Are you ready for Bodyweight Bonanza for a summer workout from Coach Jeff? Get ready to stop, drop and work that beach body!
Take Your Bodyweight Fitness Routine Outdoors!
Now, it’s summer time! That means more daylight, longer hours on the water and additional road trips to your favorite surf breaks and paddle spots. Sometimes on road trips, especially if you’re camping or going feral, there won’t always be a gym to go to or you might not have room in your luggage for kettlebells and hex bars. Even if you are at home, you may need a break from the gym. So, what’s a fitness conscious water person to do when they want to keep their fitness levels and performance at peak levels? Lean in, and Coach Jeff will tell you how. With a little imagination, creativity, and – of course – this article, it can be done!
Check out the Power of Pecs by Coach Jeff
Bodyweight exercises can be done just about anywhere, and they give amazing and effective workouts. In fact, bodyweight exercises provide a great way to keep your workouts fresh and they can challenge the body as rigorously as an intense session with weights.
Safety First: Stay in the Zone
A few things to consider especially if you are in the wilds of the outdoors instead of the wilds of a Motel 6. Be sure whatever space you are using is flat and free from sharp objects, insects and other critters. Although a spider crawling underneath you may make holding that bird dog a bit easier and longer!
In this article, I’m including an exercise that requires some type of handles such as TRX that you can mount and anchor in a hotel room or even on a car door. Something you can tie to a tree branch or any other stationary object. These TRX set ups can be ordered through Amazon or any number of fitness websites and they are easily transportable to take on your next vacation, summer or otherwise.
7 Bodyweight Exercises to Translate into On-the-Water Performance:
Bodyweight For the Lower Body: Squats
- Stand with feet about shoulder-width apart. Slightly turn out your feet and place the weight in your heels.
- Hinge your hips to sit your butt back and bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Extend your arms out to assist you with balance if needed.
- Drive through your heels to stand back up straight. Squeeze your glutes and keep your core tight as you stand. Bring your arms back to your sides.
- Do 3 sets of 15-20 reps.
Bodyweight For the Lower Body: Reverse Lunges to High Knee
- Start standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Step backwards with your left foot, landing on the ball of the foot and bend both knees to create two 90-degree angles.
- Push through your right heel to return to standing. Then, extend the same leg up to the high knee position and lower back to start position.
- Repeat on the opposite leg.
- Try 3 sets of 10-12 reps on each side.
Upper Body Exercises: Use Your Core More
Bodyweight For the Upper Body: Lateral Plank Walks
- Start in high plank with your shoulders above your wrists and abs and glutes tight.
- Step your right foot and right hand to the right. Immediately follow with your left foot and left hand. Take a few “steps” in one direction, then walk back the same amount of steps in the opposite direction to return to where you started.
- You can cross your arms during this movement or keep them parallel to one another. Crossing the arms is a slightly more difficult variation.
- Try to do 3 sets of 20 seconds at a time, with a 30 second rest in between.
Bodyweight For the Upper Body: Diamond Push-Ups
- Start in high plank. Walk your hands together so that your thumbs and forefingers form a triangle beneath your chest.
- Bend the elbows to lower your chest and torso toward the floor and then push back up.
- If this is difficult, you can do a modified version from your knees to start with. Try 3 sets of 8-12 pushups.
TRX for the Upper Body: Suspension Handle Rows*
*This exercise requires the use of suspension handles such as TRX or other types that are capable of supporting bodyweight. Please use caution and be sure they are anchored in correctly!
- Grasp suspension handles and momentarily step back until arms are extended and straight. While keeping the arms straight and your shoulders back, step the feet only forward while allowing the body to recline back behind suspension handles. You should look like you are leaning on a tilted board behind you. The further forward your feet are, the more difficult the exercise. Start slow! Position your body and legs at desired angle, holding on to both handles with arms straight.
- Pull your body up so the sides of your chest make contact with the handles all the while keeping your body and legs straight like you’re resting on that tilted table behind you. Release your biceps until the arms are extended straight again and shoulders are stretched forward.
- At higher angles, feet can be placed flat on floor. When the body is angled further back, only heels may contact the floor with your toes pointed towards the ceiling or sky. Dismounting can be achieved by walking yourself backwards until the body is upright.
