When it comes to fitness, baby steps are best

May 01, 2017 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

When you’re excited to dive into a new exercise program, it can be hard to start slowly.

You want to run a marathon, but it takes some work and conditioning before you’ll be in shape to do it without serious injury. The same theory applies to any exercise routine.

Once you master the fundamental form and techniques for basic exercises (and, in practice, strengthen your muscles and build your endurance), you’re going to be better equipped to handle more challenging workouts.

Proper form is essential to help prevent injuries and ensure you get the most benefit out of your workout.

Bodyweight strength training is easy to practice at home (or at the gym).

Exercises like squats, planks and push-ups may seem basic, but they are vital building blocks for any workout. Even with these basic moves, it’s essential to learn the proper form, as you could hurt yourself if you do them wrong.

This is where personal trainers and fitness specialists come in. They can demonstrate the exercise, watch you do it and adjust your form as needed. Believe it or not, your push-up form may need correction even though you’ve done them since you were a kid.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) suggests a beginner practice resistance training about 2 - 3 times per week, allowing a day of rest between workouts.

The ACSM lays out some good guidelines to help you master the fundamentals:

  • Give yourself as many sets and repetitions as you need to learn technique — preferably with proper supervision.
  • Stop if you get frustrated. Don’t allow yourself to get overly fatigued, either mentally or physically, in this learning phase. The goal is not to attain perfection on the first day.
  • Start small. A starting point for the first three weeks of workouts might be performing one set at a weight that would allow from 12 - 15 repetitions, and progress over the next few weeks to 2 -3 sets of 12 - 15 repetitions. Not all exercises need to be performed for the same number of sets in a workout.

If you can’t maintain the proper form throughout the exercise, stop. If an exercise hurts, stop.

Mayo Clinic suggests starting any exercise program with these 5 steps – a great starting point!

The personal trainers and fitness specialists at Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness can help you master the fundamentals of fitness.


Learn more about Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness.

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