Kemme Fitness

Complete Resources for a Functional Fitness Lifestyle

Archive for Exercises

Can’t use your arm workout

I recently created a list of exercises which can be used by an injured person who is unable to put any weight their arms. No Burpees, No Push-up, not even Planks.  This workout is a Functional Fitness workout utilizing exercises which do not require load bearing weight on an arm.

Note: injured people exercising should do so with consultation with medical professionals

NEEDED EQUIPMENT: Physioball

CIRCUIT #1

10 – each side – Side Lunge

20 Slaloms

20 Leg Raises

X2

 

CIRCUIT #2

30 seconds each

Physioball Bridge

Physioball 1 Leg Sit-ups (left leg)

Physioball Bridge

Physioball 1 Leg Sit-ups (right leg)

Physioball Bridge

 

CIRCUIT #3

Do 1 minute each, then 45 seconds each, then 30 seconds each (3 rounds)

Ankle Jumps, Rowboats, Squat Jump, V-Sit, Wall Sit, Scissor Kicks, Ice Skaters

 

CIRCUIT #4

30 seconds 45 Degree Sit

10 – each side – Lunge Twists

20 Physioball Leg Curls

X? (at least two rounds)

Yes, there are exercises at Kemme Fitness that aren’t great.

I’m not kidding, I actually have exercises on this website I am not thrilled with. In fact, I do them at times, sometimes even often. Why on earth would I do this? After all, I write about having balanced, Functional Fitness. You would think there is no room for an exercise that doesn’t meet strict criteria.

frog jump

Honestly, there is truly only one reason for this, and that reason is variety. Variety in an exercise program is a key component to keep motivated. Once you are stagnant and bored, you slip down the path to idleness. Variety is a huge weapon in the mental game.

Plus, some of these “less than awesome movements/exercises” are something others may enjoy. Now, if they were dangerous, I’d remove them. I have in the past. However, these exercises aren’t going to blow out your shoulder like suggesting you do Overhead Squats with a 200 pound barbell until you explode. Duck Walks and Frog Jumps, though, can be rough on your knees if you have issues there. Rowboats, and other “stomach type” exercises are just that – stomach exercises. They aren’t core exercises. Not only do they try to isolate stomach muscles, they can be hard on your back if you have a weak back or do too many at once.

The key to a successful Functional Fitness program (in my mind) is to offer great variety. Just because a particular exercise is not total body or core-centered, it doesn’t mean it can’t be part of the overall portfolio. Think of a 40 minute workout as your retirement portfolio (stick with me here). Small cap mutual funds are high risk/high reward. You wouldn’t want to invest solely in them, as you could risk losing all your hard earned money. However, if you combine them with medium and large cap, with foreign mutual funds, and with bonds, your overall portfolio will be stronger and will get you more reward for the same amount of risk you would have if you hadn’t invested a some small cap.

Clear? No?

The point is, these exercises won’t kill you, they will add variety, keep it more fun, still provide benefit, but not very much risk when done in small doses while mixed in with better exercises during the length of an overall workout.

There is only one more thing I want you to get out of this. If you don’t like any exercise….any exercise whatsoever…for any reason whatsoever, then don’t do it. Skip it and replace it with something else. We have like 400 to choose from, so don’t get hung up on it. Enjoy!

What is the coolest exercise to do on Kemme Fitness?

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If you have done Kemme Fitness workouts for any length of time, you might notice there is a sort of “staple” of exercises we put in most of the workouts.  It is possible to only really think of say maybe 100 exercises, mostly bodyweight when you think of our workouts.

However, take a quick look at the Exercise Page. There are about 400 exercises there. If you count the animal walks, there are 102 just with bodyweight alone. Then you have Kettlebell, Medicine Ball, Pull-up Bar, Slosh Tube, Clubbell, Physioball, Dumbbells, Barbells, Macebells, Mini Slosh Tube,  Sand Bag, and many many more.

