10 Workouts To Try If You Just Invested In A Gym Membership

Use the equipment wisely.
PHOTO: Getty Images

The truth is, gyms can be intimidating. Not only are they packed with super athletic people, they also have a lot of equipment that are slightly confusing. Here's a quick cheat sheet for if you've finally invested in a gym membership and want to start working out more. 

Sprints

Treadmills may be ~basic~, but raising your heart rate is key when working out, and treadmill sprints are a fun option for cardio!

How to:

  • Run as fast you can for 30 seconds.
  • Grip the hand rails, and jump out so your feet land on the sides of the treadmill. Rest for 30 seconds.
  • Keep alternating for 10-15 minutes.

Continue reading below ↓

Leg Press

The leg press builds strength in your quads, hamstrings, and glutes safely before you start trying out back squats with a barbell.

How to:

  • Seat yourself with your back flat.
  • Place your feet hip-width apart on the pad, facing slightly outwards.
  • Extend your legs without locking the knees.
  • Bring knees in towards your chest.
  • Repeat 15-20 times.

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Landmine Backward Lunge

There are loads of lunge variations out there to try, but the Landmine Backward Lunge is by far one of the more interesting ways to work your glutes!

How to:

  • Barbell on the floor, bend down to lift one end of the bar with one hand.
  • Once lifted, place your feet together, and reach the opposite arm out.
  • Step back with your inner leg and bend your knee at a 90-degree angle.
  • Bring your foot back in line with the front foot.
  • Repeat 10 times, then do the same on the other side.

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Kettlebell Snatches

In a crowded gym where you can only get your hands on one piece of equipment, let it be a kettlebell. Snatches require a mastery of technique, but once you get the hang of them, they're great for your glutes, hammies, and core.

How to:

  • Have the kettlebell between your feet, with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Bend your knees, and grab the kettlebell handle with one hand.
  • Stand up explosively, and pump your fist in the air.
  • As you do, the kettlebell naturally transfers behind your wrist.
  • Repeat 10-12 times, alternating sides.

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Weighted Hip Thrusts

Weighted hip thrusts let you focus on strengthening the glutes without working your quads and hamstrings too much. Perfect for the girl who wants to grow her booty without growing her legs!

How to:

  • With the barbell parallel to the bench and at your feet, sit with your shoulder blades by the bench.
  • Roll the barbell over your lap until it reaches your hips.
  • Elbows on the bench, hands on the bar, and feet pushing down, squeeze your glutes to raise your hips.
  • Gently return to starting position.
  • Repeat 12-15 times.

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Pushups with Sliders

Pushups can get frustrating if you haven't perfected them, but a great way to get there is to alternate them with complementing exercises. For a sequence that works your arms, abs, and obliques, try doing it with sliders!

How to:

  • From high plank with arms shoulder width, bend your elbows towards the back in a pushup.
  • Drag your left foot out and to your shoulder, keeping your toes always on the floor.
  • Do the same with your right foot.
  • Do 8-10 rounds.

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Overhead Tricep Extension

Many arm exercises work the triceps, but only as an afterthought. The overhead tricep extension lets you isolate the muscle group so you get more focused results.

How to:

  • Holding the dumbbell overhead with both hands, gradually bend your elbows until the dumbbell is brought close to your shoulder blades.
  • Push hands towards the ceiling so arms are stretched, without locking the elbows.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.

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Dumbbell Rows

They look like arm exercises but are actually working your entire upper back.

How to:

  • Place your left knee and left hand on the bench, with your right foot flat on the floor beside it.
  • With your right hand, pick up the dumbbell from the floor.
  • Bending your elbow, raise the dumbbell towards your chest.
  • Straighten the arm back down without locking your elbow.
  • Repeat 10-12 times before doing the same on the other side.

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Lat Pulldowns

Lat pulldowns are focused on the largest muscle in the upper back (aka your wings). Fly high!

How to:

  • Arms up and wider than shoulder-width, grasp the pulldown bar with an overhand grip.
  • Seat yourself facing the cable machine, with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Pull arms down to bring the bar towards your chin or collarbone, leaning back ever so slightly.
  • Stretch your arms up without locking the elbows.
  • Repeat 15-20 times.

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Neutral Grip Pulldowns

Since you're already at the lat pulldown machine, you can also mix things up by switching the bar in for the straps. This is an exercise that also targets the lats.

How to:

  • Grasp each strap with one hand.
  • Seat yourself facing the cable machine, with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Palms facing each other and at shoulder-width, pull down until your arms are at 90 degrees.
  • Stretch your arms up without locking the elbows.
  • Repeat 15-20 times.

Continue reading below ↓

Warm up before all workouts, prioritize form over speed, be mindful of your core, and always start slow. Good luck!

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