Monday Mobility – 5 Wrist Mobility Exercises from the Japanese Martial Arts


It’s Monday, so here’s another instalment of Monday Mobility.

This weeks drills are for the wrists, an area that was of particular interest the last time I ran the Bodyweight Workshop over in Galway.

While on the subject of the Bodyweight Workshop, did you know there are still places left on this Sundays workshop in Dublin? (super smooth pug eh? I’m getting the hang of this internet marketing stuff!)

Anyhow, I digress.

Over in Galway I had some pretty well known local coaches present, who were asking about wrist issues that they come across with their clients, particularly on the push up.

In today’s desk bound population, or even those that train, very often have tightness in the finger flexors, which of course run down the inside of your forearm.
If these are tight, then the chances are having your hand flat on the deck, then putting a large amount of bodyweight into it, as you do with push ups, is going to be pretty uncomfortable.Women Push Ups

So in the Galway we spent a good amount of time discussing the hand and wrist looking as specific mobilisation exercises that can be introduced to a training program in order to free up the wrist and allow for better hand placement and ground contact in the Push Up exercise.

This video clip shows a few of the exercises.

These ones are taken from the Japanese Martial Arts (you may have guessed that from the title….), over the years I’ve trained and been exposed to Goshin Jitsu, various Karate Styles, a couple of Aikido styles and pretty much whatever else was available in whatever part of the world I was residing in.

Here’s the video:

And yes, I know, I look like a baby with no beard!

Now, if you’re interested in attending this weekends BodyWeight Workshop, I have a few places remaining.
We take an in depth look at Joint Mobility, including the drills in this clip. We also look at specific mobilisations to ensure proper performance of the key Bodyweight Exercises.
The day always finishes with Animal and Martial Arts based bodyweight exercises that will strengthen you in ways you didn’t even realise you weak in!

Martial Arts inspired training methods for building genuine strength & power, not just "gym strength"

Martial Arts inspired training methods for building genuine strength & power, not just “gym strength”

Click HERE for booking details.

Regards

Dave Hedges
http://www.WG-Fit.com

Imagine talking to an Alien……


Well, I’m back and getting into the flow of being back working with clients in the gym rather than playing with the kids on the beach.
Sometimes, the two aren’t that different….

"The Daddy Bear is going to eat you!"

“The Daddy Bear is going to eat you!”

After all, if you spend any time around kids, or remember yourself as a child, think of all the ways in which you used your body.

You’d run, crawl, jump, roll, climb and pretty much whatever else took your fancy. And these are all elements I throw into the training of adults here at WG, while yes, we stick mostly to good solid strength and conditioning practices, but often times we play and try to find the childlike pleasure of simple movement.

And thats most of what we got up to on our holiday with the kids, it was great fun.

And then just this morning after the Bootcamp one of my lads is chatting to me about his weak points and what he feels he needs to work more to improve his Kettlebell Sport performance.

This lad is with me less than a year but has made great progress, which includes having a crack at kettlebell sport, one of the most gruelling sports out there.

He said he needed to work his legs more.

I said that is no surprise, consider your previous five years of training and what you did.

You see he came to me from the “standard” gym, mainstream commercial fitness, where pretty much everything is done seated.

Bench press, seated military press, seated lat pull downs, seated leg extensions, seated leg press…….

And I thought, just imagine you were having a conversation with a being from another planet.

Alien Cartoons
Imagine this being asked you how we humans maintained and improved upon our physical capacity, how we built strength and stamina to keep strong and useful.
Now think about most people’s answer:

“Yeah, I go to this place we call a gym.”

“Oh really, that sounds cool, what do you do there?”

“When I’m there I lie down and work my chest, then I sit on this machine to work my back.”

“Oh, you sit and lie down?”

“erm yeah, and them for my legs,”

“those skinny things you stand on?”

“yeah these things I’m standing on.”

“Are they how you move around, say chasing stuff?”

“What was that? Oh, yeah, these are my natural method of locomotion.
So anyway to make these strong, I sit down on the leg press”

“Sorry, did you just say you sit down to train them, you don’t move about like their natural function indicates?”

Can you imagine the confusion.

You sit down to get fitter and stronger?

Especially our lower body, the very things that are designed to carry us around, we sit down to train them?

If you want to genuinely improve you strength and fitness, to genuinely increase your quality of movement and athletic ability get off your fucking arses and learn something from the kids.

Kids don’t sit still. In fact keeping them sat at all is a challenge (at least with my two, and I wasn’t much different!)

