Keeping exercise simple

 

Do you remember the scene from The Matrix when Samuel. L. Jackson told Keanu Reeves he would show him just “how deep the rabbit-hole goes”?

Sometimes a personal trainer has to be like Jackson.

matrix

At your own risk

On the surface, exercise is simple. You strap on a pair of shoes and run. You grab a dumbbell and do a few curls.

However, as you go further down the rabbit hole, exercise becomes more and more complex.  Supersets, giant sets, circuits, mobility, core stability, breathing and metabolic training. Confused yet?

Exercise terminology is complicated and the methods are numerous.

Exercise can be overwhelming for the general population looking to get fit and healthy. It’s not a lack of information that’s stopping them, its information overload. Paralysis by analysis.  The rabbit hole just looks too deep.

So where do you start?

You start by keeping it simple.

A great coach named Dan John has broken down exercise into 6 movements which are

  1. Squat
  2. Push
  3. Pull
  4. Hinge
  5. Carrying something heavy
  6. Groundwork

Although there are many other exercise movements, these are a great place to start.

I’m assuming you’re at different places in your fitness journey, so I’m breaking the first 4 movements above into beginner (you’re new to weight training), level 2 and level 3 exercises.

For the carry part, you’re on your own

1. Squat

 

Beginner- Stability ball squat ( add weight if necessary)

 

Level 2 – The body weight squat

 

Level 3 – The Goblet squat

 

 

2. Push

 

Beginner – Incline push up (Use a height where you’re able to do 8-12 reps)

 

Level 2 Dumbbell bench press

 

Level 3 – Push up

 

 

 

3. Pull

 

Beginner- Standing single arm cable row

 

Level 2- Kneeling Lat Pull-down

 

Level 3 – Inverted row

 

4. The Hinge

 

Beginner- Swiss ball hip extension

 

Level 2- The Stick

 

Level 3- Dumbbell Romanian deadlift

 

5. The farmer’s walk

 

 

6.  Groundwork (include in your warm up)

 

Crawling

 

Rocking

 

Rolling

 

For example, a beginner circuit would look like this.

  1. Stability ball squat
  2. Incline push up
  3. Single arm cable row
  4. Swiss ball hip extension
  5. Farmers carry

Instructions

 

Be honest on where you are in your fitness journey and choose the appropriate level of exercise for you. Try to keep on the same level for exercises 1-4.

For the carry, choose a weight that allows you to do the distance specified and use some of the groundwork moves in your warm up before get after it.

You will do the exercises as a circuit (one exercise after the other with little or no rest in-between) 1-5 (in order), then resting and repeating for a specified amount of circuits.

You will train 3 times a week, and you’ll rest 48 hours in between trainings.

What is your goal?

 

You’ll start by sticking to one goal. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen people make is chasing too many goals simultaneously.  You’re more likely to have success if your stick to one goal, so decide if your goal is

  1. Fat loss
  2. Lean muscle gain
  3.  Getting back into shape

So take a moment to decide before you read on. This has a huge bearing on which style of training you will choose below.

Putting it all together

 

1. Fat loss

 

Day 1– Complete 8 reps (select a weight that allows you to do 8 reps) of each exercise 1-4 in the circuit fashion explained above. If doing the standing single arm row, do 8 reps on each side. For farmer’s walk do 20 yards and then walk back for 20 yards for a total of 40 yards.

Each set will take you 1 minute to complete and each circuit 5 min to finish. Do a total of 4 circuits in 20 minutes.

Day 2 – Choose a lighter weight (when using resistance) than day one. Do as many reps of each exercise 1-4 as you can in 30 seconds (single arm row do 30 sec on both arms) and do the farmer’s walk for 30 sec total.  Rest for 30 seconds at the end of each exercise.

Again each circuit will take you 5-6 minutes. Rest 60- 90 seconds at the end of each circuit. Do a total of 3 circuits.

Day 3 – Do 15 reps of each exercise 1-4 in a circuit fashion. For the farmer’s walk, do 20 yards there and back for a total of 40 yards. Rest as little as possible between exercises and rest 60 seconds at the end of each circuit. Do a total of 3 circuits.

2. Muscle

 

Day 1 – Do 6 reps of exercises 1-4 with a weight (heavier than usual) that allows you complete each rep. The farmer’s walk do 20 yards there and back for a total of 40 yards. Rest as little as possible between exercises and 60- 90 seconds at the end of each circuit. Do 4 circuits.

