2 Outside-the-Box Exercises (to do with as you may...)

My turn: Even if you're not a "tech-junkie," please consider following us on Twitter, watching us on Tumblr, and/or Like-ing us on Facebook to help spread the good word! Getting right to it, I thought I'd share two exercises you probably haven't tried before. The first is something I had toyed around with (and liked it) in the Summer of 2009, and the second is a tool we'll use with some of our wrestlers and combat athletes.

1. The 1-Minute Chinup

I forgot how brutal this really was until I went to try it again. As the name implies, it's a chinup that takes you one minute to complete. That's one rep, performed for 60 seconds. Take 30 seconds to pull yourself up, and then immediately transition into a 30-second eccentric. I wouldn't try this unless you're already fairly proficient at chinups (able to execute 12-15 bodyweight reps with perfect form). See the video below for a demonstration (fortunately, you can't see my face...):

I would say this exercise is good for 3 reasons:

  1. A variation to improve your chinups (crazy, huh?!). My guess, however, is that this variation will help improve your chinup endurance as opposed to maximum chinup strength. Thirty seconds is a loonnng time to be moving through the concentric portion of the lift, and an equally long time to be controlling the eccentric portion of the chinup. It's also pretty widely accepted that isometric training will help to improve strength and neural control for the given joint angle involved in the contraction, and with the 1-minute chinup you essentially receive a "mini-isometric" throughout the entire range or motion (and thus, each joint angle) of the chinup.
  2. To the gents in the crowd seeking to Sculpt 'da Gunz: you can't go wrong with some time-under-tension to elicit some growth in the biceps. I honestly don't think there is one particular exercise that is superior for increasing arm size. However, rotating exercises will almost always elicit a favorable response from the body as you have to adapt to that new stimulus. Given that very few people I know have tried this, it will probably be a solid catalyst for growth for you Broz out there.
  3. To make you hate life. Don't think I need to explain this one.

Again, to reiterate: don't try this unless you already possess pretty solid chinup proficiency. Also, I would suggest keeping the frequency of the 1-minute chinup to one day a week in training.

2. Scramble to Tire Flip

I realizemany of you reading probably won't be able to do this due to equipment limitations (although you can always pick up a tire FOR FREE at your local tire supplier....just sayin'). However, it's just plain fun, which is enough reason for me to share it. Below is SAPT athlete, Greg (state runner-up and seven-time all-American wrestler), demonstrating the movement as he prepares for his college wrestling career:

Given that wrestlers - and fighters - frequently need to quickly reset their spatial orientation/focus (from rolling around, or being flipped over) and push back on an opponent, we'll often add these "scramble to tire flip" variations in their training program.  You can perform a number of drills before flipping the tire: rolls (as Greg displays), side crawls, up-downs, etc. You're limited by your own imagination.

If you're not a competitive wrestler or fighter, you can always give these a shot to make you feel good about yourself, or if you're simply feeling pumped up after watching a testosterone-infused movie like gladiator.

Off to go find some Maca root to add to my smoothie recipe.... - Steve