In the August 2009 issue, we gave you The Comeback Workout, a program specifically for older guys or those with injuries that need to ease back into lifting to stay healthy and get strong. Below is the final workout in the program, along with a special warm up that will ready even the achiest joints for a good training session.
1. Jump rope, five minutes
2. Overhead squat. Hold an empty bar or broom handle overhead with hands almost double shoulder-width apart. Squat down as low as you can without losing the arch in your lower back. 12 reps.
3. Shoulder dislocations. Hold a band or broomstick with a wide grip (as you did for the overhead squat) and raise it over and behind your head and back with elbows straight. 15 reps.
4. Hip flexion. Stand with your hands on your hips and, keeping your lower back arched, push your hips backward and bend forward at the hips. You can let your knees bend a bit but feel the stretch in your hamstrings. Extend your hips to return to the starting position. 20 reps.
5. Plank. Get into pushup position and then bend your elbows so that your weight is on your forearms. Keep your body in a straight line and hold the position 30 seconds.
6. Side plank. Rest your weight on one forearm, facing 90 degrees to one side. Keep your body in a straight line and hold for 15 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.
7. Bird dog. Get on your hands and knees and simultaneously raise one arm in front of you while extending the opposite leg behind you. Hold for two seconds, and then switch the arm and leg. That's one rep. 6 reps.
8. Glute bridge. Lie on your back on the floor and bridge your hips off the floor using your glutes. Hold your torso in a straight line for 30 seconds.
1A Inverted Row
Sets: 3 Reps: As many as possible Rest: 60 sec.
Set up a barbell at about waist height in a squat rack. Lie underneath it and grab the bar with an overhand grip, hands about shoulder-width apart. Allow your body to hang . Pull your body up to the bar until your chest touches , and then lower yourself back down to the hanging position. That's one rep.
1B Dumbbell Floor Press
Sets: 3 Reps: 12, 10, 8 Rest: 60 sec.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie on your back on the floor. Allow your triceps to rest on the floor with your elbows close to your sides-your wrists should face one another . Press the weights straight up , and then reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep.
2A Face Pull
Sets: 1 Reps: 12-15 Rest: 60 sec.
Attach a rope handle to the high pulley of a cable station and grab an end in each hand . Pull the handle toward your forehead so that your elbows flare outward . Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep.
2B Suspended or Weighted Pushup*
Sets: 1 Reps: As many as possible Rest: 60 sec.
*You have the option to perform a suspended or weighted pushup. To perform a suspended pushup, you'll need either Blast Straps (available at elitefts.com), a Jungle Gym (available at monkeybargym.com), or a TRX Suspension Trainer (available at fitnessanywhere.com). Simply attach any of these apparatuses to the top of a squat rack or chinup bar and perform pushups as normal on the handles. Your body should be as low to the floor as possible. When you can do 15-20 reps, lower the handles. If you prefer to do a weighted pushup, wear a weighted vest or have a friend place some weight plates on your back and spot you during your set.
3a Dumbbell Shrug
Sets: 3 Reps: 15, 12, 10 Rest: 45 sec.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and allow your arms to hang at your sides . Shrug your shoulders as high as you can , and then reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep.
3b Hammer Curl
Sets: 3 Reps: 12, 10, 8 Rest: 45 sec.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand with hands at your sides and palms facing each other. Don't allow your upper arms to move for the duration of the exercise . Curl the weights as high as you can , and then reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep.
3c Overhead Cable Triceps Extension
Sets: 3 Reps: 15, 12, 10 Rest: 45 sec.
Attach a rope handle to the top pulley of a cable station and grab an end in each hand. Stand with your back to the machine and step forward with one leg that you're in a stable position and there is tension on the cable . Keeping your core braced, extend your elbows fully , and then reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep.