As it is summer right now I’ve recently rediscovered the joys of exercising outside. In particular I’ve been doing a lot of animal
inspired bodyweight exercises from my “Animal Workouts” ebook. Although many of these CAN be done inside in a relatively confined area there really do work the best on a field or similar open area.
My favorite exercise is still the bear crawl. It really works your entire body but it really hits your chest, arms and lungs. This is something I keep harping on with body weight exercises but I think I’ll mention it again. When you train your whole body at once you will build it up proportionally. This is really demonstrated with the bear crawl. I’m constantly doing different kinds of pushups etc to build up my arm and chest strength. However when I do a bear crawl where do I really feel it? In my chest and arms. Why? Because although these body parts are quite strong, they are STILL relatively weak compared to my legs. The bear crawl really demonstrates this as after only 2 or 3 minutes of bear crawling my arms and chest muscles feel like they are going to give out.
Another thing that is great about this exercise is that they really work your lungs. When your move your whole body like a bear you’ll be breathing in great quantities of air like no other exercise. This really builds Lung Power which is important for any sport you might do. Again this only takes 2 or 3 minutes to feel this effect. It feels the same as if you ran for 20 minutes at a good pace.
Natural exercises like bear crawls also make you aware of your whole body and what might be slightly out of whack. When I was performing my bear crawls I became aware that my right wrist felt a little funny. I suspect I had strained it slightly performing isometrics on it. Regardless I would have not known this if I hadn’t done the exercise.
Another great thing is how these exercises naturally stretch and warm up your body for the day. I do these exercises in the morning whenever I can. Before I start I usually feel somewhat stiff. However after doing some bear crawls my body feels loose and limber, ready to start the day. There is really no need for me to do any kind of stretching. Exercises like the bear crawl warm up your body quickly while giving it a nice natural stretch.
One reason why a lot of people don’t do these kind of exercises is that they feel somewhat self-consious. I mean most people in a park who are exercising are jogging around or walking. You rarely see any else bear crawling (or performing alligator crawls or crab walks for that matter). Don’t let it bother you. The first coupe of times I did these exercises I felt a little self conscious too. However this feeling quickly dissipates when you make a startling discovery. What is that? THAT NO ONE GIVES A CRAP WHAT YOU”RE DOING! Honestly, no one cares. Plus you should be concentrating and working so hard on the exercise that you will literally not notice the people around you. Just do it and see that I’m right.
A last piece of advice I would give you though is important. When you’re exercising on a field, particularly if you plan on crawling on it, it’s not a bad idea to give the field a once over for any loose pieces of glass or doggy do. It’s one thing to step on these things with you shoe. It’s quite another to do it with the palm of your bare hand.
In fact it may not be a bad idea to wear some kind of gloves now that I think about it.
That’s it for now. If you have any questions on the above feel free to comment below.
Yours in Good Health,
PS – If you’re interested in trying out some animal exercises for yourself by ebook on the subject is a great place to start:
PPS – This is a little premature, but as I generally don’t blog on the weekend I just want to wish my American readers a Happy 4th of July! Have a good one!
My Bodyweight Workout Log
Here’s what I did yesterday:
In a previous blog post I referred to the “Baby Broncos” as “Donkey Kicks”. My mistake. Sorry for any confusion that this caused. Also I just started skipping rope again. Skipping rope is a fantastic exercise that again builds real lung power. I’m planning on alternating Hill Sprints with Skipping Rope to really take my cardio to another level.
In the next Bodyweight Exercises Blog
I’ll be giving an update on my fat loss efforts. I’m a little concerned as I ate a little too much on Canada Day. We’ll see what happens. Till then!
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- Rope Jumping As a Form of Exercise (dietriffic.com)