Strength workout

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The strength workout I created (under guidance from Pavan, of course) for A2 and Nikhil

The strength workout I created (under guidance from Pavan, of course) for A2 and Nikhil

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  • 1. STRENGTHA2 & NIKHIL’S STRENGTH WORKOUT LEVEL1 PAVAN MUTHANNA (ably assisted by the Shrimp) AIM: Circuit strength training to improve running & cycling performance. Focus is on coordination between different muscles using the bigger muscle groups. We are not aiming at isolation. You want to gain strength but not pile on the pounds. CUSTOM MADE FOR MY BEST CARDIO MEN Circuit training Each circuit should take 20-25 mins. Do 2 circuits. Ground rules: - Minimal breaks between working out different body parts : 30 secs at max. - Sets to be average of 15 reps - 5-7 mins of cardio to get heart rate up & get sweating - Loosen up the big muscles – get quads, lower back, open up chest, deltoids & pectorals firing - Between 10-12 reps, it should start to feel difficult & you should need to muscle through the last 3 reps - Remember to breathe in at the top of the exercise, breathe out at the power (lifting/ pulling) part.
  • 2. Instructions Preparation: Grasp two dumbbells. Lie supine on bench. Support dumbbells above chest with arms fixed in slightly bent position. Internally rotate shoulders so elbows point out to sides. Small of your back should form an arch. Execution: Lower dumbbells to sides until chest muscles are stretched with elbows fixed in slightly bent position. Bring dumbbells together in hugging motion until dumbbells are nearly together. Repeat. Comments: you should get a stretch at the bottom of the movement and a squeeze at the top of the movement Getting better chest muscles is crucial for endurance athletes. This is because the chest muscles are responsible for flexing your upper arm bone (as you’d do when swimming), moving the arm inwards (as you’d do when holding bike handlebars) rotating the arm bone towards the body (as you’d do when running), and breathing deeply (as you’d do during intense exertion). Variation: Perform the dumbbell fly exercise on an incline bench to target the clavicular head of the chest muscle. Decline the bench to target the sternal head more. Your anterior deltoid, or front shoulder muscle, assists during any version of the dumbbell fly exercise. If you do the fly on a stability ball instead of a weight bench, you will involve your core muscles, including your rectus abdominis and obliques. These muscles activate to help stabilize your torso on the unstable surface of the stability ball. This exercise flattens and tones the chest. It doesn’t add mass to chest – which is the last thing you need while cardio-ing. Dumbbell flys
  • 3. Lower back Half-bridge Start with your back on the ground and your hands at your sides. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Lift your hips up to the sky and bring your hands underneath you. Bend at the back and try to bring your chest to your chin. Be sure not to let your knees kick out too far. Breathing is all- important. To isolate lower back muscles effectively, suck in stomach while continuing to breathe in half-bridge position Do not hold your breath. Do as many as you can. If there isn’t access to a pull-up bar, roll up a long towel as tight as you can – it should have as much give as steel! Now, hold both ends of it high over your head and pull down behind your head. Focus on pulling down with the lats and squeeze! Just like reinforced steel can bear more weight than sheet aluminum, a strong, well- conditioned back can withstand more stress, and protect the spine better, than a back that has not been conditioned. Half-bridge & pull ups Upper back Pull-up Hold for 30 seconds and release. Do this 2-3 times. To get more range, move both feet away a few inches
  • 4. Quadriceps Single leg squats/ clock lunges The hamstring muscle, which runs along the back of the thigh, helps bend the knee and absorbs shock when runners push off of the ground. While lying on your back, place your lower legs on a Swiss ball. Then, put your hands flat on the floor next to your hips.
 Push your hips up so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Without pausing, pull your heels toward you and roll the ball as close as possible to your butt. Pause, then roll the ball back until your body is in a straight line again. If lower back twinges, switch to the alternate exercise below, or the hams machine at the gym. The quadriceps muscle in your upper leg is the largest muscle group in your body. Their main function during the act of running is to extend the knee, and then contract to pull your knee toward your chest. The quads should be 25% stronger than the hams. In the quads squats, form is very important. The knee should go down in the same line as the foot. A variation is to stand on an elevated surface with one leg and do the squats. A tough variation is the pistol – stretch one leg out ahead of you and then squat. Clock lunges are lunges where you start with the leg going front in 12 o’ clock position and lunge at every 10 min mark, going to 6 o’clock position. Switch legs. Single leg squats/ clock lunges, Swiss ball curls Hamstrings Swiss ball curls For a complete leg workout, once a week, instead of the circuit workout below, do plyometric workout. It works on the fast-twitch muscles.
