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.

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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.