In August I’ll be running the bodyweight training course, which looks at real movement. We look at how to regain lost movement patterns, such as the squat and hip hinge.
We talk about using bodyweight to develop the strength and agility that is your birthright.

We also look at more playful movements from the animal world, the kind of things we did as kids without a second thought.

I’ll be posting dates and location by the end of the week, keep an eye out here for it.

Regards

Dave Hedges
http://www.WG-Fit.com

 

Good Reads, Rapid Response, Armour of War and Falling Asleep in a Toy Box


Well, how was your weekend?

For my house, it was chaotic as Son no 2 celebrated his second birthday, so we had a house filled with kids and family. It was more exhausting than any of the workouts and training programs I set you lot to do!

Tactical Water Pistol Training with the boys in preparation for the ensuing birthday celebrations

Tactical Water Pistol Training with the boys in preparation for the ensuing birthday celebrations

Even the special birthday set we did in the Saturday Kettlebell class in his honour.
You’ll need one kettle and an interval timer. Set the timer to go off every 2mins continually and do the following:

1: Burning four x 2min
2: Full arm plank x 2 min
3: Around the body x 2min each direction
4: Figure 8’s x 2min
5: Press x 2min left
6: press x 2min right
7: Bodyweight Squat x 2min
8: Static bridge hold x 2min
9: bent over row x 2min left
10: bent over row x 2 min right
11: Lunge x 2min right
12: Lunge x 2min left
13: swings x 2min left
14: swing x 2min right

Do the whole thing continuously with no breaks.

Enjoy.

Good Reads For the Week

Now to make up for my lack of anything informative to write about today, I’m going to share someone elses work.
There’s a strength coach I regularly steal ideas from, the latest of which was the Skater Squat Iso Hold my regulars have been having fun with this week:

It’s as fun as it looks!
But it’s great for the knee stability.

Ben also writes a (fairly) regular feature where he collects a shed load of the best articles from the best coaches and collated them into a single list called “Good Reads for the Week”
This latest edition is especially good because I’m on the list, click on the image below and his page will open in a new tab:

Click Image to open the site

Click Image to open the site

Rapid Response

This Sunday will see the Rapid Response 1 day Knife Defence Skills workshop being run.
It’s a full day of fluff free, BS free, no nonsense information that is tried and tested effective. There are still a few places available on the day, simply get in touch to book. More info can be found HERE

The next time I’ll be running this will be in Tramore on July 27th, details to follow.

Bodyweight Training

You all know I love me some bodyweight training, I’ve written plenty about it in the past. Well, there’s a guy named Tom Furman, he is also a big fan of the method. I just read an eBook of his titled “Armour of War, Augmented Bodyweight Training and the Art of Minimalism”

My verdict on the book?

Get it.

Click on the image for more info

A no nonsense resource

A no nonsense resource

And that’s me done, I have to go, the Missus just told me Son no 2 is asleep in the toy box and I have to try and get him into his bed…..

Regards

Dave Hedges
http://www.WG-Fit.com

Your Excuses are Invalid and How to Achieve Your Goals


rounner

“Glory is fleeting, mediocrity lasts forever”
– The Rasta Jesus

I asked on Facebook the other day “what exercise to see being butchered the most?”
And the answers are coming in thick and fast, here are the most common so far:

  • Plank
  • Push Up
  • Squat
  • Deadlifts
  • Pull Ups
  • Cleans

Also getting a few people mention the Lunge and even the Punch!

So I guess I’ve a busy few days putting together some video footage for you.
I’ll get a few tutorials done covering the above list, much in the same vein as the tutorials I previously recorded covering the kettlebell lifts.

So that’s what’s coming up.

Today though I want to talk about getting your head right.

Everything say,everything you do, everything you’ve ever achieved and everything you are today and everything you’re going to be. It all starts and ends in your head.

And that means you need to gain control of your head.

There are a multitude of blogs and websites talking a vast amount of crap about self help, positive thinking, meditation, visualisation etcetera, etcetera.

Most of these sites are run my hyped up ego’s bent on emptying your wallet.

So here’s the Dave Hedges version.

Free of charge.

Workout what you want.
Workout why you want it.
Workout how you’ll get it.
Start.

End of.

Right now, I have a list of people working towards a list of training goals.
I’ve 8 guys on the Kettleheads GS Team working towards a Kettlebell competition.
I’ve a lad on the final approach to an Ironman triathlon.
I’ve a girl who desperately wants to get back to triathlon following injury.

And I’ve got Seb.

And because of Seb, all your excuses are invalid.

