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Sunday, November 16, 2014

PaleoJay's Smoothie Cafe #90 Very Best exercise equipment, and the ONLY way to deadlift!

I know, I generally say you don’t need equipment to work out- after all, if you are doing virtual resistance training (flexing as you move through a muscles range of motion) and then holding isometrically...  your own body is the resistance.  And this is the most efficient and safe of all forms of exercise!  It should be your warmup, and the core of your fitness regimen for the rest of your life.  Nothing else even comes close in terms of totally working your entire physique!

But it is also great to include other tools in your bodyweight arsenal.  The first one I would recommend to you is the rebounder, or mini-trampoline.

I have mentioned this piece of equipment before in a podcast, and it is a wonderful addition to virtual resistance training- I often do my virtual moving “poses” on the rebounder, usually in front of the TV...This kind of “doubles your pleasure, doubles your fun” in a good kind of way- you are working aerobically and your musculature at the same time.  A really time efficient way to work out!

I am also a great fan of the pushup!  And while the “hands flat on the floor” version is good, using a perfect pushup type of revolving handle is even better- not only does it raise your hands up off the floor, giving you a greater range of motion and more muscle engagement, it also protects your wrists and shoulders from damage by rotating along with the motion.  This protects your joints even as it makes the exercise more productive.
Ab Roller

Perfect Pushup
P bars, or parallette bars are another great option for pushups, giving you a VERY low extension below parallel.  They are also great for L sits, a top notch ab exercise you can

My homemade P bars!
do.  In a pinch, the perfect pushup device mentioned before can also be used for L sits!  Just make sure you get the heavy duty version of the perfect pushup, as the other lesser version will wear out quickly supporting your body weight in the L sit, and doing pushups with your feet raised off the floor and resting on the back of a couch or chair while you do your leg raised of “Atlas 3” pushups.

An ab roller is wonderful, and actually another kind of pushup!  Wonderful ab exercise, and it also simultaneously works the arms, chest, back and shoulders- also, it’s a great party trick, as most men cannot do even one without gradually working up to it.  To begin, get an ab roller (they are quite cheap!) and do them from your knees.  Next, you can do them from the top as a negative, going as slowly as you can downwards, and just stop at the bottom.  Eventually you will get one full, top to bottom and back up again rep, and then you will add another, and another until you get to a set of 6 or 7.  That’s all you really need in terms of reps- then, just do multiple sets for a very high level of fitness!  I like to “superset” ab roll outs with my sets of pushups.

Of course, a pullup/chinup bar is a necessity, but a tree branch of piece of pipe will do in a pinch.  I use my old power rack in the basement for this, back from my old weight lifting days of long ago, and a power rack or “cage” is a very versatile piece of equipment indeed- it is much more productive without weights, as it is ideal for isometric work, utilizing its pins to press against with empty bars or wooden dowels.  It is also great to use the power rack for squat variations- you can use the side supports to hold on to as you do a one legged or “pistol” squat.  It helps to lean back as you do this, because that really takes the strain off of the knee joint and puts it right over the quadricep muscle where you want it.  You can duplicate this upstairs, too, by doing these pistols in a door frame!

Another wonderful training adjunct is a set of gymnastic rings!
Now they are mounted on the ceiling joists!
very advanced!

Mount these in your basement as I have, and you will find them to be among the most satisfying, versatile and productive pieces of equipment you could possibly own.  They are wonderful to do pushups on!  You can do Atlas 1,2,and 3 pushups quickly and conveniently, just by moving a little forwards or backwards to adjust the grips to be parallel to the floor (Atlas 1), angles halfway up (Atlas 2), or angled up high (Atlas 3).

They are also great for pullups, L sits, and dips; also rows, and as assists for pistols!

Really- find a place for rings in your house, garage, basement or yard!  They are just fantastic to train on.

I am saving the most crucial for last- an Exergenie is the ONLY way I recommend to do a deadlift, or a heavy squat!

I know, this is controversial within Paleo Land, but it is also undeniable when you really look into it- just as gluten, and the other anti-nutrients in wheat and other grains are undeniably very harmful to human beings in their nutrition- so is lifting a heavy bar from the ground and standing up in a dead lift harmful to your back and other joints.

Also, putting a heavy barbell across your shoulders, and squatting, will compress your spine, inevitably damage your knees, and set you up for serious, long-term injury.

Also, it just gives you a fat butt, bulging abdomen, and blocky thighs- avoid these exercises!

High rep hindu squats, the aforementioned pistols, and the exergenie can give you anything these exercises can, BETTER!  I have an old exergenie that I bought off of Ebay- it has wooden handles, but they sell new ones too,  and you can use it to do maximum effort deadlifts, squats, military presses, curls, and many other exercises.  You feed the rope (that supplies the resistance) out with your fingers, and you can make the resistance as hard as you want throughout the whole range of motion.  You can make it so hard that 3 reps is all you need for the squat and deadlift.

The best thing about the Exergenie is what you can do for your shoulders!  You can mount it in a door frame, closing the door on it 1/2 way up or so, and really lean into it, stretching out your shoulder girdle in every way possible.  Then, you can pull back using just enough resistance to really work the entire shoulder region in every way- this is the very best way that I have found to really work the shoulders and protect the joint by strengthening both the muscles, tendons and ligaments gradually, from the inside out!

Along with a proper diet, and adequate sleep, these small pieces of training equipment can do far more for your health, strength, and physique than any gym membership you can name.  And, you will have them forever, right in your living room or basement or garage, and can make maximum  use of them for a lifetime!