Use Resistance Bands for Travel-Friendly Workouts

The struggle to get a good workout when away from a gym (or your home) is real, but toss a few lightweight resistance bands in your go bag, and you can exercise anywhere.

Sure, bodyweight workouts are an awesome option, but add resistance bands to mix, and you have a challenging workout without the gym. Bands come in a variety of colors that each represents a certain thickness, elasticity, and tension, and thus makes it feel like you’re moving some serious weight. There are a few kinds, though I personally like the bands that are closed loops like these ones. They’re simply more versatile than the ones with handles, but both work fine and are compact.

Source: Use Resistance Bands for Travel-Friendly Workouts

The luggage is always packed tight, but I’m sure I could get what is essentially a rubber band in there.

Use The “Arrow Formation” to Improve Your Push-Ups

The push-up is underrated in the strength and conditioning world. Why? Because too many people do it wrong. They often set up with their hand position high and wide. If you took a snapshot from above, their set-up would look like the letter T. People do this to make the exercise easier. Why is this position easier?

Source: Tip: Do This to Make Push-Ups More Effective

I think there are a bunch of different ways you can do push-ups, none of them being “right” (although some are definitely wrong). Which ones you do is more a matter of what muscle groups you want to work than any one specific form being the “right” one.

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

Fix Your Hand Position for Better Push-Ups

The tips also apply to yoga – plank related postures.

According to Mountain Athlete strength and conditioning coach Adam Scott, a perfect push-up can challenge even the fittest athletes when done correctly, but can also be rendered completely useless when done wrong. And a lot of people do them wrong.

These are three most common mistakes Scott and his colleagues see, and their comprehensive guide to correcting them.

Source: You’re Doing Your Push-Ups Wrong

Army form is completely different than what someone would do as a pushup for exercise. The reason a soldier would set their hands wider is because on the Army Physical Fitness Test.   You need to maximize your reps in two minutes, so you’re not looking for effectiveness of the exercise but for the ability to move as little as possible during each rep.  If I can reduce my travel by 4 inches that is 8 inches I save on every rep. Every rep is time. Specially when you’re shoulder blades must break the plane, and your triceps must be parallel to the ground for the rep to count.

I really wish people would research more on the exercises they do, and watch themselves perform using a mirror . I see it all the time with normal push-ups. They scrunch their shoulders, lower themselves three to five inches and count that as one rep… Honestly, if you can’t do one proper normal push-up, you’re too weak. Do push-ups from the knees then. There’s no shame in being weak because everyone starts out like that but there is shame in poor form and not understanding your limits.

Go Barefoot at the Gym to Get More Out of These Exercises

Walk into any drug store, and you’ll find an aisle dedicated to foot problems: inserts, insoles, foam, orthotics, toe spacers, heel liners, arch relief, arthritis relief, blister protection.

They’re supposed to relieve and prevent pain so you can comfortably wear your shoes. But we wouldn’t need the majority of these remedies if it weren’t for shoes in the first place, according to Martin Rooney, P.T., C.S.C.S., chief operating officer of the Parisi Speed School and founder of Training for Warriors.

Source: Go Barefoot at the Gym to Get More Out of These Exercises

  1. If you are worried about actually being barefoot in the gym for dead lifts *and* running afoul of gym rules (pushups and lunges you can do anywhere barefoot), you can try wearing shoes like Vibram Five Finger shoes. This is anecdotal, but I have them, and they work great for that purpose.
  2. If you do a lot of dead lifts, you know it’s generally not something you do after you ran/jumped rope/played basketball and got your feet all sweaty. It’s probably the first thing you did, with your freshly put-on gym clothes. Taking your shoes off for the 15 minutes you spend on that exercise will hurt nothing, except your potentially once-clean socks.
  3. This is an article pointing out something very small for secondary benefits to commonly done exercises. It’s a nice, quick post; however, not worth getting your socks in a knot over it. It’s optional.

I’ve been to gyms where going barefoot is totally acceptable, so it’s not a no-no everywhere. Those who think foot germs are somehow worse than regular dirt and sweat germs are welcome to choose a different gym (or just keep their shoes on, themselves, and refrain from licking the floor).

Impressive!

See for yourself:

Back handspring into a planche

That’s not abs – planche requires an insane amount of deltoid (shoulder) strength, and also bicep strength to prevent the elbows from dislocating.

witty remark

No problem!

Invisible stairs

Not implants

See the tap when he’s at the top?

A more elaborate version of an earlier demonstration

Pfft! Gravity…

It’s difficult to see, but they make up a triangle

I think the kid on top is wearing a dog collar

Last one:

I have a sneaking suspicion that a previous yoga instructor was working us towards planche when doing chaturanga.  Most I’d known teach chaturanga as the downward part of a tricep pushup – think normal pushup, but you keep the elbows in close to the body.  This one teacher had us lean forward to get almost a 45 degree angle between the top of your hand and your forearm.  Coming forward also meant rolling over the toes so you were barely making contact with your feet.  Then, you’d lower yourself and effectively get the 90 degree angle at the elbow in “low plank”.  I miss that instructor – she was really good about challenging us.

Prior to that, I was under the impression from my Ashtanga practice that crow pose (stork is different) is another approach to getting into a planche.  The first step was being able to hang out in the posture, balancing while your knees were on the triceps.  The next step was to straighten one leg, and switch legs.  I guess the third step was to do both legs at once, but I never got that far.  I’ve seen gymnastic videos that suggest much the same thing – having one leg extended at a time but slung in a large rubber band to work up supporting muscle and such.

On one hand, I’d love to spend time practicing.  But between time constraints and the likelihood that this doesn’t build muscle I need, I end up dismissing the idea.  My king pigeon is also pretty close – one side, yes but the other really depends on how the top of my right quad feels.