I've attempted to start an exercise regimen several times in the last 10 years and I've never been able to stick with it.

I'm starting again and after just two sessions I developed an injury that is keeping me out of the gym for a week: I sprained my ankle either doing ankle rotations to loosen it up or when using an exercise strap to do hamstring stretches. On a previous attempt to get a regimen going, I had a dumbbell fall on my chest when doing a chest press and subluxated a rib. Just yesterday I was breaking down boxes for recycling and ended up straining a ligament in my back when pushing or pulling cardboard into the recycling bin.

I'm a skinny guy that lives a sedentary computer geek lifestyle. My body has been very unused for a very long time. Probably every ligament and muscle in my body is weak and prone to injury at this point.

I'm looking for some tips for exercises that can help develop and condition my entire body to be more resilient against these kinds of issues. I don't want to let this injury take the wind out of my nascent exercise sails but if I keep getting injured it's going to be very disheartening and counterproductive. Maybe I should be frontloading some specific exercise that strengthens the entire body at once?

Running? Swimming? Yoga? Some kind of massage? These were the things that jumped to my mind but I'm not sure how to know whether they're what I'm looking for. I'm open to pretty much anything.

Thanks in advance!

  • I gotta ask: how did you have a dumbbell fall on you while bench pressing? Usually, dumbbells are lifted in a way where they're easily dropped at the sides if they're too heavy. Jun 18, 2015 at 3:02
  • I had a personal trainer right behind me ostensibly spotting me. I was doing dumbbell presses on a flat bench. My left (weaker) arm gave out and my elbow folded. The dumbbell came down right on my rib. Yeah, I wasn't too happy with that personal trainer after that.
    – RTN
    Jun 18, 2015 at 3:07
  • 1
    Have you consulted with your doctor to rule out any medical problems? Spraining an ankle doing ankle rotations or with an exercise strap doing hamstring stretches sounds excessive. A physical therapist or physiotherapist might help to evaluate your weaknesses and give you a basic stabilization program. Jun 18, 2015 at 8:05

3 Answers 3


Tips to improve frailty and an easily injured body?

I presume going to the gym is out of the option after that accident involving the dumbbells. So lets start by doing some calisthenics.

Here are some :-

Baristi Workout Beginners Program

Nerd Fitness Beginners Plan

There is more out there then the ones I listed. However, once you are happy with your progress, you can choose to continue / change said routines or start doing strength training. If you intend on starting with strength training either from the start or after you are satisfied with the strength and muscle gain from the bodyweight workout, here are some of them : -

Stronglift 5x5

Starting Strength (Original)

Ice Cream Fitness 5x5

Do note that working out should not be a chore and takes time to progress. Also please eat more that usually do (caloric surplus).


The best way to overcome being fragile is through constant practice. Simply by bearing through painful exercises for a short period of time can build resistance. By gaining more and more resistance, you can endure longer. Never do an exercise that causes pain for extended periods of time. If it hurts, bear a few seconds longer, then rest a few minutes, hours, or even a day. Building this resistance will not happen overnight, but it works. Also, just be cautious to avoid injury, it's the best way not to get injured.


Step Away From the Weights, Sir.

Seriously, if you're injury prone, I will not recommend you near any weights at the moment. Being safe is a whole lot better than being in the hospital for weights-related injuries.

I will recommend bodyweight exercises, yoga or pilates (for balance and stretching purposes), swimming (if available), and cardio exercises such as running, jumping, and biking.

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