August 02, 2023

Beginner’s guide to gym equipment!

POV: You’ve entered your gym era but you still don’t know where to start. Does this sound like you? The good news is, this is totally normal! We’ve all been there too, and just like so many other people, we had to start somewhere. Because the more you practice, the better you get.

Assisted chin up – how the hell do I set up the band?

First up you need to choose the appropriate resistance band based on your strength and fitness level; heavier brands provide more assistance, while lighter bands offer less support. Loop the band around the pull-up bar, ensuring it is evenly balanced on both sides. With the band hanging down, grip it firmly with your hands, palms facing towards you. Place your knees or feet into the loop of the band, depending on your preference and the type of band you have. As you start your chin-up motion, the band will help counterbalance your body weight, making the exercise easier and enabling you to perform more repetitions. Remember to try and focus on your form throughout the movement to maximise the benefits of the assisted chin-up.

Can I use a weight assisted chin-up machine instead?

Yes, absolutely! Hot tip: The higher the weight, the more assistance you’ll get during the exercise! Set the weight to an appropriate level based on your strength and the amount of assistance you need. Remember to focus on your form and avoid using excessive momentum to get the most out of the exercise.

How do I set up a barbell box squat?

Choose a sturdy box or bench at knee height, ensuring your thighs are parallel to the ground or slightly below when seated. Then place the barbell on your upper back with a wide grip, resting securely between your traps and rear delt muscles, pulling the elbows down to create a strong foundation by activating the upper back, avoid placing the barbell on the neck. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and toes slightly turned outward for stability. Brace your core and you’re ready to squat! After completing reps, carefully place the barbell back on the rack.

Barbell squats sound tricky, is there an easier option?

If the Barbell Box Squat sounds a little overwhelming, don’t worry, you can easily sub this out for another exercise (simply tap Exercise Swap in the Kic app!). If you prefer a guided squat movement you can always opt for the Hack Squat Machine. Set up the hack squat machine by adjusting the footplate to a comfortable position. The footplate should be positioned so that your feet are shoulder-width apart or slightly wider, and your knees should be in line with your toes.

Cable machine – Please explain?

Probably one of the most VERSATILE machine’s you will come across in the gym, the Cable Machine comes with quite a few different attachments that helps you workout different muscle groups.

We will explain the use of each one (that we recommend you use with our Lift program):

  • D-Handle (a ‘D’ shaped handle, as the name suggests) – This guy is used for various pushing and pulling exercises such as Cable Rows, Pallof Press, Single Arm Overhead Press to name a few.
  • Lat Pulldown Bar (a straight bar with both ends on a slant) – Targeting your lats, this is one of the most common attachments you will see at the gym already setup for you. Think Lat Pulldowns (Wide, Neutral and Narrow)
  • Tricep Rope (a rope with two ends and sort of looks like a horse shoe!) – One of the most comfortable attachments, the Tricep Rope can often be used for Pushdowns, Face Pulls and Overhead Tricep Extensions.
  • V-Handle (looks like a triangle or a pyramid) – Used with both hands, this one is highly effective for exercises targeting pulldowns, rows and face pulls.
  • Curl Bar (looks like a ‘w’) – Say hello to your bicep’s and tricep’s best friend. Not feeling like using dumbbells or a barbell? This is an alternative.
  • Ankle Straps (aka ‘Ankle Cuffs’) – Simply wrap these around one ankle and work one leg at a time. Working on the lower body, think Cable Kickbacks, Leg Extensions and Hamstring Curls.

Some other handy gym tips from us!

Remember to warm up and cool down

The secret to an epic workout? Warm ups and cool downs. These should be your pre & post game rituals. Warm ups fire up your heart rate, blood flow and muscles, along with mobilising the joints you’re about to use, prepping you for action. Cool downs prompt muscle recovery, ease tension and reduce the risk of injury.

Did that exercise or movement feel too hard? Regressions are your bestie.

Regressions are here to save the day. Tap – Swap Exercise – and opt for an exercise to help lighten the load. It’s all about building a strong foundation, levelling up at your own pace and not compromising your form.

Focus on your form, not speed!

Form over number of reps. Every. Time. Focusing on your form helps to ensure you engage the right muscle groups, reduces your risk of injury and maximises the effectiveness of each exercises, benefiting you in the long run. So slow down, make sure you nail that form and your body will thank you!

Short on time and need to workout in under 30 minutes? Here’s how

Getting that workout done is important to you. You know how much better you will feel and how much more productive you will be if you move your body. But… LIFE. There’s early morning meetings, there’s school drop off, there’s dog walking to do. Some mornings you’re shorter on time than usual, so if that means you need to shorten your workout, you totally can. You can easily drop the last two rounds or reduce the number of sets in a round to help reduce your workout time

Get ready to Lift your limits. Our new gym program is available now! Start your 7 day free trial & sign up today!