Spring to me is always the time to pull my camping gear out of storage and dust off my boots. While weekend hikes are great, I try to get one major expedition in per year. You’d think training up for such an excursion would mean pre-trip prep, but what you do on the trail is just as important.
Hiking the 355km Canol Trail was one of the toughest challenges of my career as a travel writer. Each day on the trail, that sixty pound pack, weighted down with a week’s worth of provisions, ground my shoulders and back to dust. My legs quivered with exhaustion as I plodded along in stumbling clumsiness. At the end of the day, my body was a throbbing ball of ache. I expected to be paralyzed with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) each morning, but much to my surprise I woke up fresh, ready to do it all again. What was my secret? Continue reading “How To Avoid Soreness & Stay Fresh – Tips For Your Next Day Of Hard Labor”
Bodyweight exercise has been used by martial artists for centuries to build attributes like strength and endurance. All traditional martial arts include specific conditioning methods, and in many cases these methods are considered so valuable that they are highly guarded secrets of the lineage. My own background of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu included the study of Shinden Fudo Ryu Dakentaijutsu, which used the natural surroundings of the forest as implements to condition the body. Continue reading “Bodyweight Exercise for Martial Arts Part 1 – Upper Body Force Transfer”
Let’s face it – no one likes repetitive exercise, and boredom a big reason why people fall off the fitness wagon. They simply get tired of doing the same old pushups and sit ups over and over and over again.
If you’ve been hanging around this site for a while, you know we like to mix things up. We try to keep fitness fun while at the same time training the body outside of normal ranges. This increases your movement capabilities, adds new skills, and takes your strength building and fat loss to interesting new dimensions. Continue reading “A Pushup with a Twist”
Coordination and agility are hallmarks of movement mastery. Success in the dynamic sphere of sport is often determined by your ability to turn the off-season strength, endurance, and speed gains you’ve built into complex, improvised movements on the field of play. That requires a different approach to training, one that focuses on channeling these attributes into neurologically sophisticated movements.
You know the one. Picture a guy, slightly overweight and sporting a pale fluorescent indoor tan. He walks with a slow shuffle, his pelvis tipped forward as though in a chair, his shoulders rounded like a dime store Quasimodo. The backs of his hands face forward as he walks. They’re looking for a keyboard to tickle, even after hours. All work and no exercise has made this guy chair-shaped. And it’ll only get worse. Continue reading “Exercise For the Desk Jockey — Has Your Desk Made You Chair-Shaped?”
Okay folks, it’s time to get back to office life, where we’re busy kicking holy hell outta overcompensations.
You’ve had a couple weeks to work with the Shin Box Switch — if you missed it, first of all, shame on you. Second, pop over to the link, read the article, and get to work. You have nothing to lose but your pains…
Okay, bad pun, I know. But those of you who diligently worked with this movement over the past couple weeks should already be experiencing greater hip range of motion and much less lower back discomfort. Continue reading “Banish the Office Worker Hunch”
If you slave away at an office all day, this one’s for you…
We covered lower back and hip movements in an earlier blog and video. Check that out if your job is making you chair shaped. And we looked at the upper back and shoulders in the second installment. You should look that up if you’re developing the dreaded office worker hunch.
What’s a guy or gal to do when they’ve already GOT 6-pack abs?
What if the thought of another set of sit ups, crunches and leg raises has you searching for a high cliff to throw yourself over?
Can you really have fun with this stuff?
The trick to keeping your ab training interesting is to take that core strength into new dimensions.
No, I’m not talking about exploring the astral plane. You won’t have to induce theta brain waves and float out of your body. And you won’t have to worry about malignant spirits slipping into your corporeal shell while you’re out there in the etheric. The only thing that’s going to infect you is a newfound enthusiasm for exercise.
Okay, let’s build the next step in your cool multi-dimensional core sequence…
In the first instalment — the Arching Leg Thread — we worked on your ability to recruit your core in a twisting motion. That’s pretty complex, and it’s a lot more challenging than the ole “sit up and lie back down” routine most of us spend our time on. I hope you were able to figure it out, and to catch that feeling of the core drawing in and extending the legs as you simultaneously rotate under yourself.
My ninjutsu days are long behind me. But their influence resonates down to the present and permeates every aspect of my life.
I still approach my training from that mindset. I think like a ninja, observe the street like a ninja, and I still strive towards mastery every day, in every action. You’ve gotta keep yer sword sharp and your wits even sharper if you want to survive that game!
No, I don’t mean I walk around in a black hood. Or wear a weapon-stuffed utility belt. Or pop up from behind the shrubbery to frighten the postman. Not that often, anyway.