Think you can’t get in shape with just calisthenics exercises? The following lower body workout may just change your mind… First, let’s go over the exercises: Step Ups Stand facing a step, a chair, or a bench. Place your right foot on the surface. Pushing off with your right foot, lift your body so that
Doing lots of situps and crunches daily is not going to help you burn your belly fat. In order to burn fat, you must stick to compound exercises such as squats, pushups, pullups, burpees, and planks. Not only do these exercises activate a large amount of muscle at one time, but also help trigger a
It’s pretty common for many middle aged people to give up exercise or taking care of themselves due to a fear of injury, believing they are past their prime, or other factors. Even worse is when you hear a middle aged person complain that they can’t exercise due to various age related issues like aching joints,
Not having a gym membership is no excuse for not reaching your goals. Simply by being alive, you are in possession of the best workout tool ever made for getting lean and burning fat – your own body. That’s right, you really don’t need access to any fancy cardio machines, vibration plates or lots of
What is TRX? The TRX is a suspension trainer – a portable device consisting of different straps and handles, that lets you perform a wide array of body-weight exercises wherever you are. It can be easily stored and carried, and all you need to use it is a doorway, or a sturdy frame, such as
We’re going to take a break from basic pullups and pushups to examine something a bit…different. I covered TacFit Commando way back when it first came out. I ran into this YouTube video again and it certainly brought back some memories.
The idea is to be able to complete the entire circuit in one minute. Complete one circuit, score one point. If you’re unable to complete all exercises and reps in one minute, then you start over with the first exercise.
Score as many points as you can in 20 minutes. Beginners perform 2 repetitions per exercise. Intermediate trainees perform 4 repetitions per exercise. Advanced trainees perform 6 repetitions per exercise.
Note: I recommend that all start off with 2 repetitions per exercise. These exercises are tough!
- Start off in the bottom position of a bodyweight squat. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor.
- Shift your weight back to the right and place your right hand on the floor behind you. From here, rotate your hips to the left in anticipation of the next step.
- Exhale while extending your hips high while pushing off with both arms. Drive and twist your body to switch your arm from one side to the other while in midair.
- Absorb the impact with your left hand, elbows slightly bent, and knees bent. Repeat in the following manner from side to side.
- Squat down, placing your hands on the floor in front of you. Twist knees to the left so outside thigh is parallel to the floor.
- Keep elbows bent and shoulders pulled down (no scapular flare). Exhale, pushing off from the balls of your feet to extend your body forward over your hands.
- Your back and hips should remain in one plane. When you’re arms are fully extended, twist from the waist to bring your knees to the opposite side, and push back with the palms of your hands until you extend back to starting position, albeit with your knees on the opposite side.
- Repeat, changing sides each time
- Start off lying flat on your back. Exhale hard and come to a sitting position by rolling up one vertebra at a time.
- Keep your feet together in a “butterfly” position, and hands grasp ankles to lift from the chest.
- Reverse the movement by exhaling hard and rolling backwards, pulling your knees to your chest.
- Continue rolling back until your weight is on your shoulder blades. Pike up by straightening your legs. Bring your legs up and over your head.
- Exhale your navel in and allow the knees to drop—spread your knees apart so they come to either side of your head.
- Allow your feet to drop to either side of your head (without performing any sort of kicking or momentum motion). Unroll one vertebra at a time and rock back up to sitting “butterfly” position.
Quad Hop to Flat Foot Squat
- Start off in a kneeling position with your butt to your heels. Lean forward until your back is parallel to the floor, with hands on the ground.
- Keep your knees and elbows splayed outwards at a 45 degree angle.
- Drop your butt to your heels and your nose towards the floor. Make sure your back is straight as you perform the press.
- As you near the bottom, pause, and explode upwards. Both hands and feet should leave the ground.
- Snap your hips forward to bring your feet beneath you, landing in a flat foot squat.
- Take a breath, then jump your feet back into quads squat position. Repeat, using the stored elastic energy of your muscles and connective tissues to drive the movement.
So let’s get into it: First of all, this is a TOUGH workout. It’s a great challenge for those who are already quite proficient at bodyweight training. These movements are also great to include into your warmup, as they do a great job of targeting your entire body.
However, Tacfit Commando is not particularly a program for fat loss or muscle gain. Yes, you will see some of both, but really the program is to make you move better. You’ll get better at your sport.
This is especially beneficial for those in combat sports or in a military/law enforcement setting. Training your body to be knocked down then stand up quickly – the way the springing tripod does – is very beneficial.
We would perform drills practicing getting knocked down and getting back up. Things like rolling, springing, and jumping back up were commonly taught (we just didn’t have fancy names for them.).
If you’re able to perform at least 5 solid pullups, then this program will work for you. However, if you can’t do a single pullup, then I recommend John Sifferman’s The Pullup Solution. Click here to learn more.
The following is a rundown of the Armstrong Pullup Program with the help of Barstarzz athlete Eric. In the video above, Eric demonstrates the following regimen:
Start off each morning with 3 max sets of pushups. The reason behind this is to make sure you don’t cause any muscle imbalances when overtraining pullups.