Many of these exercises only make it into a dozen or so workouts. Some only make it into a one workout or two. Why, you  may ask. The main reason is I try to design the majority of my workouts for the majority of folks. Therefore, I try not to incorporate too many odd types of equipement such as the Mini Slosh Tube (which probably only a handfull of people in the world have).  Also, I don’t put in those extreme, “cool” exercises in many workouts because the majority of folks simply can’t do them.  In other words, I try to make Kemme Fitness for the masses.

With that said, we do have some intense, challenging, “cool” exercises. One of my favorites is the 1 Hand Barbell Snatch as seen above. You just feel awesome lifting a barbell up from the floor to above you head in one dynamic motion. Or the Aztec Push-up as seen below. How cool is that!

aztec

Perhaps you haven’t experimented with any of these. If not, check out the Exercise Page and try some of them out. I’ll throw a little list together below to get you started.

Aztec Push-up
Back Lever
Diamond Push-up 
Elbow Lever 
Gymnastic Donkey Kick 
Inverted Mountain Climber
Planche
Psycho Push-up
Spinning Push-up
Triangle Pull-ups
Muscle Up
KB 1 Arm Suspended Press
MB Tri-pod Push-up
Press/Squat Combo Slosh Tube
Floor Wipers Slosh Tube
Spiderman Push-up Parallettes
L-Sit 
1 Arm Snatch 
Offset Bench Press 
 
These are just to get you started.  You may find more on the page that interest you. After compiling my “short list,” I really am at a loss for which one I think is the coolest. I still think the 1 Arm Barbell Snatch makes me feel the most like a super hero.  And yes….that is what it is all about!

Breaking down the Cossack Squat exercise

The Cossacks were a group of predominantly East Slavic people who originally were members of democratic, semi-military communities in Ukraine and Southern Russia.  How does that relate to the Cossack Squat?  No idea, other than when you perform the exercise, you get into a position that is reminiscent of the Cossack dancers.

cossack_dance_02

Try as I might, I couldn’t find a great photo of a Cossack dancer in the same position as the exercise, but they do get into that position. The photo above is obviously not quite the same as the photo below. The photo below is of a Cossack Squat exercise and you can see how the leg is off to the side (not in the air) and off to the side. The dude is squatted all the way down though. This is not a Side Lunge, as his knee is further back and he has to lean forward to maintain balance. Think of this as putting your butt back at a 45 degree angle (not straight back like an Air Squat, and not to the side as in a Side Lunge).

cossack-squat_-_step_2_max_v1

What? You can’t squat that low?  No kidding…most people can’t (including me). So how do you do a Cossack Squat if you aren’t strong enough (or flexible enough) to squat that deep. Well it looks something like this:

cossack-squat_-_step_1_max_v1

As you can see in this last photo, the dude is not very low. This guy calls this “step one” while the photo above it is “step two.” When I train people, most never go past “step one,” and that is ok. The important thing here is you are squatting as far as you can with only one knee bent. I make sure to keep that knee from going out past the tip of my toe to ensure my knees don’t ache. What this does is gives you variety. A Cossack Squat is different from an Air Squat, which is different from a Side Lunge. The purpose is to engage as many muscle combinations and  neural-muscular connections as possible.

You might not feel the Cossack Squat, in and of itself, is an intense exercise, but it is a great tool to have in your tool box.

an alternate version of Brazilian Crunches

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Click here to see the Brazilian Crunch video link I have been using on Kemme Fitness off of our Exercise page.

The above photos and and video link show what is considered by many to the traditional Brazilian Crunch. Essentially you are getting into a Front Bridge/Plank and then tuck up one knee. When the knee is tucked up under your chest, then twist that leg under your body. Your torso also twists. Now you do activate your core doing this style of Brazilian Crunch because you are in a plank position, however, many physical therapists and experts would agree there is a better way to strengthen your core than with this twist.

Soccer_Brazilian_Triplets_1_1920x1200

I was unable to find an image on the internet of the alternate version of the Brazilian Crunch, but something tells me approximately half of my readers wouldn’t mind the image I did find instead!

