Saturday, September 6, 2008

I am doing my Plan B Workout

When I want a short and different workout, I resort to my favorite medley of static isometric postures that I call my Plan B Workout. 

These are bodyweight-only exercises utilizing my muscles as stabilizers against the effects of gravity. A medley of five various fixed postures, I hold each posture position as long as I can. 

I like this workout because it is quick, it makes my whole body feel good, and it works all my major muscle groups.

The five postures of my Plan B Workout are:

– handstand with my feet touching a wall for balance,
– standard grip pullup hang ,
– parallel squat wall sit,
– ab plank, and
– superman extension on the glute-ham unit

Handstand - This posture will work your forearms, shoulders, triceps and entire ab/core region. My leg muscles also get worked as I tense them to help with maintaining my upside down balance. 

My best effort hold is 1:59. I’m shooting for 2:00 before the year is over.

Standard grip pullup hang - This posture will also work your forearms, and your biceps, lats, back and ab/core region. Your legs and calves also get worked if you concentrate on tensing them and driving your heels downward. 

My best effort hold is 2:08. It has been a while since I’ve held it this long. Getting to 2:15 before the year is over is a realistic goal for me.

Parallel squat wall sit - This posture works your legs, hips and calves and, once again, your ab/core region. I oftentimes skip this posture since I work my legs a lot with the Olympic lifting I am doing. Consequently, my hold duration with this posture is not very good. 

I couldn’t find the exact time of my longest hold but I’m guessing it is around 2:30.

Ab plank - This posture works your entire ab/core region and, eventually works your back muscles as time goes on. It is important to maintain a horizontal position with neither your rear rear neither sticking up or sinking low.

I've gotten really good with this posture and it seems to really challenge my mind as time goes on. My best effort hold is 5:01.

Superman extension - This posture works your hamstrings and lower back muscles, along with your entire ab/core region. Your neck muscles also get worked. 

My best effort hold is 1:19. You'll notice in the photo that my extension has an upward incline flight to it. I actually prefer to maintain a horizontal position like the ab plank.

I suggest you hold each posture for as long as you can. Rest about the same length of time that you held the posture before performing the next one. Hold each posture in the order I have presented. This is a quick workout that takes 10 to 25 minutes for most people to complete. 

I’ve demonstrated these postures indoor at a gym but they can also be performed outdoors. Use a tree instead of a wall, and use a little creativity to find something to hang from for the pullup hang. You can perform the Superman extension on a park picnic table or on the ground.

Give this workout a try the next time you want to try something different. I think you’ll like it. And when people see you upside down, hanging from a bar, or looking like Superman with arms extended, they may ask you what the heck are you doing. You'll have an easy and quick answer for them. Tell them “I am doing my Plan B Workout”.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


Anonymous said...

That's a great concept, Pierini. Definitely sounds good for a change of pace.

Anonymous said...

Well done Ed !