Diversify Your Training with Some Urban Moves

By Diane Vives, MS, CSCS – November 17, 2012
Brian Fitzsimmons

Here in Austin, we have some really great creative environments to train in and in this month’s column, we are sharing some movements that are being used with some unique training strategies. With access to creative exercise tools and the re-emergence of portable equipment to spice up the outdoor workouts, it’s especially important to maintain purpose behind the movements. Doing this helps us not only add diversity to a fun workout but also makes sure that we are still getting the most out of our training.

The first two movements use a method of training that is termed “active resistance” because the training equipment offers a dynamic quality that challenges you to maintain the path of movement while adding resistance. Jay Dawes, Ph.D., CSCS, co-wrote an article for the Australian Sports Institute that focused on how this kind of active resistance is great for injury prevention and for developing strength through the full range of motion (extremely valuable in injury prevention for many athletes). This is found to be especially true of water-filled training tools; the vibration caused by the “splash” on the inside of the equipment increases core engagement more than a static object. Take a look at the following two movements.
 

1. Clean + Press – Ultimate Sandbag

  • Start this modified version with a hip-width stance, sandbag in hang position in front of the lower leg, and emphasizing a hip flexion with just a little knee bend. Brace the core by engaging the muscles around the hips and torso.
  • Push through the ground with the heels to extend the ankle, knee, and especially the hips to accelerate the sandbag vertically. Path of sandbag should stay close to the body and not swing out.
  • Once the body is fully extended, pull yourself under the bag and catch in a front carry position across the arms and over the chest. The feet finish a little wider at shoulder-width when you finish the catch, with lower body in athletic flexed position.
  • Extend the lower body again and press the sandbag directly overhead with arms fully extended.
  • The sand will shift and create a stability challenge, so you must work to stay on path with the movements.

2. Lunge with Rotation – H2O Ball

Step out into a lunge with ankle, knee, and hip vertically aligned. While maintaining a stable lower body, rotate the shoulders with ball to the

  • This is a stability ball that has been filled with 5-15 pounds of water. This is easily done with a water hose and then pumping air into the surface is tight. Sports teams and military groups, among others, have used these implements for several years.
  • Start by holding water-filled ball in front of torso and standing tall. 
  • Step out into a lunge with ankle, knee and hip vertically aligned. While maintaining a stable lower body, rotate the shoulders with a ball to the outside of the forward leg.
  • Reverse the rotation back over front leg. Push off the front heel to return to a standing position.
  • Always keep core braced with a vertical torso position. Don’t let the water-filled ball pull you out of position or pull your lower body out of a stable position.
  • This is a stability ball that has been filled with 5-15 pounds of water. This is easily done with a water hose and then pumping air into ball until surface is tight. Sports teams and military groups, among others, have used these implements for several years.

Next is a new version of the battle ropes that we have been using for wave training. Using long 1- to 2-inch diameter shipping ropes has added diversity to the total body movements that create a wave, which moves the weight of the rope either together or in an alternating pattern. Stroops Battle Ropes not only offer a safe alternative (the band is encased in a cloth sleeve) but they are light to transport while recreating the resistance of the heavy ropes. This is great for versatility and using varying levels of resistance for the needs of different levels of athletes. Let’s look at a simple but great move in wave training.
 

3. Giant Waves – Battle Rope

  • Start in an athletic stance with feet shoulder-width apart and holding the ends of the anchored rope just outside the knees.
  • Push your heels through the ground and extend the lower body as you lift the ends of the rope overhead.
  • Once the body is fully extended, reverse the motion by pulling down on the ends of the rope that has built resistance on the upward momentum. This creates a giant wave in the rope.
  • Once you reach start, you repeat. This creates continuous giant waves in the rope and total body movements that make this exercise a true metabolic challenge.

    The last movement is an example of “junkyard” training, where you find objects available to be used for the purpose of loading or challenging movements. We literally found on the ground two bricks in good condition and used them to load a dynamic upper body movement. Check this out.

4. Squat with Punches – Bricks

  • Using a shoulder-width stance in a partial squat, hold the bricks with one arm extending directly out from the shoulder and the other arm flexed with brick close to shoulder.
  • Maintain the athletic partial squat for lower body isometric work while alternating punching movement.
  • Rotate the shoulders and torso just enough to allow a complete extension of arm in front of the body. While doing this, allow the heel on the same side as punching arm to lift and slightly rotate to release the heel and allow hip to turn with the torso. This helps to protect the lower back.
  • Alternate punches and make the movements that are loaded with the light resistance of the bricks smooth and fluid.

    These movements introduce you to some creative and fun ways to add diversity to your exercise menu. Just remember: don’t lose focus on movement technique, quality, and purpose while you are having fun. There is so much you can do with active resistance and wave training, so ask your professional trainer or coach!


    Diane Vives, MS, CSCS, is an Advisory Member of the Under Armour Performance Training Council. An internationally recognized fitness expert, she has appeared in several publications such as Women’s Health, Shape, and Muscle & Fitness Hers.

 
 

Related Articles

Advertisement
View Our Menus
AFM Digital Magazine