Seb managed to mess up his knee about badly as is possible and still be able to call it a knee.
As soon as he was somewhat mobile again, he asked me if he could come back training.
Seb is a BJJ player, last year he won a bronze medal in his category at the European championships. I look after is Strength & Conditioning needs.
When he asked to come in, I said yes.

We had a think and got him working. Mostly Pull Ups and Dip, with some pilates core work and seated battling ropes.
This went on, three days per week for a few months. After the first few days, I could see the changes in his personality, the damaged and depressed Seb was fading away in the face of this physical onslaught. The old Seb, the athlete, started to come back.

A while later he got rid of one crutch.

Then the other.

Then we sent him to our Physio, Andy Watson, who knows knees.

Pretty soon we got rid of the knee brace and upped his training from 3 to 5 days per week.

Seb now runs, he squats, he jumps and he even started skipping.

In January, he will compete again at the European Championships.

And only because he kept his head right.

He chose who to talk to and who to ignore. He knew the physio at the hospital wasn’t up to the job so he asked for my input. I sent him to Andy, who’s a no BS kind of guy.

Seb kept coming training, even though he was limited in what he could do. He threw his entire focus into what he COULD do not wallowing in what he couldn’t do.

He hung around the gym longer than needed, just so he could be around motivated people. Turned out, his presence and persistence is a huge motivating factor for the rest of my crew, they know their excuses are invalid when he’s around.

Seb took the time to get his head right. He found the people that would keep his head right. He did, and still does the work to ensure his head stays right.

This is why his injuries are making such good progress.

This is Seb a few weeks ago, remember only a few weeks previously he was wearing a massive knee brace, and before that was on crutches:

So what can we take from this story?

How about the following:

  • If you want something bad enough, you’ll find the motivation to get on with it. Seb said from the word go, that he wanted to be in the European champs, this is when he couldn’t even walk yet. This thought is what kept him working.
  • Surround yourself with people who will support you.
  • Set small goals and tick them off along the way.
    Seb went from two crutches, to one to none. He now doesn;t even wear the brace. Then we got him walking right and are working on regaining full ROM in the squat. Each is a step towards the greater goal.
  • Consistency is key.
    There will always be days where you don’t want to, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Sometimes you just have to get on with it.
    This is where all the positive thinking bull shit falls down, you don’t have to be happy about doing your work, just remember what it is your working towards and dig your heels in and go for it.

Anything is possible.

Are you willing to work for it?

Regards

Dave Hedges
http://www.wg-fit.com

Spice Up Your Push Up Training


Women Push UpsPush ups have been a hot topic the last few weeks at Wild Geese. Several of my guys took on a “Hundred push up challenge” they found online, more on that in a moment.

Before we get to that, One of my lads was working with push ups and asked me to put up a few variations for him, always happy to oblige I gave him 10 including the standard push up.

 
He was kind enough to video this very quick demonstration:

Now back to the Push up challenge.
The program the guys downloaded looked unrealistic to me, but they’re a tough lot and had a crack at it anyhow. Most got stuck pretty quick and all progress stalled.
So here’s the method I’ve given then as an alternative:

Train five days per week using the undulating method.
Essentially it goes like this:
Monday – warm up and knock out a max set. We’ll call this 100%
Tuesday – 60%
Wednesday – 80%
Thursday – 70%
Friday – 95%
Next Monday go for a new maximum.

The percentages are variable, what is important is that you go all out on the Monday and vary the intensity over the rest of the week.

Have a play and see how you get on.

Regards
Dave Hedges
http://www.WG-Fit.Com

Bullet Proofing the Body with Bodyweight & Kettlebell Lifts


In the midst of all the excitement talking about the launch of my Kettlebell Instructor Cert, I’ve almost forgotten to promote the workshop I’ll be teaching down at Dolan Fitness in Tullamore in a little over a week.

On June 2nd, I’ll be at Kieran’s gym teaching what we’ve titled “Creating the Complete Athlete with Bodyweight and Kettlebell Training”

That’s a pretty fancy title.

But it actually reflects the training that is most often overlooked by many in the strength and conditioning world.

An athlete needs to be strong, this is an irrefutable fact. And there is no better tool for developing maximal strength than with the barbell. If a training program doesn’t revolve around Squats, Deadlifts, a big Press and an olympic variation, then perhaps you should re-evaluate your training program.

correct swing technique loading the posterior chain and activating the stretch reflex

correct swing technique loading the posterior chain and activating the stretch reflex

But those lifts all one dimensional, they challenge you in a single plane and are all performed standing still.

