Hello! It’s Monday and time to mix things up. I have my main group of strictly bodyweight exercises that is the core of my “do anywhere” routine. But at home I do employ a few choice tools: kettlebells, pull-up bar, improvised items (more on this in a sec.) So today I’m bringing you some great resources that mix and match bodyweight exercises with kettlebells and a bag full of sand. (wtf?) Yes that’s right, a bag full of sand.
Bodyweight Workout Legs: Squats & Pistols
Nothing gets your legs burning like a good set of squats… oh except a good set of pistols! Here are a couple of videos demonstrating both exercises. This pistols video starts off with the basic move – which is all you need to get started. But, then it moves into a bunch of variations, some of which are totally insane like doing pistols while standing on top of a kettlebell! As always use good judgement in what you decide to try!
Kettlebells And Sandbag Burpee Workout… Can You Say Ouch?
I love Kettlebells. There is something primal and awesome about the simplicity of the “cannonball with a handle.” An excellent source for all things kettlebell workout related is Girya Girl. Here she gives us a simple but completely butt kicking workout using kettlebell swings and sand bag burpees. Yes, a bag full of sand. You can of course omit the sandbag if you don’t happen to have a bag and some sand available. But be warned. Either way you will hurt after this. If you’re not familiar with either of these exercises the 2nd two links are to some good examples on youtube.
There are a ton of great books on working out with kettlebells. Of course Enter The Kettlebell by Pavel is a great place to start, and he is pretty much responsible for introducing kettlebell workouts to the western world. He’s funny too! One of my favorite Pavel quotes is “Kettlebell swings provide muscular endurance and weight loss with out the indignity of aerobics.” Tough to argue with that! (Psst! If you follow my link above and decide to pickup a great kettlebell book Amazon will toss a few coins into my account, which is always nice!)
I don’t need to tell you that Mondays can be such a buzz kill, especially after a nice relaxing weekend. What with starting the work week, getting kids to school, dealing with the leftover dealings from last week. On the weekend I try to relax a bit, enjoy hanging with the family and working on house projects. A lot of the time my weekend projects are pretty physical and become my workouts.
For instance last weekend I built a fence. Next week I’m hoping to do some brush clearing. Many home maintenance activities more than make a workout. In fact, they are excellent exercises because they incorporate a ton of composite maneuvers in which all kinds of muscle groups are engaged. Even something like replacing a bathroom faucet has you climbing into cabinets and using tools in awkward positions for 20 minutes… or 30 minutes… 2 hours…
But, this weekend was a dud. My plan was to build a deluxe hillside condo for our (soon to be) deluxe flock of chickens. Didn’t happen. I did manage to get to the lumberyard to get the supplies, and drink a couple of beers while unloading. While I do consider that to be successful weekend activity, it did not comprise a ‘workout’. Obviously I wasn’t very slow-carb conscious with my weekend diet. No big deal, just knuckle down on Monday…
Back In The Game
…which is today. So I need to jump back in the game big time today. One thing I like to do when I need a burst of motivation and something to keep me engaged is to try something new, or that I haven’t done in a long time. Today I’m going to change things up with a new (to me) exercise and one I haven’t done in a while: stair jumps, and haul something up a hill.
Haul something up a hill is what it says. Find a longish uphill path – in my case it’s my driveway which is about 40 yards long varying from pretty steep to slight incline – and carry something heavy up it. I’ll be using a 20lb kettlebell but it could be a big rock or a box of magazines or whatever. You don’t want something too heavy though. The idea is just to give your arms something to do so you have to use your core and abdomen more for stabilization as you walk. Given the length of my driveway, I’ll probably do this twice.
These are my tickets out of the ‘Monday after slacking’ doldrums, and I’m going to keep them in my routine all week.
Ok, as far as I can tell by my 2.5 minutes of Googling, I may just be the inventor of this slight variation on one of today’s up and abs builders. Keep in mind that I’m just a guy experimenting with exercise, not a doctor or profesional trainer. Don’t go out and do The Walking Cat Vomit, give yourself a hernia and then blame me. Use common sense and if it feels bad, stop. But what is The Walking Cat Vomit you ask?
Add Movement To The Mix
Doubtless you’ve heard of The Cat Vomit. If not check it out here. So, the Walking Cat Vomit is the same idea of exhaling and pulling your belly button toward your spine while walking. When I do it I can feel the burn extend lower in my abs. I’ve also found that walking up stairs really increases the lower burn. If you think about it this is a pretty natural exercise as you’re moving and flexing muscles in tandem as you would if you were carrying a hunk of mammoth meat back to the cave, or chasing your children with a basket of dirty bear skins.
I’ve also been doing this move randomly when I find myself out walking for any length of time. Yes. I’m a spazz.
Greetings! I’ve recently returned from a bit of a vacation and needed some inspiration to get back in the swing of things. This is a great video from a strength training blogger extraordinaire from across the pond. I’d never heard of Gubernatrix aka Sally Moss before running across this video, but I’m definitely going to be keeping up with her blog now!
She demonstrates a nice variety of bodyweight exercises. Seriously, there is enough to get started and keep going for a long time in these 3 short minutes. There are more than a few moves that I’ve never tried (jumping up stairs anyone?) – and I will be remedying that situation in tomorrows workout!