Enthusiasm will get you far when starting a new workout routine, but you can't stop there. When it comes to strength training, start by simply learning the basics.
Perfecting the basic moves — think sit-ups, push-ups, squats, and planks — helps you build on your strength-training routine safely and effectively, especially since once you've learned how to do a basic move, you can add variations to make it more challenging. Not taking the time to learn a move correctly before you advance can lead to overuse or straining injuries as you continue your workout routine.
If you're new to strength training or it's been awhile since anyone has helped you correct your form, sign up for a circuit class at your gym and ask the instructor questions afterward, or buy a single personal-training session for a refresher. Our basic strength-training exercises primer will also have you lunging, planking, and squatting with the best of them.