Day 2 – Do 10 reps of exercises 1-4 with a weight (5-10 pounds lighter than day 1) that allows you to complete each rep. For the farmer’s walk, do 20 yards there and back for a total of 40 yards. Rest as little as possible between exercises and 60- 90 seconds at the end of each circuit. Do 3 circuits.

Day 3- Do 15 reps of exercises 1-4 with a weight (5 pounds lighter or the same weight as day 2) that allows you to complete each reps. For the farmer’s walk, do 30 yards there and back for a total of 60 yards. Rest a little as possible between exercises and 60-90 seconds at the end of each circuit. Do 3 circuits.

3. Getting back into shape (perfect for those just starting out)

 

Day 1- Do 15 reps of exercises 1-4 with a weight that allows you to complete each rep. For the standing single arm cable row, do 15 reps on each arm. For the farmer’s walk, do a total of 20 yards. Do 2 circuits, resting as much as you need between exercises and circuits.

Day 2- Do 12 reps of exercises 1-4 with a weight (5 pounds heavier than day 1) that allows you to complete each rep. For the standing single arm cable row, do 12 reps on each arm. For the farmer’s walk, do a total of 30 yards. Do 2 circuits, resting as much as you need between exercises and circuits.

Day 3- Do 10 reps of exercises 1-4 with a weight (same weight as day 2) that allows you to complete each rep. For the standing single arm cable row, do 10 on each arm. For the farmer’s walk, do a total of 40 yards. Do 3 circuits, resting as much as you need between exercises and circuits.

Wrapping up

 

Do this training for 6 weeks in total. If you need more than 48 hours to recover between trainings, take it. When the current level of an exercise becomes easier, go up a level. When the weight becomes less challenging, go up by 5 pounds. Don’t hold yourself back.

Keep this simple and the results will come.

Any questions or need you need help with your exercise programming? Contact me here. No question to great or small.

Is online personal training for you?

coach

Credit- steptucson.com

Personal training is often viewed as a luxury. The buff guy /attractive female trainer taking care of their wealthy client is a cliché sometimes portrayed on television and other mainstream media. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

Rising health care costs and the obesity epidemic, combined with affordable gym memberships, have led to a rise in everyday people hiring personal trainers. For example, people who

  • Want or need to lose fat
  • Are in pain/injured and cannot afford physical therapy/rehab
  • Are looking to remain active in their retirement years

However, after a while personal training can become expensive. On top of finding time to exercise due to the demands of work, family and the occasional sickness, exercise can get pushed to the bottom the to-do list.

Also, if money needs to be trimmed from the budget, personal training costs can be the first to go. Does any of this sound like you?

If you want the expertise a trainer provides but cannot afford the price tag then online personal training  can be a solution to those problems. Other advantages of online training are:

  • Reduced price but not a reduced service
  • Training on your own schedule, whenever and wherever you please
  • Individualized exercise programming
  • Accountability and motivation
  • Taking the confusion out of your training in this era of information overload

Having a coach in your corner can take your training and results to the next level.  A personal coach working just for you is something you need to experience because it’s very empowering.  If you’re the type of person who

  • Knows his or her way around a gym
  • Is reasonably tech savvy
  • Likes being told what to do
  • Has a busy work schedule
  • Wants results yesterday

Then online training is the right fit for you. It just so happens that Balance Guy Training loves online training and my website can be found right here.  If you’re interested in online training, you can contact me through my website or  here

Your results are just a click away.

How to improve your posture

My posture use to suck.

However, nobody one tells you that your posture is bad – not your coworkers, your local GP or even your chiropractor.  It’s like having a booger up your nose that no one tells you about. People stop, stare and snicker instead.

Only a true friend will tell you, “Hey, you’ve got a booger up your nose!”

Lucky for me, I was set straight by a few friends and now I have much better posture.

But what leads to poor posture?

We live in a look down society. We look down at our smart phones, tablets and computers. We also sit too much and move too little, which is a recipe for disaster when it comes to our upper back strength and posture.

 

Don’t be this lady.

For every inch our ears are forward from our shoulders (forward head posture) you increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds. (Kapandji, Physiology of Joints, Vol. 3)

This is bad stuff indeed. It can lead to the muscles of the upper back getting weak and inhibited. Further down the track this can lead to rounded shoulders and ape-like posture.

apes

Upper back strength also plays a huge role in the big lifts such as squats, deadlifts, chin ups and even the bench press, so this is a big deal for hardcore gym goers as well.

