some advice on where to start with exercising? Or maybe you're already working out and wondering how to get the best from our Move section? This and more will be looked at in this article.

Want to get fit but don't know where to start? Maybe you've joined the gym but can't find the time to go or maybe you've just got in from work, sat on the sofa and the last thing you want to do is to get back up to go down the gym! I've been there too! Whether you're new to exercise or have been training for years our unique selection of home workouts could be exactly what you're looking for.

What you can expect

If it's weight loss and/or muscle toning you're after then you have come to the right place. Our home workouts will help shape and strengthen your muscles and you'll be burning plenty of calories as we look to work all the major muscle groups of the body. The workouts are designed to be suitable and adaptable for everyone from those who are just starting out to the more advanced athletes.

Where to start

Our exercise videos can be found under the "Move" section of the website. Here you can meet our resident fitness instructor Shane, a highly qualified personal trainer, with a degree in Sports Science, who has experience of working with both the general public and a wide range of Olympic athletes.

He currently has six different home workouts to choose from; toning your legs, strengthen your core, strengthen and shape your shoulders, strengthen and tone your arms, strengthen and shape your back and a full body workout. There are also great tips on cardio workouts including advice for new joggers.

The great thing with all of these workouts is that they are designed so that you are able to do them at home, with no equipment whatsoever - so you can get started right away!

Where to start will depend on your fitness level.

Before you start

If you're new to exercising then I recommend you start off with the basics. There's no point jumping straight in the deep end as you may get disheartened and you're more likely to give in - it's better to build up slowly. For some, starting an exercise program can be a daunting task and just the thought of taking those first few steps can seem tiring and overwhelming.

The first thing to discuss is technique. As Shane says "A small number of reps done in the correct position are much more effective than hundreds of reps done with poor form". You'll get far more benefit from your workout if you perform each exercise with the right technique and you'll reduce your chances of injury. So start by checking out Shane's advice on good form before attempting the workouts.

Warming up, although often forgotten about, is just as important as the exercising itself. I know it may seem boring but without warming up you are far more likely to injure yourself. Imagine now, four weeks into your exercise regime and you've been getting fitter and stronger, you pull a muscle and can't train for the next four weeks, all that hard work would be undone! We don't want that! Check out Shane's warm up video for the basic stretches that should form part of any training regime.

Cooling down is just as important as warming up to help improve your recovery time by lessening the effect of DOMS. DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness) is the pain and stiffness felt in the muscles for the couple of days after exercising. Although it may be uncomfortable after the first few times you train, don't panic, it does get better! As our muscles adapt to the exercises the DOMS will start to decrease. Check out Shane's cool down video for the basic stretches that you should complete at the end of your workout to directly reduce the DOMS effect.

After that it's time to dive in to the exercises!

The workouts

The full body workout is a personal favourite of mine and is a great place to start. The workout consists of five different exercises working muscles all over the body, so it's great for toning, building a base strength and burning calories. There's no equipment needed as all the exercises can be done using your own bodyweight.

The leg, shoulder, arm, back and core workouts all consist of three separate exercises all targeting their respective areas. Again these exercises can be done using your own bodyweight and can be done in the comfort of your own living room.

With all of our videos there are three version of the exercise - so just start with the one that you feel is at the right level for you and build up from there.

Home workouts are a great way of toning muscle and as you will be using your major muscle groups and there's no doubt that you'll be burning lots of calories. These workouts will definitely get your heart rate going but if you really want to lose weight and get fit then you'll need to do some cardio exercise also.

There are many forms of cardio training such as walking, cycling and swimming but jogging is my favourite. They are all great ways to get fit but they are also a great way to lift your mood (due to the release of endorphins) and get you feeling better about yourself. The best thing about walking or jogging is that you don't need any fancy equipment. Just a good old pair of trainers! But if you have a bike or a pool near you then you may want to try these also - it's important to get some variety when it comes to cardio training.

Now I know jogging may seem boring and I have to admit I didn't used to be a big fan myself.! But Shane gives some fantastic advice for new joggers and walkers including variations to make it more fun and interesting. And if you read Alex's blog you'll find out that it does get easier!

Beginners

Firstly, well done! You've taken the decision to improve your health and fitness and by reading this article you have taken the first big step.

It's important to take your time when starting out and to set yourself achievable goals (try SMART goalsetting as a guide). Maybe start off by exercising as much as you can, and if possible 3 days of the week and space it out so there's plenty of rest in between. Rest is really important because you don't want your body to burnout. If you don't get enough rest between workouts you wont be able to work as hard in your next session so you wont get the full benefits and you're more likely to injure yourself.

Also on rest days why not try out some of the yoga videos on the site?

With the home workouts try between 5-10 reps on each exercise if you can but don't push yourself too hard too fast. Don't worry if you can't perform an exercise at first because you may be using muscles you have not used before or for a long time. Shane talks about digressions (easier options) for each exercise which are a great place to start and over time, as you improve you can build up towards the full exercise.

Check out the attached example of a training program we would recommend for someone who is just starting out at the bottom of this article.

Remember everyone finds it hard at the beginning but it does get easier andAlex can certainly vouch for that, as we mentioned earlier.

Intermediate and Advanced Users

Now for those of you who don't consider yourselves beginners you may feel that these workouts are too easy for you and you want something more challenging. The great thing about all the home workouts is that you can make them however hard you want them to be.

There are several ways to do this and in each of his videos Shane talks about ways to increase the intensity of the workout in each of his videos.

Increasing the reps and reducing the amount of rest time between sets is good for burning more calories and increasing the resistance by adding a little bit of extra weight will be good for muscle toning and strength. If you have a set of resistance bands or dumbbells at home then you can add these to the exercises to get what you need from them.

Super-setting is another great way to raise the intensity of your workout. For example with the full body workout, you could run through all the exercise once, 10-15 reps on each with no rest in between, then rest for 2 minutes and repeat it 3 times. That would really get the heart rate going!

Check out our intermediate and advanced user training plans at the bottom of the article to see how you can get the most out of our Move section.

Remember these plans are just an example and you can mix and match the workouts to suit your own goals. You may even want to download a personal training diary (please find at the bottom of the article) and design your own training plan. Just remember to have fun and don't be afraid to push yourself a little more each week - over time you will get fitter, stronger, healthier and happier!

Good Luck!

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Tom Davies
beginner exercise fitness toning training
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