Explosive Leg Workout

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Friends, today I am going to continue and widen the vocabulary of training tools we use into the area of explosive leg development and jump training.
Part of my weekly training schedule is dedicated to the development of jumping ability, explosiveness of the lower body and further increases of power.
As an acrobat I use this type of training in combination with basic and advanced acrobatic skills, but one can use similar methods without the actual flipping and spinning in the air. I will provide both options - an acrobatic one and a normal jump one.

Jump Into Box - Standing

Stand in front of a box from knee to head high, create a small knee bend, swing your arms and jump into the box, landing in a squat position on top of it. Come down, leg by leg or jumping down and repeat for reps.

Jump Into Box - Iso Squat

Stand in front of a box from knee to head high, squat down and hold without moving for 3-5 seconds. Explode from the squat up and into the box, landing in a squat position on top of it.
Repeat for reps.

Front Flip - Standing

Stand with an erect body. Swing your arm up and behind your head and initiate a front flip while trying to jump up and tuck hard. Soften the landing, trying to land in place. Front flipping from punching is very different from this. The standing front flip requires a lot of explosive strength in the legs and abdomen because of the way our body is build. It is much easier to initiate a back flip from standing than a front one - one only needs to compare the posterior chain to the anterior body muscles.
Repeat for reps

Back Flip - Iso Squat
Squat down, taking both arms forward. Pause for 3-5 seconds, swing your arms while jumping explosively into a back flip. Try to stick the landing, softening into it. Repeat for reps.
Do not let the squat position at the start of the exercise to change the 'triple extenstion' in your calf, knee and hip from occuring due to different timing. Make sure you completely extend upwards before tucking into the flip.

The Shrimp

The easiest variation starts in the kneeling position one leg behind you placed from knee to foot on the ground.
Balance yourself with the hands forward, pull forward and up, while pushing into the ground with your active leg. Reach a standing position on one leg, lower down the same way and repeat for reps.
The intermidiate variation will be exactly the same, apart from one difference - the back leg is only touching the ground with the knee. (the foot is lifted in the air)

The advanced variation will be to grab ahold of the back foot in a quad stretch position and slowly while pulling forward and up and using no momentum, stand up. Come down the same way and repeat for reps.

The advanced variation is the hardest body weight exercise I ran into until today. I dont need to take my shoes off to count the number of people I have witnessed performing this correctly (no momentum and in the correct positioning) and I have challanged some heavy squaters and heavy pistol practitioners.
The reason is a the bad mechanical advantage of the movement of course. Try it, it is a humbling experience.
Having said that, it is not the hardest variation of the exercise... but we will leave something for the future!

Harop Curl

The Harop Curl or Natural Hamstrings Curl is another brutal bodyweight leg exercise, concentrating on the back of the leg, and especialy the hamstrings muscle group. (Other muscles active here are the Gastrocnemius, Glute, lower back and counteless other small muscles)
Kneel down on your knees with your feet anchored below a heavy object / someone standing on your soles while you point your feet behind you.
If you are a feeling some knee strain feel free to cushion your knees.
The beginner variation will be to break the angle of the knee and lean forward a bit. When you feel you cannot go further anymore, start to break the angle at the waist and touch your nose to the ground/bench. Return to upright kneeling position and repeat for reps.

The advanced variation will include a more acute angle forward in the knees and a minimum break in the chest to knee line.
This is a simple exercise but not an easy one. Expect some serious cramping of the back of the legs, and aproach it with caution. Do not try to go for advanced variations too soon.

3 movement sequence and metcon

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Today we are going to combine 3 Floreio movements into a sequence and train that small flow piece.

Half Au Cortado + Role + QDR

Combining those three elements requires control of each one of them, so make sure you return back to the previous workouts to read the descriptions and train them individualy before you continue.
Flow from a squat into a Half Au, lower back and sideways, pull into a Role and directly through to QDR. Return to Squat and repeat for reps.

Au Cortado + Role + QDR + Role

From a squat go into a full Au Cortado, come back directly to a Role and flow into the QDR, from the QDR flow into one more Role, to the opposite side and return to squat. Repeat for reps.

Au Regretful + Role + QDR Rotational Push Up

Go into an Au Regretful, directly into a full Role and from there into a QDR rotational Push Up. Come back to Squat and repeat for reps.

Comments about quality of movement
If you watch the videos carefuly, you can observe there are certain 'additions' to each movement above and beyond what is functionaly necessary for the movement to happen. For example, the Role basicly takes me from a squatting position in point A to squatting position in point B. But... It is not only performed with that function in mind, but the weight shift, smoothness of the movement and the 'Movement Logic' are also taken into consideration. Try to absorb and analyze those qualities, and add them to the way that you move.
At this time, I will not give too many details about quality of movement, for the following reasons - A. This medium is limiting in its ability to transfer such data to an audience and B. for the reason you have a lot on your hands right now as it is.
But, be aware of it, and try to play with the quality of your movements when you feel it is possible.
For further discussion of Movement Quality, click here.

Pistol + Side Push Ups
This is a combination I created a long time ago as a conditioning movement that combines upper body, lower body and core (mostly in the advanced variation - due to the lifted front leg) into one small piece of flow.

The easy variation starts while standing on one leg. Make sure your weight is concentrated on your heel, lower back and down into a one leg squat, making sure the heel doesnt come up, and that the hand of the same side of the raised leg is waiting to recieve the floor. When you reach the bottom of the Pistol Squat, lower your foot to the ground, but do not let any other part of your body besides you hand and both feet touch the floor. Lower down to the side push up, letting your body pass the elbow line and into 'Vasamento' position. Push back up. Pull the straight leg back into a normal squat. Stand up. Repeat for reps.

The intermidiate variation will be only a bit different from the beginner one:
1. No help from the hand during the decent into the pistol.
2. One Arm Side Push Up and not two.

The advanced variation will be even more challanging than the intermidiate:
1. Lift the whole leg that is free from the start and during the whole exercise and make sure it is still hovering above the ground in the one arm side push up.
2. A concentric lifting out of the pistol position is added - not only decent on one leg but also comming back up on one leg.