Starting simply is the best way to learn about beginners strength training. Doing so entails that you will be applying pressure to and around joints. The muscles are only a part of the equation. A beginner would be best suited to get support from machines, in order to learn how their body works and see how it feels going through a certain range of motion.
Exercise Machines and Fitnes Professionals
Exercise machines were created for bodybuilders to isolate certain muscles in order to improve the look, strength and size of a msucle area. As a beginner, it's best to learn up front which muscles are being used and how a machine can assist in doing so. If you are gym club member and have never been instructed on proper machine use, see if the fitness staff can take some time to help you better understand which machines may be best to start with.
Many gyms will offer a member a tour of all of the machines and explain how they are used. An even better option is to meet with a few personal trainers, and see if you get along with one well enough to consider doing some personal training. A certified personal trainer is trained to develop an execise routine just for you. They are always a wise choice. If a trainer isn't an option and you can at least get a basic understanding of machine use from the general staff, start there. Proper adjustments are necessary for each use and each person is different. Make note of any pains or injuries, so that the staff can better guide you to machines more suited for your needs.
Exercise the Front and Back
The most popular machines involve the biceps, the chest, the abs and the legs, notably the front of the leg called the quads. Again, a trainer can best help you understand that overworking certain body parts too frequently can lead to stress issues and ultimately pain or injury. Most machines are set up in a gym in a circuit pattern. What this means is that using each machine will cover your entire body. But, knowing how much weight and how many repititions can be tricky. Always ask for assistance if unsure.
A few basic exercises like the leg press and the abs curl will show results quickly, especialy in the legs. A simple note of caution: if you exercise a muscle in the front of the body, compliment it with an exercise for the complimentary muscles in the back of the body. For instance, if you are working your quads, make sure to exercise your hamstrings. If exercising your abs, seek out assistance in using a machine geared to work the lower back. A well-trained core makes for great support to the upper and lower body.
Machines or Your Own Body Weight?
If machines are no interest or use to you, learning to do exercises with your own body weight is a reasonable solution. Sticking with the legs, doing lunges or side leg lefts can strengthen and tone the area nicely. Each area of the body has a long list of exercise possibilities. Learn as much as you can before starting and seek assistance and ask questions up front before starting any exercise program. It is wisest to meet with your doctor before starting any strength routine.