listen to your body, not to your heart rate watch. Move as the whim takes you, not according to a training plan.
A plea for a bold change of perspectiveNo doubt, our body is capable of many things. We can see that in the performances of Tour de France cyclists, Ironman finishers or mountain climbers. Looking at professional athletes or ambitious hobby athletes like these can motivate us in our own training workload. However, it can also make us go beyond the current limit of our body’s performance and motivation. You can often see that in the posture and faces of hobby athletes. Whether it’s a jogger or a road racer in the hot summer sun, or gym rats in the hottest days of summer in the sweaty course room or on the cross trainer. What motivates ambitious sportsmen to accomplish enormous bodily workloads? What makes hobby athletes go beyond what their own motivation? Why can you trust yourself more than heart rate watches, tracking apps, and step counters? How can sport become more fulfilling and fun instead of only being strenuous? And how can you bring more sense and feeling in your movement program with outdoor training like Functional Training? You’ll get the answers here.
I’m not a machine…I’m a human being made from flesh and blood. In his song released in 2016, Tim Bendzko sings about the monotony of functioning. This monotony reigns over many an athlete: rigid training plans that demand to be followed; a dietary change to the next big super food for more power and less body fat; steadily increasing weights and resistances regardless of muscle pain or fatigue; a mindless process of training with one eye on the step counter and MP3 player while your thoughts are concentrated on your dinner. If you also feel like this, then you’re not alone. This is the frustrating reality in almost all gyms worldwide, every day. And more: this is a mindless, qualitative inferior, and ineffective way to train. But don’t feel too bad. I’ve been the same for years. We can observe this development in many social areas, sport is just one of them. The performance society finds its way to the playgroup: which child can do x first? Early intervention in kindergarten, followed by a rigid school program and university or apprenticeship. Burnout, more serious illnesses in younger and younger years or a lack of perspective round out this picture. Functioning as little gears without questioning anything? Or breaking free like Tim Bendzko in the video to the aforementioned song?
Go push yourselfUdo Bölts pushed his then-team captain Jan Ullrich to the Tour de France victory in 1997 with the legendary exclamation ‘torture yourself, you sod’. Functioning is the first priority in professional sports as well. But why? In order to understand this, we need to extend the notion of the human being as a purely physical body with ongoing biochemical processes with his/her thoughts and feelings as well as with his/her intellectuality. These aspects might already be touched by sport psychology and mental training for athletes. Simplonik as a science of simplicity deduces it from natural laws. Everything starts when we are conceived and born as a child. At some point, whether it’s in our mother’s womb or as a baby or in kindergarten, we experience not being accepted as who we are. Maybe it was just because we were crying when the grown-ups had to be focused on something else because they were stressed. Nevertheless, this experience seems threatening. After all, we need a community in order to survive – especially as a child. Now, we start looking for ways to assure recognition. We think the community likes us when we function like they expect us to. With this procedures like these we learn many truths and belief systems in our lifetime. Example: ‘Only when you are fast and strong you’re worth something’. ‘You can only make something of yourself if you assert yourself’. ‘I am only proud of you when jump from the 5 m diving board’. Our individual belief systems are our world view and shape our ambition. Ambition for performance and adaptation which – so we hope – brings attention. The described process can be found in every human. If we don’t understand it, it can become a tragic incentive for never-satisfying strain. Personal records can be achieved in this way but always with the lingering doubt whether they are already good enough or not. Or could it also have been even better? Thus, you torture yourself with lifting ever-increasing weights, climbing higher and higher mountains, always running faster and further. At some point, you don’t even fit through the door with your mountains of muscle. But: a real sense of accomplishment can never be achieved. Instead, the euphoria over a newly accomplished goal is quickly followed by inner emptiness. And the automatic circle of searching for a new goal leads to the compulsion to accomplish new, often even higher, workloads.
