Archive for the ‘ Bodyweight Training ’ Category

Pistol – One Leg Squat

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

The pistol, or one leg squat is a very challenging test of leg strength, flexibility and balance. The interesting mix of fitness challenges provided by the pistol make it an essential hardcore exercise.

Pistol Variations

Here is a video of a basic pistol with the *added weight of an 8 lb medicine ball for 3 reps:

* A small amount of added weight actually makes the pistol easier.

Pistol on a Bosu Ball:

Pistol w/ 2 16 kg kettlebells (70.5 lbs total):

Pistol Training: Learning the One Leg Squat

I used a combination of techniques to learn how to do the pistol. Here are a few good video and links to help you learn the one leg squat.

Single leg squat practice – how to master any exercise fast – johnsifferman

Pistol Squat Tutorial – kinglennyone

Beast Skills – The One Leg Squat

Cardio Circuit – Weighted Squat Thrusts w/ Back Lunges

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Twice a week I attend a one hour boxing fitness and circuit training class at my gym. Here is a video of one station of a three minute boxing circuit training routine. Most circuits in the class include one station on the heavy bag; one station by the stage, usually legs or calisthenics; and one station by the mirrors, usually for abs or core exercises. We do each station for one minute and then rotate. We usually repeat the 3 minute circuit twice, and do a total of 4 different circuits for a total of 8 – 3 minute circuits. It makes for a tough, but fun class.

L Seat, Rope Grip Pull Ups

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Adding variation to my pull up routines is important to me. I mostly train for maximum strength and explosiveness and therefore don’t believe in doing any high rep sets of pull ups. Therefore I often try to add additional challenges to standard pull ups to make sets of 5-8 sufficiently challenging.

The L Seat Pull Up

The L Seat is a basic static hold position from the rings and parallel bars in gymnastics. When added to the standard pull up it ads an extra abdominal workout and changes the weight angle on the back, lats and arms. Before attempting the pull up in L Seat it’s a good idea to practice the position on a dip bar with your arms at your side. Once you can hold the position for 10 seconds easily, then you are read to try the pull up version.

In my experience the hardest part of this exercise is breaking the hang at the bottom.

Here is a 5 rep set of L Seat Pull Ups:

Rope Grip Pull Up

Another challenging variation of the pull up is the rope grip pull up. I typically try this with a well worn double rope from the tricept pressdown machine draped over the neutral grip bars that are standard on most modern pull up setups at gyms. There are a number of other ways to accomplish this setup if you don’t have the right equipment. Also, if you don’t have access to a thick rope, or if you want a bigger challenge try using a towel instead.

Rope grip or any modified grip pull up adds extra challenge to the hands and forearms.

Here is a video of me doing 5 rope grip pull ups:

Putting it Together – The Rope Grip L Seat Pull Up

Put these two pull up variations together for a hardcore pull up workout. Try doing four sets of eight for a great arm, lat, upper back, and core workout.

Here is my best 5 rep set:

Switch Grip Pull Up – Dynamic / Plyometric Pull Up

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

I am always looking for ways to make pull ups more dynamic and explosive. One of my favorite variations is the flying switch grip pull up. This variation involves switching your grip from under to over handed or over to under handed at the top of the pull up.

In order to accomplish this movement you must pull yourself up quickly and aggressively so that at the top of the motion you have time to let go of the bar with both hands and reverse your grip.

The hardest part of the switch grip pull up is getting the rhythm so that you can perform each repetition in a smooth safe manner. Based on my experience it is easier to start in the chin up (palms facing your body) position.

Switch Grip Pull Up – Close Up

Switch Grip Pull Up – Wide View

Switch Grip Pull Up Precautions

The switch grip pull up can be a dangerous exercise. First of all it is important to be able to do at least 10 pull ups and chin ups before attempting this exercise. When you are ready to try the switch grip variation, make sure that the ground below your feel is free of debris. Try to use a pull up bar that is about 6 inches off the ground. When doing the switch grip pull up it is easy to just barely miss when trying to regrip the bar and fall awkwardly to the ground. If the pull up bar is too low you run the risk of collapsing to the ground, if the bar is too high then you run the risk of injuring your ankle upon landing.

Pull Up w/ Towel Grip – Great Forearm Exercise

Monday, September 7th, 2009

The towel grip pull up is a great forearm exercise. It is very challenging on the hands and provides and interesting angle on the back and lats.