Download our Intermediate Programme here: Intermediate programme
Leg Extension Machine
Sit on the machine with your back against the pad and adjust the backrest so that your knees are in line with the pivot of the leg rest. Next, if the leg extension machine you are using has an adjustment to alter the start position, move it so that your knees are at 90 degrees in the down phase. This is important if you are new to weight training to avoid any injuries to the knee area, but once you become used to it change it so your knees are bent as much as possible in the start position. Next, adjust the leg pad so that it is comfortably on the front of your ankles.
To start, just straighten your legs as much as you can. With most others your knees should never be fully straightened or “locked”, but because the weight is pushing against your legs here they are never actually locked.
Next, bend your legs and lower the weight with control.
Lying Hamstring Curl Machine
Lie face down on a leg-curl machine and lock your heels under the foot pad. Make sure your legs are fully extended and the foot pads are resting on the back of your ankles. If the machine is equipped with handles, grip them. If not, grip the front of the pad you are lying on.
Remaining flat on the bench, with no arching of your spine, curl your legs up in a smooth arcing motion by bending your knees until your hamstrings are fully contracted. Hold for a count of one.
Slowly lower your legs to the starting position in a smooth arcing motion.
Rotary Calf Machine
By positioning your body on the inclined seat at 90° with respect to your legs, the Selection Rotary Calf user can exercise in the proper position in relation to the exercise bar. The exercise bar structure and special curvature allows for the exercises to be symmetrical for both limbs.
Standing Calf Raises Machine
Adjust the padded lever of the calf raise machine to fit your height.
Place your shoulders under the pads provided and position your toes facing forward. Push the lever up by extending your hips and knees until your torso is standing erect. The knees should be kept with a slight bend; never locked. Toes should be facing forward, outwards or inwards as described at the beginning of the chapter. This will be your starting position.
Raise your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times. There should be no bending at any time.
Leg Press Machine
Sit on the machine with your back and head against the padded support.
Place feet on the foot plate about hip-width apart, ensuring the heels are flat. The legs should form an angle of about 90 degrees at the knee.
The knees should be in line with the feet and neither bowed inward nor outward.
Your bottom should not be raised from the seat platform. If it is, and the legs are at too sharp an angle, then you need to adjust the seat back until the correct position is enabled. You can recognise this poor position when the knees seem to be in front of your eyes and you feel cramped.
Chest Press Machine
Start by adjusting the seat height. When seated and grasping the handles, your hands should be in line with your chest—not above or below it. Lift or lower the seat to align your hands with your chest. Your feet should be able to rest on the floor. Form is important, so start with a lower weight and adjust it later. Exhale and push the handles forward until your arms are extended but your elbows do not lock. Inhale and slowly return your arms back to chest level—but not completely (the weight stack should not slam, but should come close to touching).
Shoulder Press Machine
Begin the movement by sitting on the machine and aligning the seat if possible to align the handles with your upper chest.
Grasp the bar or handles so they are shoulder or slightly higher level to you. Your palms are facing out. Be sure to keep your back straight. Press the bar or weight straight up. Be sure not to lock your elbows at the top.
Chest Fly Machine
Sit upright on the machine and grasp the handles, keep back against the back pad and your head back, pull handles to meet hands outstretched in front of chest, and lower the weight to stretch chest comfortably, move to handles in a tree hugging motion at a good tempo.
Ab Crunch Machine
Select a light resistance and sit down on the ab machine placing your feet under the pads provided and grabbing the top handles.
Slowly crunch down by still holding the top handles. Be sure to use a slow and controlled motion. Concentrate on using your abs to move the weight while relaxing your legs and feet.
After a second pause, slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
Place your knees on the bottom pads and your chest against upper pads.
Rotate at the torso to your right and then back to starting position.
After you have done the desired amount of repetitions adjust the machine and then rotate to the left.
Bicep Curl Machine
Sit on the machine Bicep Curl curl bench with your arms extended over the front of the pad. Adjust the seat or pad so that your arms can hang over with ease.
