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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Podcast- Total Upper Body Maintenance!


OK- my last podcast was about walking backward, and so bulletproofing and building your lower body.  Remember, this is achieved by:

Walking backward, usually against the resistance of an elastic band ideally,

And then doing various ‘Knees over toes guys’ exercises, including deadlifts and stiff-legged deadlifts on a platform, aka Jefferson Curls.  Doing pistol squats while balancing on gymnastic rings is great, and deep lunges with total control to strengthen the entire leg.  Once again, the videos at ‘  can illustrate all of this superbly.


But now, I have promised you all the bulletproof ways to build and maintain your upper body as well…  so here we go!

First- walk backward against the resistance of a heavy elastic band, slowly and deliberately, back and forth, to completely work every muscle within your lower body!  Really, this is important enough to do each time you workout, which would include two days of the lower body, and two days of the upper body per week.  Four days per week- Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday for instance.  Ideally take a day off between each day, for a rest day between each workout day.  

Here is your upper body day:  I press a bar into a power rack at arms length, and then slowly lower myself from my legs, doing a military press, up and down, resisting with my arms as my legs lift me slowly up and down.  But the resistance is all in my arms and shoulders.  Continue for one minute- you will be wiped out!

Alternate this with pull-ups on the gymnastic rings which you have suspended above you in the rafters of your basement or garage.  If 8 or more pushups for multiple sets is too hard, leave your feet on the ground, and just lean way back, to the point you can do at least eight reps.  

Then, do pull-ups with your feet on the ground, resisting just enough to allow you to do a full minute of slow pull-ups , and then follow with feet on the ground pull-ups at an angle on the rings.  

Then go to your dip station, and instead of doing regular dips, which are quite hard long term on your shoulders- stand on a box within the dip bars, and lower yourself slowly up and down, using your feet to allow you to push as hard as you can as you slowly move up and down in the dip motion.  Keep it up for at least a minute.  This is called ‘aerobic isometrics’, and it is really effective!  Follow once again with feet on the ground pull-ups on the rings for an 8-10 count.

Finally, lower your gymnastic rings to a low level, and start doing pushups.  Walk forward holding the rings, until you can do a pretty easy pushup, almost standing nearly straight.  Do 20 or more reps, and then do 20 or more flies in the same position.  Next, hold your hands out straight before you, suspending your torso at a straight angle, and move your arms in a circular motion while suspending your body at that angle.  Go to near exhaustion.

Then, walk backward, and repeat, at a near horizontal angle, pushups and all.  And finish even further back, where your body is held horizontally, or even with heels raised on a box, doing the same motions.  

This will exhaust your upper body, very safely and productively, without any injury-provoking movements like the bench press, barbell rows or such standard movements.  These will all ultimately injure you, by forcing your body into unnatural planes of motion.  The gymnastic rings, alternatively, will build the strength of both your tendons, ligaments, and muscles, which will serve to protect the very joints that barbell movements will compromise and grind on.  

It’s all about the longevity of fitness and strength, not ‘proving yourself’ for a few years, and then collapsing into an injured mass with old stories of glory to tell.  Health and fitness is meant to be lifelong, and it should be!  That is the ultimate goal.

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