Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stew Smith's Bodyweight Exercise Plan: Part II

CM SEAL Team blogger: Stew Smith

Here's Part II of my answer to a member of the Perfect Pushup YouTube group. Here's a link to Part I.

"I need help in making a full body bodyweight routine. Any advice/sample that you can offer? I am seventeen and have been using the Perfect Pushup on and off for a year now. With it, I am able to pump multiple diamond push ups more than I ever have in the past years".

I have been creating calisthenics based workout plans for more than twenty years to build muscle stamina, strength, and flexibility. By adding a form of cardiovascular activity like running, swimming, or biking to complete the workout, you can burn more calories and improve heart and lung circulation. I also like to supplement calisthenics with some form of simple weight training like dumbbells in full body movements. If you use the Perfect Pushup or the Perfect Pullup with your sets of exercises, you can reduce your repetitions by 50% typically depending on your fitness level.

Here are some sample routines that focus on both upper body, lower body, and core exercises:

Upper / Lower back Balance Cycle: In order to balance out doing several sets of pushups or other pushing exercises, add in the below exercises for 2-3 sets at the end of the workout to avoid internal rotation of the shoulder girdle.

Repeat 2-3 times
Reverse pushups - 25 reps
Birds - 25 reps
plank pose - 1 minute

see www.stewsmith.com/linkpages/pushupbalance.htm

Push / Pull Upper body Cycle: To fully work the upper body, balance out the pushing muscles (chest, shoulders and triceps) with the pulling muscles (biceps, forearms, back).

Repeat 4-5 times
pushups - max reps
reverse pushups - 20
pullups - max reps
birds - 20
abs of choice - 50

Add MJDB#1 for supplemental push / pull exercises (www.stewsmith.com/linkpages/MJDB.htm)

Abdominal Cycle: Do this 2-3 times during the workout and 4-5 times a week. It is fine to do abdominals and cardio exercises several days a week or on back to back days.

crunches - 25
reverse crunches - 25
double crunches - 25
left crunches - 25
right crunches - 25
bicycle crunches -25
plank pose 1 minute

These workouts can be done throughout the week, but as with weights, it is not recommended to do the same major muscle groups on back to back days. So pick a calisthenics day and follow it with a cardio workout on the next day is the easiest way to create a fitness routine for yourself. If you are new to exercise, just google some of the exercises in the workouts above or visit StewSmith.com for articles, pictures, and books complete with workouts and exercise descriptions.

Questions? Ask away!
Stew Smith CSCS, is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author specializing in military, law enforcement fitness for future and active duty members who serve the country in physically challenging and potentially dangerous professions. Contact Stew at stew@stewsmith.com for answers to your questions.


Unknown said...

Bodyweight exercises are so overlooked with all the hype of the latest and greatest fitness programmes and expensive machines.

Love using callisthenics with the athletes that I coach. It's important to be able to move your body effectively through space rather than just lifting heavy weights. I completely agree that a well-rounded approach works best, with the inclusion of bodyweight and free weight exercises.


Alden Mills said...

Barry -- Great question. I posted a picture on the blog too.

A bird is an upperbody exercise where you lie down on your stomach and lift your arms off the floor as if you were flying like a bird...Answer from: CM SEAL Team blogger Stew Smith.