Working In: Qi Gong and Tai Chi

Working In: QiGong and Tai Chi

This is a loose transcription of the video ‘Working In: Qi Gong and Tai Chi’

Brad:Qi gong and Tai Chi are ancient Chinese health practices that combine visualisation, movement, breathing and meditation to cultivate what the Chinese call Qi (pronounced, and also spelled ‘Chi’) — the life energy that flows through the body’s energy pathways called Meridians, to maintain essential health. Qi is the basis for Traditional Chinese Medicine. The body is unwell when the flow of Qi becomes stagnant or blocked, whereas a free flowing and balanced Qi energizes the organs, systems and cells. Qi Gong has been around since the 3rd Century B.C., and Tai Chi more recently since the 14th century AD.

Working In: Qi Gong and Tai Chi

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Qi gong and Tai Chi have in common the same basic property (Qi), the same fundamental principle (relaxation), and the same fundamental method (slowness). Tai Chi has a more overt emphasis on the martial art aspects of the training. Each Tai Chi motion has a specific combative application, and thus can theoretically be used for self-defence. Not all Qi Gong motions are like this, as most of them exist solely for the purpose of meditation, health and healing.

 

Working In: QiGong and Tai Chi
Brad demonstrating a qi gong energy push

As I am a firm believer in studying the healthy rather than the sick, Eastern medicine has always been a fascination of mine. I’ve been practicing Qi Gong in particular for several years now and found it to be a fantastic form of active meditation. It’s a lot less complex to the Kung-Fu type moves of Tai Chi that you must learn. Tai Chi can certainly distract your focus from the energy manipulation aspects of the art due to how much you must learn. Qi Gong practice is often less prescribed, instead following a series of movements based on the needs of the practitioner or even the whims of the instructor. The latter certainly pertains to me! I’ve only done a basic 12-week course from which I then combined movements with my own that I have found make me and my clients feel good.

Now I will lead you through a Qi Gong session…

If this is your first time trying this, let go of your inhibitions and preconceptions about what Qi Gong and Tai Chi are, and allow yourself to relax and feel the buzz that you can get from doing this. Close your eyes to enhance the experience and the visualisations, especially if you’re in your lounge room or not in a picturesque place like I am here at Watson Lake in Arizona. How long you continue each movement is up to you. For the sake of keeping this video shorter, I’ll teach you each movement for around 30 seconds to a minute. Try the same yourself for longer after watching this video.

Copy what I do…

Don’t worry if you don’t do the exact thing as what I’m doing. Just allow your body to let go. Swing your arms gently side to side as I am. Continually breathe in and out of your nose for the whole session.

As we now change the movement, imagine yourself painting a fence– painting a fence with Qi. Breathe in on the way up, breathe out on the way down. Breathe in the way up, drag your knuckles.  Breathe out on the way down. and let them float to the ground like a feather. Nice and slow, with a gentle movement from the front to the back of your feet as you raise up and pull back down to the ground. As we paint the fence again on the way up, we’re going to change the movement to an energy push from the chest. Breathe out as you push out with both hands, breathe in as you return to your chest. Add a visualisation to this process this time, imagine breathing out hot stressful red-coloured energy, and as you breathe in you inhale blue-healing cool energy.

As you return your hands to the chest, we’ll change the movement to a single arm energy push across the body with your right hand. As you push your right hand across your body, shuffle your left foot to the left and take a wider stance, and as before, breathe out as you push the energy across your body, breathe in as you return your hand to the waist. With this movement, imagine you are again holding a ball of energy which you are holding lightly within your hand. Push this red ball of energy across the body. Upon reaching the end of your single arm energy push, scoop up the energy ball change the colour of the ball from red to blue then return it back to the body. Should you wish to copy the way I do it so it flows more, pay more attention to my hands. When you have the movement copied, close your eyes again and return to the moment.

As you return your hand to below your chest holding two balls of energy, slowly breathe out and press these two red balls back down towards the earth as you squat down as far as you can comfortably squat. Only go as far as your flexibility allows. If you can squat right down into a primal squat position, then do so. Scoop up the healing energy of the earth as you stand back up and raise your hands back up to your chest where you can allow your body to absorb the energy. Repeat the movement.

Now, let’s combine all the singular movements into one. From the bottom of the squat, scoop up the energy, stand up and now push forward into a two-arm energy push. Return to the chest, and then single-arm energy push across the body. Swap to the other arm, return both arms towards the chest. Two-arm energy push in front of the body again, return to the chest and then press back down to a squat position; and repeat the same thing.

