Workout: Day 21
Instead of splitting your body weight resistance training workouts into three groups like we have for the past two weeks, I want to make them whole body workouts this week. Because it works you more.
You'll need to dial the repetitions back a little or it's going to take you forever, and also remember that all these body parts are going to get hit three times this week instead of just one.
So to start things off I want you to do the walk/jog as fast as you can manage to the park and do the entire park workout.
Options for using these exercises:
Here are three basic ways to use these exercises, and they’re all fine. Mixing it up between sessions is fine too:
1. Stick to one exercise before moving on to another, taking a break between sets.
2. Alternate back and forth between two exercises without a break between sets or with a very short break. When you’re done with those two, move on to another two.
3. Make it a full circuit. Do one set then move to the next exercise for the next set, then the next exercise and so on. Try and do the circuit three full times.
4. Between sets run laps around the park to add in a good aerobic component. This will really get your heart rate up and burn lots of extra calories.
5. You can do this park workout just once a week to mix things up with your other exercise endeavours, or, if you really like it, make it a staple of your routine that you do three to four times a week.
Park bench push-up
The park bench push-up (click link above to see image) is great for women as some find it challenging to do a push-up flat on the ground and maintain good form. Using this method reduces some of the gravitational force because of the easier angle, but it’s still a great exercise. As you can see in the link above, they are using the sitting part of the bench, which makes it more challenging. If you put your hands on the backrest portion, which is higher off the ground, it becomes easier.
Here are some tips on technique:
- Feet firmly planted and hip-width apart.
- Engage those core muscles and keep your body aligned.
- Make sure you have a firm grip on the bench. You don’t want to slip and be in for some costly dental work.
- Breathe in on the way down and out on the way up.
- Don’t go too quickly or too slowly. One to two seconds each direction is great. Try to keep some tension on the muscles and don’t use much in the way of inertia.
- If you can do more than 12 then it’s too easy. You need an angle that gets your face closer to the ground to increase the resistance. Shoot for each set being in the six to 12 range.
Note that it doesn’t have to be a park bench, but can be part of a play apparatus that you hold onto.
For the rest of these exercises, remember the tips above about engaging the core, how to breathe, the number of reps and the length of time for each motion.
Assisted bar rows and chin-ups
The trick with the bar rows is to find a bar in the park that your chin is higher than. See this image for a better visual.
It's been my experience that the vast majority of women cannot do a single chin-up. This is nothing to be ashamed of, but a simple fact of gravity. Therefore, putting your legs into the equation helps remove just the right amount of weight to make it challenging, but not impossible.
For using a bar like this in a chin-up fashion, assume a typical chin-up position, except note that your feet will stay on the ground throughout. Rely as much as you can on your upper body muscles to complete the chin-up, but use your legs as necessary to take off just the right amount of weight.
First off, DON’T do it this way. That puts your shoulders in a dangerous position. Instead, do it like this guy is. Again, doing triceps dips (remember breathe in on the way down and out on the way up) where you support all your body weight can be very challenging for women – just like with the chin-ups. For that reason you need to find a set of bars that are close enough to the ground so that you can use your legs to take off just the right amount of body weight to make it smooth and doable.
Park bench step ups
Take a look at the picture in the above link. You’re going to start with two feet on the ground, then at the mid point both feet will be on the bench, then you’ll finish with two feet on the ground. The National Strength and Conditioning Association is pretty uptight about the order in which this movement works.
1. Leading leg places entire foot on the bench.
2. Shift bodyweight to lead leg and then bring trailing leg onto the bench.
3. Step off bench with SAME trailing leg.
4. Step off bench with leading leg.
5. After six to 12 reps, switch leading leg.
The trick with a good lunge is keeping your balance, your core muscles tight and activated, and going up and down in a smooth motion. Focus most of your weight on the heel of your front foot. Also, while you want to avoid excessive forward movement of the knee, it's a myth that you should never allow your knee to go beyond your toes while lunging or squatting.
Don’t forget to switch forward legs to do both sides.
Then do the walk/jog/run home.