I am a human being made of flesh and bloodThe recent developments show that you listen more to the heart rate watches, step counters, and rules of thumb of trendy guidelines than your inner voice. You don’t feel like jogging any further but you have only burned 400 calories yet? Then keep going. You have been doing bench pressing with 110 kg for the last three weeks, so not it’s time for 10 kg more. Even though shoulder is acting up for weeks now. Do you think this has nothing to do with your needs, your inner voice and your feelings towards training? The secret is balance: active and restorative phases should be in balance throughout the day. In the wild, activity has almost always to do with fight or flight and is a mechanism to secure survival. It goes hand in hand with stress. Muscles are contracted for powerful movements. Once survival is guaranteed the organism changes back to relaxation and restoration. Responsible for controlling this balance are the complementary forces, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Life, and with it your movement program and sport, becomes involuntarily difficult as soon as activity predominates. No question: strenuous movements like in training or sport can be accounted to activity. And still, there is an intuitive performance and passion limit. This limit communicates via feelings at first. No motivation, a desire for something different, boredom, or the need for fresh air are only a few examples how our body communicates with us. If we choose to ignore these feelings – and rather listen to our fitness gadgets – our body will change to other signals like muscles acting up, pain or lack of energy. Psyche and body go hand in hand.
Learn the art of movementWith the derivation of motivation for sport in mind, we can understand the true sense of movement: no matter which movement or sport you choose, the true sense only unfolds as soon as you concentrate your focus and feeling on the doing. You are suddenly free from thoughts about what could happen. You only feel true focus on the moment. Your search for recognition moves into the background. Your body is in action and yet relaxed and sensible. Your feelings are open and free. Let’s take an example to clarify this: if e.g. you go up a steep mountain you can either take a sniveling look up at the mountain top and then at your heart rate watch. Or you are so caught up in the action and the moment that you are fully concentrated on every single step. The next step is always the most important one. How can we accomplish this in our movement or sport program? Human beings have five senses. By using them we experience the world. This sounds simple enough and is clear to most people. However, there are impressive example from the gym where we don’t understand this: we spend most of our day inside and for our workouts we go inside as well. Temperatures are almost always nice, we have mastered the art of steady lighting conditions 24 hours a day, and sounds – sometimes even noises – are always present. If the music ng from the gym’s sound system isn’t enough we add music from our MP3 players. Thus, we can divert ourselves from the monotony of our training program by selecting another song every three minutes. This sensory overload is strenuous, our nervous system reacts stressed. The sympathetic nervous system is activated. If we go out into nature and achieve tranquility to appreciate it, however, we experience a bandwidth of seemingly endless sensory perception. And we experience it on a level that is natural and processible for us human beings. The wind in our hair, in our face, and on our skin, the countless color nuances of leaves or the stillness in which we recognize a multitude of bird voices, crickets, and the rain hitting puddles and leaves. Your own life starts to have enormous depth. We live and feel reconnected to nature. We can implement our sport program into this state of being one with nature and the environment. The flexibility of Functional Training with its light and simple equipment or endurance sports make us independent from exterior conditions like opening hours and allow us to train as we feel like in the moment. And when your body demands for a break in the middle of it: grant it one. By accepting your individual performance limit and feeling your desire for movement at maybe completely different hours than normally, you can reach a new fulfilling movement program after some time of reorientation. Sport then becomes a game more and more. Though strenuous in the moment but fulfilling since you don’t think about anything else. Have fun rediscovering your naturalness.
Olympic Lifting – The Resurgence
Olympic weightlifting is a strength discipline that has gained back a lot of its popularity in recent years. In my opinion, the following points are critical for this resurgence:
- Promotional activities of the Functional Training Movement
- You can become very strong
- You can build your muscles up very nicely
- You can become more explosive and faster
- In combination with a supporting diet, the training has a high fat-burning effect
However, the demands on the trainee are a challenge. The training requires a high total body mobility (especially in the hips, shoulders, wrists, and thoracic spine), a high stability and strength as well as very good coordination (body control).