When it’s time to complete your session, you could just cease movement in your body and stand at ease. Taking in the sounds of the area of where you’re standing; relaxing and focusing on your breath. Or, you could do what I’m doing here and sit down and get into a deeper meditation. If meditation is also a fairly new thing for you, then check out  my Meditation Made Simple. I hope you enjoy this video.

How did you feel doing the Qi Gong? Did it relax you, energise you, or a bit of both?

Meditation Made Simple

Meditation Made Simple

This is a loose transcription of the video  ‘Meditation Made Simple’

Brad: Hey guys, If you’ve read my article on Primal Health entitled ‘10 Easy Ways to Meditation‘ you would have read about some of the ways I’ve incorporated active and passive meditation into my life.

Traditional ‘passive’ meditation can take a long time to master. Today I want to take you through some basic focused breathing. Whilst basic in name, it’s powerful in its regular practice. So many of us reach for drugs, herbs and supplements to reduce our blood pressure and high resting heart rate, without ever considering the power of doing it through breath.

Meditation Made Simple

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In this video I’m at a special place in Arizona, US called Watson Lake. I always like visiting this place when I’m here. It has a special energy, a vibe, a feeling it gives me when I visit. Hence it’s a great place to relax and meditate. Think of somewhere in your area where you could go to do the same. It then makes it easier to contemplate a beautiful setting when starting your own meditations, no matter where you are. Whether you’re in your living room or at work on a lunch break.

Best to watch this video in a comfortable place indoors or outdoors where you can be alone uninterrupted. When doing this again in the future it may be beneficial to set an alarm or use music of a pre-determined time length (eg: 5 min. or 10 min.).

Take a seat. Keep your spine erect. You could be sitting in a seat, or if on the ground, cross you legs or even try to sit like I am, in what’s called a ‘half lotus’ position. If you are flexible enough and have done it before, bring the other foot up into a full lotus position.

For now, keep your eyes open. Copy me by doing what’s called alternate nostril breathing . With your right hand, place your thumb over your right nostril, your next two fingers on your temple and and your fourth finger adjacent to your left nostril. Now slowly breathe in through your left nostril. Now block your left nostril with your fourth finger, unblock your right nostril with your thumb and breathe out though the right nostril. Now go in reverse. Breathe in through the right nostril, unblock the left nostril, block the right nostril, and breathe out the left. Let’s repeat this over and over for the next minute.

As you start to breathe in now, pay attention to the way you are breathing. Is your chest lifting up or your stomach getting fatter as you breathe in? You should feel your stomach distending or moving outwards as your lungs fill up with air. As you breathe out you should feel your stomach flatten as the air goes out of your lungs. This is indicating that your diaphragm muscle that sits below your lungs is doing its job properly. As you will see our babies and kids doing naturally before they’ve been conditioned to suck their stomach muscles in due to higher stomach body fat levels, bloating from foods that don’t agree with us and the social stigma associated with having a belly sticking out. If this feels like a backwards breathing pattern for you, don’t worry. Take your time. In several sessions it should start to feel normal to you. So many of us who are chest dominant breathers don’t realise that we are doing approximately 20,000 shoulder shrugs all day long to allow our lungs to breathe, when our diaphragm is not doing its job.

Now close your eyes. Continue to breathe the same way. Focus on deep, slow, controlled breathing through the nose. Breathing through the nose stimulates the nerves directly connected to the parasympathetic nervous system which helps us to produce hormones to grow, repair and digest. Breathe in and allow the stomach to fill up like a balloon. Breathe out and feel your stomach draw in like the balloon has popped. Drop your hand now from your nose. Interlock your fingers and place them on your lap. Continue to breathe alternating between nostrils. Even if it feels like both nostrils are working, just pretend it’s still happening. Try slowing down your breathing even more now and notice how your breathing comes thinner, shorter and eventually seems to disappear. Now try and alternate your breaths. Now it should hopefully seem possible.

Now, let’s try putting a visualisation with our breathing. Imagine with each exhalation, you are breathing out negative energy coloured red, and with each breath in, you’re inhaling positive healing energy the colour blue. Send your body a message “Everything is fine, everything is at peace. Relax….”  Let’s continue to do this now for another minute. Breathe in, breathe out, “Everything is fine, everything is at peace. Relax….”

Now, next breath out, I want you to start to come back into your body and open your eyes up when you’re ready. Take in the environment in which you’re sitting and reflect on what you have just done in the last couple of minutes.

Meditation made simple through basic breathing techniques
Brad demonstrating alternate nostril breathing’ and ‘diaphragmatic breathing’

Now each time you try one of these forms of meditation, the experience will be different, and it will certainly take some practice to get good at it. Don’t feel discouraged if, in one session you experience a high, but then subsequent sessions aren’t as effective and your attention is scattered. You’ll certainly get better at it. It’s worth persisting with it. Meditation is definitely an awesome tool to be able to get good at using.

