Wow have I been negligent! One of the most wicked whole body, strength and conditioning routines I’ve done in my life is not on this blog! Plus, it’s a workout you can do for free! This is a workout which should kick your butt thoroughly and leave you wondering what it was you did to make your body so sore; and if it doesn’t, work hardermovefasterliftheavier!
Now here’s what you’re going to need:
Rocks. (Did he say rocks?) Yes. Big ones. This is strongman or strongwoman training, but using a variety of rocks. Let me give you an example. I have four I use to mix up the exercise routines every couple of weeks, and they are 35 lbs., 93 lbs., 113 lbs. and 130+ lbs. respectively.
Much like Atlas stone lifting, but these have the added benefit of being unbalanced, causing your body to compensate and squeeze everywhere to hold onto and manipulate these weighty objects. Now you can go out and do curls and military presses, and front squats, etc., but why waste the true potential of these monsters on movements better accomplished with more suitable exercise equipment?
No, no. Here’s the routine, and I’m sure after some playing around (after all, we are just throwing rocks around,) you will come up with your own. This is NOT for the feint of heart, so if you are just coming back from an injury, or recently picked up resistance training, start out light or don’t do this at all.
For most people I would recommend starting out with three rounds of the following, leaving out the fourth exercise if you pass out:
-Thorough warm-up, especially a dynamic general and joint warm-up, such as windmills, joint rotations, good mornings, etc.
–Clean and Push Throw: Squat down and imagine you are wrapping your upper body around the rock. Tighten your abs from below your belly button, squeeze your legs, butt, and hips, grip the ground with your feet. Now, pull the rock off the ground and up to your chest. If necessary, ‘lap’ the rock, by catching it in your lap as you drop into a squat, much like you would with a clean. Once the rock is at chest level, get both hands behind it, and push it out horizontally, driving off of your legs with a slight squat.
–High Rise High Pull (I had to call it something!) This is basically a high pull from the ground, but you are hugging the weight instead of hanging on to a bar. Bring the rock up as high as possible in one smooth motion, standing up tall enough to give your back a good contraction at the top of the motion. However, try not to go too far with the back bending. Imagine you need to lift the rock onto a platform sitting somewhere between your chin and your eyes, and get the rock to the level in a controlled manner. Then carefully lower the rock to the ground and repeat.
–Hulk Slam/Throw: I couldn’t resist calling it this, but once you do it you will see why. Switch to a lighter rock if you have to, and just like a medicine ball slam, get the rock up over your head with arms full extended before using your whole body to slam it to the ground. Watch out for your feet!
The throw definitely requires a moderate weight rock, and instead of slamming the rock down, use a slight flex in your legs, drive the balls of your feet into the ground, and throw the rock. Your arms will still be extended, and your will be using your body to flex like a bow before releasing the rock into the stratosphere.
–Side Lunge Toss: Just as if you were going to lift the rock for a high pull, get low and prepare to push off both legs. However, as the rock leaves the ground, drive your straight torso, powered by your legs to one side, ‘tossing’ the rock in an underhand throw to that side. The drive for this move starts with the legs, and as you torque to one side will become a core movement. Practice this until it is smooth before picking up heavy rocks.
When the movement is smooth, you should be hopping from one side to the other, alternating which side of the body is moving the boulder.
Start by doing a ‘lap’ that takes about three to five reps to close the distance on going one way. Do three rounds of one exercise before moving on to the next. For the Hulk Slam and High Rise High Pull, start with 5-6 reps or less for 3-4 sets. I suggest doing this workout in the order I’ve listed the exercises above.
A couple notes:
You will feel this, and if odd object lifting is new to you, the entire back, especially the lower lumbar, will be taken through a fuller range of motion than it is accustomed to. To be safe, keep activating your lower abdominals and your glutes as you push off the ground. Also, utilize your feet and use them to grip the ground and push against. It seems obvious, but when you do this consciously, the effects are noticeable.
Finally, give your self a couple of minutes between exercises. Doing the rounds of one exercise for 3-5 reps each way on a ‘lap’ is a heart-pounding interval you will need to recover from. Also, don’t underestimate the effect this workout can have on your nervous system. This is not an everyday exercise routine, but it is a great way to deviate from your regular routine! So get to work and have fun!
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