in shape

Getting back in the gym after a long absence can be difficult. Since it only takes three days without training for you to start losing some of your cardio capacity, you should not expect to return immediately to the workouts you “used” to do after weeks, months or even years of absence. When you are committed to regaining your fitness, these are the top ten exercises for getting back in shape.


Stretch, get on the elliptical for a few minutes, jump rope or just do something that loosens you up and lets your body know it should be ready for action. Take about 10-15 minutes to get loose before you begin.


Everyone should know how to do this and if you did 2000 pushups every day like Walter Peyton, maybe you would always be in shape. It’s simple and there are multiple variations that work different muscle groups.  Put your hands about shoulder-width apart on the floor. Keep your body straight and lower yourself down and back up.


Grab the bar with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Take an overhand grip with your thumbs wrapped atop the bar with your fingers. Pull yourself up. As you reach the bar, pull your elbows down and back to get more height over the bar.


Stand with the dumbbells in each hand at your side with the palms of your hands facing towards you. Keeping good posture and your upper body stationary, lift the dumbbells out to each side, slightly bending the elbow and tilting the weight as if you were pouring water from a pitcher. Raise arms until they are parallel to the floor.


This exercise is simple and works different muscles in your upper body with slight variations in form. Simply grab the bars with both hands and lower yourself down and up. Hold your body straight up and down to work triceps and bend your legs and lean over to focus on the chest.


This exercise targets those back muscles you’re trying to get back in shape. Stand with the dumbbells in each hand at your side with the palms of your hands facing towards you. Keeping good posture and your upper body stationary, flex at the hip to lean forward. Keep your back straight throughout the lift. Keep your elbows to your sides. Extend the shoulder, flex the elbows and row the dumbbells up towards your torso until your elbows are at 90-degree angles. Keeping your shoulders retracted, squeeze your scapulae. Slowly return the dumbbells to the starting position and repeat.


This is one of the basics for building your body and staying in shape. It can be done with and without weights. While standing with your feet a little wider than your hips, point your toes slightly outward. Look straight ahead. You can focus on a spot on the wall for balance. Squat down until your hip joint comes lower than your knees. Repeat.


Stand with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold your upper arm stationary, and keep your elbows close to your body as you curl the weight towards your shoulders. Your hands should remain facing inwards. Hold for a moment, feeling the squeeze in your biceps. Slowly lower back down.


Hold a barbell at hip level with a palms-down grip. Keep your shoulders back, arch your back, and slightly bend your knees. Move your butt back as far as you can to lower the bar until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Keep the bar close to your body, your head forward and your shoulders back. Return to the starting position by driving your hips forward and standing up tall.

All readers are advised to consult their physician before beginning any exercise and nutrition program. BPI Sports and the contributors do not accept any responsibility for injury sustained as a result of following the advice or suggestions contained within the content.