So how do you go about building upper back strength and improving posture?

Exercises like bent over rowschest supported rows, Lat pulldowns and pull ups all work great. Doing twice as many of these as pressing exercises is a must for healthy shoulders and good posture.

In addition, consider the following two exercises. Not only do they build upper back strength, the KB rack walk will challenge your core and lungs.

1. KETTLEBELL RACK WALK

Kettlebells are not just for swinging. Holding the bells in the rack position correctly takes a fair amount of upper back and anterior core strength.

Walking with the kettlebells racked only adds to the excitement.

 

Training suggestions

Pair this with any movement were the upper back takes a prominent role.

For example:

1A. Bench press, any pulling variation or back squats

1B. Kettlebell rack walk 40 yards.

Or try this little finisher.

Kettlebell rack walk 40 yards.

Do one walk every minute on the minute.  If one walk takes you 40 seconds, rest 20 seconds before you start your next walk. You can unrack the kettlebells if desired or keep them racked for an extra challenge.

Do five-ten walks or until your upper back is screaming at you.

2. High rep band pull-aparts. 

Be warned that these don’t tickle, but pull- aparts directly work the muscles in your upper back as well as your rotator cuff and posterior deltoid.

When done for high reps, this helps improve your muscular endurance (important for posture and holding your head up) and provides nice little muscle pump for your shoulders.

Who isn’t up for that?

 

Training suggestions 

On your off days, try to get in 100 reps in a day, doing at least 20 reps at one time. As you get more proficient, do less sets and more reps.

On your training days, this makes for a nice filler exercise while resting between sets on your big strength movement for the day. For example:

1A. Bench press, squat, deadlift or pull up

1B. Band pull a parts 20- 30 reps.

 

WRAPPING UP

Showing some love to the muscles you cannot see will help improve your posture and lead to a better looking and performing body.

Who doesn’t want that?

Need help with your posture or exercise routine? Contact me right here

 

Get a grip

get-a-grip

We all need a better grip

Your everyday life requires grip strength and endurance. Think about it, how often do you

Pick up something from the ground or overhead and then carry it?

Carry in groceries from the car?

Open a new jar?

Rip open a cardboard box or a packet of your favorite indulgence?

It goes without saying the lifting barbells and dumbbells also require high levels of grip strength. At times it can be the number one limiting factor. You can either grip it or you can’t.

So doesn’t it make sense to train such a vital skill? Hopefully your answer is yes.

1. FARMERS WALK 

Picking up a heavy weight and walking with it sounds simple enough but it’s a real challenge. This full body exercise not only trains your grip but works on your cardiovascular fitness and mental toughness.

This underrated exercise always deserves a prime time spot in your exercise routine.

 

Training suggestions 

Pairing this with an exercise that doesn’t require a ton of grip strength is ideal. For example:

1A. Bench press, squat, shoulder press or hip thrust.

1B. Dumbbell farmers walk- 40 yards.

 

Or you can include this in a core training superset. For example:

1A. Side plank or Front plank variations 30- 60 seconds

1B. Dumbbell farmers walk 40 yards.

After this, opening a jar will be no big deal.

 

2. PLATE PINCH 

 

Did you know we have 34 muscles that move our fingers and thumb? That’s a lot of muscles to neglect.

Our fingers can be incredibly strong – strong enough for some people to climb mountains, while supporting their entire weight at times by a few fingertips.

We give all our other body parts some love (hello, biceps), so why not our fingers?

Training suggestions 

Save this exercise for the end of your training, when you’re looking for some extra bicep work. If your biceps/forearms look anything like mine, do this tri-set two to three times per week.

1A. Dumbbell biceps hammer curl 15- 20 reps

1B. Barbell wrist curls 15-20 reps

1C. Plate pinch (with 5-10 pound plates) to failure on both sides

Repeat this circuit three times with minimal rest in between exercises.

 

 

Wrapping up

Grip strength plays a big role in our everyday lives so it makes perfect sense to train this in the gym. If you’re lucky, you’ll start to get a better handle on things also.

Control your snacking urges and get results!

NOTE-  I have a special guest post from Josh Anderson head honcho at DIY Active. Nutrition isn’t my strong point so I called in the experts. Enjoy and let me know what you think.  Take it away Josh.

Everyone loves a good snack; it hits the spot but also appeases your sweet tooth. In fact, Americans love snacking so much that we eat over 600 calories worth of snacks a day.