Grasp the handles with an underhand grip. Back flat and shoulders back.
Curl your arms towards you, contract your biceps.
Hold for 1-2 seconds then release back to the starting position.
Tricep Pushdown Machine
Sit securely in a dip machine, select the weight and firmly grasp the handles.
Now keep your elbows in at your sides in order to place emphasis on the triceps. The elbows should be bent at a 90-degree angle. As you contract the triceps, extend your arms downwards as you exhale. Tip: At the bottom of the movement, focus on keeping a little bend in your arms to keep tension on the triceps muscle.
Now slowly let your arms come back up to the starting position as you inhale.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Smith Machine Squats
Set up for the smith machine squat by setting the bar to around shoulder height and loading the weight you want to use.
Stand under the bar with your legs around shoulder width apart.
Grasp the bar with a wide grip and position the center of the bar on top of the muscles on your back. The bar should not sit on your neck!
Keeping your back straight and eyes facing forwards and take the weight off the rack. Take a slight step forward.
Keeping your eyes facing forwards with a straight back, slowly squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Pushing up through the heels, raise the bar back to the starting position.
Repeat for desired reps.
Low Row Machine (Close Grip)
For this exercise, you will need a low pulley row machine with a V-bar. Note: The V-bar will enable you to have a neutral grip where the palms of your hands face each other. To get into the starting position, first, sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform or crossbar provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent and not locked.
Lean over as you keep the natural alignment of your back and grab the V-bar handles.
With your arms extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs. Your back should be slightly arched and your chest should be sticking out. You should be feeling a nice stretch on your lats as you hold the bar in front of you. This is the starting position of the exercise.
Keeping the torso stationary, pull the handles back towards your torso while keeping the arms close to it until you touch the abdominals. Breathe out as you perform that movement. At that point, you should be squeezing your back muscles hard. Hold that contraction for a second and slowly go back to the original position while breathing in.
Bar Back Rows
Walk to the bar. Stand with your mid-foot under the bar. Don’t touch it with your shins. Medium stance, toes pointing out. Grab the bar. Use a medium grip width. Narrower than on Bench Press, wider than on Deadlifts. Hold the bar low in your hands. Unlock your knees. Keep your hips higher than on the Deadlift.
Bend your knees but keep them back so the bar can’t hit them. Lift your chest. Straighten your back. Don’t move the bar. Don’t drop your hips. Don’t squeeze your shoulder- blades together. Row. Take a big breath, hold it and pull the bar against your lower chest. Lead with your elbows and pull them to the ceiling.
Dumbbell Bicep Curls
Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand at arm’s length. Keep your elbows close to your torso and rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward. This will be your starting position. Now, keeping the upper arms stationary, exhale and curl the weights while contracting your biceps.
Bicep Curls with Straight Bar
The palm of your hands should be facing forward and the elbows should be close to the torso. This will be your starting position. While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Tip: Only the forearms should move.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. You can place your hands behind your head.
Begin the movement by flexing your knees and hips, sitting back with your hips.
Continue down to full depth if you are able,and quickly reverse the motion until you return to the starting position.
Begin in a relaxed stance with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold your arms close to the body.
To initiate the move, squat down halfway and explode back up as high as possible.
As you land, bring your limbs back in and absorb your impact through the legs.
Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Step forward with one leg, flexing the knees to drop your hips. Descend until your rear knee nearly touches the ground. Your posture should remain upright, and your front knee should stay above the front foot.
Get into a high plank position. Place your hands firmly on the ground, directly under shoulders.
Lower your body. Begin to lower your body — keeping your back flat and eyes focused about three feet in front of you to keep a neutral neck until your chest grazes the floor.
Push back up.
Lying Leg Raises
Lie supine on bench or mat. Place hands under lower buttock on each side to support pelvis. Keeping knees straight, raise legs by flexing hips until hips are completely flexed. Return until hips and knees are extended.