Indoor Exercise three: Parallettes

Arnold Schwarzenegger once asked and answered the question:

Q: Whats the hardest workout in the world?

A: Someone else’s

The body grows used to the same exercises over time. Getting used to an exercise is a good thing, it shows progress and that your work capacity has increased, but it also means that the same exercises are now less effective. “Less effective” doesn’t mean you should stop certain exercises, as your old routine is still useful for maintenance, even if the gains in fitness are less.

February hasn’t brought a change in the weather and with that in mind I went looking for a new exercise I could do indoors. I found the parallettes. The parallettes are an excellent all round upper body workout, and there is a huge variety of exercises you can do with this simple piece of equipment. I bought mine from Gravity Fitness.

While I’d like to show a video of me being awesome on the parallettes, I thought it would be more fun to show my first attempt as using them. Like Arnold said, someones else’s workout is the hardest workout there is. I tried dips (went well), press-ups (successful), the L-Sit (also good), planche negative press (fail), handstand press up (disaster, I got stuck), and even though I failed at the handstand press, I tried a L-Sit sit through into a handstand (I came crashing to the ground). On the plus side, I really felt the stain and had to exert maximum effort with movements by body just isn’t used to. Looking forward to lots of fun and progress with the parallettes over the coming months.

 

Indoor Exercise two: one handed wall drill

Its still cold and miserable outside so finding bodyweight exercises to do indoors is still the goal. This one is fairly difficult if you’re not reasonably confident with handstands already.

To begin, with your back to the wall, walk your feet up the wall until you are in a handstand position facing the wall. The only touch points should be your hands on the ground, and your feet on the wall. From here, alternate from one hand to the other, 5 second holds each side. Continue for as long as you can. When I started I could only do one hold each side before I fell, but I’m progressing from there, practise makes perfect.

This exercise requires concentration so don’t rush through it. Blood will rush to your head and to your posting hand. The more you do this exercise the more you’ll adapt and the blood rush will stop, or at least, you’ll adapt to it.

This a great exercise for shoulder strength and over all stabilisation, and it will help with your free standing hand stand progression too. Video below has been sped up.

 

Indoor exercise one: Triangle Headstand

Irish winters make it very hard to keep exercising. Its dark in the morning on the way to work, and dark in the evening on the way home. Constant darkness makes me feel tired, even when its relatively early. Because I train outside, its hard to get the motivation to go out and train, the wind and rain don’t help. Even if you train in a gym, it can be hard to motivate yourself to pack a gym bag and head out the door.

I’ve started moving some of my outdoor exercises, indoors. One such exercise is the triangle headstand. I saw this a few months ago in Men’s Health magazine, I figured that because I can comfortably walk around on my hands, the triangle headstand would be easy, I was surprised by how hard it is. Its a test of your core stabilisers, because you can’t rely on arm strength to hold you up. Instead this works your back stabilisers, abs, and neck muscles. As per the video below, kneel on the floor with your fingers interlocked and forearms in a triangle. Place you head between your arms and walk your feet to your chest, then slowly extend your legs over your torso, tensing your core, and hold. The triangle Headstand can take a while to get right, mine is far from perfect, as you can see from the video below. My legs are not straight enough, and as you can see, I fall a lot. Don’t worry about falling, as you can see, you just roll forward. If you’re not good at something, it means you have to work on it. I’m going to continue working on the triangle headstand until I can get perfectly straight. I can feel the benefits to my core already.

 

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