Happy Thursday to you,
As we start October we enter into the final quarter of the year or as they say in business terms Q4.
What are your health and fitness plans for the final part of this year?
Have you achieved what you set out to achieve back in January?
Personally, I’m still on target having avoided coffee, alcohol and worked on my daily mobility 🙂
My mind is already starting to think about next year and what great things I can work towards either adding or removing from my life.
Hopefully we can all achieve some great things in Q4 and 2021.
“Slow down _____enter clients name” is a sentence I constantly hear myself saying.
“OK, now half that speed”, “That’s great, now half that speed again”
No matter who I work with they always want to move too quickly when performing an exercise.
Performing an exercise quickly is a natural response to any exercise.
The quicker you move the easier it is to disguise or ‘move past’ any weaknesses or movement problems you may have.
In fact, many people seem to look like they perform an exercise with good form until you start to slow things down.
The squat is the perfect example.
Just by performing a slow bodyweight squat you can see the knees often try to cave inwards or weight shift to one side or the other.
Performing an exercise slowly is hard work, the muscles have to spend more ‘time under tension’ and the elasticity of the muscles cannot help bounce you back up from a bottom position.
Next time you exercise, make a conscious effort to slow things down.
How does your body react to a slow Turkish get up?
Are you speeding through a sticking point (weakness) that needs more work?
All beginners should learn to master technique by moving slowly at first.
Let’s take a look at a workout example next….
4 minute squat challenge:
- Bodyweight Squat x 20 secs
- Hold at the bottom position (thighs parallel with the floor) x 10 secs
- Repeat 8 times
Here’s a fun workout that will teach you to slow down, improve technique and at the same time take the stored energy out of your muscles during the isometric hold.
Start with bodyweight squats for 20 seconds, nice and steady, pause at the bottom of the squat for 1 second. You should only perform 5 – 6 reps.
Next hold the bottom squat position for 10 seconds with your thighs parallel to the floor. Sit your hips back and don’t lean forwards, this is a common mistake.
Repeat the same squats again for 20 seconds and then the holds for 10 seconds.
Standing up from the hold to starting the next set always feels like the best part 🙂
Try and complete the full 4 minutes without resting in the top position and keep a consistent amount of reps each circuit.
When you have mastered this bodyweight version then start adding a kettlebell held in the Goblet Squat position.
Concept 2 Rowing
For the past 15+ years I’ve been using a Concept 2 rowing machine for working on my cardio.
The Concept 2 is the only piece of cardio equipment that I own, everything else is based around strength, mobility and stability.
I tend to row 2 times per week spending the other days working on other facets of fitness.
Rowing is exceptionally good for a number of reasons and primary relies on pushing with the legs and pulling with the upper body. The core muscles stabilise and connect each movement.
With an ever increasing number of hours spent at desks and hunching forwards rowing helps to PULL things backwards.
Those of you new to rowing who fancy giving it a go, set the damper to 5 or less and try holding 20 stokes per minute for goals of 10, 15 and 20 minutes.
Once you have mastered steady rowing with good technique you can move on to intervals using stroke rate changes.
- 5 minutes @ 18 SPM
- 4 minutes @ 20 SPM
- 3 minutes @ 22 SPM
- 2 mintues @ 24 SPM
- 1 minute @ 26 SPM
Hook up your heart rate monitor by wearing a chest strap and you can keep an eye on your progress too.
Want more rowing workouts in future newsletters? Click here.
I hope this helps.
Take care of yourself and each other.
P.S. See all my professional workout programs for Men and Women