The training is technically and physically very demanding and because of these prerequisites, it’s not suitable for everyone. Often, corrective exercises to improve mobility and intensive technical training must be done for an extended period of time in order to safely deal with significant weights and to avoid overstressing or injuries.
It is said that kettlebell training is the Olympic weightlifting for the “ordinary person”. Kettlebells are easier to handle in comparison to a barbell, are more forgiving when mistakes are made, they stress the joints less, and handling kettlebells can be learned more quickly. The movement patterns can be transferred easily to Olympic weightlifting.
The same applies to sandbags, only the training has many other advantages. Among other things, it has a much higher variety of possible exercises and hand grips, finely-stepped progressions in the exercise execution, and a greater transfer to daily situations due to the instability of the training tool itself.
Sandbags are easier to handle compared to barbells since they are not large and rigid, they do not require very flexible wrists, and the movement sequences can be learned quickly. The transferability to everyday and sports movements is very high since basic movement patterns can be trained in all movement planes and much more demand is placed on the stabilization muscles.
The latter leads to the fact that people who train often with (heavy) sandbags can cope with astonishingly high weight numbers with a barbell because they have developed an extremely high stabilization capability in different joint angles. Conversely, the practice shows again and again that people who train mainly using barbells have noticeably more difficulty in comparison when handling much lighter sandbags.
Another great advantage of sandbag training is the possibility to incorporate rotation and anti-rotation exercises, which makes the training much more versatile and functional. Sandbags are, for me, the most versatile training devices, especially since they can also be used in combination with rubber bands and sling trainers, which again greatly increases the number of exercise possibilities.
The basic movement patterns of Olympic weightlifting can be learned in a more user-friendly way with sandbags.
In summary, it is said that training with sandbags is easier, more gentle, and more versatile than training with barbells and beginners can quickly and securely be introduced to Olympic weight lifting, especially as the important stabilization muscles are more intensively stressed.
Beginners often have difficulties especially with building up the body tension and maintaining it during the exercises. Training with sandbags can be quickly and easily adapted to their abilities.
The training can be more versatile and the equipment required is much more cost-effective compared to an Olympic barbell set. A special rubber floor for catching dropped or fallen weights is not necessary with sandbags, which allows for an effective weight training, for example at home on tiles, parquet or laminate floors.
Under no circumstances is this article intended to detract from the many possibilities and positive effects of Olympic weightlifting, which in many training facilities has its permanent place in athletic training, but simply suggests the sandbag training alternative, at least for beginners.
A good workout is not solely based on one training device, as this could restrict the possibilities and results, but is primarily aimed at the safest and fastest possible achievement of the individual training goals. For this purpose, a combination of different training tools has proven to be most successful, because they all have their strengths and weaknesses. It remains the trainer’s art to find and apply the most appropriate means and methods for the trainees individually.
Finally, the baby has arrived! And with the new baby comes new duties and entirely new time management needs in your daily life. Naturally, you are overjoyed with the new addition. But you also need to keep someone else in mind: yourself! It’s not only important for you, but for your family too that you feel comfortable in your own skin and have some time to yourself. This is where the right training can do wonders! In my experience as a personal trainer, I have always found the following to be true: the greatest difficulty for young mothers is to find a balance between care for the baby, family life and exercise. With training, there’s just so much to do, from finding a babysitter to all the preparations needed before you and baby can leave the house, like packing the nappy bag and all that. Not to mention other obstacles that could stand in the way. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can train comfortably right at home without neglecting your motherly duties.
Let’s take it from the startDuring pregnancy, hormonal changes cause the muscles to become softer, throwing your lower torso and pelvis more-or-less out of balance. All the muscles, tendons and ligaments involved in pregnancy and birth become terribly overstretched. For this reason, right after birth the body needs to be set ‘in the gentle cycle’. Recuperation and regeneration is the important first step. During ‘puerperium’ (the first six weeks or so after giving birth), you can start with gentle exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor. After a few weeks, you can start doing ‘recovery’ exercises. Since not doing recovery exercises or doing the wrong exercises can have devastating, long-term consequences, I suggest you leave nothing to chance and turn to the specialists (and, of course, in and around Frankfurt, your favourite personal trainer Lieblingstrainerin is ready to provide you with personal training ;) ). When the core of the body has been brought back to its original condition, and once the abdominal separation (‘diastasis recti’ in medical terms) or ‘tummy gap’ has closed and the pelvic floor is back up to strength, training can be intensified.
