Foam Rolling will change your life. Exercises will improve flexibility, relieve pain, and help to prevent injury. For @ $20 you can add this invaluable piece of equipment to your home gym.
This one is definitely a step up from the $20 version of the foam composite variety, and will hit you hard in all the right spots. The pvc center adds a punch and durability that you won’t get from the beginner model. The yoga mat adds comfort and grip to prevent sliding.
What you will need:
24″ long 4″ PVC – I bought mine at Lowe’s for @$7.00
24″ wide yoga mat from Wal-Mart @$10.00
You will also need pvc purple and glue.
Thanks to Ryan Duncan at SpeedTraining.net for the great idea.
Heavy rope training packs a supreme punch in improving conditioning and takes your fitness to another level. Improved core and shoulder girdle strength headline the benefit spectrum of heavy rope or battle rope exercises.
Joe Hashey from Synergy athletics shows some MMA style work that is sure to challenge any athlete and gives you some great ideas on how to incorporate heavy ropes into your training.
Heavy rope training will add variety and intensity to your workout. Several movements can be performed for an entire body exercise, beneficial for shoulder rehab, stability, and strength training. Ropes provide multi- joint, multi- plane movements that will deliver an intense conditioning training element to anyone’s workout.
Ropes can be purchased in the mid $100 range (depending on length) at performbetter.com. They offer free shipping a couple of times a year. I would recommend longer ropes for greater versatility.
For those looking for money saving alternatives, contact your favorite local fireman and ask if you can have an old fire hose. Fire stations throw out old hoses when they wear out. Duct or electrical tape up the ends for handles, and get to work.
Shoulder dislocations can be performed w/ a stick or 5 foot length of PVC. Start with an overhand grip and rotate all the way overhead to behind your back keeping arms straight throughout the movement. Vary width of grip to increase challenge and increase range of motion. This is a great warm up exercise for daily use and/or prep work for the overhead squat.
Introducing the KettleBull. A DIY kettlebell made from your own Bulgarian Training Bag. The KettleBull provides another inexpensive alternative to high priced kettlebells. Swings can be performed with one or two hands. The KettleBullsnatch offers a safe and softer alternative to slinging the iron kettlebell. Filled with sand you can safely build up your confidence while building strength, explosiveness, stability, and balance.
DIY kettlebell handle. Materials: PVC and rope, tie down straps, or bungee cords. An inexpensive alternative to expensive kettlebells. This handle can be adjusted quickly to fit just about any dumbbell.
I used 1.5″ PVC for strength in my proof of concept, but I think 1″ PVC might be strong enough and the thinner handle would fit your grip and the dumbbell even better. Let me know what you think. I used rope and tied a hitch knot to slide and tighten to the bell with a figure eight knot for a stopper.
3X @4″ lengths of 1.5″ PVC
2X 1.5″ 90 degree PVC elbows
PVC primer and cement
@8′ feet of rope. ( the same length tie down strap or bungee cord might even work better )
The challenge with baseball players, quarterbacks, basketball players and other throwing/shooting athletes is how to increase strength evenly throughout the shoulder girdle without compromising shoulder mobility or range of motion. Keys include balance in your press and pull exercises and performing all movements through a full range of motion. Don’t make the mistake of avoiding strength training because you’ve heard it will mess up your shot, or throwing motion. Proper and balanced resistance training will add power, bring up lagging body parts, and help prevent injury.
The kneeling tornado drill for throwing athletes (see below) is a an example of how to increase strength through functional and balanced resistance.
Joe Hashey from Synergy Athletics takes us through a couple of trunk/ core strength training exercises in his “chop series” with an old car tire. Rotational strength development will improve athleticism and add power to your clubs and bat. Functional exercises like the “chop” are an excellent alternative to crunches and other single plane single joint movements that don’t translate as directly to the ball field or golf course performance.
Additionally old tires provide another example of how to save money on fitness equipment. Tires are great for the exercises shown below and other throwing movements, jumping, and sledge hammer work.
The macebell is a long handle with a weighted ball on the end. Another old time strength tool that is a tremendous for improving grip strength, shoulder mobility, and core strength. Countless multi-plane and multi-joint exercises can be performed to train the entire body. When watching the sample exercises shown below one might ask, “why not use a sledgehammer?” Sure the sledgehammer would provide an inexpensive alternative to the macebell, but the length of the handle is the big difference. Try out some of these exercises with a sledge. Check out this link for pictures and instructions on how to make your own macebell w/ a long garden tool handle, bucket, and some sack crete.
I had someone ask me the other day, “What about some alternative abdominal exercises?” Well here you go… Towel Swings.
1. Grab a towel or rope, and a weight or object with a hole in a it. Kettlebells are ideal, but a 10 lb plate will work just fine.
2. Thread your towel/ rope through the handle of the kettlebell or the hole in the plate, some room, and you are in business.
Towel swings of all varieties between the legs and overhead can be performed with a towel/rope and a weight, all great alternatives to your tired old crunches. The low stance towel swing or towel swing from the squat position (shown below) is an advanced move that will be sure to challenge. Steve’s example (clip below) is nice with the added movement and change of direction. Other variations include standing, one leg, one arm, and stationary towel swings. The dynamic nature and multi plane aspect of these exercises goes above and beyond your traditional abdominal work. Additional benefits include improved stability, and shoulder mobility.
Note: Towel swings vs. kettlebell towel swings, the swing pictured below, is a completely different movement than the towel swing (or overhead swing).
Kyle has coached at the high school and university level in Texas and has worked with athletes of all ages for over 15 years. Kyle spent 5 years in Houston-area High Schools, and later was named Strength and Conditioning Coach at Texas State, heading up the Football, Baseball, and Women's Basketball programs.
Working with Kyle Harrell has made me and our athletes at Brandeis High more aware of functional strength and flexibility. Kyle's insights have paid dividends with regard to core muscle groups, stability, and overall athleticism.
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY OFFENSIVE TACKLE
Coach Harrell taught me the skills and work ethic that would help me earn a scholarship to Baylor University, and that would ultimately help me start in the Big 12 conference as a true freshman. I learned more techniques from him and found his practices more beneficial than anything I ever did in college.
TEXAS STATE BOBCATS TIGHT END
Coach Harrell's intense and fun approach increased my strength and explosiveness. His positive coaching style encouraged me to be more confident on and off the field.
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