ALTERNATE VERSION:

The beginning of this version is identical to the traditional version. The first movement is also the same – the knee tuck. Here is where things change. Remember, in the traditional version, this is where that twist come into play. However, with the alternate version your torso and hips do not twist at all. The only thing twisting is your knee. If you tucked up your right leg, then what you do to finish the movement is twist your knee so your right foot comes up towards your left arm. Mentally, think about touching your right foot to your left elbow. You won’t get anywhere near there, but this is the direction you are taking. Your right knee never comes out of alignment with your right shoulder (no hip or torso twisting). Think of your right knee coming straight forward and then your right foot swinging inside towards your left elbow. Return to the start position (Front Plank/Bridge) and switch legs.

It is up to you, but whenever you see “Brazilian Crunch” in one of our workouts, you have my official permission to use either version. However, I suggest you do the alternate version, as there are no disadvantages as compared to the traditional version. I feel there is only advantages.

And yes, I do realize since I prefer the alternate version I need a better video link. It’s on my list, so be patient.

an alternate version of Mountain Climbers

burpee-mountain-climber

The typical way most folks do Mountain Climbers is depicted above. You get a nice solid base and start alternating legs. This movement is a fast movement. In fact, I’ve seen this done at lightning speed, throwing your heartrate up. Essentially your feet pass each other in the air as you alternate which leg is in the knee tuck position. The front foot also touches the ground and helps to keep you stable and to give you leverage to push off.

Click here to see the Mountain Climber video link I have been using on Kemme Fitness off of our Exercise page.

The benefits of this standard version of the Mountain Climber is in the speed. You can really get a good elevated heartrate. Not to mention the movement is using multiple muscle combinations and engages your core. However, if you are willing to give up the heart health benefits a tad in order to increase the impact on your core, this alternate version may be up your alley.

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ALTERNATE VERSION:

In this version, you must maintain a perfect Front Plank position with straight alignment from your feet all the way up through your head (i.e. no butt up in the air).  Notice the woman above’s alignment in the top image. Also, as you see in the bottom image, your alignment is maintained even with the leg forward in the knee tuck position. Another change is how she does not put her front foot on the ground. Stability is maintained with the rear leg and the hands. The front leg stays in the air, forcing your core to engage even more to maintain balance. The core is also utilized to keep that toe-to-head alignment. Because the front foot doesn’t touch the ground, speed is sacrified. This is a slow movement, which is great for working on that core stability.

It is up to you, but whenever you see “Mountain Climbers” in one of our workouts, you have my official permission to use either version. It depends on your goal at the time. This is simplifying things, but think of “heartrate versus core.” The standard version will increase your heartrate more than the alternate, but the alternate version will engage your core more. Your call.

Winner of the new Burpee contest

Time to announce the winner of the new Burpee contest here at Kemme Fitness.  We received a good amount of entries and some of the other entries may eek their way into the program in the future. But as far as the winner, we have Aaron Roberts from Chicago, Illinois.
 
Aaron’s Burpee Medicine Ball Thrust is an excellent, complex, Functional Fitness movement. What really tipped the scale and pushed Aaron’s Burpee into greatness, was the option to add a Medicine Ball Slam at the end.
 
Before explaining his new Burpee, here are a few links to exercises incorporated into his version:
Burpee
Medicine Ball Thruster
Medicine Ball Slam
 
And here is Aaron’s explanation of the new Burpee:
Start with the Medicine Ball on the floor a couple of feet in front of you.
Squat down and do the Push-up portion of the Burpee as usual.  Then, when you get back to the squat position, instead of jumping straight up, grab the Medicine Ball and do a Medicine Ball Thruster, throwing the ball straight up and catching it again over your head.  Then start the next Burpee by squatting and placing the medicine ball out in front of you far enough that it does not interfere with the next Push-up.An alternate is to slam the Medicine Ball from overhead before squatting again.  This works best if you have a Medicine Ball with little to no bounce, like a homemade version.

See The Low  Cost Gym for instructions on making your homemade Medicine Ball.

Thanks to all of you who participated in the contest. As for Aaron, he will receive a free copy of Witness Tampering, an exciting mystery fiction novel. And stay tuned for the Aaron Roberts Workout coming soon with his new Burpee Medicine Ball Thrust! 

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