That is exactly what makes snacking one of the hardest parts of nutrition for people to control. Not only do we have a hard time controlling what we eat, but we also have a hard time controlling how much we eat!

Snacking urges suck!

Let’s face it, we all love snacking. As I’ve said before, we can’t rid our diets of the things we love or they will never be sustainable. Snacking must be included in our diet but let’s take it under control!

I decided to take a backseat for this article and ask a panel of other fitness professionals from all over the United States how they recommend controlling snacking urges and what exactly they snack on. It’s time for the expert panel to weigh in!

Control Your Blood Sugar

Time and time again the experts agreed that one of the biggest culprits for these snacking urges comes from swings in our blood sugar.

Jeffery Rowe operator of Core Physique Personal Training & Nutrition Studio and an ISSA certified personal trainer said,

When someone is having frequent sugar cravings, it usually means that they have significant swings in their blood sugar levels, because of the ingestion of refined carbs, & the ensuing large surge of insulin that this creates. This insulin not only “mops” up the sugar you just consumed, but also depletes too much of your normal blood sugar levels. This is when you get the craving.”

Jeffery goes on to say that one way to fight the blood sugar swings is to eat plenty of fiber in your diet.

Fiber helps stabilize your blood sugar so that it won’t swing so dramatically, which leads to cravings. Over the course of a day, you should be getting at least 25 grams of fiber in your meals and snacks.

Likewise, when it comes to controlling your blood sugar, Jasmine Jafferali a lifestyle and wellness consultant and the creator of the Snack Smart Solutions Snack App had this to say.

One way to control snacking urges is to make sure each snack has enough protein, to help stabilize blood sugars, fiber to aid and slow digestion and good fats to help make you feel satisfied. The same goes for each meal we consume. Americans over snack by 600 calories per day because they are not doing this important part of eating and snacking throughout the day.”

Outsmart Food Cravings

When those snacking urges hit all you can think about is crushing a box of double stuffed Oreos. You literally cannot think of anything else so you end up going “just for one”… 50 cookies later the box is gone. One way to battle this to take your mind off of these snacking urges.

Rene Ficek is a Registered Dietitian who is also the Lead Nutrition Expert at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating (SSHE) says to outsmart your food cravings by picking up a phone and calling a friend or working on a hobby to take your mind off of that craving.

Soon enough, you will forget whatever it was you were craving. It’s also important to keep a craving journal. Note the time of day your craving appeared, how long it lasted, the food you craved, and how you handled the situation. You’ll start noticing patterns so you can be better prepared to handle cravings in the future.”

Any Snacking Recommendations?

It never hurts to have as many healthy snacking options available that you can use to battle your urges and surprise your taste buds! Here are some great ones:

Jeffery Rowe recommends, “A handful of mixed nuts (walnuts, almonds, & cashews) with a piece of fruit. Yes, fruits have sugar in them, but they also have fiber, which decreases their glycemic load.”

Jasmine Jafferali recommends fruit paired with protein or good fat to fight blood sugar swings. Likewise, to stave off those 2-3 pm urges and make it until supper she recommends,

Greek Yogurt mixed with some applesauce and a sprinkle of cinnamon is nice as cinnamon has been shown to help stabilize blood sugars and apples actually can boost your energy naturally without grabbing that cup of coffee.”

Dr. Shilpi Agarwal a board-certified Family Medicine and Integrative Medicine physician in Los Angeles recommends either a precut (so you don’t overeat) dark chocolate bar to fend off the sweet cravings or hot tea. Dr. Agarwal says,

Hot [tea] is my preference, but teas come in so many flavors that are sweet and take some time to drink so they are a good way to fight snack cravings.”

Bobby Kleinau a certified personal trainer and a certified nutrition counselor (America Association of Drugless Practitioners) recommends drinking more water daily. He recommends to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water a day! He also gives us his go-to food to battle cravings.

I take a table-spoon of unsalted almond butter and drizzle it with raw honey.” This is an amazing alternative to cookies, cakes, pastries, etc and one you can feel good about (as in everything, knowing when to stop is key).

Rene Ficek urges everyone to consume snacks that have a good protein and fiber content to help fill you up and keep you full. Several great snacks are:

* A hard-boiled egg with a half cup of fresh fruit
* Yogurt parfait with fruit and granola
* One cup of baby carrots with two tablespoons of hummus
* Half cup of high-fiber cereal with skim milk
* A handful of almonds and dried pineapple

Wrap-Up

The ability to control your snacking urges through controlling your blood sugar levels is very important. I always recommend eating fruit for snacks because of its high fiber content, it’s sweet, and it’s convenient but it might be helpful to pair that with a handful of nuts as well or some other form of good fat and protein (i.e. protein bar).

