The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, January 14, 2005

Hit The Deck!

Here's a great workout method that adds variety and that elusive quality called "Randomness", which I think is essential to optimal health. Bodybuilders call it the "muscle confusion principle"--to keep your body guessing, never knowing exactly what you're going to throw at it from one day to the next. Seen this way, exercise is a conversation with your body--you're telling it that your survival and reproductive success depends on being lean and healthy--and it will obey!
You need a deck of cards to do this. Then you need three different exercises. I would suggest one upper body, one lower body, and one abdominal. For instance, this morning I used:
1) Upper: Hindu Pushups/sun salutations
2) Lower: Basic Squat-casts with clubbells
3)Abs: Roller-wheel from knees
To do the same workout without any equipment (say, when traveling), I could have substituted Hindu Pushup/sun salutations, Hindu Squats, and Be Breathed.
Shuffle the deck. Start going through the deck a card at a time. If it's a red card, do that number of upper body exercises. The Hindu pushup is a modified upward dog/downward dog combination, in essence the center section of a sun salutation. So perform a sun salute, doing that number of Hindu Pushups in the middle before you complete and stand back up.If it's a black card, do that number of lower body exercises. If it's a face card, do ab exercises, using the last number drawn. If you get a joker, take five deep breaths.
How far can you get through the deck? You can do this for time, or number of cards, or just until you can't move anymore. The Hindu Pushup/Sun Salutation combination is great because of the integrated stretch and bounce of the motion. In fifteen minutes, you can get one heck of a good workout!
P.S.--be sure to use BE BREATHED breathing throughout the entire exercise. You can even use this in combination with the 5MM--just take a few short exercise breaks during the day and watch your energy skyrocket!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sun salutations are obviously a huge part of yoga. But they can be modified to meet your physical needs. I found Leeann Carey has a free yoga video on this that your readers might like: