Great Alternatives to Abdominal Crunches: Anti-Extension Roll Outs (aka: Ab Wheel Roll Outs)

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Crunches are dead?

It’s been said that traditional abdominal crunches are a dead exercise, and I mostly agree with this position.  Actually, I don’t think crunches are as bad as most people claim they are.  The micro-trauma to the lower back is definitely there and further shortening the abdominal muscles even more than they already are in people who sit a lot can be disastrous.

But the biggest issue that I have with crunches is that I have no idea what they are good for?  There are one of the most non-functional exercises I have ever seen.  Laying flat on your back, performing hundreds of tiny little crunches to make your belly burn is ridiculous to think about.  Flex, extend, flex extend, flex, extend.  My personal belief is if I cannot justify why I am including something in a workout, than it should be discarded immediately.  I cannot justify crunching.

I’ve transitioned my stance on crunches to the following statement:  “I don’t hate crunches, but I do think there are much better alternatives to the traditional crunch that deserve exploring”.

Websites and magazines that are bashing crunches rarely provide any alternatives in their articles.  If you’re going to tell the world how shitty an exercise is, tell us what to do instead.  Ranting about how shitty crunches are isn’t doing anything for anyone.  Sure, maybe you’ll raise some awareness to the cause, but help us find a better solution to the problem.  

Building on that point, simply naming an alternative isn’t enough.  You have to not only identify a better alternative, but then teach people how to properly execute that alternative.  This is a value that I really want to provide on this blog moving forward.  No secrets or Jedi mind tricks, just good information that you can apply immediately.

Video: Anti-extension roll outs look like this:

What it is: Anti-extension roll outs are a core exercise variation for the anterior (front) of your torso, which as the names implies, are designed to reinforce your body’s ability to resist falling into extension.  If you watch the video above, you can see how gravity wants to pull my body towards the floor as I roll out further into extension.

How to do it: The cues for an exercise like this are rather simple.  Actively pressurize and brace your core prior to initiating any movement.  As you begin to roll out, consciously avoid breaking at the lower back while maintaining a straight line from knees to the top of my head.  Doing this makes this exercise very challenging, especially as you increase the distance that the hands travel away from your knees, which increases the range of motion.

Regressions: How to make ab roll outs easier:  If you’re a beginner or simply lack the strength and the stability to execute a full roll out, fear not because there are several options to acclimate yourself to this exercise.  The first option would be to roll out on an incline, which would ease you into extension and also give you momentum as your return back to the start position.  The second option would be to roll out toward a wall, having the wall provide a contact stopping point when the wheel hits the wall.  This is a great option because you can be extremely precise with the distance the wheel travels, progressing each week as you gain strength and stability.

Progressions: How to make ab roll outs harder: If you’re strong, there are several progressions to make this exercise killer.  The first option is to roll out on a decline.  The decline will cause the wheel (and your body) to gain momentum and travel faster away from the knees, and also make it more difficult to return to the start position.  In other words, the extension part of the exercise and the contraction back to start part of the exercise both become more challenging.  The second option is to anchor one end of a resistance band to an immovable object- like a bench, squat rack or door- and loop the other end around the handles of the ab wheel.  The band provides forces that act to pull you into extension sooner, and also gives added resistance on the return to the start position.  This is a flat ground variation of the decline roll out.

If you’re really a stud, forget about rolling out on your knees.  Stand up and roll out from there.  Yup, that’s correct, you’re going to start bent over with your hands on the wheel, rolling out slowly until you reach full extension- arms extended above the head and chest facing the floor- and then return without any break of the lower back.  I would say that 1-2% of the population will be able to execute a technically acceptable standing roll out.  But hey, it’s something to work toward.

When and where to do it:  Core training can happen wherever you want it to in a workout.  Beginning, middle or end, it doesn’t matter much in my mind.  If you’re especially weak in the mid-section, you might want to save your ab rollouts for the end of the workout so that it doesn’t adversely effect any of your other lifts.  Adding rollouts to a tri-set is very time effective and keeps the pace of the workout high.  It would look something like this:

1a)  Squat

2a)  Chin Up

3a)  Anti-Extension Rollouts

You’d work from 1a to 2a to 3a, then after finishing 3a, you repeat the process until you finish the sets you’ve got planned for the workout.

As for sets and reps, it’s dependent on your current fitness level.  However, ideally you can get 2-4 sets of 8-10 reps for each set, using a 30X0 tempo on the movement itself.  What does 30X0 mean?