Try some of these awesome snacks that mix a combination of fiber, good fats, protein, and even carbs for sustained energy and you can quench your snacking urges. In the end it’s only you against yourself…and you already know your weaknesses!

Plan ahead and outsmart your urges and you will have no problem in the snacking battle!

 

Author Bio

BioPic

Josh (M.S., PT) is the founder and editor of DIY Active. He enjoys blending the latest science with health practices to help you exercise smarter. He enjoys providing as much free content as possible to help you get fitness results at home!

 

5 traits for long term fitness success

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. –Sir Winston Churchill

We fail. We fall down and people laugh at us. And if someone has a video camera handy, these failures can end up on America’s Funniest Home videos, so we can all have a good laugh.

Who doesn’t love that show?

AFHV

What could possibility go wrong?

Fitness is a life long journey which is full of twists, turns, bumps, failures and victories. Fitness is definitely not about the fastest person to lose 20 pounds or winning some sort of twisted weight loss competition.

There is no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow but the payoffs for your quality of life are massive.  Having or developing a couple of the following traits will keep you on the fitness straight and narrow and your trek more enjoyable and worthwhile.

1. Set goals

If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit everything. With most things worthwhile, it helps to set goals. When motivation wanes, you’ll need goals to hang your hat on, or you’ll never get out of bed because hitting the snooze button is so much easier.

The process of setting goals is an entire post in itself. However, using the S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound) goal setting method is quick, easy and a good place for you to start.

Then writing this down and keeping it someplace prominent will act as a great reminder on why you’re busting your butt. To give you an idea, I will use myself as an example.

Specific- I want to deadlift twice my bodyweight, that’s 360 pounds.

Measurable- I will record how much I lift each week to see if I’m making progress.

Achievable- Is my goal to hard or too easy? My current max is 315 pounds and a 45 pound increase is achievable.

Realistic- 45 pound increase isn’t a massive jump and by deadlifting twice per week, I plan to make this happen.

Time bound- I’ll test my 1 RM by December 31, 2016

Now it’s your turn.

2. Grit

grit

This world doesn’t owe you a thing. You come into this world with nothing and you’ll leave with nothing. What you do with your life in between is entirely up to you.

Whether you want to run a marathon, deadlift twice your body weight or even become a professional athlete, you’re going have to put in the hard, uncomfortable yards.

You’re going to face difficulties, you’re going to fail and you may even feel like quitting along the way. However, if you acknowledge this, you face these obstacles head on and you want it more than breathing itself, you’ll never fail.  That’s grit, baby.

3. Fun factor

Think back to your childhood when you ran, skipped, rode bikes and played all types of games with your friends. Take your time, I’ll wait.

Did this feel like exercise? Did this feel like torture by treadmill? Of course it didn’t because you were having too much fun to think about your sweat, elevated heart rate and calorie burn.

When movement is fun, you’re more likely to do it and when it feels like punishment, you don’t. Sounds simple doesn’t it? That’s because it is.

Inserting some “fun factor” into your regular routine like playing a sport, dancing or whatever interests you will make exercise more enjoyable. Life is already full of stuff that we have to do and exercise shouldn’t be one of those things.

4. Perspective

Life comes at you a million miles per hour and there will be plenty of excuses for you to stop making exercise a priority. However, I want you to remember that someone will always have it tougher than you.

That guy in the wheelchair who is paralyzed from the waist down would love to get up and go for a walk. Please keep that in mind when you come up with another excuse not to get up off your butt and move. Just strap on some shoes and go for a walk.

It’s that easy.

5. Consistency

There are going to be times when you’re either too busy, too tired, injured or when you just don’t give a crap about going to the gym. Exercise slips down on the list of priorities and the scale becomes your enemy.

Rather than going down this slippery slope just aim to do a little movement each day. All movement is good movement and it all counts. Exercise doesn’t always need to be formal or intense.

Strap on some shoes, catch up on housework, stretch or do something fun. Doing 10 minutes of movement has great health benefits for your body and state of mind. You do have 10 minutes right?

Wrapping up

 We all fall, but it’s not a matter of falling, it’s more a matter of you getting back up. Having one (or all 5) of the traits listed will ensure you’ll get back up and get back on a successful and enjoyable journey towards good health.