I hope you enjoyed the video and make meditation a daily practice.

How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 5/5: Kneeling Overhead Press

Swiss Ball Kneeling Overhead Press

Note: This is a loose transcription of the video ‘How to get Primal on a Swiss Ball! – Part 5/5 – Kneeling Dumbbell Overhead Press ‘.

Brad: Hey guys, this is part 5 of How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball. The next exercise or movement I want to show you is doing a kneeling dumbbell alternating shoulder press.

Swiss Ball Kneeling Dumbbell Overhead Press

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A: Seated Dumbbell Alternating Overhead Press 

The first progression that I use to get a client to be able get to do the full exercise is to first be able to do a dumbbell shoulder press sitting on a ball. It doesn’t sound that tough, but it can be, depending on how to do it. So, you can do it with two arms, but we’re doing a one-arm alternating one; that’s the goal as I want to get people to activate their core.

Draw your belly button towards your spine. Lift your chest up nice and high and then do the same movement as what you would be doing when you are on your knees on the ball. You can make that harder by lifting the opposite leg, or lift the same side-leg to activate more muscles that should help prevent you from falling off the ball.

seated-dumbbell-alternating-overhead-press-400x

B: Supported Kneeling on Swiss Ball

The next thing you would need to be able to do is kneel on the ball. So I recommend you do it somewhere where you can hold onto something firm and get up on the ball on both legs. Get used to not having to rely on sitting back down on your heels, which is a lot easier position to sit, in comparison to actually being up off your butt. Hold onto something like that and just get used to being able to purposely push forwards and backwards, side to side so that you can start to get your muscles used to, and get your nervous system used to, the movements that are going to take place when you’re actually on the ball. Hands on, Hands off, Hands on, Hands off. Get used to that and then also put your feet, dig them into the ball, so that they act like a rudder. Then purposely kick your feet back so that you’re not having to use your feet to help you with your balance. Once you can do that, then you can go onto the next stage.

 

supported-kneeling-on-a-swissball-400x

 

C: Unsupported Kneeling on Swiss Ball 

So after you have gotten proficient at holding onto something when you’re balancing on the ball, next you want to be able to get up on the ball without anything to hold onto. Perhaps, someone needs to hold onto the ball for the first time to ease your mind a little bit, but you can also do it from this way. Get your knees onto the ball and hands onto the ball like that, then roll forward. Balance in that position there, roll it forward far enough to where your feet dig into the ball and then slowly rise up there like that. Chest up, shoulders back, stomachs sucked in.

unsupported-kneeling-balance-400x

 

D: Kneeling Dumbbell Alternating Overhead Press 

Once you can do this proficiently, and you know that rolling forward and backwards, you’ve got the ability to able to switch on the muscles that you need to get you back to the proper centre of balance, this is when you should then be able to grab onto a dumbbell – nice and light first up, and then be able to actually do the exercise. So for me, I’ve got about 12 kg here, so about 25-26-27 pounds and then from there, one arm up, switch your stomach all nice and tight. Press straight up there like that, and then alternate.

kneeling-dumbbell-alternating-overhead-press-400x

And that’s it! That’s part 5 of 5 on How to Get Primal on a Swiss ball. Hope you’ve enjoyed it!

Other videos in this series:

How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 1/5: 4 Point Horse Stance
How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 2/5: Prone and Supine Balance
How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 3/5: Primal Push-Ups
How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 4/5: Swiss Ball Squats

What’s your favourite swiss ball exercise?

 

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35 Everyday ‘Exercises’ You Don’t Have to Make Time For

35 Everyday 'Exercises' You Don't Have to Make Time For

Movement, defined as “The act, process, or result of moving” (your body, in this case), is the 5th of the Primal 6 keys of optimal health. We all know that movement is important, yet all we ever talk about is exercise, defined as “bodily (or mental) exertion”. By definition, they are not much different. However, exercise seems like something we have to make time for, sign up to, schedule in. Yet we have many opportunities for movement every day!

Incorporate movement into your sedentary life
If you can’t get a treadmill at your desk, try our other tips for moving your body at work.

Here are at least 35 ways to maximise the amount of movement in your daily life to improve and maintain your health, mood and fitness, defined as “The condition of being physically fit and healthy”.

 

How to add movement into sedentary activities

Sit on a Swiss Ball at your desk
This simple change will make a huge difference to how your body feels at the end of the day, or end of the night if you spend an evening on the internet. Your hips and spine will stay loose and your core will remain active, all while sitting!
– Continually swivel your hips in circles, figure eights, and laterally side-to-side and front to back.
– Learn 5 more ways to reduce computer pain.

