Here is your second installment of SSMtHYLMAFB. As I mentioned before, I love writing these posts since I can get more information to you in an abbreviated format. I received some emails last week saying the best part was the videos and I don’t like to disappoint so here goes:
1. Just move instead of doing a traditional warm-up.
Most people fall into one of two camps: no warm-up (treadmill walking) or long foam rolling, stretching, activation, and calisthenic drills. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the latter and most people need it but for those who spend 12-14hrs sitting really just need to move….as much as possible and in as many different ways as possible.
Still foam roll. Chances are you could improve tissue quality. But instead of stretching or hanging out on a treadmill for 10 minutes do things like rolling, crawling, squatting, skipping, shuffling and using your body in as many different ways as possible. Combine movements and make it flow, maybe the yogis are on to something.
Here are a few patterns to get you started:
Complexes are good too:
2. Practice bottoms-up.
No, I don’t mean with your favorite adult beverage. I’m talking about bottoms up kettlebell exercises where you basically just hold the bell upside down. This reinforces total body stability from your wrist all the way down to your core due to the combination of grip and shoulder strength as well as the necessary stability required. They are great for EVERYONE but especially those with shoulder problems as they force you to lift less weight (believe me, they are still extremely challenging). It is also a great way to impress your friends. Here are some videos to get you started:
3. Don’t miss reps.
For most people’s intents and purposes (fitness and fat loss) there is no reason to constantly miss reps or struggle through the end of a set of an exercise. If you’re doing a set of 10 push-ups and technique is breaking down (read: it looks like your having a stroke) at rep 4 then what do you think the rest will look like? You aren’t doing yourself any favors by making it more difficult and are more often than not stalling your progress. Not only that but you are increasing your risk of injury.
This goes for ANY exercise but using push-ups as an example, just do what you can for your level. You can either lighten the weight so you can complete the set with pretty good form or choose an easier variation. Either way, you will move and feel better because of it. Here are two easier push-up variations:
Band assisted Pushups:
4. Have protein and fat for breakfast instead of carbs.
It is popular belief that you need to eat a ‘balanced’ breakfast with carbs and a little protein for breakfast. This is probably due to being brainwashed as a child and watching endless commercials from Post, General Mills and Kelloggs.
The truth is, our bodies predominantly use our carb intake from the night before and most people aren’t active enough to constitute consuming more carbs at breakfast. Not only that but chances are you will consume more than enough carbs throughout the rest of the day to easily sustain your energy levels.
On the other hand, most people don’t get enough protein and healthy fat throughout the day so why not start with the first meal of the day? My top 3 breakfast choices are eggs (done any style) with veggies, meat and veggies (sometimes with nuts….steak and peanut butter is amazing. Don’t hate.), or just a plain old protein shake with chia seeds.
Today, for instance, I made Lindsay and myself ginormous smoked salmon, goat cheese, and spinach omelettes with a side of bacon (which I burnt today, sad face). Have I mentioned how much I love Sundays?
This is fairly consistent with the diets of most health and fitness professionals who are predominantly lean. Just sayin’.
5. Do your ‘core’ exercises first or at the end of the warm-up.
One programming technique I have been using more and more with my beginner and intermediate clients is doing all the core stuff first. I’m not sure where I stole this gem from but it has been a huge success in teaching great technique for everything from planks to get-ups.
I think this is due having more body awareness at the beginning of a work-out before doing any strength or metabolic work. As simple as the concept is, it is possible to do a plank or side plank wrong.