After recoveryOnce your body is more-or-less back to the condition it was in before pregnancy and childbirth, you can start with more intensive, effective training using more targeted exercises to address your problem areas. Some caution is still required though: general fitness is often affected by childbirth. To avoid over-training and excessive strain on the body, your training should begin slowly and progress gradually. Here is where the aeroSling sling trainer comes in. With this, one of my favourite training devices, you can have a super, total body workout. What makes the aeroSling so special is that, with each exercise, you work your entire body, improve your body tension and, above all (when used correctly), train your natural muscle corset (your abdomen and lower back) and your pelvic floor. And, thanks to the deflection pulley system, the deep muscles, which among other things are responsible for a good posture, get an especially good workout. Since the aeroSling is suitable for all levels of training, I often use this device when providing personal training. The position of your feet and your angle determine how strenuous the exercise will be – and you can simply and easily change the level of difficulty at any time.
Why is exercise so important after pregnancy? Here (again) are a few important facts.Exercise
- helps return the pelvic floor and muscle corset to their original condition
- strengthens the vulnerable immune system
- makes you fit to face your new family life
- promotes a good mood and inner balance
- promotes good posture
- helps melt away those excess pregnancy pounds
- shapes the body, increasing the sense of well-being
Well now, have I convinced you and do you feel like getting right down to work? Then let’s start with my mommy beginners’ workout!
- Squats (3x 12 reps)
- Rowing with narrow grip (3 x 12 reps)
- Chest press (3×12 reps)
- Shoulder Lift (3×12 reps)
- Hip Flexion (3×12 reps)
Description of the workoutPay attention to the tension of your entire body during each exercise. The upper body is a natural extension of the legs, the abdomen is taut and your pelvic floor muscles are constantly working. Do not start at too great an angle: the greater the angle, the harder the exercise will be. So, take it easy at first. Every movement has to be slow and controlled. In between sets you have about 30 to 60 seconds of rest. Use this time, especially when you have just started with your workout regime – your body needs it. A little tip: when you have a little practice and rebuilt enough strength, your baby can join you! Simply use a suitable baby carrier. I wish you success in trying this out and, especially, I hope you have lots of fun!
It doesn’t take much to demand a lot of your body and yourself with strength training. Anyone who knows functional training knows that even the smallest training devices can provide an enormous range of exercise possibilities, with constantly changing training stimuli. Good training devices are generally small, light and mobile. And they offer maximum variation, meaning a huge range of exercises, variations and progressions, all of this adding up to ultimate flexibility in adjusting the training specifically to your needs. This is of particular interest when it comes to strength training or resistance training. Of course, dumbbells, kettlebells and barbells are all tried and tested training devices that have been used for centuries to deliver rapid results. Where they fail though is in the area of being light and mobile (do you know anyone who carries dumbbells around with them?) and they take up a lot of space too. Alternatively, you can, to a certain extent, just use your own body weight to train. But what you really need to get the maximum benefit of a workout is external resistance.
Strength training with resistance bandsAnd that brings us to the actual topic of this article: How can you train in a wide variety of ways with resistance while on the move and with the option of expanding this training at any time? The solution might just be resistance bands. I have to admit that, in the past, I seldom used this sort of training device in my workouts, generally just for mobility drills or to do running A’s (‘high knees’) with a partner. For resistance training, however, these rubbery things have not yet been a part of my regime. And that’s a shame really. Since the boss developed the new alphaband resistance bands, I’ve been more or less forced to deal with this topic. And now I’m asking myself, ‘What was keeping me back?’. Resistance bands, assisted pull-up bands, powerbands – whatever you want to call them, an entire gym in your bag is what they really are. All you need is:
- one or two bands of varying resistances
- yourself and
- optionally, a place to attach the band.