3 – The number of seconds that it takes to go from the start position into full extension (end range of motion).

0- The number of seconds spent at end range of motion.

X- The speed with which you return, which in this case “X” means explode.

0- The seconds spent at the starting position of the exercise

Exercise tempo has great influence on the training effect of an exercise.  Time spent under tension is important to exhibit body control in space and also to develop useful lean muscle.  Increasing the time that your core musculature are aggressively contracted will work wonders in your quest to achieve elusive six-pack abs.

My personal take on six-pack abs:  They should be a reward for smart training, never the sole goal of working out in the first place.  If you are doing the right things- eating smart and training smarter- anyone can have a six-pack without putting much thought into it.

Some professionals have included roll outs into circuits, but I am not a fan.  Core training is extremely detailed training.  You should be nearly fully recovered before starting each set.  Fatigue is an exercise technique killer, so I haven’t found intra-circuit ab roll outs to be very smart.  I’d rather save my core work for the end of the training session, when all of my energy and attention can be directed to executing each rep with perfect, or near perfect form.  This is just a personal preference based on my experiences.

—> Other variations I have played with:

Half/quarter reps:  These are more challenging than you might think because your core gets no relief from contraction by going half-way out.  It is tough to stop the movement short and bring it back in.  Sometimes I will execute a full rep roll out, come back in  half way, then go back out to full extension in an alternating fashion.  Your abdominals will be on fire in short time by doing this.

Right/Left roll outs:  Instead of going dead center, roll slightly left and right of your body, alternating every rep.

Decreased base of support:  Instead of supporting on two knees, remove one from the ground surface.  As you roll out, hover one knee above the ground as the other knee supports.  This is extremely challenging.

Slow reps:  Instead of 3 seconds on the way out, make it last 10+ seconds.  This is tough.  Or, make the roll out last 5 seconds, hold extension for 5 seconds, roll back for 5 seconds.  That’s 15 seconds of TUT (time under tension).  1-3 reps of this will make your muscles tremble.

Equipment Substitutions:  While the anti-extension roll out is most commonly executed using an ab wheel, it doesn’t have to be.  Suspension trainers, carpet slides, physic-balls, barbells, ab dollys, power wheels, etc.  I won’t go into detail here because I could write 4 more posts about awesome exercise variations.  I’ll get this done for you.

Here is a clip of what suspension trainer variation:

Anti-extension roll outs are an effective exercise for building the core aesthetically and reinforcing important functional features of the torso muscles.  It’s important to be able to resist forces (known or unknown) that act on the body.  The core is the conduit that connects the upper and lower halves of the body.  It’s important to be mindful of building the core to preserve body health and also to take your performance to another level.  As we age, it is also important to keep the core functioning as it should to reduce the likelihood of unnecessary injuries.

Cheers to more effective core training!

KG

Hand Walking/Crawling Exercises: Demanding More From Your Upper Body

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6 years ago I watched Jon Hinds strap his LifeLine Power Wheel to his feet and proceed to walk on his hands 100 yards down entire length of a football field.

I have to admit I thought the entire sequence was pretty badass.  The feat also seemed like something I could achieve… wrong.  It’s way harder than it looks.

The LifeLine Power Wheel boasts that it’s core activation is top notch, and that is supported with a study composed by CSU-Sacramento students.  The two other training tools that were compared to the Power Wheel were quite weak in my opinion (Ab Revolutionizer, ab straps).  

However, it appears that based on muscle activation (through surface electromyography (EMG), the Power Wheel performed extremely well.

When you watch YouTube videos, especially how-to exercise videos, it can be hard to find value in what the performer is showing you.  You watch it, roll your eyes and move on the the next suggested video.

I did exactly that with Jon’s hand walking video 6 years ago.

It’s a damn shame.

But, fast forward 6 years and I am an advocate spending more time loading the upper body via static/dynamic various of crawling, handstands and hand walking.  I think we need to stress our upper extremities in a similar fashion that we do our lower extremities.

Battling ropes are an example of a tool have added tremendous value to the average trainee’s tool box.  Battling rope drills are primarily executed in a standing position, involving timed (or rep based) work sets that are highly metabolic, recruit a ton of muscle for completion and train the upper body to produce repeated effort force in a way that is extremely unique.

But, battling rope drills don’t require our upper extremities to support the weight of our body.

