Sunday, July 11, 2004


A number of years ago I injured my back pretty badly and I've been struggling with it ever since.

At the moment I'm trying to lose a few pounds, strengthen my back and generally try and feel a bit better. Because of my injury there are limits to what I can do but I'm trying my hardest to keep going.

My workout at the moment is basic in the extreme and, to anyone who has any kind of active existence this will seem ridiculous, is fairly hard work. Bear in mind, I've been sedentary for about a year and a half now.

Here it is- press ups and bastards, or as they're sometimes known, squat thrusts. To do a squat thrust stand up, feet fairly close together, hands by sides. Now bend your legs and put your hands on either sides of your feet, kick back with both feet (so that you're in a press up position), then bring your feet back to the starting position and then stand up. It sounds easy but if you do them as fast as you can they tend to get a bit harder- hence the name, bastards.
As I said, I'm not fit at all, so I started with ten. Then 15 and then 20 and then do them for a minute, and then do three sets of 1 minute. Take your time to build up. If this is the sort of workout you need to do, start slow and go easy. Don't hurt yourself. It's a small thing to do and takes very little time (remember to warm up first and to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise regime, I cannot be held responsible for any injuries incurred, etc.) but I've noticed my legs getting stronger in a very short time.
As for press ups there are four types I do- hands directly below my shoulders, keeping elbows in tight to the body during the press up motion; wide grip, SEAL press ups and tricep press ups. The latter two are just the names I use for 'em. Here's how to do 'em:

SEAL press ups. Start in a standard press up position, hands wide apart. Now bring your feet forward a few feet and stick your butt in the air so that your body forms an upsidedown V. Bend your arms and as your face comes towards the ground push your head forward, as if you're pushing it beneath a fence (does that make sense?). Then reverse. These are pretty hard when you first star them but they're really good for your upper back.
Triceps press ups are even harder. To begin, get down in a press up position but bring your hands together so that your thumbs and forefingers form a triangle shape (stick your thumbs out from your hands) and place them right below your breastbone. When you bend your arms your chest should just about touch your hands and you'll feel your triceps doing all the work. I love these.

Anyway, that's pretty basic workout- I spread them out throughout the day, doing a set here and there. Start easy, do what you can and take every other day off if you're just starting to exercise. One set of each and build up from what you can do, adding to it when you can. I like to increase in jumps of five, but doing another one each time is fine too.

This isn't going to turn you into Superman, but it'll give you a good basic strength. I'm just beginning to sort myself out, but in a month's time I'll add to this. Give it a go, see how it feels.

1 comment:

Bobby said...

Squat thrusts kill. They are like torture. There is another exercise from the push up position like that which is torture - mountain climbers, our gym coach called them. You're in like a finished push-up position, and you're just running in place like that. They're rough.