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Returning to Exercise? Here's a Workout to Help You Get Back on Track

Returning to Exercise? Here's a Workout to Help You Get Back on Track | Andrea Metcalf | Expert Articles | 3/2/2017

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Whether it’s a new year or you’re looking to get back to an exercise program, beginning can be a challenging prospect. Your mind may remember the movements of your past fitness regimens, but your body’s muscles and joints may have lost the strength and flexibility that it takes to complete those workouts. If you experience deep muscle soreness or an injury, you may abandon your efforts after just a few days. That’s why it’s so important to ease back into exercise so you can avoid these pitfalls and stick with it for the long haul. Here’s a workout that will help you get back on the right track.

But first, some good news: If you are new to exercise or you’ve been on an extended break, you will experience pretty significant gains—and at a rapid pace—at the start of your new program. The key to your success is proper progression and intensity.

This 8-minute workout, which requires a mat and a stability ball, is a great way to ease back into exercise. If you don’t have a stability ball, you can use a table or block for the bridge work. Perform this routine in three blocks, resting for one minute between each block. After two weeks, perform each block twice to increase your workout time from eight to 15 minutes.  

A Block

Mini Split Squats

Start with feet together and take a small step forward. Bend the knees while pushing the hips back; touch the ground to assume a runner's starting position. Step back and stand tall. Repeat on the other side.

20 alternating

Plank Rotations

Start in plank position with the arms straight. Keep the hips tucked under and elevated as high as the shoulders. Turn the hips to the side and reach the right hand toward the ceiling. Return to the center and repeat on the left side.

20 alternating rotations

Plank Knee Driver

Start in plank position with the arms straight. Keep the hips tucked under and elevated as high as the shoulders. Alternate bringing each knee to the chest and returning to plank position.

20 alternating knees

B Block 

Bridge

Start lying face up with the feet on the floor. Lift the hips while keeping the rib cage close to the floor and slowly return to the starting position.

20 reps

Long Leg Ball Bridge

Start lying face up with the feet on the ball. Lift the hips while keeping the legs straight to balance over the ball. Alternate leg lifts on the ball.

20 alternating leg lifts

Bridge Ball Curl

Start lying face up on the floor, with feet on the ball and knees bent. Lift the hips while you roll the ball in and out and then lower the hips back to the floor. If you don’t have a ball, use a sliding disk, paper plate or towel.

 20 reps

C Block 

Knee Tuck

Start lying on your back with legs extended. Bring the knees to the chest while keeping the hips on the floor. Hold for 8-10 counts.

 4-6x

Swimming

Start lying face down on the floor. Lift the right hand and the left leg slightly off the floor. Don't arch the lower back, but keep the belly pulled into the spine. Return to the starting position and repeat with the left hand and right leg lifting off the floor.

30 seconds

Straight leg cross over

Start lying on the floor with the legs extended and the arms out to the sides. Lift the left leg toward the ceiling and slowly lower to the right side, crossing over the body. Hold for 8-10 counts and repeat on the other side.

4-6x each side