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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Movement

I love to move my body. If you observe me in person, I'm always thinking of interesting ways to move my body and a lot of times I do them right in front of people and I don't care. :-) I get this from inspiration from my martial arts training. The body, when it's fine-tuned and strong in certain ways, can do amazing things.

I have a philosophy that the way to exercize your body should be to train motions, not muscles. I think that many people go to the gym and lift weights, but they don't really know what their purpose for it is, and it doesn't necessarily help them in their life practically(except making them have larger muscles).

The better way to train is to think of some action you want to be strong at, and find some exercize that approximates that action. And the less you have to use weights, the better, in my opinion. Muscles like the biceps almost require weights to train, but most muscles can be trained very well without them. Weights are convenient, but they aren't as practical. Why does this matter? Besides your large muscles associated with an action, small muscles are developed by everything you do. So, the exercize you do should closely resemble the practical motion you want to improve.

Think of your body as a multi-functional tool and having a high potentiality for adaptation. If you do certain tasks, actions, and performances in your life, your body would be best served and would look most beautiful if it was extremely efficient at doing the things you do in your life. Especially as we get older, it becomes harder and harder to reshape ourselves for other activities.

Most people don't realize how intricately we can shape the muscles and bones and everything in our body toward a certain goal, fine tuning in such detailed ways that we're not even conscious of. Being conscious of and in control of that fine tuning process will help us to improve our body for what we do in our lives and not just because everyone says it's a healthy thing to do.

My exercizes that I do most everyday I think serve me very well. I mostly want to improve my martial arts skills, so I have three exercizes that I do once per day. One set of each until my muscles max out:

I do push-ups on my knuckles(on carpet). Push-ups are an excellent exercize for improving punches, and I have done this exercize for about 8 years straight almost everyday. To do knuckles push-ups, make fists and put only the knuckles of your index and middle fingers on the ground. Make sure no other fingers touch the ground.

I do leg-lifts/hip thrusts. Laying on your back with your hands palms down under your butt and your legs straight out, knees locked, hold your legs 6 inches from the ground and proceed to lift your legs without bending your knees until your legs make a 90 degree angle with your torso. Then using your abs and lower back(but not your hands or arms), push your hips up toward the ceiling. Then let your hips touch the ground again(controlled). Then lower your legs back down to 6 inches off the ground(don't bend your knees and be in control of the descent). Repeat.

I do uppercuts with a weight. Holding one or two weights, you stand for this exercize. Start with the weight(s) at your side. Then, leading with your fist raise the weight to eye height in an uppercut punching motion. Control the rest of your body so it doesn't move, and control the desent of the weight(s) so that the motion is the same as the one going up. Repeat.

Push-ups generally work the triceps, the wrist, the whole back, the chest, abdominals, thighs, shoulders, and gluts. If you do them on your knuckles you can make your hands and wrists even stronger.

The leg lifts/hip thrust exercize works the lower back, the abdominals, and the thighs. It is a very good exercize to improve the kicking motion, especially the front kick.

The uppercut exercize is good for improving the uppercut punch motion. It works the biceps, hands, wrists, forearms, and shoulders.

Notice that even though some similar muscle groups are worked for these exercizes, the strengths developed will be different. Form is also very important. My philosophy is that if you can't do a repitition of an exercize perfectly, you should not continue doing the exercize until your muscles recover or you can learn how to do it from someone who is trained in doing that exercize. If your muscles are not strong enough to do a certain exercize now, you should find an easier alternative until you gain enough strength to start doing the more difficult exercize.

Well, I hope this provides some insight for some people. Enjoy!

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