Monday, February 28, 2022

Triceps Press down with Exercise Bands

 This is one of my favorite triceps exercises. I do them standing but you can do them kneeling as shown, especially if you can't get the band anchored high enough. I strap it around my chin up bar. By the way, this is excellent using the weight rack at the gym.


You want to try to keep tension on the triceps throughout the exercise. You'll want tension on the triceps from the start so grab the band and pull to starting position level with your chest. Now make an effort to pull your shoulders back so they are not rounded and you're concentrating on using the triceps and not getting help from the shoulders.

Pull the strap down and turn your palms to the front at the bottom. You can skip that part if you're just learning these but doing them during the exercise makes the biceps and the triceps pop. The nice part about this is you keep tension on your muscles throughout the movement.

You vary the tension by grabbing the band higher for more tension and lower for less. The nice thing is you can grab the band high to begin and, when you can't push down anymore, you raise your grip and knock out the rest of your reps.

This exercise will make the outside muscle of the triceps pop and that looks pretty impressive.


Sunday, February 13, 2022

Pistol Whip - Awesome Cardio Workout

 I mentioned in another article that I bought a Quest 2 virtual reality headset and am not using it for my cardio workouts. Playing a game while getting in your cardio seems too good to be true but it's true.


I just came across a game called Pistol Whip. I kept hearing about it and seeing it when I'd watch YouTube videos on using the Quest 2 for fitness. But the price was too high, as far as I was concerned. Luckily Oculus ran a 1 day special and I grabbed it.

Wow!! Talk about having a blast and still getting in a workout. This is off the charts. Here's a video for you to check out that shows one of the western themes. Watch it and then read on.



There are 22 or so movie style scenes where you can play. You're emerged into the action and bullets fly all around you. The western scene is my favorite but there are gangster scenes, graveyard scenes, and more. I'll use the western to describe the workout.

You're on a moving belt that takes you through the town. Bad guys pop up in front of you, off to the side, above you and behind you if you didn't shoot them. You have to stay alert and shoot them before they shoot you. The cardio aspect?

You see the bullets coming at you in slow motion. You have to squat down and duck them or move left or right or even do a Matrix style lean. There are obstacles in front of you that you have to avoid. You shoot at dynamite to kill a number of bad guys at once. I cheat and put the mode on No Fail so that I don't die and have to start over. That would hinder my workout. But you hear a zing in the ear when you get hit. I'm getting a little better and not getting zinged as much.

I can't describe the way you feel after the game ends. The game is intense, and you feel yourself untensing after. My breathing is up and the heartrate kicks up during the game. After my first 20-minute session I went downstairs, and my lets were feeling sore after a while. I played for the first time on a Saturday when I take the weekend off from exercise. I didn't realize until I was done that I was getting one heck of a workout. If you try this, please comment. I'd like to hear what others think about Pistol Whip as a fitness game.

By the way, it's called Pistol Whip because if you avoid the bullets and get close to a bad guy, you kill him by hitting him with your pistol.


Sunday, February 06, 2022

Kettlebells, Exercise Bands and Virtual Reality Fitness

 As we get older many of us tend to change our workout habits. I'm no exception. I no longer head to the gym and pile weights on the bar to see how much weight I can bench press or curl. My shoulders are fighting back and reminding me of what I put them through playing football and doing Tae Kwon Do and taking plenty of falls in sports and work.


Time to adapt. I still use weights for bench pressing or triceps presses. I do hammer curls and other curls using dumbbells. But more emphasis is on form and tension than on overall weight.

When Covid hit and our gym closed down, I bought an exercise band to go along with the weights I have at home. I liked it so much I now have a large selection of different tension bands. I can do pretty much any exercise using these bands, including assisted pullups as my shoulder won't allow me to do them like before. These bands put constant tension on your muscles without over straining them.

Next came a kettlebell. I bought heavy ones for shrugs and for the farmer's walk. Then I ended up buying different sizes. They offer tension you just can't get with regular weights.

Next came virtual reality fitness, which I just did an article on. I can get cardio work while having a blast and not grinding through an elliptical or treadmill or a stationary bike. I like to give myself the weekend off from exercise to recover but I can't keep myself away from the Quest 2 and the routines.

My point in this article is to explain why this site will start focusing on these forms of exercise. If you're a bodybuilder this site isn't for you. If you're someone who wants to work out and keep your body toned and in top condition without leaving your home, you'll love this. 

Now excuse me while I head into my bedroom to play my newest fitness game, Pistol Whip. I can shoot away at the bad guys while ducking and dodging bullets to get a good overall cardio workout. Think of something like Call of Duty but with so much body movement that you can't help but get a good workout.

 

Friday, February 04, 2022

Quest 2 Virtual Reality Fitness

 I have had a problem for a long time. I used to run and obviously that took care of my cardio workouts. I ran 10k races and a triathlon and biathlon and even a marathon. I wasn't competitive but I ran.

Knee problems and other issues with my legs and hips started making running less enjoyable and when my wife passed away, the motivation was gone.

I finally got back to weight training. I work out regularly with weights, kettlebells and bands. The problem has been getting in cardio workouts. I've tried. Elliptical and stationary bikes and rowing machines. Even walking. To no avail. Cardio was boring to me.

Until I bought a Quest 2 a couple weeks ago. 

If you're not familiar with virtual reality and the Quest 2, you can check it out here at Oculus.   I am not an affiliate.

Anyway, if there is interest, I'll dive deeper into how you can get shape using a Quest 2. Right now I have a boxing game, Thrill of the Fight, which sends my heart rate through the roof. 

I have programs such as Audio Trip that give you a workout as you move all around trying to hit flying triangle boxes and dodging fences by stepping to the side or ducking under mor leaning left or tight. I have a few more similar programs I loaded free as demos and will likely purchase in the future. I got Audio Trip because it went on sale.

If you've watched Youtube videos you have probably seen people running into and knocking over objects playing with one of these headsets on. No more. When you set up the game you draw an area virtually on the floor and it puts up a warning fence if you start to wander out of your safe space.

The result? I am getting an hour or more cardio a day!

If this interests you, please comment. I'll dive more into the fitness aspect of virtual reality.

 

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Stair Master for Weight Loss

When I do my three times a week at the gym, my exercises have always consisted of weight lifting. About an hour and a half each workout day.

Aerobics? Not so much.

But I came to the decision I should include some aerobic type exercise at the end of my workout. I started with the treadmill, did some on the elliptical, and just walked on the track. I used to be a runner but running and sports took it's toll on my knees.

I saw the stair master and had purposely walked past it every time but decided to give it a go.

Whew! If you want to lose weight and are capable of using this exercise equipment, this should help. I'm fine after 1 1/2 hours of weights but, as of now, I'm sweating and puffing after a total of 7 minutes on the stair master.

I have it on the low setting. I've watched people do 20 - 30 minutes on this at a higher setting.

My goal is 10 minutes because I don't want to do less with the weights, but 10 minutes on this is beating the stuffing out of 10 minutes on the treadmill.