Get off the couch and onto the floor
When you are watching TV or a movie at home, you can be doing a variety of things with your body on the floor. As an added bonus, these will also keep you from mindlessly eating while you’re staring at the screen.
– Stretch your muscles that feel tight.
– Get into some yoga poses, changing poses when the scenes of your show change.
– See how long you can balance on one leg in different positions.
– Do some planks.
– Get something heavy and do some basic strength-training movements.
– See how many push ups and jumping jacks you can do on the commercials.
– For motivation and more fun, set up personal challenges or compete with a friend or family member who’s watching the show with you.

Get off the couch and onto the floor
You can watch a TV show without being a couch potato.
Get off the couch and move your body.

Stand up and walk around as much as possible
– When talking on the phone, stand up and pace or walk away from your computer.
– Instead of sending an email to a co-worker in the same office, stand up and visit them instead. It’s faster!
– When you get invited to sit and have a coffee with a friend, say “Let’s go for a walk instead.” If you spend a lot of time sitting in cafes, imagine how much walking you could be doing instead!

Instead of coffee talk, walk and talk!
Instead of coffee talk, walk and talk!

Do ‘airplane exercises’
Long commutes in the car, bus, train or plane mean lots of sitting and no way to walk around. However, you CAN do the exercises that they teach on long airplane rides – just wait for red lights if you’re driving!
– Lift your heels and stay on tip toes for seated calf raises. Extend your leg, put your heel on the floor and lean forward for seated calf stretches.
– Put your hands on the seat behind you and twist your body both ways.
– Roll your shoulders front and back. If you have room lift your arms with elbows bent, then rotate  arms forward and back.
– Do tricep stretches (one arm bent over and behind your head).
– Put one foot on the other knee and bend forward for a butt and hip stretch.

 

Commit to skipping the shortcuts

No more drive-throughs!
This is a movement-killing trap, especially in America, where there are drive-though banks and pharmacies.
– Park the car and walk in! Which leads us to…

Park far away
– Especially if it’s not too cold or hot out, why not park really far away? This everyday exercise opportunity is continually overlooked in our competition to find the best parking spot, which usually means the closest. How about we start competing for the farthest spots?
– If you are going to a large mall, school campus or work complex, how about parking on the opposite side to the area where you need to go. Then you have to walk the entire length of the place!

Park far away and walk!
Park far away and walk! Check out the great story about this picture.

No more escalators!
Forget this invention ever existed. Make a pact to yourself to never take an escalator again. If your fitness level or health is in such bad shape that climbing stairs is a huge challenge, then at least you’ve got yourself an exercise challenge without paying for a gym. Stairs are one of the easiest ways to get in some great cardiovascular exercise, without ever making time for it. Which leads us to…

No more escalators! Take the stairs.
No more escalators! Read the interesting story about this picture.

See you later, elevator
Climbing steps in a high-rise building is like doing an aerobics class, so it would be silly to skip this perfect opportunity for incidental exercise. If you need motivation, try this:
– Make a pact with a co-worker to do the steps every day before you can eat your lunch. At the beginning of your lunch break, walk all the way down the steps to warm up, then climb all the way back up and back down again. Then go feed your well-earned hunger together.
– Get some co-workers together for a daily morning or lunchtime stairs race.
– Time yourself climbing the stairs every morning on your way up to work. Try each day to beat your previous times.

 

Organize stair races with your work mates
Organize stair races with your work mates

No excuses for parents

As parents of a toddler ourselves, we know that kids are often a great excuse for not having time for the type of workout you want to do. However, kids are the perfect catalyst to unscheduled, unbridled movement in your everyday life. Instead of being annoyed by their high energy, be grateful that they are basically tiny personal trainers, begging you to move your body.
– Dance along with your kids in the living room.
– Push your pram (stroller) up the biggest hills you can find.
– Play on the playground equipment while you’re there, instead of just watching your kids do it.
– Play chase, even when you are just walking together a short distance (except in the parking lot!).
– Give horseback, piggy back and shoulder rides.
– Safely twirl them around until you’re exhausted. “Again, Mummy, again!”
Have a Kid Workout!

 

Playing with your kids is unplanned exercise time!
Parents, you are already at the playground,
so get moving!
Pushing the stroller uphill is great exercise
A hill makes a routine walk into a great workout

Put on some music

Whether you are cleaning the house, cooking dinner, or walking to the bus stop, good music will get your body moving in a different way.
– Vacuum to good music for guaranteed speed in your work, spring in your step and plenty of healthy movement.
– While you’re at it, do some squats while doing the laundry. Use less chemicals and more elbow-grease on that shower. The beat of the music will keep you going.
– Listen to your favourite tunes while cooking, and let yourself have a dance. Moving your body uninhibitedly is so fun and freeing.
– Follow the huge trend of commuters wearing earphones. The music may inspire you to stretch your legs on the bus or walk faster down the street.

