Always move with slow to moderate speed and controlled motion. You do not want to let the bench hit the top or bottom of the slide. The higher you adjust the tension, the harder each exercise will be. Two exercises you can do on the Total Gym to work many of the muscles in your upper body are chest presses and pull-ups.
Chest Press: Sit on the Total Gym facing away from the arm handles. The bench will be at the bottom of the slide. Hold your arms at shoulder height with your palms facing down. Keep your wrists straight in line with your forearms. Your elbows will be bent at 90 degrees. Press your arms forward, which will make the bench slide upward. Bring your arms back behind you and allow the bench to slide down.
Pull-Ups: Lie on the Total Gym with your knees bent and your feet on the bench. Your head will be toward the top end. Reach your arms straight overhead and grasp the handles with your palms facing the ceiling. Start with the bench at the bottom of the Total Gym. Bend your arms slightly and pull straight down over your head and to your sides. This will pull the bench up. Allow your arms to go back over your head as the bench slides back down.
Do two sets of 12 to 20 reps of each exercise to improve your muscular endurance and stabilization, or work up to three sets of 10 reps to build larger muscles. See the Fitness Quest brochure (in the References section below) for more exercises. Stay with the beginner exercises for two to three months to properly prepare your muscles for the more difficult exercises also included in the brochure.
You can use the Total Gym to tone the muscles of your abs and glutes. One way to do this is to do crunches. Lie face up on the bench with your feet in the foot rests at the top of the bench. Extend your legs out straight and place your hands behind your head. Bend your knees and pull the bench upward as you also curl your shoulders up off the bench. Straighten your legs and lower your shoulders back to the bench. This will tone your upper abs, your lower abs and your legs. Start with 10 reps and work up to three sets of 20 reps or more.