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If you have decided to get into shape and you have applied for membership at your local gym, it is important to know how to work out properly and how to use the gym equipment correctly and effectively. This also applies to people who decide to buy their own fitness equipment from stores to use at home. This will prevent you from getting hurt or from misusing the equipment and subsequently damaging it. The following are some tips and suggestions that will go a long way in helping you to find your footing in the gym:
Using gym equipment
The first thing that you should do with any fitness equipment is to read the instructions and know how to operate the machine that you will be working out with for the next thirty to forty minutes. Do not assume that the equipment is going to be the same from gym to gym, as different places have different styles and different types of equipment that may have subtle changes from what you are used to. As such, make time to read and internalize how the equipment is operated before starting your work out.
Prepare for the work out
It is also important to have a warm up as soon as you arrive at your destination for working out. This is why there are many treadmills and stationary bikes placed strategically in any gym in the country. A warm up prepares your body for any intense cardio work out, resistance training or strength training. This warm up typically lasts for five minutes or more, but does not take a lot of your time. It will prep you for the real work to be done at the gym, and should not be ignored.
Maintain proper form while using the equipment
Maintaining proper form while using gym equipment is important as it will prevent you from hurting yourself by accident. It will also ensure that your body gets the maximum benefit from the work out. Proper form varies from machine to machine. For instance, cardio equipment requires you to stand upright and ensure that your abdominal muscles are contracted, with your shoulders in a neutral position. You will also be required to ensure that your head does not project forward, and that your back, neck and pelvis are all aligned. You are not supposed to lean your weight on the hand rails, as this might damage the machines and put you in a lot of trouble.
Remember your etiquette while using the gym equipment
Good manners are also expected of you while using the machines. Wiping your sweat off the machines with a towel will please the next person waiting to use the machine, so make sure you do not forget to do so. Most gym members will be busy looking at their times on various machines, or will have music playing in their headphones. You should therefore resist the urge to interrupt them and instead focus on your own workout.