Micro — Workout Series, No 2. Upper-Body — Legs — Core & Mind
Today’s No 2 in my new series of mini or micro-workouts again focuses on your whole body, all muscle groups as well as your concentration and mind.
How does that work?
It’s quite straightforward if you think about it.
Most other forms of high-intensity exercises require a quick and intense effort, such as squatting with a heavy load of weights.
You focus, squat and squeal while doing so, then sit down to rest, while your mind zones out, until you finally gather your breath and some more energy for the next grueling set.
That goes for any other type of high-intensity strength training or sprinting exercises — you go all out, stop, rest, re-set, and go again.
The mind always takes a break along with your body, as your focus slowly fades.
The re-setting period is required, as it gives you time to calm your mind, and your heart rate while you wait for your energy levels to be high enough to go again.
However, that’s the difference between traditional workout sessions and how I’ve designed my micro-workouts.
I call them mini- or micro-workouts as they are completed in rapid-fire mode, non-stop and without any rest breaks.
You need to move fast from one spot or position to the next; ready set and go again!
The idea is to keep your body moving, fast and furiously, as well as forcing your mind to stay fully focused throughout.
Each set takes no longer than 3 to 5 minutes, which you can repeat 2 to 4 times or more if you are super fit and on fire that day! Up to you.
But please, make sure you keep your high-intensity workout time to a maximum of 30 to 40 minutes.
Your brain perceives these exercises as stress and you release a bunch of stress hormones — cortisol — into your bloodstream, which can cause heart disease over time.
I realize some die-hard gym-guns out there disagree with me on this point, but I’m sorry to say it’s a brutal fact.
Sudden cardiac death is the most common medical cause of death in athletes, with an incidence of around 1 in 40,000 to 1 in 80,000 athletes per year according to the most recent estimates. The risk and causes of sudden cardiac death vary based upon the athlete population.
Let’s get to the Micro-Workout Routine No 2.
1. Clapping Push-Up
Not an easy move to do, as you need to have considerable upper-body strength to pull this one off. You’ll need power in your arms, chest, and mind.
Start in the extended-arm push-up position, then go all the way down, almost touching the ground with your chest.
Next blast up and push so hard your hands leave the floor and you manage to clap before you hit the ground again.
Immediately go back down into the low push-up and repeat the powerful blast up and clap.
Repeat fast, and non-stop until failure.
2. Narrow Grip Push-Up
Place your hands in a narrow grip position, one hands width apart from each other.
Point your hands slightly out to the left and right, pushing your elbows close to your body, which is where you want them to remain during the move.
Now go down, as far as you can with your body and head slightly moving forward, keeping your arms and elbows tightly touching your sides, and then push back up, repeat.
This exercise will work your inner chest, biceps and triceps intensively, as well as your core and mind focus!
The ultimate way for this exercise is using the “movement and static method.”
Move up and down 5 times, then on the 5th move down, stay down for 10 seconds in the “static or negative position,”then repeat another 5 with motion, then stay down again for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat as often as you can.
3. Line Lunges
Lunges are simple enough to do, but this method requires far more focus and breaks down your leg and butt muscles more intensively, works your core, and requires tremendous focus.
Find a line, on the floor in a gym, pavement, your kitchen tiles, anywhere. Then take a big step forward and lunge down, deep, hold it, and slowly move back up, moving your back foot bang onto the line in front of you.
Move slow and focus hard to keep every step precisely on that line — never take your eyes off the line.
You’ll see, this method makes lunging a whole lot more challenging and rewarding.
Repeat a good 20 to 30 lunges, but importantly in slow motion.
As you all probably know, this yoga pose requires your full body and mind effort to coordinate and hold.
Once you have mastered the standing up on your head part and can find the sweet-spot to stay straight and balanced for up to 5-minutes, you’ll see very quickly what this position does to your body and mind.
The Headstand is highly meditative, as you’re forced to give it your 100% attention. You can’t start chatting or looking at something, you must stay still, balanced and focused, and that clears and calms your mind, fully!
Meditating While Exercising — Bliss!
The headstand is also a great way to wind-down after a hard, non — stop rapid — fire workout routine. I highly recommend you learn the headstand if you can’t do it already.
Micro-workouts are intense, fast and super effective.
You can complete 1 set in 3 to 5 minutes, which means a 3 set routine can be done in 10 to 15 minutes.
These routines use your bodyweight only, they are tough, fun, effecient and save time.
The key is to perform each set quickly, without resting between the exercises. Please do take a 1-minute rest before you move onto set 2 and 3.
Please check out my video where I show the whole routine.
Let me know if you give it a go and how it went.