Getting Started

We're devoting this week's column to those of you who wish to get in shape but lack experience with training. We know that's often the reason many don't follow through with their goals.The mechanic

We're devoting this week's column to those of you who wish to get in shape but lack experience with training. We know that's often the reason many don't follow through with their goals.

The mechanics of exercise are important so as to avoid injury. It's crucial to perform each exercise with the proper range of motion, isolating the particular muscle group(s) you intend to improve with the exercise. Exercise is never just simple movement of the joint. It is, however, movement with the purpose of allowing the muscle you're targeting to move the weight. Understanding these principles will help you prevent injury.

In the beginning, you must approach exercise slowly. It's not necessary to engage in a routine that will cause extreme soreness, because that's counterproductive to a beginner. You must be patient and first build the foundation of tendons, ligaments and stabilizers, strengthening them before you proceed with building the larger muscle groups. Results take time.

We know this can seem overwhelming to someone new to the gym. But you can hire a trainer to introduce you to equipment and various exercises as well as to motivate you so that, from the start, you'll be doing everything right and avoid injury.

Always check your potential trainer's credentials. You can also purchase books on exercise written by experts to teach you how to begin. Whatever way you go, we suggest you safely approach your training and hope that the New Year prospers all your goals. ©

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