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Starting up a workout routine after taking some time off can be daunting, but trust me, it’s never too late to get back on your gym grind. If you’re like me and have fallen off of your exercise game, we’ve got a bunch of easy workout moves to help you get back into your routine with ease, whether you’re venturing back into your regular gym, working out at home or finding space outdoors. These moves are foolproof and expert-recommended by Equinox‘s top trainers—so you know they’re legit.
“The best way to approach getting back into a workout routine after a break includes focusing on two areas of improvement: cardiovascular endurance and building strength,” says Equinox trainer Lauren Saint-Louis. “Start slower and pick a number of workouts you can realistically accomplish each week.” Sounds pretty doable, right?
If you try to immediately start working out every single day, you might end up burning out faster than expected. “Instead of jumping back into the five days a week, try starting with two,” further explains trainer Lexa Henwood. “By doing this, you are giving yourself small goals that are achievable and will motivate you to keep moving forward without injury.” As someone who used to work out five days a week, two definitely feels like a goal I can realistically meet and then build on.
That being said, don’t worry too much about finding the “perfect” plan or the “right” workout, because no such thing exists. “Whether it’s getting on a cardio machine to get your heart rate up, or grabbing a piece of equipment to play with some movements you’ve done in the past, the most important thing is to get moving,” reassures trainer Jimmy Joseph. And don’t forget to start out slow, you don’t want to injure yourself by diving back in too quickly.
The best workout moves to start off with are the simplest ones, so don’t overthink it. Read on for the best expert-recommended exercises to ease you back into your workout routine.
On your hands and knees, inhale to arch your back and exhale to round your back. Repeat a few times. This is the perfect move to start off your workout. Check out the video above from Howcast to see the move in action.
Start with your feet a little wider than hip distance. From here, bend your knees and stick your butt out like your about to sit down. Make sure your knees don’t bend forward and not to drop your butt down as you squat. See the move first-hand in the clip above via Bowflex.
Inchworms Into the World’s Greatest Stretch
Another stretch-focused move, this one is great for opening up the hips and chest. Start in a standing position, then walk your hands out into a plank. From there, bring your right leg forward and stretch up with the left arm, twisting the chest to the left. Get back into a plank position and repeat on the other side. Check out the video above from Michal Skarbek to see the move in action.
The deadbug is a great way to build up core muscles and work on stabilization and balance. Laying on your back, bring your knees up to a 90-degree angle and bring your arms up overhead. Straighten your left leg while bringing your right arm down to your ear. Then do the right leg and left arm. Repeat a few times. See the move first-hand in the clip above via Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Lay on your back with your knees bent and back pressed into the floor. Then, lift your hips up and down to work the glutes. Make sure not to over-arch the back and to keep a long spine. Pro-tip: Squeeze your glutes at the top to really engage the muscle for the best results. Check out the video above from Well+Good to see the move in action.
Single-Arm Dumbbell Row
Place your right hand and knee on a bench or table with the left leg parallel on the ground. Grab a dumbbell and pull your left your elbow behind you. Your hand should meet your ribs. Repeat on the other side. See the move first-hand in the clip above via MyTraining App.
Get into a high plank position. From here, bend your elbows and let your chest meet the ground while keeping your legs up and straight, your back flat and your butt down. A simple move that works plenty of muscles and burns so good. Check out the video above from Doctor Oz to see the move in action.
This is another simple move that works your muscles more than you think, and it can be done with or without dumbbells. Start with your feet a little wider than hip distance with a slight bend in the knees. Hinge forward at the hips while keeping a long spine and let your hands come down to your ankles. See the move first-hand in the clip above via Bowflex.
Using a chair, table or bench place your hands on the edge of the surface with your fingers facing your butt and extend your legs out. From here, bend and straighten your arms and make sure your elbows point straight back as you bend to get the best results from this move. Check out the video above from Wahoo Fitness to see the move in action.
Start with your feet parallel at hip distance apart. From here, bring one leg directly behind you and keep your knee as close to the ground as possible without touching it. Repeat on the other side. See the move first-hand in the clip above via Kayla Itsines.