Wed | Oct 17, 2018

Fit 4 Life | Hot moves for the rainy days

Published:Wednesday | September 19, 2018 | 10:33 PMMarvin Gordon
The shoulder tap push-up is one of those 'tougher-than-it-looks' exercises. It is an explosive move that demands endurance, coordination, strength, and stability (especially of the shoulders and core). It also improves all of those skills at the same time.

With the rainy peak of the hurricane season in full swing, empty gyms, parks and other exercise spots are not a strange sight. Most people find it difficult to make their gym appointments for various reasons.

Being stuck indoors is no excuse to miss a good workout and with knowledge and a little improvisation, you can get the workout of your life in the warm dry confines of your home.

You don't need a ton of weights or a dozen machines to feel a burn.

Here are a few athletic training moves to keep you warm in the rain:

1. SHOULDER TAP PUSH-UP 

This is one of those 'tougher-than-it-looks' exercises. It is an explosive move that demands endurance, coordination, strength, and stability (especially of the shoulders and core). It also improves all of those skills at the same time.

Keep in mind this is an advanced exercise and is to be avoided until the basic push-up has been mastered. 

The technique is simple.

* Begin in the starting position of a push-up, that is, the top position with arms extended.

* Lower yourself in a controlled movement, then explode up from the bottom position while bringing the right hand up to tap the left shoulder.

* The shoulder tap should coincide with reaching the top position.

* Repeat the move with one change: use the left hand to tap the right shoulder. 

* Alternate for the desired number of repetitions.

TIP: Shoulder tap push-up can be substituted with regular plyo push-ups if necessary. Try to complete all sets without rest. Breaks should, however, be taken where necessary.

SHOULDER TAP PUSH-UP ROUTINE

  • 14 shoulder tap push-ups (seven on each side)
  • 3 inchworms
  • 10  shoulder tap push-ups
  • 2 inchworms
  • 6  shoulder tap push-ups
  • 1 inchworm
  • 10 bench dips
  • 10 jump lunges
  • 2-4 minutes rest
  • Repeat

2. BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT 

Single-leg exercises are especially suited for at-home workouts because they require less weight to give you a good workout. The advantages don't end there, though.

Single leg movements:

- are better for flexibility

- are good for correcting muscle strength and size imbalances

- are better at building explosiveness and endurance, among other benefits.

Adding the Bulgarian split squat to your leg training even outside of the rainy season is, therefore, a good idea. The move might take some getting used to, as it requires balance and coordination. 

TECHNIQUE

* To do the Bulgarian split squat, stand on one leg and rest the top of the opposite foot on a bench, chair, step, or another elevated surface behind you.

* Use a cushion on the surface if necessary.

* Descend by bending the knee of the front leg until the rear knee nears the ground, then raise yourself back up, straightening the front leg.

* Repeat for the desired number of times.

* You will have to experiment to find the right distance between the back and front legs; too far or too near will result in pain and injury.

TIP: Hold dumbbells or filled water bottles to add resistance to Bulgarian split squat. The water bottles should be at least one gallon in size.

BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT ROUTINE

  • 30 body-weight squats 
  • 15-second static squat
  • 5 body-weight squats
  • 5-second static squat 
  • 30 calf-raises
  • 30-60 second rest 
  • 10 Bulgarian split squats
  • Repeat
  • Finish up with jump lunges or jump squats

- Marvin Gordon is a fitness coach; email: marvin.gordon@physiqueandfunction.com; yourhealth@gleanerjm.com