Sure, the shoulder is not a load bearing like the hip or the knee, but we should be able to support and stabilize a percentage or even our entire body with our hands and arms.  Please don’t ask me to give “functional” examples of how drills such as handstands transfer over into real world activities until you yourself perform a series of 1-minute inverted holds yourself.

Doing so might make you feel like you like a weakling whether you are an avid exerciser or not.  I sure did.

—> What can you attribute to the difficulty of a hand walking/crawling/stands?

New stimulus?  Yes.  Very challenging regardless?  Absolutely, every single time.

The average workout just doesn’t stress the upper body in the same way that it tends to stress the lower body.  It makes sense since humans are bipedals.  Keeping our lower extremities strong, mobile, stable, and capable of sustained and high level repeated physical effort serves us very well.

But we need to be strong, stable and mobile movers in many different positions, not just with walking and running.

Hand walking, crawling, handstands and other upper body support drills stress the upper body much differently than push ups, overhead pressing, Turkish Get-Ups.  In the past, most hand walking drills were exclusive to gymnasts and other tumblers.  It’s amazing that it has taken so long for this type of training to leak out to the general population.

But, it’s here now and we need to leverage it.  It’s a tool (or maybe a strategy is a better description), and like all training tools, it serves a purpose in our physical development.

Handstands.  I have been a huge fan of hand walking and crawling for years, but have more recently begun to see amazing value in practicing handstands.  Simply kicking your feet up to a wall and holding that position with assisted support from your feet is extremely challenging and beneficial for overall physical improvement.

Ido Portal Handstand

Try it for yourself.  Go.  Now.  Try it.

It feels unnatural to support yourself vertically and I believe this is a good thing (unless you are experiencing pain).  You’re acclimating yourself to a new movement skill.  I am all about safety in training because it keeps us moving for life, but exploring uncharted territories of movement will bring you back to your childhood roots, where exploring is encouraged and crucial for overall development.

Fast forward to our adult years.  People who are hesitant to participate in certain physical tasks haven’t exposed themselves to that stimulus before.  They haven’t explored, so the movement seems risky, difficult or in some cases unfathomable.

Much of this handstand talk is probably coming from Ido Portal’s training philosophy, which is fine because I love the tenacity that Ido is bringing to the movement community.  He doesn’t dabble with movement, he is movement.  That’s pretty cool.  Devoting your life’s work to becoming the best mover possible, and then teaching the progressions on how to get to that level to others, is pretty amazing when you think about it.

Kudos to Ido Portal.

In my own training, I have divided my hand walking/crawling into two different categories:

  • Horizontal walking/crawling
  • Vertical walking/crawling

Both of these have two sub-categories that can be broken down even further:

  • Static (not moving)
  • Dynamic (moving)

I haven’t felt the need to progress any further than the bulleted points to be honest.  Hand walking/crawling is a supplement to my current training regimen, not the entire training regimen itself.  It’s a skill that I am looking to develop starting from ground zero.  The decision to keep hand walking/crawling as a supplement to the whole is based on my current goals.

My warm-ups have proven to be prime time for practicing and experimenting with various progressions of hand walking/crawling.  80% of the time I am crawling, which is what I would consider to be a horizontal-dynamic drill.  Something like this…

If you slow down while performing a basic bear crawl and do it properly, you may notice that you aren’t as connected as you thought you were.  Timing and an upper/lower body connectedness are two main keys to crawling properly.  The core serves as the conduit between the upper and lower body.  You’ll also notice that crawling isn’t as easy as it looks, as it can be extremely taxing even at shorter distances.

If you’re looking for a core workout, start crawling.  Start with a basic static hold.  You’ll find that  supporting yourself in this position activates your torso musculature like the 4th of July.  Progress to dynamic crawling slowly, working on the the timing of your opposite hand/foot.  Again, feel the burn in your stomach.

Here is Dewey Nielsen working through the ladder of crawling progressions…

—> Why should you incorporate more crawling and hand walking into your training?

1)  It’s fun.

I never thought that I would tout “it’s fun” as the top reason for crawling and hand-walking, but it really is.  Both provide a unique challenge that we can look forward to.  Pursuing specific goals in your training will keep the fire going in your belly.  Otherwise, it’s easy to begin flaking out on training.

