workouts at the local Gym

This is a rolling post. It will contain frequent updates. Just cataloguing what we did at the Gym

May 18

1. Running on all fours like an animal: 2 minutes

2. Bench press: 8 sets of 3 at 65% max

3. Push ups with hand release: 30 seconds

4. Walking with kettle bells in each hand (Farmer’s walk): 30 seconds

5. Lunges 30 seconds

May 22

Trainer decides that Heavy resistance training is not for me at this stage. So it’s back to basics like foam rolling and stretching. Some foam rolling ideas

1. Foam Roll the whole damned body. You may be feeling it on your neck, but it could well be originating from the legs. Fascia is all connected

2. You can’t hurth yourself doing this

3. Keep looking for creative ways to cause greater sensation in the fascia

May 27, 2012


1. When not meditating, breathe in through the nose as you have always been doing, but breathe out through the mouth. This is especially important if the inhalation was prolonged. Breathing out through the mouth reduces pressure on the chest. Which in turn ensures that when you breathe in, it is the stomach the fills in rather than the chest. It is the pressure on the chest during the exhalation that causes the chest to expand during inhalation. It is important that the chest not expand during inhalation as this is what causes shoulder strain. 

2. My neck tends to fall forward. This puts plenty of pressure on the tendons of the neck. I need to pull my neck back. Basically, the neck must look straight. Neck and back must be in one line more or less. Ofcourse there will always be a curve on my neck as it is natural. A slight curve is natural, ergonomic and desirable. But currently my neck is too far forward. Pull the neck back while tucking in the chin the way boxers do while sparring or in a match. Especially beneficial while in meditation or while in front of the computer

3. Neck resistance exercises to strengthen the neck muscles. These are a bunch of iso-static exercises. Tuck the chin in as usual. Take the left hand to the left cheek/face. Now push the neck against this hand. The neck is stationary but is applying force against the hand. Change sides. Similar resistance must be applied downwards as well as upwards. You can also do these with the neck rotating. This would be iso-metric, i.e. pressure against motion. Touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth to avoid straining any nerves.

4. Lay on your stomach. Straighten hands by extending them to the sides. Then pull up your hands. But the shoulders must not be fired up for this. Rather the force must come from the shoulder blades squeezing in together

5. Get on all fours. Legs apart as much as hands are apart. Hands straight. Drop your chest while squeezing the shoulder blades apart and letting the shoulders fall. Hands remain straight. Then raise your chest with your lower trapezius only. This exercise is called scapular push ups. Don’t engage the upper trapezius or the shoulder muscles. Pull your shoulders back and down while doing this.

6. All fours. Then place your temple on the left hand which is on the ground pal, facing temple. Extend right arm in such a way that the forearm is always on the ground and palm faces the ground. This extension must be done with the right arm walking forwards. The right arm must be extended as much as possible. Then face the palm of the right arm skywards. Now lift the right arm while it is straight and with palm facing sky. Bring it down and walk it back. Repeat. Then change sides

May 31, 2012

1.When we squat, we seem to put too much pressure on our knees. This could lead to injury if not to long term degeneration. Trick is to transfer the pressure elsewhere. A good spot is your butt. When you do squats or limb the stairs, remember to clench your butt as if holding something in the crack.

2. When you start doing the squats, first bend the knees a little. Little enough that the knees are not locked. Now go down and back till your butt touches the wall. As you go down, the back line should not form an angle of less than 45 degrees with the ground. Once this is done, now go lower by bending your knees further. This also puts less pressure on the muscles just above the knee caps and transfers it to the more powerful Quads or the trapezius. Infact you are encouraged to experiment to put as less pressure as possible on the muscles just above the knee caps. Go as low as you can without losing balance. The heel should carry a good part of the weight. But not so much that you fall backwards. Now clench your butt muscles tightly and come up the same way you went down i.e angle of back is never less than 45 degrees. Butt clenching is key. An important pointer. When coming up from the squat, the abdomen muscles must be clenched. See further down to the part about the plank to get a clearer picture. This transfers pressure to the core rather than to the back. While doing this, the squat should “feel” right. The weight should be on the hells and the knee cap muscles should not be engaged. Further you must not feel the back at all. Also since you are not very flexible at present, you must feel like you are falling backward while coming up. Then you are doing it right.

3. I have some flexibility issues in the squat. So foam rolling will help. Massage will too. Stretching the hamstrings and the back a la yogasanas will also help. One thing I need to do is this. Stand facing the fall. One foot ahead of the other. The feet some distance from the wall. Not with the front foot firmly and completely on the ground (no lifting of the heel), bend your knee so that the kneecap comes to touch the wall. This loosens up the joint between the feet and the lower leg. It also loosens up the calf. The rigidity in this joint is the reason why I cannot squat low enough without tipping over. The pressure however must not be felt in the knee. It must all be felt in the affected joint. And the feet must firmly be on the ground all through. You must also switch angles. In one case the kneecap must go in straight, in the other, it must go inside and finally the outside. This increases the flexibility range

4. This is just squats with your back to the wall. The wall is there simply to prevent your from tipping over backwards. This will make you more adventurous and cause you to try to go beyond your normal range of flexibility. Squatting against the wall. Stand some distance from the wall with your back facing the fall. Bend your legs a little at the knees so that your legs are not locked. Now with your feet firmly on the ground (no heel or feet lifting) move your butt backwards till it is touching the wall. Ensure that the back line makes an angle of greater than 45 degrees against the ground. Now come down as in a squat. Clench your butt and come back up same as in a squat.

4. hip Raises: Similar to this youtuve video  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82wvzQyYKSU. But here are some important pointers. Before you come up off the ground, clench your butt. As you come up, you must continue to feel the pressure on your butt. The pressure must not tranfser to other muscles. It must stay in the butt. Now go as high as you can without firing up the other muscles. Just your butt.

5. Clam shells: The exercise is similar to this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3i7XlKmNXw&feature=related. Here are some tips. Before you raise one side, make sure that the butt is clenched. As you raise the one leg, make sure that one side of the butt remains on top of the other side. It must not slide away back wards. When it slides away backwards it gets easier. Don’t let that happen.

6. Plank: Similar to this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btB13yctCTU. But some variations. Your back and legs must be in the same line. Don’t go too high like in the video. Then clench your abs as if some one is going to punch you in the abs and you cannot avoid it. Then with the abs clenched, suck in your abdomen. How long can you do this?

7. Superman/aeroplane: Similar to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ierdi5zj2ts. Called a hip aeroplane. But you don’t do side twisting like the guy is doing. What you do is bend forward as much as possible with straight back. Hold and come back. Knees are slightly unlocked.

June 5th

1. stand with back to the wall. Let your but touch the wall. Back straight. Shoulders pulled back and down. Better if they touch the wall. Now chin back so as to straighten the neck. Do this for 5 secs

2. Sit with back to wall in half lotus or what have you. Pull back chin till neck is straight again. Now do all the neck resistance iso-metric exercises. This is a more advanced version of the previous

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About masculineffort

A Man should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, seduce a woman, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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