Rest at least 3 hours before going through your pullup regimen:
5 max sets, resting 90 seconds in between each set
The Pyramid method. Start off with 1 repetition, rest 10 seconds, 2 repetitions, rest 10 seconds and continue in this manner until you fail at a set.
Finish off with a max set of pullups
Perform 9 training sets. Choose a repetition that does not allow you to perform more than 9 sets. The repetitions you perform per set will be different for each person.
Do 3 rounds of:
- Regular grip pullups, rest 1 minute
- Close grip chinups, rest 1 minute
- Wide grip pullups, rest 1 minute
Perform as many training sets as possible until you fail. Due to fatigue, you may end up performing just 2-4 sets, or you may end up performing over 10-12 sets.
If you are able to do more than 9 sets, however, then you may want to increase the number of repetitions per set for the following week.
Repeat your hardest workout. Suppose the workout on Tuesday was your most difficult workout. Repeat that again on Friday.
Eric recommends advanced trainees use this program to boost their muscle up numbers. You can also use the Armstrong program to increase other movements you have difficulty with including dips.
Here is the caveat, however, the Armstrong program won’t really help you are unable to perform a single pullup. You would need to be able to perform at least 5 pullups in order for this to work.
Do not simply exist, conquer!
P.S. Make sure to check out the workout video at the top of the blog post.
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The pushup is one of the most basic movements of all time. You were most likely first exposed to it in gym class.
Never would you have thought that this basic movement that you learned in your childhood would come in handy in adulthood.
In the video above, Elliot Hulse was asked a question by a reader regarding improving his pushup numbers.
The reader was in the military, and wanted to become better at pushups so that he would be able to better handle basic training.
We all know just how much the military LOVES pushups! If it’s good enough for the military, then it’s good enough for you…
The idea that the reader wanted verified was whether or not 300 pushups per day was a good strategy to improve pushup numbers.
Elliots response was: no! 300 pushups per day would lead to all sorts of muscular imbalances which would do more harm then good.
You can increase your pushup max without training at such a high volume. The following is the pushup program Elliot Hulse recommended:
Perform 1 maximum set of pushups. Go all out until you are unable to do a single pushup.
Rest from pushups. You can, of course, perform other types of training.
Manual/external resistance slow tempo pushups. The main idea is to take 5-10 seconds to lower your pushups, and 5-10 seconds to push back to starting position.
Complete rest from pushup training.
Cluster sets. Perform 3 repetitions, rest for 30 seconds. Perform 3 repetitions, rest for 30 seconds. Continue in this fashion until you are unable to perform 3 full repetitions.
Also check out:
- How to do 50 Chinups and a 100 Pushups
- Build Huge Mass with Bodyweight Training using Time Volume Training
Isometrics sets. Stop just an inch off the floor. Hold that position for 10 seconds. Push yourself midway, hold that position for 10 seconds. Push all the way to the top position, hold for 10 seconds. This is one set.
Dealing with Soreness
To mitigate soreness, Elliot Hulse recommends stretching, and LOTS of stretching. The following are some stretches to help you recover from pushups:
Standing Biceps Stretch
- Stand with your hands clasped behind your back, palms facing each other. Straighten your arms behind you and rotate so that your palms are facing downward.
- Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds, then relax and return to starting position.
Doorway Modified Chest Stretch
- Stand at the end of a wall or doorway. Place the front of your shoulder and inside of bent arm on surface of wall.
- From here, lean slightly towards wall/doorway, allowing your shoulder to be pushed back.
- Turn your body away from your shoulder as you do this. Pause, return to starting position and repeat.
- Raise your arm out in front of you, parallel to the floor. Open up your hand so that the palm is facing away from you and all fingers are pointed to the ceiling.
- With the other hand, grab the fingers and gently pull them back towards you.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds. You should feel in the forearms. Release. Flip your hand position so that your fingers are now point downwards.
- With the other hand grab your fingers and jointly pull backwards. Hold, then release.
- Repeat with the other hand.
Additional Recovery Ideas
The tiger tail is a portable foam roller. Use it to roll the sore muscle. You can also use a normal size foam roller.
Work your Back Muscles
Training just one muscle group will lead to overuse injuries and potential muscular imbalances. Make sure you are balancing out with pullups training or some other movements that target your back.
Take a Rest Day
If your pushup numbers do not increase each week, based on your max rep workout on Monday, then you may need to just take an extra day off.
This is a solid program to increase your pushups. But, you will still need a full-body program if you wish to really use bodyweight training to build muscle and get stronger. If you click on the next page, you will discover exactly the step-by-step program you need:
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Burpees are one of my favorite bodyweight exercises. There is no other bodweight exercise that can accomplish so much in such a short period of time like burpees. I’ve written about burpees many times before. In fact, I’ve even created some great workouts with burpees. I thought I’d list all the workouts featuring burpees in