Turn housework into exercise
Mundane housework time doubles as exercise time.
Pic from The Housework Fitness Plan on kidspot.
Dance in your living room and kitchen for fun and fitness
Dance in your living room and kitchen
for fun and fitness

 

Which of these everyday ‘exercises’ can you start doing today?

How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 4/5: Swiss Ball Squats

How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball: Part 4/5 - Squats

Note: This is a loose transcription of the video ‘How to get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 4/5’.

Brad: G’day guys! Welcome to Part 4 of 5 on How to get Primal on a Swiss Ball.

Today, I am going to show you how to do squats standing on the ball, and the progressions that I use to get people to be able to do this. First up, I want to make sure that people can actually squat normally on the ground.

Swiss Ball Squats

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Now, you think that will be a fairly easy thing for most people. It’s a primal movement, we all have to do it in some sort form every day. But, essentially I want to make sure that when people go down into a squat, their hips don’t necessarily have to get lower than their knees. It depends on any structural abnormalities they might have within  their knees, hips, or their ankles. But in a lot of instances people just need a lot more flexibility, in particular around the actual ankle joint. Especially a lot of girls that are used to wearing high heels and things like that.

A: Normal Squats

normal-squats-400x

But I want people to be able to go down without twisting or leaning, all those sort of things have to be ruled out first through different corrective exercise and making sure that people are just aware of what their body is doing when they’re doing the squat. From the side, I want people to be able to go down keeping their upper spine nice and upright, sort of like a helium balloon lifting your chest up nice and high, maintaining a curve in your lumbar spine, as opposed to being like this.

All these sorts of movements from that position, basically tell me quite a lot of about where a person is being restricted the most. It’s harder to work with you one-on-one through this video, but if you have the ability to be able to squat like that, then you can do it with weights. This would be a fantastic step — a pretty good challenge to be able to do this sort of stuff.

B: Bosu Squats
So, the second progression, after being able to squat normally on the ground, is being able to squat on a Bosu. Now, we don’t have a Bosu here today but a Bosu is basically an acronym  that stands for Both Sides Up. They’re also known as half swiss balls; half a swiss ball with a platform on top of it. Being able to actually balance on a Bosu, going up and down in a squat, is a much safer first way of being able to do it, before standing up on a ball.

C: Supported 1/4 Swiss Ball Squats

supported-quarter-squats-400x

After you can do that, the next progression is to support yourself by holding onto a bar or a tree or anything when you’re standing on the ball.

Let me show you. So you would get up onto the ball like this. It’s good to also have someone helping to support you when you first do this, either holding onto the ball underneath or from the side. Imagine this branch is like a Smith Machine at a gym, a squat rack that is basically fixed and the bar is fixed to two poles, you can hold onto that and you can just basically do quarter squats. Get used to being able bend down and feel the wobble of the ball beneath you.

D: Unsupported Standing on a Swiss Ball

unsupported-standing-on-a-swiss-ball-400x

The next progression I like to get people to be able to do is to stand on the ball without holding anything and just get used to the ball going forward and backwards, side to side.

E: Supported Full Swiss Ball Squats

Supported Full Swiss Ball Squats

After that then it’s being able to hold the stick, the branch in this case, and squat all the way down the way you would normally squat alternately the same way you would do it on the ground.

F: Hands on, Hands off, in Bottom Squat Position

handson-handsoff-bottom-squat-position-400x

The next progression is being able to go all the way down to the bottom, holding onto the bar, then take your hands off and back on the bar a couple times, then come back up.

G: Supported Down, Unsupported Up, Swiss Ball Squats

supported-down-unsupported-up-swiss-ball-squats-400x

The next progression after that is being able to squat down holding on, take your hands off the bar get your hands out of the way, hold that position and then slowly go back up, not holding on. Hold, back down, hold the position, take your hands off, slowly go back up.

H: Swiss Ball Squats Nearby a Support

swiss-ball-squats-nearby-a-support-400x

The last progression is being able to actually do the whole exercise, staying near your support bar. So you don’t hold on, slowly go down to where you feel the most comfortable and then you come back up. If you feel that you can come down a bit lower, hold the position, go back up to the top. If you get nervous you are going to fall, you can grab onto the support.

