Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Martial Arts, Unarmed Self Defense, Hand To Hand Combat, and Physical Fitness

Getting back into exercise need advice

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For over ten years I trained for climbing, then sprained my ankle and life happened ... Flash forward a couple years and I haven't exercised since and I am now in my thirties.

I met a girl who does goruck challenges and in would like to join in the fun. Here is my problem ... Having been in PT for other issues I was told there at certain exercises I should never do, crunches, sit-ups, and supermans for example as they can destroy your back.

I am looking for a body weight, transitioning into free weight or added weight, fitness program which focuses on doing exercises which are less likely to cause injury but still get results. And I would like to do them in the house or at home.

I could care less about muscle mass or size all I care about is strength gain. Being an ectomorph I realize bulk isn't what I need to focus on.

I bought two books from some known physical therapist, one has stretches and the other exercises but because I have been spending so much time with other things I haven't had a chance to read me yet. I don't think either has a traditional strengthening program as they focus on exercises you should do to maintain mobility and reduce injury from every day life as well as PT recovery exercises.

I figured I would ask if anything exists like I am looking for before taking someone else's program and going through and modifying it to be safer.


Certain types of yoga may be able to help. Find a good instructor and tell them up front about your injuries, a good yogi will be able to suggest alternatives to poses and movements that could aggravate your injuries. After attending a few classes you can start to design a routine you can do on your own at home (this is what my 64-yo mother has done for the past 20 years. She's in great shape and has never had an injury).

Have you considered resistance bands or possibly a body weight gym (found on Craigslist)? The yoga has also been suggested to me by more than one physician/physical therapist. The big problem I see is that you've got core strength issues that may impede your other goals, you might want to address those before any of the other since it sounds like you're limited to what you can do.

Kettlebells are a great tool for building strength at home, and they are excellent for strengthening your core and preventing further back injury.   I really like this kettlebell DVD from dragondoor .

It sounds like you have an existing injury though, so it might be wise to seek advice from a certified kettlebell instructor or a physical therapist familiar with their use before you get started.

I'd suggest either the yoga or pilates route to start building core strength, body balance and muscle strengthening in a smart way to prevent injuries.  Start with a pilates beginner mat workout class or yoga basics class, then buy some DVDs.  Get the basics down and build from there.  Personally, I can't think of anything better than pilates for a person starting from a point of injury, provided you talk with your instructor and keep them abreast of your challenges and pain.


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