  • 5. Adductors & abductors Swings/ cable swings The hams can be worked using a resistance band. Lie on your stomach after tying the cuffs of the resistance band to the ankle, with the band itself belayed around a pole. Use the resistance to pull. This gives a nice range of movement. Your adductor and abductor muscles are located on the inside and outside of your hips, respectively. These small, yet powerful, muscles control the outward and inward rotation of your hip joints, where your upper leg meets your pelvis. These muscles are responsible for firing hip flexors for generating power and stabilizing your hips. To work these muscles, work with resistance bands/ without them. Stand with legs shoulder length apart, swing one leg outward to the side without losing form and bring leg back to position. Repeat. Do the same inward, swinging leg towards stationary leg and beyond it, towards opposite hand and back. Do adductors and abductors exercises separately. Resistance band exercises/ swings Hamstrings Resistance band exercise The hamstrings, glutes and adductors+abductors exercises go a long way in making sure you don’t get ITBS!! So get serious about making it an important part of your workout
  • 6. Glutes Single leg squats These squats are like the squats for quads. Bend at the hip and knee to lean forward, squat down low and bring your hands close to the floor to touch the outside of your foot (10 o’clock or 2 o’clock position, depending on the foot that is on the ground). Stand back up. Try the 11, 12, 1, 2 o’clock positions for variations. Your calves are doing a lot of work while you run. To avoid injuries like Achilles Tendonitis/ problems with the gastrocnemius or soleus muscles, it is essential to stretch and strengthen the calf muscles. Same goes for stretching the shins – avoiding shin splints is a brilliant reason too. Calf raises – stand at an elevated surface, like stairs, with toes balancing on the elevated surface, heels hanging out and balancing. Raise, hold and drop heels slowly. Shin raises – stand with your heels on an elevated platform and raise the toes. Do 20 reps in each set. For more juice, use weights. Calf raises/ single leg squats Calves/ shins Raises When we run, the glutes hold our pelvis level and steady, extend our hip, propel us forward, and keep our legs, pelvis, and torso aligned. So when our glutes are faulty, our entire kinetic chain gets disrupted. Studies link glute weakness to Achilles tendinitis, shin splints & ITBS.
  • 7. Grip Bonus workout! This is a real world utility exercise. Hang from the pull up bar till failure. That means, till fingers drop off the bars of their own volition. Once you get good at this, work with one hand at a time and swap hands before you fall off. 29 muscles in the mid-torso to mid-thigh region. These muscles together produce force while running/ cycling, dynamically stabliise the body. It transfers power from both sides and from top of the body to the bottom & vice versa. Minimum of 90 seconds for full planks, 1 minute each for side planks (on your hands, not elbows). Try variations, like push ups while in plank position, dog ear scratch, leg swivel, lifting weights with one hand & Pavan’s personal favourites – 1 push up + side plank and push up+leg swivel up to introduce knee to ear, repeat on other side. The idea is to introduce static+dynamic movement. Planks, grip exercise Core Planks
  • 8. Shoulders Front military press Shoulder strength is needed for runners & cyclists for general balance. For runners, it also puts strength into the propelling the arms do. Do front military press, behind the neck press, lateral raises. If that gets boring, substitute with push ups with arms at different widths, till tired Lift the weights or barbell starting from behind the head at shoulder level, and press up and down behind the head Caveat: use a weight that is easily manageable and don’t bend to lift/ do jerky movements, or you could hurt yourself Grasp dumbbells in front of thighs with elbows slightly bent. Bend over slightly with hips and knees bent slightly. Raise upper arms to sides until elbows are shoulder height. Maintain elbows' height above or equal to wrists. Lower and repeat. Front military press, behind the head press, lateral raises Shoulders Behind the head press Lateral raises
  • 9. For the biceps, do close grip pull ups (inward facing). If tired, do dumbbell/ barbell curls. Pull ups are suggested because it is a functional strength movement – it is not focused on isolating biceps, which may gave you John Abraham’s gun show but not useful in real life. For the triceps, do tricep push-ups by putting feet up on a chair, holding yourself up on another chair behind you and suspending body in between. Now do push-ups. Form is important in this one – make sure legs are parallel to the floor and back is completely straight. Pull-ups, tricep push-ups Arms Pull-ups, tricep push-ups
  • 10. Plyometric exercises use your own body weight through explosive movement. A plyometric-trained runner can improve his running economy because of improved muscle contraction and more efficient strides, and your quads are the main recipient muscles. The frogger exercise requires you to explode from a squatting position with your arms extended straight in front of your body. Sweep your arms backwards, then quickly forward using your momentum to propel your body upward into a jump. Land as lightly as possible, and resume the squatting position. Repeat for 6 to 8 reps, and increase as your quads grow stronger. Tuck jumps, jump and sprint, two-way hop, skip-up, drop jump, speed bound, two-hand wall pass… there is a whole world waiting for you out there! Go, discover it!
  • 11. Congratulations! You have done one circuit. Repeat from start. Then you can think of cooling down. Make sure you stretch all the parts of the body that you just worked out. Done? Now go, get yourself a big fat protein smoothie. Talk to Monica about Zeus Juice, the latest best friend of runners, cyclists and other animals. Get yourself a vatful, drink and relax. Next step, get yourself a nice cold shower, then go to work, you have the most awesome business in town to run, for Pete’s sake. Don’t dawdle about! No, seriously, good job, boys. Do this for 2 days a week for the next 3 months, we will then increase the intensity by a notch. Full-body limber down