Reduce Your Risk of Hamstring Muscle Pulls With This Bodyweight Exercise

Jan Ekstrand thinks every hamstring injury is preventable. “All of them?” I asked him during a Skype conversation last week. “Yeah, I think so,” he replied.

Source: Soccer Hamstring Injuries Are Up, But Preventing Them Is Complicated

If you don’t have someone to hold your feet, you can do these with a lat pulldown machine, too. Just face the opposite way and put your feet where your thighs usually go.  But know that your hamstrings will likely be really sore after the first time you try the exercise, reducing your ability to walk the day after.

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The Best Cheap or Free Places to Get a Great Workout

If paying for a standard gym membership just doesn’t fit your budget, there are plenty of low-cost, or even free, options that offer effective ways to work out. From public or non-profit fitness centers to bodyweight exercises in the playground, you can get a great workout without the membership fees.

Source: The Best Cheap or Free Places to Get a Great Workout

Too self-conscious for the gym?  Don’t be, there are always people more ridiculous than you at the gym. Such as the dudes that wear air depriving masks and look like Bane. Or the people that twerk during cycle classes…

Test Your Basic Mobility and Core Strength with These Seven Moves

Find out with this quick and easy at-home test based on the Thrive assessment originally developed by Gray Cook, cocreator of the Functional Movement Screen. Our word of warning: Prepare to be humbled.

Source: How Old Is Your Body Really? Find Out in 7 Moves

Reminder/Disclaimer:

  • This is a test, not showing how to do the exercises
  • See that red dot/thumbs down? That’s saying “This ain’t how we do it”

Here’s the rundown in yoga postures:

  1. Utkatasana: Chair/Fierce pose
  2. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana: Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose
  3. Supta Padangusthasana: Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe pose
  4. Chakravakasana: Sunbird pose, bringing the elbow to knee on exhale
  5. Virabhadrasana I: Warrior 1 pose
  6. Pushup 🙂
  7. Ardha Matsyendrasana: Half Twist pose

Amp Up Your Bodyweight Workout With These Suspension Exercises

The Periodic Table of Suspended Bodyweight exercises is arranged by difficulty vertically.  At the top are the easiest TRX exercises.  As you move further down the table, the exercises become progressively more difficult.  The suspension exercises on the bottom are very difficult and require elite strength and fitness to master.

Source: Periodic Table of Suspension Exercises

Be aware that you don’t have to pay $200 for a TRX when there are so many DIY options on the interwebs.

Get Serious About Strength and Balance With One-Legged Squats

Lots of people seem to disregard the effectiveness of calisthenics arguing that it’s not good enough for lower body development.

However, as I have talked in another post there are lots of calisthenics exercises to challenge your lower body.

In this article, I am going to cover one of the most famous calisthenics leg exercises, the pistol squat.

Source: The Definite Guide to the Pistol Squat

I haven’t seen any yoga postures that are identical to the pistol squat, but there’s stuff that’s close.  The legs for Eagle posture for a start, but the balancing foot posture that I can’t remember or find the name of is really close to the pistol squat.

Either way, the page is very comprehensive about how to work up to the pistol squat if you aren’t there already.

These Bodyweight Exercises Help You Get Fit and Only Require a Door

The great thing about bodyweight training is that it requires little to no equipment so you can do it anytime, anywhere. The exceptions to the rule are with rows and pull-ups which require something sturdy and stable to hold onto.

Source: Bar-free options for rows and pull-ups

…then you realize a used TRX/suspension trainer is cheaper than buying a new door/repairing anything related to the door. It’s also a much better workout that gives you progressions. I would not recommend the door pullups unless you know how the door is made – you might break your neck.

Trying to save money? Look up “DIY TRX” or “DIY suspension trainer”. They’re hard to mess up and super sturdy. Usually car towing straps are involved.

How to Know When to Move Onto Heavier Weights In the Gym

So you’ve been hitting the gym, taking classes, or doing bodyweight workouts for a while now, and suddenly you’re not seeing any more changes in your body. Your muscles aren’t growing, and a lot of the moves you’ve been doing seem easy now.

The likely culprit: You’ve hit a plateau because you’re not lifting enough weight. Maybe you grab the three-pound weights you use in barre class to do curls while weight training, when you could easily lift 10-pounders. Or maybe you’ve been going to strength training classes for six weeks, but you’re still picking up the same dumbbells.

Source: Here’s How to Tell When You Should Lift Heavier Weights

Best to first limit the weight by form (inability to maintain good form means you need to decrease weight/reps and fix the form). Then, given you have a spotter for more dangerous movements – every set is completed for failure (such that your last rep is the last possible with good form – this takes time and training to assess). The target number of reps in each set is dependent on training goals (strength, power, hypertrophy, endurance), and when the completed reps exceed the target reps, it’s an indication to increase load (ergo the weight).

These Bodyweight Exercises Push You Beyond Push-Ups

Becoming a master of cool bodyweight exercises takes years of dedicated and specialized practice, but everyone has to start somewhere. In this article, I’ll teach you two great skills to get you started on your journey toward learning advanced bodyweight and gymnastics movements.

Source: Move Like a Ninja: A Beginner’s Guide to Bodyweight Skills

Sure, I come across this while still healing from a broken rib…

Leg scales.  I can’t remember (if I even knew) the yoga posture, but I know I’ve done the advanced version in yoga class.  No pulsing to lift/lower the leg however.  The back scale?  The advanced version I know as “airplane”.  Front-to-back?  I think an instructor has subjected me to this once or twice…

Yep, Peacock/Mayurasana…  I’m hoping this will help with the legs portion of the planche.  The arms part is easy, once you get the anchoring right.

Are Bodyweight Exercises (Yoga/Pilates) Effective?

While the process of building muscle at a cellular level is complicated to say the least, at the practical level, it’s quite simple.

…Building muscle can be simplified into one simple concept: increase the weight, repetitions (also known as “reps”), or volume that you can do in a given exercise. This concept is known as ” progressive overload.” The result is an increase in muscle size—a process known as muscular hypertrophy.

…What about heavier folks who are worried that they can’t perform bodyweight exercises? That can be solved by finding versions of exercises that you can do, such as kneeling push-ups or wall push-ups instead of regular push-ups. Don’t beat yourself up if you use an easier version of an exercise. What truly matters is improvements week over week.

Source: Are Bodyweight Exercises Effective?

What the article doesn’t discuss is oversight – having an instructor of some fashion monitoring, giving you feedback, and correcting where necessary.  This is why though you can practice yoga on your own, I don’t recommend it.  I’ve seen too many cases of chest facing forwards, but the hips are at 45 degrees.  Or in foot position in warrior postures…  It also takes a lot of self discipline to practice on your own – making time and thinking up lesson plans.

There is no best program, diet, or exercise. When it comes to fitness and health, everything is contextual and depends on the individual. Done correctly, bodyweight training will build muscle, but definitely consider your time, budget, and goals when selecting the program that’s right for you.