Get out of the gym and into the real world and it all changes, you become challenged from every conceivable angle, you have to generate force from weird positions for unknown amounts of time and an unknown number of repetitions.
Just how many tackles will you make in that rugby match with how much of a rest in between them?
How many kicks will you throw in the ring?
At what point during that clinch stalemate will you get to explode into a flurry of action to gain the upper hand?

These are all questions an athletic training program needs to be prepared to answer.

This is why my athletes training programs have a heavy emphasis on bodyweight training and kettlebell lifts.

I’m no fan of the phrase “functional training” I believe it’s lost all meaning since it entered the mainstream fitness world. But I do believe that there are few better ways to achieve the ability to develop fitness in a manner that can be applied to your sport than with the use of bodyweight and kettlebells.

Develop power and power endurance with bodyweight training

Develop power and power endurance with explosive bodyweight training

The reasons?

Well, training with your bodyweight requires at the most basic level, a high degree of physical awareness, proprioception, balance and core strength.
Every exercise you do will involve moving a large portion of yourself through space.
You can train motions that require rapid changes in direction, changes in height, locomotive patterns and movements that replicate the force vectors of your sport.

Full body strength and coordination focused around the core

Full body strength and coordination focused around the core

Add a kettle, an implement that is used in repetitive swinging type lifts that utilise the stretch reflex and the elastic nature of the fascial network and you start to bullet proof a body.

Between the two methodologies and a principle based training program, I haven’t found any better way to get my athletes frighteningly strong but with the mobility and endurance to match that strength and the structural integrity to shrug off injury.

Be sure to drop an email either to me on info@wildgeesema.com or Kieran on info@dolanfitness.com

The day will be practical in nature, so bring some water as well as a notepad, pen and an open mind.

See you there

Regards

Dave Hedges
http://www.wg-fit.com

 

 

Creating the Complete Athlete with Bodyweight and Kettlebell Training


Well, it seems my last post was a bit of a hit. My views on Womens Fitness seem to have resonated with many of you, so if you shared the article, I thank you.

I do want to reiterate the closing statement, be sure to pass the message on. I know that my regular clients, readers and colleagues all feel the same, but we are in the minority, getting the message out to the majority is a bigger deal.
That’s where people like Linda over at Get1Active.com and Rannoch, the man behind the 100 Rep Challenge idea are doing fantastic work, because they are speaking directly to those that need it the most.

Anyhow, back to my usual business.

I have promised one of my lads that I’d do a detailed post about the Squat and Squat technique.
Well, I tried, but my video camera threw a hissy fit and failed to record any of the presentation. So, you’ll just have to wait, I’ll get it done for you I promise!

Half the legs, more than double the challenge!

Half the legs, more than double the challenge!

The alternative would be to come down to Tullamore on June 2nd.

Why Tullamore?

Well, my good mate Kieran who runs Dolan Fitness has asked me to teach a workshop on Kettlebell and Bodyweight Technique. Needless to say, the squat is a big part of both training modalities.

The workshop will also look at:
-Fundamental movement patterns and how to load them
-Core strength, developing and learning to use it
-Power endurance, because getting tired is for other people!
-Mobility drills for freedom of motion and injury prevention
-Breath control for power, recovery and endurance
-Implementing bodyweight and kettlebell drils into a wider training program

Bodyweight and kettlebells, a perfect combination

Bodyweight and kettlebells, a perfect combination

Well, that’s the aim. I have 6 hours to get as much info into the participants as possible, it’ll be a busy day. Make sure if you attend you bring, and use a notepad!

I’ll be showing many of the methods I use on a regular basis with my BJJ and Muay Thai fighters, the Rugby and GAA lads and anyone else who comes in looking to develop their athleticism.
While I do use barbells, we keep them for Squats and Deadlifts, preferring instead to develop movement skills with bodyweight and kettlebell exercises.
Some of our methods are fairly mainstream and will have been seen by most, other things we do tend not to be so common.

Yet they work and we have the results to show for it with lads dominating in their chosen arenas.

I’m chomping at the bit to run this workshop, it’ll be the first time I’ll have run this combined training modality event, usually I run either bodyweight or kettles, this one will bring together the best of both.

So to remind you:

Workshop: Creating the Complete Athlete with Bodyweight and Kettlebell Training

Location: Dolan Fitness, 14 Axis Business Park, Clara Road, Tullamore

Times: 1000 – 1600

Cost: €50pp

To book, drop me a line in the box below, bearing in mind that places are strictly limited:

 

See you there!

Dave
http://www.wg-fit.com