In-Studio Classes
Get Fit for Fall
Part 2 of 2
By: Jackie Wright

Last week the Fall Exercise Program Circuit was outlined and this and next week we will give you the specific details of each station in the circuit as well as the abdominals/core conditioning/stretching/flexibility segments. This program may be performed two-three days per week, preferably on alternating days and is quite versatile. You can focus more on cardiovascular endurance training by moving through the circuit several times, keeping the heart rate elevated throughout. Or, you may use this circuit to concentrate more on strength training by slowing down the tempo on the weight training stations, utilizing heavier resistance and fewer repetitions. As always, please consult your physician prior to beginning any exercise program.

Fall Exercise Program Circuit Details

Warm-up - 5 to 10 minutes as described in last week's column. Prior to beginning all exercises, on all stations, rotate the shoulders back and down, lift the rib cage, pull the navel toward the spine and breathe rhythmically throughout the repetitions. Think stability before mobility!


  • Station #1 - Walk/run stairs - cardio - on all cardio stations, the goal is to increase the heart rate and intensity level to a point where you can say your name and phone number but not carry on a continuous conversation.
  • Station #2 - Wall Squats - Stability ball - Place the moderate/heavy dumbbells right in front of where you will be standing at the wall. Put the stability ball against a stable wall placing it into the small of your back leaning into the ball but keeping the back straight. Walk the feet out far enough so that when you squat down the knees track over the heels and legs are approximately shoulder distance apart. Squat down to pick up the dumbbells, stand back up and then perform slow controlled squats, driving through your heels, engaging the glutes throughout.
  • Station #3 - Jump Rope or Step Touch - cardio - you can jump or skip rope and if the impact is an issue for you, then step touch instead. Step out to the right with the right foot, then step in with the left foot and repeat to the left.
  • Station #4 - Stationary Lunges with lateral raises - moderate dumbbells - Stagger the legs so that you are on two different "railroad tracks" with the right leg forward, the left leg back and the left heel elevated throughout. Make certain that your stride is long enough so that when you lower the body down into the lunge position, your right knee tracks over your right heel. Pick up the dumbbells suspending them to the sides of your thighs. As you lower your body down into the lunge, engage the medial deltoids and lift the arms just to shoulder-height and as you return to the extended position with both legs, the arms return to the beginning position. Shoulders/hips/knees and toes all facing the same direction. Both legs flex and both extend. There is no forward motion only down and up. Keep the majority of the body weight into the right heel throughout. Complete the repetitions on the right side and then repeat on the left.
  • Station #5 - High or low jumping jacks - if you cannot manage the high impact jack version, perform the low impact option by touching the right foot out to the side and then the left, keeping one foot on the floor throughout - cardio
  • Station #6 - Triceps Dips - Bench - Choose a stable 12-16" bench - Sit on the side edge of the bench, with the hands beside the hips, fingers facing the hips, feet on the floor, knees flexed approximately 90 degrees. Lower the body toward the floor while flexing the elbow joints, then press your body back up extending the elbow joint and repeat.
  • Station #7 - Mountain Climbers - gliding discs or paper plates on the floor under the balls of the feet, hands on top of a 12 inch stable bench or countertop. Hands are shoulder-width apart, back flat, the majority of the body weight on the stable surface, keeping a strong core contraction. Slide the feet out and in as though you are climbing a mountain - avoid sitting "down" into the knees, keep feet light and moving quickly - cardio
  • Station #8 - Pull Ups - Latissimus Dorsi - pull up bar, TRX, or Smith Machine can be used or you can perform a bent over lat row instead with one moderate-heavy dumbbell instead.
  • Station #9 - Modified or full pushups - perform from a stable elevated surface for one modified version, or with knees down for another if you are unable to perform full pushups properly and safely.
  • Station #10 - Bench Press - stability ball - moderate/heavy dumbbells - Lying supine with the head on the stability ball, form a glute bridge with the lower body, place the arms in a 90 degree angle with the arc movement over the chest as you press up and back to 90 degrees of flexion on the return.
  • Station #11 - Supine hip extension - stability ball - Lying supine on the floor with the heels on top of the stability ball with the ball right up against your buttocks. Driving your heels into the ball, keeping the ball stable, extend the hips by lifting the buttocks toward the ceiling without hyperextending the lumbar spine, then lower back toward the floor without touching the floor.

Abdominals/Core Segment: 10-15 minutes

  • Kneeling Roll Outs - stability ball - 8-12 repetitions
  • Prone Roll Outs - stability ball - 8 repetitions
  • Supine Roll Ups - stability ball - 8 repetitions
  • Supine Roll Ups with rotations - stability ball - 8 repetitions each side
  • Prone Spinal Extension - stability ball - 8 repetitions

Cool-down stretch/flexibility segment: 10-15 minutes

  • Supine hamstrings, hip abductors/adductors and low back stretches
  • Kneeling cat/cow postures
  • Kneeling quadriceps with chest/anterior shoulder stretch
  • Standing triceps/deltoids/biceps/upper-mid-back stretch
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