So you’ve decided to give strength workouts a try — go you! But before you start, ask yourself this: Do you know where to (safely) begin?
Whether you’re working out with dumbbells, weight machines, or just your bodyweight, building muscle takes time — and a lot of practice and repetition. The last thing you want to do is rush into a new exercise thinking you can handle it — only to end up injured, exhausted, and miserable. Here are the exercises anyone new to strength training should stay away from — and suggestions for better workouts to get you started off on the right foot.
Don’t do: Barbell squats
Barbell squats — sometimes called loaded or weighted squats — combine squatting with weightlifting to give your muscles more resistance. BuiltLean says you’re doing your muscles and joints a lot of favors — as long as you’re using proper technique. Beginners who try squatting with extra weight — and do so incorrectly — are at greater risk of injury. Plus, doing an exercise wrong just isn’t effective.
Nerd Fitness advises you should only start with the type of squats you know you can handle — which means you need to be able to do them with proper form. If you’re just starting your weight training, and you’re not confident enough to do weighted squats flawlessly, start with something easier.