This morning – and afternoon, I got through a great outdoors workout in the park.
I did – focused on, primarily, I should say (along with plenty of leg work) – something I deem so important that I think entire workouts should be devoted to just it, and I say as much in 0 Excuses Fitness and probably all my other books in some way, shape or form.
That being, GRIP – and CORE work!
It is virtually impossible to work both “separately” if you’re doing it right.
True, you could use grippers and stuff for the grip, and those are tough – dont get me wrong (especially some of the higher level ones), but I’m talking full body workouts, workouts benefiting the entire body as always.
I did two oft ignored exercises – oldies, but goodies.
One being the hanging leg raise, and two being – well, what I consider, and have said in Corrugated Core – to be the “basic version of the leg raise”.
The hanging leg raise is essentially done on a pull-up bar – preferably a THICK one, my friend – and while you hang on, you raise the legs – STRAIGHT – ramrod straight, toes pointed ahead – until your lower body is at right angles to your upper.
Most people find even getting into this position too tough, let alone ADVANCING IN it – and believe me, again, like I talk about in the advanced exercises section of Corrugated Core, I could write an entire book on this fantastic, superlative exercise and still have more to say about it.
So the beginner’s version, “knees to chest” i.e. the advanced version of the knees to chest I describe standing up in the “beginnner’s section”.
Hang on, bring your knees up to your chest – or as close as you can.
Once you can get there, and it might take a while, HOLD. Flex.
Add in bicycling movements to it …
These two were what I focused on this afternoon, along with more grip work – and indeed, you cannot go wrong if you devote some workouts to just grip and core like I did.
In fact you SHOULD devote time to such workouts – period.
Now, I’ll be putting out more videos on how to do these two great exercises, since form is often MANGLED on them.
(I would have today, but there was no-one around – another cold, blustery day).
(I did, however, for a minute manage to chat with a good friend wearing Armani shirts, and I asked him if his shirts were all tailored, since they “hide” his paunch really well.
“Not all” he laughed. “Ive got a huge gut!”
I laughed back, and said my observation was mainly his clothes (it was) – and not gut, and that it wasn’t criticism.
Criticism is better than praise, Rahul!
He laughed back “especially when coming from good friends!”
I agree. Like Emerson said, “I’d rather have honest criticism than “honeyed words of praise” spoken about me: . . . for then I know I’m on the right path.
And in that spirit, yours truly loves all the feedback he’s been getting as of late – keep it coming – so long as its honest, and GENUINE – criticism or praise, so long as either or both are logically warranted – is not just most welcome, it is much appreciated, I enjoy it!)
I cannot stress how important form is for the leg raise.
All too often people mangle it by swinging the legs up to do it. I cannot tell you how much that annoys me!
Even if it were not to annoy me, it won’t benefit you – the exercise – if you do it that way.
You should be using your CORE – and feeling everything “scrunch from the inside out” as you do these.
Same thing for the timed hold, and advanced variations,and you should be feeling it most in your GRIP, shoulders and lats.
Yes, my friend.
Isolation never works.
And when you’re really trying to hit a muscle group, say the abs, you’re often and usually better off hitting it indirectly.
Want a six pack – hit the legs and back HARD.
Want massive quads – well, when doing so called quad work, bring the entire body into it.
Thats one thing people get wrong about Hindu squats for one, one of the best exercises out there.
If you feel your legs fail, or to be the limiting factor ie your quads, you’re doing it wrong.
True, quads are involved and you’ll feel it – but you should feel it far more in the traps, upper body and entire CORE for one.
Bringing the arms back in the ROWING motion I explain in 0 Excuses Fitness, that is key, most people miss it “for the higher reps”.
Once you nail that, you’re on your way to higher reps easy peasy, without it, never.
These are all great exercises, but when doing the core work above, remember it will give you a core of steel, it WILL Make your heart thump like there is no tomorrow, but for max effect, mix in heavy LEG work too, period.
They both go together.
And if you cannot go outside due to weather or what not – well, do sit ups.
Or, any of the variants found in Corrugated Core.
Great alternative, and another old timer workout.
Just stay away from the bally crunch, one of the most godawful movements ever invented.
Right up there with the lat pulldown.
Alright, my friend.
Thats it for now.
Get Corrugated Core NOW if you have not already.
I’ll see you around.