Sunday, April 8, 2012

Static Pull-up/chin-up

Pull-ups/Chin-ups are a great exercise for the middle/upper/side back, core and biceps but many people avoid them because ... well they're quite difficult for most weekend warriors. So what's the best way to learn? In my humble opinion static pull-ups/chin-ups a great variation for beginners. First place yourself under a pull-up bar (if you don't have a gym membership, you can find such at playgrounds and parks. You can also buy a pull-up bar for your door-frame but... at your own risk as it can damage your wall or make you fall very easily). Then, depending on the height of the bar, jump or use a chair to elevate your body; grab the bar with an overhand grip (underhand grip for chin-ups) and keep your head above the bar as long as you can. Drop and repeat. Do 3-5 reps. Simple isn't it? Well not that easy in the beginning but it's a great way to build strength for "real" pull-ups and chin-ups.

Pros:

  • Works many muscles in the back, upper-body and core.

Cons:

  • You will need a pull-up bar.

Static pull-up

Static Chin up

Saturday, March 3, 2012

POLL: Do you only use bodyweight exercises?

Obviously I'm a strong advocate of bodyweight exercises: many can be done at home, are convenient and work many muscle groups. However I also believe in "diversity" and like to incorporate free weights and other pieces of equipment in my workout routine. What about you dear readers?

Do you only use bodyweight exercises OR bodyweight exercises plus equipment such as free weights, elastic bands, machines.
 
 



  
pollcode.com free polls 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wide Push-ups

The wide push-up is an interesting variant of the classic exercise. It heavily involves the chest while still working the core, triceps and shoulders. Start in a standard push-up position with a wide stance (hands should be placed outside of the shoulder area). Go down in controlled manner then go back up. Do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps.

Pros:
  • Great upper-body workout.
  • Underrated core exercise. 
  • Can be done anywhere.

Cons:
  • None.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Power of Push Ups













Push-ups are not for sissies.Want proof? With a regular stance, you're pressing roughly 60% of your bodyweight at the top position. At the bottom it's about 75%. Don't believe me? Do push-ups on a scale and you'll see. Not so bad considering how much weight you can bench-press.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hindu Push-up

The Hindu push-up is a great upper-body and core exercise. This exercise might seem a bit awkward at first (especially if you're not alone at the gym or at home) but it's definitely worth a try. Start in a push-up stance with your hands and feet close to each other so you form a "V". Go down in a loopy manner (your chest and abs should touch the floor) then go up. Round your back again and repeat. This push-up variant is fairly advanced and requires a bit of training. It will blast your core, shoulders, triceps and chest. Do 3 sets of 8-12 reps.

Pros:
  • Works many muscle groups in the upper-body and core.
Cons:
  • Since your body touches the floor you need a soft surface like a gym or camping mat.

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Knee Push-ups

    Knee Push-ups are an underrated variation of the oh so classic exercise. Assume the standard push-up position then drop on your knees. Go down/up in a controlled manner. This altered version emphasizes less the core and really focuses on the shoulders, triceps and chest. Do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. As with regular push-ups you can change hand positions to work more the chest or triceps. You can also perform it using negative reps to increase the difficulty.

    Pros:
    • Can be done anywhere.
    • Works large muscles in the upper-body.
    Cons:
    • None

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Standing Calf Raise

    The standing calf raise is an isolation exercise that trains an often forgotten muscle group: the back of the lower leg (aka the calf). This one's easy: assume the standard standing position then stand on your toes (keep your legs straight) until you feel the burn (aim for a 5-10 seconds). Do 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps.

    Pros:
    • Can be done anywhere.
    Cons:
    • None.

    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    One Leg-Deadlift

    The one leg-deadlift is a great core and lower body exercise. As a matter of fact, many people aren't aware that the deadlift can be performed without weights (instead of lifting a barbell/dumbbell, you're lifting your leg). Stand up then lower your upper body and raise one leg at the same time (repeat on the other side). You can perform the movement either in a stiff-legged or bended stance. This exercise is fairly advanced and requires good core strength and stability (make sure you do it in a controlled manner). Do four alternating sets of 8-12 reps. If done right, this deadlift variant will work your hamstrings, glutes, calves, quads and entire core.

    Pros:
    • Can be performed anywhere.
    • Works the entire leg and core
    Cons:
    • None.
    1/ Stand up

    2/ Lower upper body and raise leg at the same time