I: Full Unsupported Swiss Ball Squats

full-unsupported-ball-squats-400x

The last progression is to move away from anything that is going to support you and do it the way that I showed you at the very beginning of the video. Try that out definitely on grass or somewhere soft because you will fall off at first; I’ve done it plenty of times. I’ve had a laugh, it hurts sometimes, but it’s really challenging. And if you’re getting bored in the gym, especially with squats and things like that, this is an awesome thing to be able to get good at.

So, that’s part 4 of 5 on how to get primal on a Swiss ball.

 

Other videos in this series:

How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 1/5: 4 Point Horse Stance
How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 2/5: Prone and Supine Balance
How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 3/5: Primal Push-Ups
How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 5/5: Kneeling Overhead Press


Which progression did you get up to so far in attempting Swiss Ball Squats?

 

Recommended Purchases

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How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 3/5: Primal Push-Ups

How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball: Primal Push-Ups

Note: This is a loose transcription of the video ‘How to get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 3/5’.

Brad: G’day guys! Welcome to Part 3 of 5 on How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball. Today, I want to show you how to do Primal Push-Ups. There’s about 7 different progressions I use to get someone to be able do this, as it’s a pretty challenging exercise.

 

Primal Push-Ups

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A: Plank
So, the first thing I like to get people to do is just to be  able to do what’s called, a plank. Once you’ve been able to do a plank from the ground fairly easy, the next stage is just being able to do a plank in this position. The further the ball is in towards your hips and your knees, the easier it is. Ultimately,you want to be able to have it out around your shins and your feet for about 60 seconds.

One leg swiss ball plank

B: One-Legged Plank
The next progression is being able to do a one-legged plank, alternating your legs.

C: Jackknife
The next progression after that is being able to do a ball jack, which is this move. Keep your hips around the same level as your shoulders. Don’t let your butt lift up and just pull your knees in towards your chest.

Swiss ball jackknife

D: One-legged Jackknife
The next progression is being able to do a one-legged jackknife, on both legs alternating.

E: Push-Ups
The next progression that I get people to do after that is being able to actually do push-ups.

F: Push-ups with a Jackknife
The next progression after that is being able to do pushups with a jackknife.  So you jackknife first, then you do your push-up.

G: One-Legged Plank and Jackknife
The next progression that I get people to do after that is, just basically doing the one-legged plank and then twisting and reaching your foot, out of the other side, and then finally you can actually do the exercise. So you’re doing a one-legged jackknife, reaching through the other foot and going down into a push-up at the same time.

And that’s it guys, that’s part 3 of 5 on How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Primal Push-Ups.

Other videos in this series:

How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 1/5: 4 Point Horse Stance
How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 3/5: Coming next week!

– See more at: http://primalhealth.co/how-to-get-primal-on-a-swiss-ball-part-2-prone-and-supine-balance/#sthash.qUS10MHb.dpuf

How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 2/5: Prone and Supine Balance

Supine Swiss Ball Balance

Note: This is a loose transcription of the video ‘How to get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 2/5’

G’day guys, welcome to Part 2 of 5 on how to get Primal on a Swiss Ball. Today, I want to show you some different exercises that are going to really activate your mid-section, or core. To get you to learn how to balance lying on your back and your front on a swiss ball. So, let’s go through lying on your back first, and the progressions needed to be able to get to that.

Prone and Supine Swiss Ball Balance

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Supine Balance Progressions

In order to be able to balance supine (on your back), try these progressions.

A: 1 Leg and No Legs Seated balance

1 Leg - No Leg Seated Swiss Ball Balance

1. Sit on the swiss ball.
2. Raise one foot off the ground. The other foot remains in contact with the ground.
3. Switch feet, then try lifting both feet off the ground and balancing.
4. The amount of challenge presented will depend on the person. This is really easy for most people, but hard for other people.

B: Seated Balance with Calf and Hand Holds

Seated Swiss Ball Balance With Calf and Hand Holds

1. Sit on the swiss ball.
2. Use only your calf muscles to balance yourself on the swiss ball. Keep feet off the ground.
3. If this is too hard, you can also use both of your hands to grab the swiss ball to be able to improve balance.
4. With your hands on the ball, purposely direct the ball to where you want to move, and get your torso and core muscles used to being able to activate the way they need to when you go a certain direction.

C: Seated Balance with Calf Hold and Single Leg Extension

Seated Swiss Ball Balance With Calf Hold and Single Leg Extension

1. Sit on the swiss ball using using only your calf muscles to balance, as before. Keep feet off the ground
2. Put one leg out, then alternate legs.

D: No Legs Seated Balance

No Legs Seated Swiss Ball Balance

1. Now lift up both legs. Ultimately try and have your legs straight. Pointing your toes will increase difficulty and activate your core more.