More exercises than you thinkWhat I never really realised before was the incredible variety of exercises and variations made possible using these bands; you just have to learn how to do them. Unlike with traditional weight training, using alphabands allows you to vary the training resistance quickly and easily in every direction. Whereas a dumbbell only works with the force of gravity, a resistance band can be pushed or pulled forward, backward, upward, downward and to the side. A great advantage in terms of mobility and variability! For example, you can combine a rotational movement with a pressing movement, instantaneously in one fluid motion.
The thing about the resistancealphabands also have fantastic training qualities, like the way the resistance increases exponentially as the band stretches, or in other words, as the distance between the two fixed points increases. This quality is particularly valuable when you want to use a wide movement in training but when, in the starting position or with certain joint angles, your muscles are at a natural low point in the strength curve. The advantage here is that, thanks to the low resistance at this point, I can start from this position with a clean, safe movement. Then, as I move through to a point in the biomechanical strength curve where my strength is greater, the resistance increases exponentially, giving me the needed stimuli. Compare this to adding lifting chains to barbells. The weight (resistance) increases as the chain links are lifted off the floor. The more links still on the floor, the lower the resistance. This means that resistance will be lowest at my weakest point, when my knees are fully bent, and, as my legs straighten, the weight of the barbell increases in line with my increasing strength.
Is that a barbell in your pocket?Another advantage of training with resistance bands is that they are light and take up little space, meaning I can take them with me anywhere, and with no need for an elaborate set-up either. And the further development of the alphaband resistance bands has given them some novel features: they are antibacterial, easy to clean, made of an anti-allergenic material and offer more resistance than conventional powerbands. The resistance starts much earlier and increases faster, which in turn means that, like the bands themselves, the space required for the training is reduced to a minimum. Here, too, less is more. Combine the band with one or two handles or a strap and I can go through all the basic moves in a workout sequence. Here are a few examples: So, this can be done with a pushing exercise or a pull and twist move. Your legs get a workout, too.
So inconspicuous, so variableTo sum it all up, resistance bands are a much-undervalued training device. Until now, I also saw them as just a supplement to specific exercises like pull-ups or push-ups, or as a mobility tool. But now I can say with confidence, they can do a lot more. You just have to try a little and give them a chance. And then it can be as simple as this: a couple of resistance bands and about three square metres of room to train. That’s all you need for strength training! If you are looking for a complete strength training solution, we highly recommend our alphaband PRO set. It comes with all 5 resistance bands and the Double handle, which allows for single or double hand action as well as the anchor sling with integrated door anchor – all pre-installed and ready to go. All bands can be combined into one carabiner so you can easily generate up to 150kg of resistance from something delivered in a small sack and that weighs less then 1kg. This is unbeatable! So, with that in mind – get functional! Your Fabien
What you can accomplish with the help of sandbag training:
- Increase core strength!
- Strengthen the whole body!
- Stop climate change… NOT!
Creating more impulses with instabilitySandbag training is characterized by its instable training weight which moves differently inside the sandbag in every movement. The inter- and intra-muscular coordination (the interplay between single muscle fibers and even whole muscle groups) is improved and the whole organism gets challenged more than when using a fixed weight like a barbell. A study has researched the influence of your own position and stability on neuromuscular training effects. It came to the finding that the exercises that had the highest demands in stability created the highest neuromuscular effects even though the maximum strength was the lowest of all compared exercise versions. This shows that it is not the biggest weight that produces the biggest impulses and that the instability of the training weight has a huge influence on the training effect. Additionally, you can find several handle variations on a sandbag that each create different impulses. And when you disregard the handles and grab the sandbag by its ‘body’ you will have another option that not only trains your grip strength but is also very close to everyday life challenges. Since in your daily chores there aren’t any perfectly formed objects that you have to carry but shopping bags, your kids or the basket with dirty clothes.
