Our blog series "3 fantastic exercises" gives you descriptions and details on some of our favorite and most frequently recommended exercises at HAUS No3.
We have chosen exercises that can be done both in the gym or at home and that follows qualifies as "easy to learn with a high return".
Enjoy the reading and we hope you pick up a few tips that will help you on your fitness journey!
WHAT MAKES AN EXERCISE FANTASTIC?
We believe that there is a time and place for every exercise and at the end of the day; how you perform the exercise (technique and form) also dictates if the exercise is good or not for you.
However there are some exercises that stick out and have characteristics that we really like. In summary, these exercises are easier to learn (low skill), don't require a lot of equipment or setup and has a high return by consistently producing positive results in strength and fitness. On this basis we qualify our exercises as "a fantastic exercise".
THE TOOL; BODYWEIGHT
"Your body is your machine". Or something like that...No matter what cheesy saying you use there's no denying that your most basic tool for training is your own body. And with some creativity it can be used in many different ways to create a great training session.
It's a common saying within the strength and conditioning world that you first have to learn how to control your own bodyweight before using any external weights or load. And we can't argue that. Even the strongest and most conditioned person can get challenged with body weight training. You don't have to look any further than gymnastics to appreciate the high levels of body control and relative strength ratio (strength:body weight) that bodyweight exercises requires.
Continue below to read the rationale and descriptions of our chosen "3 fantastic bodyweight exercises".
1. SPLIT SQUAT
In a split squat you will get a chance to not only evaluate differences in strength and control between left/right sides in the lower body but also get an idea of core stability (ability to stay upright) and balance. The low demands for ankle mobility and the upright position of the torso and back makes this very user friendly (mercy for those with ankle mobility restrictions and sensitive backs).
Stand hip to shoulder width apart and begin with your right foot forward and left foot back.
With the heel of the back foot elevated, descend down to gently touch the knee of the back leg to the ground while maintaining an upright torso.
Keep the knee of the front leg in 90 degrees at the bottom (avoid drifting forward), keep the descend vertical (move up and down in a straight line) and distribute the weight evenly between the front and back foot (50/50%).
Perform prescribed repetitions before switching legs and make any notes on differences from right and left side (e.g. 3 sets of 10 reps per leg).
2. TIGER CRAWL
Tiger crawl (as we chose to call this specific crawling pattern at HAUS No3) is a form of a dynamic plank that demands coordination, shoulder and core stability, as well as stimulates hip and ankle mobility and some will also experience aerobic conditioning as well (elevated heart rate). This movement has several benefits and can be used for both corrective and conditioning purposes.
Begin supported on all four (quadruped) with hands under shoulders, hips over knees (barely floating over the ground), toes flexed and back and neck neutral (eyes looking down on the ground).
Travel forward by lifting left hand and right foot simultaneously, alternating sides in a reciprocal pattern (left and right side of lower and upper body moving at the same time).
Maintain arms and knees narrow with no sway as you walk, imagining walking down a narrow tunnel.
React to the ground every time with a rigid shoulder and hip while moving smooth and consistent forward.
Be mindful of any noise and aim for a soundless walk and always keep your breathing rhythmic and natural.
Crawl for time or distance (e.g. 30 seconds or 10 meters forward + 10 meters backward)
Superman (a.k.a back extensions or superwoman), can be done either static (holding posture for time) or dynamic (moving up and down for reps). Although seemingly simple, this exercise is almost always relevant and most people are lacking strength, endurance and muscle in the backside area of the body (posterior chain). Best of all, you don't need any equipment and it's an easy exercise to learn.
Lay on the floor on your stomach with your hands either by the sides of your body (easier version) or extended over head (harder version).
Begin by squeezing the glute muscles (butt cheeks) and raise your chest from the ground.
The feet can lift slightly from the ground but maintain the neck and head neutral (eyes looking down in the ground).
The key during the lift is to feel like all muscle in the back of your body is contributing and no extra stress in one specific part of the spine (e.g. Low back dominating).
Hold for either prescribed time or repetitions (e.g. 3 sets of 15 reps or 3 sets of 40 seconds).
Avoid using momentum by utilizing a tempo of 2 seconds lift - 2 second pause at the top - 2 second lowering phase.
WELCOME TO HAUS No3
We hope you enjoyed our tips and please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments.
At HAUS No3 we offer a custom design training experience in our boutique personal training studio in Bangkok, Thailand.
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