- Try 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
Bodyweight For The Core: Leg Raises
- Lie faceup with your legs extended and hands at your sides or tucked underneath your hips for extra support.*
- Slowly raise your legs, keeping them together and as straight as possible, until the soles of your feet are facing the ceiling.
- Next, slowly lower your legs back down. Don’t let your feet touch the floor; instead, keep them hovering a few inches off the ground. That’s one rep.
*As you do this move, make sure to keep your lower back flat on the floor. If you’re having a tough time doing that, don’t lower your legs as far.
4. Try 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Bodyweight For the Core: Bird Dogs
- Begin on your hands and knees, in an all-fours position with core engaged.
- Slowly raise one arm and the opposite leg to torso height. Your hips and shoulders should continue facing the floor.
- Slowly lower and repeat several reps on each side before switching to the opposite arm and leg.
- Try to do either 3 sets of 10-15 reps OR hold the top position for 15-30 seconds. Be sure to do both your right and left sides!
Coach Jeff Public Service Announcement!
When on the water this summer, please be patient and kind to novice waterpeople! We were all beginners at one time. Remember what it was like, and be a mentor and role model instead of a curmudgeonly cranky pants. Thank you!
Recovery Tool: Mindfulness
Can a mindfulness practice really help or is Coach Jeff getting all zen trippy on us? Yes it can, and maybe I am just a little. 😉
What are the Benefits of Mindfulness?
The benefits of meditation and mindfulness are numerous. It has been shown that individuals who practice mindfulness regularly for an extended period of time tend to foster more compassion, empathy, and love for themselves and others, while also boosting their memory and focus. While these benefits are helpful in day-to-day life and help improve our mood and relationships with others, there are numerous physical benefits that mindfulness can help in recovery and performance! Physical benefits of mindfulness practices include: lower heart rate and blood pressure, increase in circulation, better immune system functionality, and decrease in stress and cortisol levels. That’s a lot of pluses!
What is Mindfulness?
There are lots of discussions regarding mindfulness these days, but what exactly is it? The American Psychological Association describes mindfulness as, “a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment.” This can include focusing on thoughts that appear in the mind or things you see or hear or smell or taste or feel. Sensory experiences.
Mindfulness can be practiced at any time of the day or night and while doing any type of activity. It can be practiced during a walk or run in the morning, or while doing the dishes after dinner. Like meditation, the intention of mindfulness is to focus all attention on the activity at hand, and being present in the current moment, without distraction. Whatever you are doing at the moment, take the time to really experience it, even if it seems a mundane activity.
Ask yourself these questions:
What do I see?
What do I hear?
What can I smell?
What do I feel? (via touch)
What can I taste?
Give your attention to the answers and allow yourself to really dive in and experience them in the moment. Try not to think about your grocery list, your mortgage, the article you promised your editor a week ago or why your kids decided to shave the dog. You’ll have plenty of time to think about all those important things later. By practicing mindfulness for a few minutes every day, it will become second nature and the practice will become easier and easier.
There are dozens of books and podcasts dedicated to the practice of mindfulness to help you get started!
Nutrition: A Succulent Salad for Salty, Surfy and Sweaty Summers
Summer (in the Northern Hemisphere) is often hot and humid which doesn’t necessarily make you want to cook a hot meal. That’s where salads can come to the rescue! Delicious, nutritionally dense – and best of all – cool and refreshing! Here is a recipe for an amazing salad that will leave you sated and fortified for your next session!
Zesty Shrimp Seafood Salad
1 medium orange
1 medium lemon
1 medium lime
1/2 pound peeled and deveined cooked shrimp, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound refrigerated fresh or imitation crabmeat, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped sweet onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped sweet red pepper
Shredded lettuce/fresh spinach
First, finely grate the zest from the orange. Cut the orange crosswise in half. Then, squeeze the juice from the orange. Transfer the zest and all the juice to a large bowl. Repeat with the lemon and lime. Next, add shrimp, crab, onion and pepper. Toss everything to coat. Serve on lettuce or fresh spinach. Enjoy!
As always, stay strong and stay stoked!!
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