women

Injured folk either rush back to their former workouts, which puts them at risk of (yes) another injury, or are so afraid of getting hurt again they permanently put it off.

Your plan

Halve your effort

After the doctor clears you, scale back your routine by 50% for the first two weeks, says exercise physiologist Jonathan Cane (or pick our "out of shape" routine). Gently does it - that's an order.

Build better knees

Thanks to wider hips, women are up to eight times more likely to tear knee ligaments than men. Not good. "The most important muscle to focus on for overall knee health is the VMO (vastus medialis oblique) - the teardrop-shaped quad muscle on the inside of the knee," says Cahill. Strengthen it by adding this knee extension exercise to the end of Program A: tie an exercise band around something solid and loop it behind your knee cap, just above the joint. Flex your knee against the band for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Do 10-12 reps.

Thanks to wider hips, women are up to eight times more likely to tear knee ligaments than men.

Thanks to wider hips, women are up to eight times more likely to tear knee ligaments than men.

... And stronger ankles

"Women's ankles are often weak because of high heels," says Cahill. To counteract this common cause of injury, he suggests training in bare feet if possible. "If you always walk barefoot around the house and stretch your calves daily, that will help. To do it, face a wall, put one leg way out behind you with your heel on the ground and stretch it out." Finally, use TV watching time to roll a tennis ball on the soles of your feet and up onto your calves. "It improves the tissue quality of your lower legs, which helps your ankles," he says. Feels pretty damn nice, too, we'll wager.

Program A

Complete three sets of super-set one (moves Al and A2), resting 60 seconds between sets. (Check the chart on the left for rest periods between moves.) Repeat this with 31 and B2; finish with three sets of move C, resting 60 seconds between sets.

A1. Goblet Squat

Stand with feet slightly wider than hips. Hold a dumbbell vertically in front of chest with both hands, elbows down. Lower into a deep squat, then back up to start. That's one rep. Do 10 to 12.

A2. Push-Up

Take a pushup position with hands shoulder- width apart. arms straight. Bend elbows. keeping close to you, to lower body towards the floor. Push up with back flat. That’s one rep. Do as many as you can without collapsing.

Take a pushup position with hands shoulder- width apart. arms straight.

Take a pushup position with hands shoulder- width apart. arms straight.

B1. Elevated Hip Thrust

Sit in front of a bench, knees bent and feet on the floor; lean upper back against the edge of the bench. Raise hips, pause, back to start, That’s one rep. Do 10 to 12.

B2. Inverted Row

Get under a bar in a squat rack, with hands wider than shoulders, extend legs. Keeping body flat, pull chest to the bar. Lower until arms straighten. That’s one rep. Do 10 to 12.

Inverted row

Inverted row

C2. Raised Leg Plank

Forearms are on the floor with elbows bent and under your shoulders Extend legs and brace your core. Raise one leg. Hold. Repeat with other leg.

Time Check

The goat of all three groups Is to held a plank with proper form for 60 seconds. Start with six reps of 10 seconds. Progress to three reps of 20 seconds then two reps of 30.

Program B

As with Program A, complete three sets of super-set one (moves Al and A2), resting 60 seconds between sets. (Check your chart for rest periods between moves.) Repeat this pattern until you've finished the workout. Or it has finished you!

A1. Clean-Grip Deadlift

Squat behind a barbell. Stand up. squeezing glutes, hips forward. Push hips back to lower the bar That’s one rep. Do 10 to 12.

Clean-Grip Deadlift

Clean-Grip Deadlift

Quick Tip

You can also use dumbbells o a body bar, but place them on a low step or bench in front of you to start.

A2. Dumbbell Push Press

Stand with feet wider than hips, dumbbells at shoulder height, palms in. Bend knees slightly, stand as you push dumbbells up and straighten arms That’s one rep. Do 10 to 12.

B1. Reverse Sliding Lunge

Put your right foot on a slide board Slide back, lower body until the right knee nearly touches the floor. Slide your right foot forward to stand. That s one rep. Do 10 to 12, switch legs, repeat.

B2. Assisted Chin-Up

Wrap a band around a chin-up bar so there is a loop underneath. Kneel on to the band and let your body hang, arms straight. Pull your chest to the bar. Lower back to start. That’s one rep. Do 10 to 12.

Assisted Chin-Up

Assisted Chin-Up

C. Slide Plank

Lie on your left side with legs straight. Brace core, squeeze glutes, prop yourself up with your left forearm, place right hand on hip. Hold, then switch sides, repeat.

Time Check

Every group’s goal is to hold a side plank (on each side) for 60 seconds. Break into smaller sections, Fir5t do six reps of 10 seconds. Up to three reps of 20 seconds, then two reps of 30. Now, collapse!

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