Fitness14th February 2014

Beginners Exercise - Everyone Has To Start Somewhere

An introductory guide to fitness and some simple exercises by personal trainer Andie Vowles

by Andie Vowles



Hello, my name is Andie Vowles. I am here to show and demonstrate fitness/exercise. Do you remember the last magazine article about fitness, an article written about understanding the fundamentals.

‚ÄčIn this article I will show some basic exercises that can be done within your home/ garage without the need for proper or expensive equipment. For example, at home you can use a chair, water bottle, coffee table and many other things, without having to go to the shop to buy the right equipment. The trick is knowing how to use them and how to do so safely.

I will show you that you can start on your own today with these simple but important exercises.  Your target is to work up to doing 10 (reps) of all these exercises each time. That will help to build muscular endurance. Depending on your age and general condition, you will be surprised how quickly things improve. In the following weeks you will be able to build up to doing 2 sets of 10 reps and then 3 sets of 10 reps. After that just continue 3 sets of 10 reps each week for each exercise.

By following this basic introductory schedule and these exercises, you will quickly feel and see the benefit.

  1. Press Up – Good for your chest area. For those that haven’t done exercise for a long time or are worried about doing the press up, there are 3 different ways of doing them to help you get started. Use whichever is best for you to build up the strength.
  • Press Up on the Wall (your body has the weight that will make up the workout)
  • Knee Press Up (good for women)
  • Full Body Press Up (yes women can)

The most important part of doing exercise is to get your technique right; your body shape has to be in the right position and shape. If it’s not in the correct position or shape it is likely that your workout will take longer to achieve improvements. For example, some people think it's ok to do this knee press up by moving your upper body only while your back, knees stay still. You must have a good straight back to get the best out of your workout. If get the technique right, the results of the workout will be quicker and achieved in a shorter time. Cheating on exercise just cheats yourself.

  1. Shoulder Press – Using a chair and a 1 litre water bottle filled with water or sand. When seated, ensure your feet are flat to the ground and legs lined up with your shoulders, back straight. Hold the bottle above your head and extend your arms upwards, lower the bottle and repeat. You will feel the exertion and will know the exercuse is working around on the 5th- 8th go but try to keep going. Muscle ache during an exercise is a good thing, pain is not!
  2. Triceps Press up – The triceps have three different muscles at the back of your upper arm. Use the same chair as you did with the Shoulder Press. Sit on the edge of the chair with your hands holding the edge of the seat. Extend your legs straight out in front of you and lift your body so that your back and bottom can move downwards towards the floor taking your weight onto your hands. Dip down so that your arms bend, straighten and repeat. Again ensure you get the technique right for safety as well, you don’t want to slip or injure yourself. You must hold your body in shape like a chair.
  3. Biceps Curl – There are two different muscles in the area at the front of your upper arm. You can have a choice of either standing up or sitting on a chair. Both will do the same workout. Use a water bottle as you did in Shoulder Press. Press your elbows into your sides with arms straight, then bend the arms bringing the weight (water bottle) up towards your upper chest. Lower slowly to straight arms again and repeat. Make sure your arms are not sticking out as it will do nothing for your biceps.

Most importantly when picking up weights from the floor, you must bend correctly and get your technique right. A lot of people just bend over with their legs straight; this is where you could injure your back even over a small weight. You must bend your knees to get down, keeping your back as stright as possible and this will prevent injuring your back.

  1. Squat – works on your hamstrings (back of your upper legs), Gluteus Maximus (buttocks) and Quadriceps (front of your upper legs). Use the chair as a guide on how far to go down. Without the chair you may not go down far enough and it will not do much of the workout or go down too far and realise it hurts or you can’t get back up. When you get the hang of it you can then do it without the chair. Start by slightly looking upwards to help you balance and guide yourself going down. You can also lean forward as you go down. You may struggle to start with, as you will be unsure how far to go down or when to stop and go back up.
  2. Sit Up/Crunch – This is the main source of exercise that will work around the core of your stomach area. For those carrying a bit of weight it is the part of our body we don’t want and it can be hard to get rid of. Use a mat that is foam or mattress type to prevent doing exercise on a hard floor. When you start this, ensure your lower back is flat on the floor and at the same time tuck your stomach in too. Do not just relax and do the workout. Place your fingertips just behind your ears, NOT your head, as you do not want to put pressure your head when lifting your upper body up. You only need to lift your upper body/shoulder off the ground to do the crunch workout, not your whole upper body.

Hopefully, you have now done all of those 6 different exercises. How do you feel? Maybe a little bit puffed or nothing? It doesn’t matter, as it’s good practice for you to try and learn. After you have completed all the exercises you will need to do cool down stretches, 5 to 30 seconds.

In the next clip I will show you how to train with proper equipment, maybe you have some at home or go to the gym but are unsure how to use it correctly. I hope you have enjoyed watching this clip and the workout. Any questions please feel free to ask.

I would also like to say thank PBT Fitness Centre who run a 1-2-1 personal training session. Together with PBT I will be working to develop the next clip. If you wish to know more abut their programmes you are welcome to ask PBT directly.

Article by Andie Vowles

posted in Deaf Sport / Fitness

14th February 2014