Do you feel wiped out when you get home and just collapse on the sofa? Urban living certainly has its challenges doesn’t it? Hiking around the cityscape day to day requires endurance and stamina. Wether it’s that mad dash for the bus or the hike up the stairs with groceries because the elevator is stuck again, urban life can seem pressured and non stop. Keep your grip on things.
But we love it, that’s why we live here.
Below is not so much a full workout, but ideas to incorporate into your existing routines. Ways to up the ante a little.
Also known as “jump training”, incorporating plyometric exercises is almost garanteed to help build the strength and speed needed to navigate the urban jungle. (Or a weekend hike).
Get ready to jump
First, start by warming up with a few sets of body squats. 2 sets of 10
Keeping your core tight push off and land squarely on both feet. 3 sets of 10.
Explosive power is what your building.
Get a Grip
Often times getting creative with workouts simply involves changing the grip your using while performing an exercise. Some basic grips most oftenly used are:
- Close grip
- Wide grip
Baby got back
If you want an impressive set of “wings” switch your grips in the same workout to target the whole back.
Here are two (2) exercises to help strength the back and build the lean muscle needed to help propel you through this world.
- The Lat Pull
- The V-Bar Pull
The Lat Pull is a standard, all-around, go-to exercise for building upper body strength. Above is the short grip. Position your arms shoulder width apart. 3 sets of 12 – 15
Muscle Group – Latissimus Dorsi
A wide grip (above) works the inner lats, while a short grip helps to build the outer lats.
⬆The V – Bar Pull is a mass building staple. Working the inner muscles of the back called the Rhomboids, as well as the lats, this move is also working your biceps.
It isn’t a jungle in here. This is your sanctuary. This space is where you come to escape the grind.
Utilize it. Think outside the box.
While you have the V – Bar in hand, stand with feet shoulder width apart and switch to working your abdominals.
The truth about abs is this: Everyone has them. It’s the layer of fat on top that keeps them hidden. Endlessly doing crunches is not the key. Watching what you eat and performing 3 sets of 15 repetitions
slow and controlled is.
The science of grips applies to your #bicepblowout too. Using your Lat bar, alternate between a short grip and a wide grip:
Muscle Group – Biceps Inner/Outer
Why? Stimulating the muscles from different angles helps promote hypertrophy, or muscle growth.
Tip Using an overhand grip here (not shown) will target the forearms. Think Popeye the Sailor Man.
The concept of a superset is simple. Maximize your time and your efforts. Working opposing muscle groups, (“push/pull”) is an effective method for building size as well. Utilizing a Machine Chest Press is a an excellent opportunity to build the back and the chest simultaneously. Rest periods should be little to none during a superset combo.
Muscle Groups – Pectorals/Rhomboids/Deltoids
When using the Chest Press for the back adjusting it allows for either a full range of motion or partial. The debate about machines continues. Perhaps the critics haven’t learned to get creative. When it comes to sets and reps choose from any number:
- 12, 10, 10, 8
- 10, 10, 10
- 10, 8, 8
- 5 sets of 5
- 10, 8, 8, 6
You get the picture? Switch things up. Muscle confusion, man!
Add 3 sets on the Chest Press next while your at it.
Variations on a theme
Dips are a mass building exercise that can be done just about anywhere. Home, gym, office.
Muscle Group – Triceps/Deltoids
If you can’t fit on the railings, or don’t feel like moving the bench, or simple can’t get downstairs….
…push two chairs together in the comfort of your home.
If you chose the railings, stay there and add stair step climbs to your routine. Start with 1 step intervals then graduate to two. Eventually, your quads and glutes will thank you for it.
Muscle Group – Quadriceps/Gluteus Maximus ⬆
Time to stretch. Static stretches, or stretches held for an extended period of time are good at this point.
Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds. Repeat 2 – 3 times while your iPod is stuck on replay-ay-ay.
Tip Focus on holding your core tight and on your breathing. Your stretching the Quads, Hamstrings, and Back here.
And of course don’t forget your core. But how do you take a basic plank and change it up?
Muscle Groups – Abdominals/Obliques
Keep your core tight, twist each knee to the right and left, hold each pose for a 5 count. Perform as many as you can.
Again, these are variations to add into your existing routines. By simply changing the grip and the rep counts, you’ll continue to think outside the box and above all else…