I have recently dropped a few barriers with regard to my viewpoints on training, and what it means to “workout”.  For sometime, I felt unfulfilled in my workouts.  It seemed there was a piece that was missing.  I felt like a robot going through the motions.  Start a set, do the reps at a particular tempo using a particular weight, stop, rest, rinse, repeat.  It was nauseating.

Crawling and hand-walks scratched that itch.  Now intentionally incorporate warm-ups packed with plenty of crawling and hand walks.  It’s open new doors for me as I know it will for you.

2)  Loading the upper extremities uniquely

Moving yourself around using your hands/arms is a new training stimulus for many.  Even holding yourself against a wall for a brief period of time puts a valuable stress on your upper body to support the weight of your body.

3)  Balance

Horizontal or vertical crawling/walking are activities that require constant body correction.  Reflexive stability is a hot topic right now, and crawling/walking works reflexive stability nicely.  Keeping the hands connected to Mother Earth is advantageous, creating a closed-chain training scenario.  Crawling is both simple and more complicated than we think, especially when we realize how dysfunctional we have become from our lack of movement.  Holding a wall supported handstand requires stability, strength and balance.  A free-stranding handstand is the perfect expression of balance.

4)  Connecting the core

Not six-pack abs.  Chasing six pack abs should be furthest down on most people’s list.  The torso musculature’s main job is to protect the spine.  Our core is supposed to activate when it senses that the spine might be in jeopardy.  Our torso lights up (activates) to keep our bodies stabile and in control during these movements.  Lightly palpate (touch) your stomach while in the assumed basic bear crawl position, tell me what you feel.

5)  Primal movement

We had to crawl before we could walk.  Crawling isn’t a fitness progression, it’s a human life progression.  Regressing back to crawling can help to restore lost movement patterns from which we can build a bulletproof body.  The body’s wires can easily become crossed, don’t make the mistake of blowing a fuse by skipping the crawling section of the progression book.

6)  Low impact

Crazy is the craze right now.  Extreme, hardcore, tenacity and intensity!  But not everyone wants crazy workouts, and crawling fits the bill nicely for those who seek a bodyweight challenge without the risk of injury.  Although it’s possible to hurt yourself doing just about anything, crawling/handwalks are extremely low on the injury potential ladder.  Your joints will applaud your choice.

7)  Movement

To take an unofficial idea from Ido Portal’s training philosophy…  Just start f’ing move people.  Stop over thinking it and engage in full fledged movement.  Explore what your body can do in space.  If you’re embarrassed to do it in the public gym, do it behind closed doors in your basement or garage.  As I have said before, movement is the benefit of moving.  So keep moving every which way.  Caution… be prepared to be humbled at first… you might need to lubricate your joints and blow off the cobwebs for a few sessions before it starts flowing and feeling natural.

So there you go, the most un-organized 1600+ word article ever written on crawling/handwalking.

Stay tuned for how to get started with crawling/walking and where to slip it into workouts…

 

 

Cheers to exploring the upper body’s ability to move!

KG

A Simple Kettlebell Drill to Light Up Your Mid-Section

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My interest in kettlebells is quite obvious on this blog.  They are such a great training tool.  I pump the kettle bell’s tires regularly because I think that they are the perfect representation of what multi-dimensional movement can and should be.  Paired with a suspension trainer, you’ve got a complete home gym.  That’s cool.  Doing more with less.  The future of training.  Simplicity.

Speaking of simplicity, the kettlebell drill that I describe in this post is about as complicated as my training gets.  It doesn’t need to be complicated when you are paying attention to the details, your technique, your movement.

Well, actually there is one movement that might top this for complexity, but it isn’t that crazy.  I’ll write about it soon.

Multi-dimensional movement is something that most gym goers have never experienced, which is something that I am working to change… post by post.

Image

The ability to move with stability, mobility and strength in all 3 possible planes of movement (shown above) is important.  It keeps our bodies balanced and capable of handling physical stress in many different postures, both statically (not moving) and dynamically (moving).

Part of multi-dimensional movement is not only being able to initiate movement in all 3-planes (create force), but to be able to resist forces acting upon us in all 3-planes.  The ability to absorb force without sacrificing posture- vulnerable positions where injury may lurk- is important.

One of the ways to train the body to resist external forces is to mix in a healthy amount to carrying, both dynamic and static.  Carrying refers to loading either one side or both sides of the body with a challenging amount of weight, staying rigid with upright posture, and either holding the position without moving or walking for a specified distance.  I suppose if you were not moving, you wouldn’t refer to the drill as a “carry”, but more of a “hold”.