E: Supine Swiss Ball Balance

Supine Swiss Ball Balance

1.  Sit on the ball.
2. Raise both of your legs and allow your hips to move  forward, putting your body into a cross type of position, with arms out to the sides.
3. Draw your belly button in, and return to the start position sitting upright.
4. Repeat for several repetitions!
5. Warning: Best to try this out somewhere like a grassy or carpeted area where if you do fall over, you’re not going to hurt yourself!

Prone Balance Progressions

In order to be able to balance prone (on your front), try these progressions.

A: Swiss Ball Prone Cobra

Swiss Ball Prone Cobra

1. Lie on the swiss ball on your stomach, keeping your feet on the ground.
2. Raise your torso up, open your arms out and back, and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
3. Get proficient at least being able to hold your body in this position for 60 seconds.

B: Prone Swiss Ball Balance Alternating Legs

Prone Swiss Ball Balance Alternating Legs

1. Lie on the swiss ball on your stomach, keeping feet on the ground.
2. Initiate the movement by getting into a ‘Prone Cobra’ position, as in step A above.
3. Lift one of your legs.
4. Balance as best you can to prevent the side to side movement on the ball.
5. Alternate legs every 3-4 seconds.
6. Continue for 60 seconds.

C: Prone Swiss Ball Alternating Arms and Legs

Prone Swiss Ball Balance Alternating Arms and Legs

1. This is the last step before being able to balance without arms or legs on the ground.
2. Raise one of your arms out front at a 45 degree angle then raise the opposite leg at the same time. Switch sides.
3. Next try both feet off the ground, with only one hand on the ground to support.

D: Prone Swiss Ball Balance

Prone Balance Progressions

Once you’re able to master all the progressions, you should be primed to balance on the ball without any support from the hands or feet. Once you start to get the idea on how your body needs to shift backwards and forwards to change the centre of gravity and keep from falling off the ball, this becomes a really fun balance exercise. Enjoy!

So, that’s part 2 of 5 on How to get Primal on a Swiss Ball!

 

Other videos in this series:

How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 1/5: 4 Point Horse Stance
How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 3/5: Primal Push-Ups
How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 4/5: Swiss Ball Squats
How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 5/5: Kneeling Overhead Press

Recommended Purchases

Swiss Ball  |  AOK Medi-Ball  |  AOK Max Ball  |  Stability Ball
Swiss Ball / Stability Ball
Perform Better – USA
AOK Health – AUS

How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 1/5: 4 Point Horse Stance

Swiss Ball - 4 point horse stance

Note: This is a loose video transcription of ‘How to get Primal on a Swiss Ball! Part 1/5’

G’day guys! This is video 1 of 5 of ‘How to get primal on a Swiss Ball’.

Whether you have been using a Swiss Ball for a long period of time or just starting out, I am going to show you some progressions on how you can do some pretty tough exercises using the Swiss Ball. Basically, to help you increase the variety of things that you can do on a Swiss Ball to make this a more enjoyable way of getting primal and move your body. I’ve used these balls with clients and for myself for a lot of years. I’ve hurt my back in a number of different ways over the years, broke my lumbar spine and I slipped 3 discs before as well. It’s been pretty painful but the Swiss Ball has been a lifesaver. Bex and I sit on one of these everyday in front of the computer when we’re actually doing all of our computer work for you guys with social networking and the website. They really are amazing things.

This particular brand that we use all the time, is by an Australian company called AOK. In particular one that is called a Maxball. This is a 65cm diameter ball and it works best for me, as when I am sitting on this height, my hip is higher than my knees (see details here about sitting on Swiss balls). For certain other exercises that I actually do and prescribe, I use a smaller 55 cm ball (see sizing details here) but at least for now for this particular exercise that I’m going to get you to do today, you could use either size. So now let me show you what we’re going to go through and do. The ultimate exercise that you have seen in the beginning of the video is what I call a ‘Swiss Ball 4 Point Horse Stance’.

Swiss Ball 4-Point Horse Stance

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Horse Stance Progressions

A: Prone 4-Point Horse Stance

Prone 4 Point Horse Stance

 1.  Lie on the Swiss ball on your stomach.
2.  Put both your hands and feet on the ground.
3.  Lift the opposing arm and leg simultaneously. Alternate each side. Breathe in on the way up, out on the way down.
4. Pay attention to your arm placement. Don’t let your arms go straight out. Keep it at a 45-degree angle with your thumb up and don’t let your leg go straight to the side, keep it directly back behind you.

 

B: Kneeling Balance
Primal Swiss Ball - Kneeling Balance

1. Get on to the actual ball on hands and knees and just get used to balancing.
2. Keep a slight curve in your lower back. Don’t round out your back.
3. Hold position for about 60 seconds.