Adjusting sandbag trainingBack to the original topic: when you are planning your sandbag training you have to consider the following aspects:
- I can use the sandbag for pushing, pulling, and rotating movements.
- I can use it like a barbell or implement it as a ballistic tool like a kettlebell.
- I can scale every exercise even without adjusting the weight of the sandbag.
Turn your sandbag into an aquabagIf all of these adjustments are still not enough I have also the option to fill my blackPack with water instead of sand. But don’t hold your garden hose in your blackPack right away! As you know, the blackPack is not filled directly but with Loading-Bags. And for water we have the brand-new Loading-Bag AQUA for every member of the blackPack product range. Now, you can turn your blackPack sandbag into an aquabag with just a few steps. Remove the Loading-Bags SAND, fill in one Loading-Bag AQUA, and you’re all set. Even more instable training weight = even more impulses! Whether you train with sand or water, blackPack training challenges your whole body. I can do exercises for my legs but I generally always incorporate my upper body. The same goes for exercises that focus on my shoulders or arms, the core is always involved. Especially when space is a factor and I don’t want to spend a fortune on equipment, I should take a closer look at the advantages of sandbags. As I said before, the sandbag is a versatile tool that gives you plenty of options.
Workouts with a sandbagIf you are now looking for exemplary workouts that you can do with a sandbag I can entrust the following workouts to you:
So you are asking yourself whether functional training is the right thing for you? Sorry to tell you this but there are no hard and fast rules to determine an answer. But we will show you three life hacks that only functional training will give you.
The fundamental pillars for life long training…First of all, we have to say that nearly every from of training, every concept, and every exercise has its justification at some point. There is not the one best training plan and recipe to success that fits everybody! Your training has to be tailored to your individual needs and demands. It has to take into consideration where you come from, where you stand, physically and mentally, and it has to be effective. Thus, you have to find the form of training that makes sense for you, not for others. So what do you have to look out for?
Your training should be funEven the most effective exercises and the ‘6 weeks beach body’ program are pointless if you don’t have fun during training. If you have to pull yourself together every time in order to do the daily workout routine you will become exhausted. Even though it might be labelled as functional training there is no sense in torturing yourself every single time. This will simply force you to quit at some point and drag you down. Find out what’s the most fun for you: is it kettlebell training or do you prefer getting into beast mode with med balls? Are you getting onto the calisthenics hype train or do you prefer working with free weights? In the end, everything goes as long as it’s fun because the best workout is still the workout you actually do.
Your training should get you to your goalsThere is nothing more frustrating than training regularly for weeks and months and then realizing that you are not making any progress. This should bring you to the point where you question your training method and whether it is the right one for you. Are there progressions in your workouts? Do single exercises build on the progress you made in other exercises? Only you can find out. Test yourself in regular intervals with strength and mobility tests. For sometimes you just have to visualize the progress you have made to realize how much you have actually accomplished. If you should learn, however, that your progress isn’t as great as desired you should get back to the drawing board.
Your training shouldn’t be too elaborateThe third item in this list is important to keep you motivated: sure, you should implement your workouts in your daily/weekly routine to make it an inherent part of your life. If you have to put too much effort into simply making it to training, though, or getting the training that your plan demands, it will ultimately be too tough to follow the routine. Functional training is a great way of training because you don’t need treadmills, big training machines that focus on one particular muscle, and a whole array of dumbbells and barbells with weight plates. You can just do it wherever you are and it is very flexible. It gives you many options when it comes to time and place. You don’t need to take a 20 minute drive to your gym where you also may have to wait in line to use the machines and then get stuck in rush hour on your way back home. Instead, you can easily train your whole body with just a sling trainer, maybe a kettlebell, and some resistance bands in your own backyard. Keep the threshold of access to a full and effective workout as low as possible and you will not have to muster up so much energy each time just to get to training.