There are many different variations of carrying which are phenomenal for building a body that functions as good as it looks, but touching on each will have to wait for another post.

For the purpose of this post, the kettlebell drill that I am learning to love involves a static posture (no movement) and one kettlebell.  So as you can see, it’s simple.  Simple is good.

The drill is can be referred to as a “Bottom’s Up Waiter Hold” (with kettlebell).

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Kettlebell Bottoms Up Waiter Hold

1)  Grab a kettlebell of a challenging weight (experiment with what “challenging” is for you)

2)  Clean the kettlebell to chest height, or use both hands to position the kettlebell upside down (bottoms up)

3)  Hold the kettlebell just lateral to your midline/in front of your working arm’s shoulder, upside down, and balance for a specified amount of time.

4)  Grip the bell hard with your hand, pull your elbow in tight to your side, and create total body tension.

5)  Brace your core musculature and breathe through pursed lips

Time of hold:  15-45 seconds

Sets per side:  3-4 per arm

Where in the workout?:  After the warm up, before the workout, when you are fresh.

Front view

Lateral view

 

Fitness thoughts

Flipping the kettlebell upside down will instantly make everything in your world unstable.  Not quite “massively destabilized”, but you’ll quickly feel the need to stay rigid in order to keep the bell balanced.  During this time, your entire body is fighting to maintain an upright posture.

The mass of the kettlebell is typically located underneath the handle in most kettlebell exercises, so inverting the bell moves the mass above the handle.  It’s the arms equivalent of putting your feet on a balance beam.  (I hope this makes some kind of sense, I’m going with it)

As for coaching cues of staying tight and rigid… there is no other way to do this drill successfully.  If you’re loose, you fail.  You can’t fake it till you make it with this drill, which is why I love what it re-enforces.  Tension.  Don’t forget to learn how to breathe against that tension that you’ve created.  That is important also.

Anytime you load one side of the body and not the other, the core fires in an effort to off-set the loading and protect the spine.  It’s a natural reaction that should happen in most healthy functioning people, although our sitting epidemic is really hurting this.  Pick up a suitcase, milk jug or anything else that has some decent weight, put your fingers into your stomach on the opposite and tell me what happens.  Do you see now?  The opposite side should feel noticeably contracted, hard.

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One other fantastic benefit of flipping the kettlebell “bottom’s up” is the stability and packing component that the shoulder receives during the hold.  Again, gripping the bell tight and packing the shoulder sends signals to the rest of the body, particularly the shoulder which is located in close proximity to the hand grip.  The hand grip relays information that “something” is going on and it’s time to go to work.

Lastly, the move is completed in a standing position.  What does that remind you of?  Real life.  I am ALL for re-training people on how to fire their core in sequences (rolling patterns, etc), but life happens on your feet.  Training your body in the standing position, with feet firmly dug in, posture tall and rigid, is invaluable to me.

**  Train on a surface that allows you to ditch the kettlebell if it falls or slips.  I prefer grass or a thick rubber floor.  Your nice hardwood or new tile in your home is not the place for this.  Be careful in your attempt to catch the bell if it falls at any point.  Attempting to save the bell is like catching a 40+ lb basketball with a handle, which can be disastrous.

***  If you use a dumbbell or anything other than a kettlebell for this, you’ll receive SOME benefit, but it will be watered down significantly compared to using a kettlebell.  The challenge of balancing the kettlebell in the bottoms up position is what makes this drill effective.  It will be hard to re-create that unstable environment with a dumbbell.

Give it a shot.  Tell me what you think.

 

Cheers to going vertical with your core training!

KG

Is Planking Worth It?

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Some headlines from a recent Los Angeles Times article caught my eye…

Planks

As I read through the article, some decent points were made.  I have to say that I have learned a lot from Stuart McGill.  He really is a back expert.  It’s an area that a lot of health professionals didn’t understand until rather recently.

Check out the full article here.

In my opinion, hell yes planking is worth the time.

Will I have the same opinion 5 years down the road?  Who knows.  Our industry is constantly reshaping itself.  But right now, planks are a must do exercise.

I believe in progression with exercise.  Planking is a part of my progression to more challenging movements.  Therefore, I can justify it.  Will I be able to justify planking in 10 years?  I don’t know.  But right now, planking is an impactful exercise that gives benefit to the trainee while giving me information about how they handle (or cannot handle) that stress.

