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The 4 Most Unconventional (and Effective) Workouts

The 4 Most Unconventional (and Effective) Workouts

Indian Gada Workout

Gada

Gada training is a form of training based on the traditional workout used by Hindi warriors of centuries past. The modern Gada is essentially a heavy steel mace, ranging anywhere from ten to twenty-five pounds, though rest assured that with proper form it can feel like exponentially more than that. We recommend starting much lighter than you think would be the appropriate weight for you and then working your way up. The primary exercises, like the 360, the sledgehammer (which you’ll need to use your tire for) and the barbarian squat, incorporate a host of large and small muscles in compound exercises that will test the limits of your strength and dexterity. Our favorite line of maces is from the folks over at Onnit ($27 to $93, available at www.onnit.com).

Big Tires

big tires

We’ve all seen them employed in nearly every movie about football ever made. Rest assured, you do not need to use tires best suited for monster trucks to get a phenomenal workout. Flipping a reasonably sized tire – using proper form that somewhat resembles an explosive squat – can serve as both a great full body workout as well as some absolutely exhausting cardio. Plus, finding a tire is only about as difficult as swinging by any car shop that services big trucks.

Battle Rope

battle rope

Battle ropes are another one of those rare exercises that, depending on how it’s executed, can serve as an aerobic or muscle building exercise. The premise is relatively simple: wrap your battle ropes around a tree or piece of gym equipment and then wave the ropes in a variety of directions. Many people wrongly assume that ropes can only be waved up and down; however, you can actually hit whole different groups of muscles by changing the motion employed. As you vary exercise and tempo, make sure to adjust the amount of slack to in turn change the load – in other words moving away from the anchor point will lessen the difficulty of exercise while moving toward it will have the opposite effect. At the outset, focus on the classic “waves” exercise wherein you hold the ends of the rope at roughly your arms length in front of your hips with your hands approximately shoulder width apart. While keeping your trunk and core tight you alternate between raising and lowering each arm in explosive enough fashion to create the wave motion in the rope that the exercise is named after. Depending on the level of intensity, this can either be done in short, forty-five second bursts or prolonged several minute long sets. We’re especially fond of the Black Cyclone rope. ($159, available at www.muscleropes.com)

Plyometrics

plyometrics
 
Plyometrics are ideally suited to increase fast-twitch muscle fiber activation in much the same way sprint training does. Most non-athletes primarily perform exercises that activate their slow-twitch muscle fibers – think weight lifting, bike riding or jogging – so incorporating some plyometrics into your routine can be an excellent way to activate a largely unused group of muscle fibers. What’s more, plyometrics are excellent due to their ability to create an incredibly strong calorie burn for hours after a workout – another facet unique to the sorts of high intensity exercise associated with fast-twitch muscle fiber activation. Some of our favorite plyometric exercises are squat jumps and medicine ball passes. Our favorite medicine ball is from Killspencer ($445, available at www.killspencer.com). 

 

See Also

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