 

C: 4-Point Balance with alternating kickback
Primal Swiss Ball - 4 Point Balance with Alternating Kickback 

1. Kneel on the ball with both hands and knees in contact with the ball.
2. While keeping your hands on the ball, kick 1 leg backwards. Toes pointed. Stomach in tight.
3. Breathe in on the way up, hold your breath slightly, breathe out on the way back down. Same thing, alternating both sides.

 

D: 4-Point Balance with alternating arm lift

Primal Swiss Ball - 4 Point Balance with Alternating Arm Lift

1. Kneel on the ball with both hands and knees in contact with the ball.
2. While keeping your knees on the ball, lift one arm up to a 45-degree angle with your thumb facing up. Stomach in tight.
3. Breathe in on the way up, hold your breath slightly, breathe out on the way back down. Same thing, alternating both sides.

 

E: 4-Point Horse Stance holding onto support
Primal Swiss Ball - 4 Point Horse Stance Holding On With Hand

1. Find something to hold on to (e.g. tree trunk; desk).
2. Balance on the ball in the 4-point position, on hands and knees.
3. Grab the support (tree trunk; desk) with your right hand. Dig your right foot into the Swiss Ball and kick straight back with your left leg.
4. Alternate and do the other side.

 

F: 4-Point Horse Stance

Primal Swiss Ball - 4 Point Horse Stance

Once you get the hang of the last movement, you can shift your arm away from the object that you’re holding, and do the previous progression without holding on to the support. Again, alternate sides to complete the exercise. Maybe try it for the first time on some grass or somewhere that if you do fall, it’s going to cushion the blow a little bit. Once you can get to the stage of doing this particular movement like that, it’s a fantastic exercise.

So, that’s part 1 of 5 on How to get Primal on a Swiss Ball!

 

Other videos in this series:
How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 2/5: Prone and Supine Balance
How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 3/5: Primal Push-Ups
How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 4/5: Swiss Ball Squats
How to Get Primal on a Swiss Ball – Part 5/5: Kneeling Overhead Press

Recommended Purchases

Swiss Ball  |  AOK Medi-Ball  |  AOK Max Ball  |  Stability Ball
Swiss Ball / Stability Ball
Perform Better – USA
AOK Health – AUS

DIY Crossfit Style Exercises in the Park

DIY Crossfit Style Exercises in the Park

Want to get out of the gym?
Want a workout using simple equipment?
Want to exercise while on vacation?
Getting bored with the same exercise routines?
Want to try crossfit or bootcamp but can’t afford it or are intimidated?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then my latest impromptu workout routine will give you some inspiration and perspiration!

Get Creative with your outdoor workout
Piling on the weight!

When you don’t have weights with you, get creative! These two 15 litre (4 gallon) water jugs that we brought for camping made great weights. They even had a handle! If you are on vacation, a small suitcase or carry bag could work. In your local park, find heavy rocks or use a kid’s bicycle…anything!

Water Jug Squat to Overhead Press
Squat to…

Water Jug Squat to Overhead Press
Overhead Press

Kettle Bell Swing using a Water Jug
Kettle Bell Swing/Snatch

Single Arm Water Jug Swing
Using a Water Jug

I always bring my suspension training strap system and exercise tube with handles when traveling, as they are small to pack and can be used on doors, trees, cars, playgrounds – almost anywhere.

Resistance Tubing Woodchop
Resistance Tubing hooked onto the car

Woodchop using Exercise Tube with Handles
is perfect for the Woodchop exercise

Muscle-ups take a long time to master, but easier versions based on your skill level can be achieved via versions of chin-ups and dips (with your feet on or off the ground) as well as just hanging by your arms and swinging legs with nice tight form.

Suspension Training Straps in the Park Swinging from straps is good exercise Muscle Up Crossfit Style

My daughter, Kaiya, is perfect for adding weight to make some exercises more challenging. Your own body weight may be enough for you, otherwise find a kid or something heavy.

Weighted Reptilian Crawl Pushups
Reptilian Crawl

Reptilian Crawl Pushups in the Park
Pushups

A heavy rock or suitcase could work for this next one if you don’t have a kid around.

DIY Bootcamp Exercise
Squat to…

Bootcamp camping workout
lift or throw!

22 More Outdoor Exercise Ideas

 

Recommended Purchases

Exercise Tube with Handles Suspension Strap Training System
Resistance Tubing
www.performbetter.com
www.aokhealth.com.au
Suspension Training
www.astonefitness.com
www.aokhealth.com.au


COMMENT:
Where would you use these exercises? At your local park? When traveling? On a camping trip?