It's the number one resolution for the new year -- to exercise and lose weight. Problem is -- most people go at it all wrong. A little advice to get you back on track.
In January -- the gyms are packed. Lots of people -- but are they working out properly?
Gretchen Collins, Director of Fitness, East Bank Club: "If you do cardio only, you won't build muscle mass, and muscle burns more calories than fat. We want more muscle in our body than fat. So the strength training is what's necessary to help with that."
First step ... take a seat.
Gretchen Collins: "The seated row is great for all beginner exercisers. It's great for your back muscles and also your postural muscles."
A strong back will keep you moving forward with your new exercise routine. Gretchen's tip ... watch your arms.
Gretchen Collins: "Most people sit down and their arms are way too high. So we want to bring arms down parallel to the floor, and to do that you want to adjust the seat up. As you're pulling back, pull the shoulder blades down and back slowly. Return gently to start position, making sure not to lock out those elbows at the end."
Continue your upper body work with the chest press.
Gretchen Collins: "One common mistake people make when they sit down is their seat is a little too low, and their pressing too high up. The correct starting position, we want to raise that seat up just a couple of inches, and we want the start position to be mid chest. Grab handles, loose grip, press out and hold for two seconds. Then gently return."
Gretchen Collins: "The next exercise we're going to do is the leg curl. so this is going to be for your hamstring muscles or the back of your upper leg. This is the axis of rotation. This is where you want your knee aligned before you start your exercise."
"Make sure you lower the thigh pad ... feet are flexed. Slowly curl down, pause at the bottom, and then slowly -- at least two seconds -- come back to start position without locking your knees at top."
Protect your back, too. Make sure it's flat against the pad.
Press on with more leg exercises ... work the quads and glutes. But don't overwork your knees ... locking them will lead to injury.
Gretchen Collins: "It's going to cause a lot of grinding and issues with the knees ... that's why you always want to keep a 10 degree bend in the knee.
And be gentle with the weights, too. Avoid banging the stacks togther
Gretchen Collins: "Right before those weight stacks touch each other, that's when you want to push back again for that second rep."
To round out your weight routine ... try some arm work on the tricep press.
Gretchen Collins: "A common mistake we see on this machine is people sit too low and their elbows kick out to the side. You want to raise your seat up, make sure you can comfortably grasp the handles while keeping elbows glued in to the side of your body ... and then gently exhale as you press down to the floor."
Then head to the cardio floor to work up a sweat on an elliptical machine. Skip short strides in favor of long, smooth glides.
Cathy Adolph, Fitness & Wellness Manager, East Bank Club: "For a beginner, what you want to do is get a really long stride length to open up your hips. You're going to use your glutes, quads and shoulders."
Or step up to a stair climber. If you can walk ... you can climb.
Cathy Adolph: "What you don't want to do is lock your arms out right here ... and you don't want to hang over the machine. Bad form ... you'll hurt your back.
Gretchen Collins: "If you're coming right off the couch and not doing much, if you can start with 30 minutes of cardio, add in 20 minutes or so of weights, so you're in and out of the gym in an hour, that's a great place to start."
To contact Gretchen Collins and Cathy Adolph at the East Bank Club, go to www.eastbankclub.com
For more health news and information, check out www.HealthKey.com