Tag Archives: bodyweight training

Yoga Challenge Day 13

I’ve been researching CrossFit lately, looking for elements I could incorporate into my fitness plan. Although I don’t intend to work out with weights any time soon (at least not until I’m injury free and 30kg lighter), I came upon a site with bodyweight Workouts of the Day (WOD) called Gymnastics WOD. It seems like a good resource to spice things up further down the road, but at the moment I simply don’t have the conditioning these workouts demand.

Case in point: I performed a bodyweight workout today that almost did me in. So far, I’ve been doing progressively more difficult exercises to keep the workouts challenging. I know that I’ve been getting stronger, but sometimes I feel that no matter how much strength I build, it’ll never match the size of my body – I’m not sure I really want it to either.

What I need, ultimately, is to lose weight, and I know that the kilos will drop only if I cut the dairy from my nutrition (I eat mostly Primal at the moment). Considering how writing a blog has helped me keep up my Yoga practice, I think adding a Paleo nutrition component to this challenge and blogging about it will help me stick to it.

Anyway, back to the workout. After finishing with the strength exercises, I adapted a sequence Sage Rountree presented for Runner’s World on YouTube (click here to watch) as follows:

  • Triangle
  • Pyramid
  • Lunge
  • Half-Saddle
  • Pigeon
  • Head-to-Knee
  • Happy Baby

Actually, the only difference compared to the original sequence is the addition of Half-Saddle since I like it better for stretching the quadriceps than pulling on the back leg while in a Lunge. Besides, it adds a nice(?) stretch for the upper side of the foot that I need. I stayed in each pose for one minute; did first one side then the other. Although this is suggested as a post-run routine, it stretches just about everything – thighs, calves, lower and upper back, chest (though only slightly) – so it’s really just the thing after a full-body strength workout. The only part that wasn’t stretched was the front side of the deltoids and the triceps, but Gomukhasana arms took care of that.

In the afternoon, I continued my research into CrossFit, and was delighted to come upon Kelly Starrett’s site, MobilityWOD. I find the idea of doing mobility work on different body parts each day, rather appealing – in essence, it’s not that different from my own Yin Yoga practice. Naturally, I wanted to give it a try (in case you haven’t noticed, I like variety!). The WODs seem to be sequenced in a logical, rather than random, fashion, so I started out with day 1: staying in a low squatting position for a total of 10 minutes. I was tickled funny since this is also a Yin Yoga pose (see here). I broke down the time into 4 segments, although I think I could have managed 3, and maybe even 2, but I didn’t want to risk it since I’d never stayed so long (10 minutes!) in any pose other than Straddle (does Shavasana count?). I felt the stretch in the Achilles tendon, but the weird thing was that I also felt it on the inside of my ankles – I guess that was because the feet were parallel while the knees were pushed outwards. I’ll try to do an mWOD each day and see if it makes any difference.


Yoga Challenge Day 9

EDIT: The original title was “Yoga Challenge Day 15”, which was obviously a Freudian slip kind of typo. <sigh> Getting ahead of myself.

Despite the fact that I was quite a bit sore today – yesterday’s yoga practice was pretty basic, but still challenging – I went ahead and did a bodyweight workout. Exercises for the legs, back, and shoulders are progressing nicely, but I think I may be hitting a rut soon with pushups.

I went from hands at chest height against a wall to hands at hip height on a bench, and I barely managed to complete the reps. I noticed that I had little problem with the negative (i.e. downward) portion of the movement – it’s the same as in Chatarunga Dandasana – but pushing back to the starting position was hard.

I guess it is after this kind of workouts that progress really happens. I just need to be sure to give my body enough time to recover and not rush into the next workout, as excited about it as I may be.

Had to skip my yoga practice, but a little extra time in some Yin poses tomorrow will suit me perfectly.

Yoga Challenge Day 6!

Wow! Almost one week in and going strong! A quickie update today since it’s already late and I need my beauty sleep ;p

Put in some strength training today (as I’ve mentioned before, I’m following Mark Lauren’s Body By You). The exercises were a tad more challenging than last time, but still doable. Rounded up the session with some Yoga poses for flexibility: Pyramid, Seated Forward Fold, low lunge, runner’s lunge, and I even felt adventurous enough to throw in Hanumanasana (or as close to it as I can get).

Later in the day, I did some foam rolling to help with recovery. Too late, I remembered something coach Greg Everett had said in Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution podcast: he’d suggested foam rolling before strength training to prepare the muscles and ensure better recovery. I think I’ll try that next time.

Yoga Challenge Day 2!

Just finished my workouts for the day, and I’m feeling a bit like roadkill.

My Yin Yoga routine this morning was focused on the spine, warming up in Caterpillar, then moving on to Butterfly. Although Butterfly is often used as a warm up pose, it gives me a deeper stretch in the sacrum area, which was exactly what I was aiming for today. On the other hand, I get more of an upper back stretch in Caterpillar due to the size of my belly; still, I find that when I let my head hang in this pose, the stretch extends down to the base of the spine. I followed up with Banana, Twists, and Corpse pose. All in all, a highly satisfying practice, especially since it helped loosen the pinch I woke up with in my lower back.

I thought I’d step out of the beaten path for at least a couple of workouts per week and do something other than Yoga. Although I have a stationary bike (yes, I have found ways to enjoy a nice ride indoors), I wasn’t that keen on using it today. So, I opted for a body-weight workout instead. I did Vinyasa with lunge and Warrior variations for about 15′ to warm up, and then went through 2 rounds of 5 exercises performed back-to-back at 12 reps each. It took me no more than 10′ but it was pretty intense. I picked the exercises from Mark Lauren’s Body By You – pulling, squatting, bending, perpendicular pushing (e.g. push-up), and in-line pushing (e.g. overhead press) movements. Although I’ll probably follow the progression as presented in the book, I did adapt the workout format (I favor circuit training over the suggested straight sets). I finished with some static stretching, but I know that I’ll be feeling it tomorrow. Better schedule some restorative Yoga.