 

 

 

Variety is the spice of fitness

Going to the gym and doing the same old thing day in day out gets boring quickly. Then further down the track, it starts to get harder and harder to drag yourself out of bed each morning when the results that came so easily at the beginning have now stopped.

You may even think about cutting back or even quitting the gym all together.

i quit

Does any of this sound familiar?

The majority of your gym time should be spent performing fundamental human movements. These will get you strong and get you most of the results you desire. However, you also need a little wiggle room to spice up your exercise when you’ve either plateaued or gotten bored.

This is when variety is your best friend because this could be the difference between you quitting or smashing your goals.

Use the following exercises like chili pepper in a stew because you all know what happens when you put too much chili in.

1. Have a ball

 

Medicine balls are found at most gyms hidden in the corner, dirty and misused Gym goers usually use them for core work but the real magic starts when you throw those suckers and make noise.

med ball

Your pulse quickens, the sweat beads on your forehead and that bad mood that you came in with slowly disappears. That’s power training, baby. Power training develops a muscle/muscle group’s ability to contract at maximum force in minimal time.

For example, think of throwing a baseball at 100 mph or driving a ball 300 yards down the middle of the fairway.

And in elderly males, maximal anaerobic power has been reported to decline 8.3% per decade from age 20 to 70 (Bonnefoy et al. 1998). Which means you either use the power or lose it and I’d rather you use it.

Whether you’re a man or woman, grab a med ball and unleash your inner power with these exercises. After all, who doesn’t like playing ball?

Squat throw

 

Overhead throw

 

Med ball slam

 

Twist throw

 

2. Expand your toolbox

 

 When it comes to fixing a flat tire or needing a plumber to fix your toilet, certain tools work best. For example, you cannot use a plumbing snake to jack up your car. That’s just silly.

tool

However, when it comes to resistance training many different tools will do the same job. Take the rowing exercise, for example. You can do this with either a barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell, cable machine, resistance band or the TRX.

Changing the tools you use for certain exercises will provide a new stimulus to the body and a new challenge for your mind. Here are a few exercises to get your creative juices flowing.

It helps to think outside the dumbbell.

Single arm kettlebell floor press

 

The sled  (1.37 min mark is my favorite sled exercise)

 

The ladder

 

Battle ropes

 

3. Challenge yourself

 

You don’t have to go crazy and sign up for a Spartan race or a Tough Mudder but going outside your comfort zone, no matter how much you like your secure bubble, will help break the monotony of your fitness existence.

I like to challenge myself and my clients to do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds and try to beat it next time. For example

30 second bicep curl AMRAP

 

Overhead triceps ext. AMRAP

 

 

Squats

 

Go as fast as you can with good form, record your reps and beat it next time.

4. Partner games

 

 Numerous studies show that social support from a significant other or meaningful friend is highly associated with exercise adherence (Trost et al. 2002). Combine this with playing games and just imagine how much fun you’ll have.

Next time you’re bored or lacking motivation, enlist a friend and try these games. Who knows, you may even smile and exercise at same time.

 Balloon tennis (not just a kid’s game)

 

This is a great substitute for planks, pushups or shoulder work, and it’s simple and easy to play.

Set up– For your “net” you need three step up risers on either side, a body bar or some space, plus a blown-up balloon.

Rules (you can play fast and loose with these) – Imagine a straight line down from the edge of your risers. That is your boundary.

Now you and your partner assume a pushup position with feet wider than hip width apart and set up within arms distance from the net.

“Serve” the balloon over the net and bat it back and forth over the net until A) The balloon lands out or B) the balloon touches the ground or C) you or your opponent lose the plank position.

All the above results in point. First to 5 points wins.

Who doesn’t love balloons?

 Reaction ball squash

 

If you don’t have a reaction ball you can get one here.

This is great drill to get you moving in all directions quickly while improving your hand to eye coordination.  Play this on the squash or racquetball court.

Set up – The server serves from inside the service box while the receiver stands anywhere within his or her service half.

Rules – Once the ball has been thrown against the far wall and bounced once, it is fair game. If the ball is dropped, missed or has bounced twice, this results in:

  • If the server wins, he wins the point and the right to serve again.
  • If the receiver catches the ball, he wins the right to serve.
  • Only the server wins a point.

The first person to 10 points wins.

If you don’t have a squash/racquetball in your facility, you can do this instead.

 

 

Wrapping up

 

Use one or all of the drills described above to keep you fired up and on the fitness straight narrow. Your body and your results may depend on it.