For a certain population.  If you can’t hold a technically perfect plank for say… 30-60 sec, we might have some work to do.  I have personally worked with some people who could not hold a rigid plank for 5-10 seconds without collapsing or moving into a body position that made the drill easier.  The body commonly resorts to the path of least resistance.

cartoon plank

Not a bad plank here… I would straighten the legs out a bit.

I love planks for beginners who are learning how to stabilize their body progressively, and also for intermediate and advanced trainees to reinforce body stabilization.  Sitting kills the normal function of the torso musculature.  Core muscles lay dormant all day long.  It is important that we make a conscious effort to wake them up and get them firing appropriately during training sessions.

Doing so will aid in preventing unnecessary injury not just in the gym, but in life.  When the muscles of the core shut down or begin firing out of sequence, other muscles get involved to help get the physical labor done.  This mis-firing can lead to serious injury.  Think lower back injuries here.

We all know someone who has fought or is currently fighting a lower back injury.

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I don’t think that many movements are over-rated.  From my eyes, I see safe and unsafe exercises

Movement selection is dependent on your goals.  

One of the reasons that I am so fond of the functional movement screen is that it allows us to perform routine maintenance checks on our body’s ability to move.  The human body is vulnerable to malfunctions.  Our wiring gets mixed up, muscles fire when they shouldn’t, joints get sticky ,etc.

Nobody is going to move perfectly and pain-free for their entire life.  We must perform these check ups to verify that we are functioning appropriately.

—>  No hail mary please…

Don’t throw a hail mary for any exercise.  Planking does engage the core, yes.  However, how you incorporate planking (if you need it at all) in your program is going to be different than the next person.  It’s all based on your needs you see.

The thought that holding long duration planks to “burn out” the core and get those wash board abdominals is ludicrous.

Abdominals are made in the kitchen.

Vegetables dominate planks in race to the almighty six-pack.

Never forget that.

Cheers to planks and keeping it simple…

KG

Single Device Workouts for Indirect Core Training

Kettlebell Training

I love training one tool at a time.

The stress that it places on the body to maintain posture during movement is priceless to me.

Sure, you’ll sacrifice the amount of weight that you’re able to use for the movement(s), but you’ll sacrifice something with every training method that you choose.

Single device training could be born out of necessity not having enough equipment or from a simple desire to breathe some fresh air into a stale program.

Staleness sucks.  You’ll stop training when things get stale.  The workout will feel like a chore more than a chance to challenge and better yourself.  Stale is boring.

For me, I started single device training with dumbbells and medicine balls first.  I was traveling and wanted to get a workout but the equipment in the hotel was lacking so I had to improvise to get some kind of respectable training effect.

Working out with one dumbbell at a time is effective in that you can use a weight that is challenging and most people are familiar with using dumbbells as a training tool.

However, since I am deeply in love with kettlebells- their flow and versatility I now prefer KB’s to DB’s (that’s kettlebells to dumbbells by the way).

The flow of a kettlebell is unmatched. I can’t say enough about it.  Especially when you start working in single device training sessions, you’ll find that being able to flow from one exercise to the other seamlessly provides a much more enjoyable experience.

Here is an example of an improvised single device complex that I threw together.


***Remember, a complex involves 4-8 exercises grouped together without rest between movements.  Complexes are metabolically demanding and probably not suited for beginners, although there are progressions that beginners can work through to get to a true no rest complex.  It just takes time, like everything else.

Progression is everything.  Don’t skip the basics.

You’ll notice in the title of this post I wrote “… for Indirect Core Training”.  I mean that.  Anytime you load one side of the body and not the other, you’ll find that the unloaded side’s musculature contract aggressively and goes into overdrive to maintain posture.  If you’re paying attention to your exercise technique during a uni-laterally (fancy term for one/single sided) loaded movement, you’re going to have to work harder to maintain a normal posture against those uneven forces.  Your torso musculature will light up like a Christmas tree, naturally.  No need for direct core work here.

I love it.

Even just pressing a dumbbell or a kettlebell over head one side at a time delivers such a unique training stimulus.  You’ll be sore in places you’re typically never sore, assuming that you are fighting to maintain that perfect posture.  When that happens, just understand that it happened because you loaded your body unevenly.

We tend to train everything with both legs or arms mirroring each other, so breaking out of the norm and going single arm or single leg is a great training tactic for the body.

Cheers from the great city of Eau Claire, WI…

KG