What are your thoughts on this?Get functional, your Fabien!
Lift your training to a new level by tweaking the timing of your reps!‘Tweak my timing? Do you want me to dance now?’ Don’t worry, you don’t have to move the weights to the rhythm of your music. Let me explain to you what exactly I mean. We often hear the prejudice that at some point you will not get any further when training with your own bodyweight only. We have already answered in a blog post that this is completely wrong. You have countless ways to create new training impulses just by altering your body position, increasing the number of reps or the instability. And today we’d like to talk about another option which has been tested and proven: timing your reps. By timing your reps I mean the speed with which you go through every phase of a movement. You can divide a movement into the following phases:
- the eccentric phase: the part of a movement where you lower your body or the weight and the working muscles lengthen (during a squat, for example, this would be the part where you move your butt down)
- the pause afterwards: how long do you stay in the lowest part of the squat?
- the concentric phase: the part of the movement in which the working muscles shorten (you get back up from the lowest position of a squat, for example)
- the pause at the end of the movement which at the same time is also the pause before a new rep (you are standing upright, knees are stretched)
3 exercises that you never do but should include in your workoutDo you stumble upon something new every now and then, even though you have been training for several years now and you know seemingly every exercise in the book? Awesome! There is nothing more boring than doing the same exercises or the same training equipment every single time. And if you are new to training you should be glad you hear the following tips already at the start of your lifting career.
Everything is movement!Following this motto you should start thinking outside the classic strength exercise patterns. Sure, deadlifts, squats, and bench presses are reliable guarantees of success if you want to achieve strength gains and performance improvements. We at aerobis also like to implement these exercises into our training plans because they have proven their worth for centuries. However, most of us aren’t athletes but regular Joes and Jennys! All we want is lift something up, carry stuff, climb stairs, or crouch through our garden to keep it from turning into a middle-European jungle. Nowadays, the requirement profile is simply different for city dwellers like us. Instead of having to travel several kilometers by foot every day we have cars, trains, and escalators. Instead of spending 10 to 12 hours each day with hard physical labour outdoors we mostly sit and work with our brains. Sure, there are still quite a few people that carry on a craft which challenges their bodies in various ways and in significant intensity. This, however, isn’t the norm any more in our modern society. There are always more machines, tools, and processes that shift the demands of regular Joe’s job from physical to only mental. What suffers most from this shift is natural movement! Muscles shrivel, joints become inflexible, and the organism looses its drive. To equalize this development we should engage in sports. „Wow! That’s the revelation of this blog!“ some of you might say. Sure, we know that we don’t tell you anything new or revolutionary here. But the question that we should ask ourselves is: ‘How would such an compensatory training look like?’ Are deadlifts, squats, and bench presses really the means of choice for regular gym-goers? Since most of us aren’t challenged physically in their day-to-day life we should implement one important aspect into our training routine: mobility and coordination training and exercising compund movements. You can actually achieve the biggest effects on health and wellbeing by training holistically. The more you specialize the less you do for your general fitness. So what could be a possible approach? Start by trying to combine basic exercises. With this method you can escape the rigidity of the classic exercises and profit from variety, new training impulses, and full body training. The following three exercises should be your inspiration:
- feet are shoulder-width apart
- body forms one line
- move your butt down and back
- go as deep as possible
- lift your body’s center of mass up again
- row with one arm
- rotate around your own axis
- stretch your arm further back
- then lead your arm forward again, close to your body
Rotational Lunge with Sandbag:
- hip-wide stand, hold the sandbag with stretched arms in front of your body
- move one leg backwards
- at the same time, lead the sandbag outwards, next to your front leg
- keep your upper body straight
- push off from your back leg and get into the staring position
- repeat with your other side
Single-leg Burpees with a Suspension Trainer:
- put one foot in the foot sling
- put your hands on the floor in front of you
- get down to a plank position
- do a push-up
- jump forward with your free leg
- raise your upper body and jump
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