You may or may not habe seen the movies, so you may or may not have an inkling of what I am writing about.
First thing the Christian Bale Batman does in the movies upon greeting the day is what?
Push ups and situps, even in The unholiest of Prisons as seen here…
This is the basis for our re-ninjafication of our bodies. For that matter, in the original James Bond novels, Mr. Bond did 100 pushups and sit-ups first thing in the morning as well, no matter where or what was going on. There IS something to this!
My idea of The Batman Workout is a combination of The Dark Crusader, meets Shaken not Stirred 007 and this dude from South Beach Miami who would randomly drop and do ten pushups whenever he found himself not doing something. Get stuck on the computer, or its turning on, the ever popular loading phase, do 5 or 10. I have been told that the biggest problems arensolved not as a whole, but in taking small pieces at a time. For me losing and maintaing a healthy weight is a daunting task at times. Further, to maintain a healthy muscle mass and internal power is more dauting still! This is one way I have found to circumvent long hours in the gym and keep a daily attention to my health. And when I do spend long hours in the gym, or, as I find myself doing a lot, on a bike, this workout is a perfect compliment.
There can be no excuses when it comes to our bodies. Do not let the power of rationale lead you to the surgeons blade.
When you step back, you see the genius of this workout. A. It can be done anywhere. You can do 5 pushups in any clothing and not break a sweat. Do 5 push ups 5 times a day. Thats 25. For many of us, thats 25 more than we currently do. This will add up over time, and a relatively short period of time if I may say so. Remember, I used to weigh 100 pounds more than I do now, I speak from experience as I earned my health back over a period of six years. As you do your pushups, you will become stronger. As you become stronger, you will naturally do more. Now lets say you do 7 instead of 5… 42 almost twice as many at the end of the day…. Can you see the boon in this way of working out?
First thing in the morning, you do push ups. As I was taught in Kung Fu, you want to have your elbows pointing to the rear more so than the sides for the maximum effect. In the push ups to the laft, youll see the opposite, the elbows are pointing more outward than back. Do the best you can and dont be too hard on yourself.
Another way of saying that, if you had eyes in your elbows, they would see your feet more so than the walls or scenery at your right and left. If yu find yourself having difficulty with form or being able to do more than one or two, start by doing as many as you can with good form,mso you will look from the side as a plank lowering and raising, no saggy lower back or arching back, straight… Then drop to your knees and continue. You will still be building strength and thats what matters! A few months of knee push ups and you graduate to plank style.
I do mine in groups of ten. Use five or twenty or thirty. Dont judge based on anyone but yourself!
There are a few different ways to do your push ups so that you can really fine tune the smaller muscle groups making for a more complete over all… You.
Arms Wide – In this your arms are out beyond what you may consider to be “normal” or comfortable. Practice to see what works best for you.
Arms Narrow – As you come up and down, your elbows will be touching the side of your rib cage.
Arms wide and narrow BUT – now you are on your knuckles – this can be done on a soft surface to begin with and gradually move to harder and harder surfaces. Why would you do this? To make the bones in your hands much harder. This is where you are beginning to get your body ready to hit things. Another reason why your elbows are facingnthe way they are. When you change the setting from horizontal to vertical, you realize that all along you have been practicing punching, punching with your elbows out is in effective, unless your rockin the haymaker!
On the wrist – this is to further the strength of the hand as a whole, and, again, it is a strike. You may have seen it in movies. Regardless, it is good for the health of the hand, wrist and forearm as it makes it much stronger! Start on a soft surface and move to a harder one accordingly. GO EASY WITH THIS ONE, you dont want to damage yourself in the quest of becoming stronger! Try to have the finger as close together as possible, not only on your individual hands, but the fingers of the hands should be close to the opposite hands, in the picture below, this would be as far apart as you want them to be. The closer together, the more power being built.
Rolling – this is a bit more complex, hence why it is further down the list. You start with a fist, go down and when you come up, you “pop” off the ground a wee bit and land on your wrist, down, up, pop, land on your palm and down up – thats 1. This too is a strike and an amazing strength builder. I will place a video very soon, if you don’t get it, these instructions, don’t try it. If you are just starting out, don’t try it. Simple, this is a complex and powerful exercise, patience built the wall of China as will patience build you!
Shoulder rolls – For this one you will remain in the up position and you’ll be “rolling” your shoulders to the front and then to the back using whatever count your are comfortable with. Again, video will be posted soon to help with understanding!
Thats it, for now, for the push ups. Once these become boring, go for one arm and finger tips!
Sit ups are a super important part of our caped crusader and Secret Agents workout as they should be for you!
First things first. Get some kind of “soft” for under your sacral area. These are the bones that connect the spine to the pelvis, when doing sit-ups, they can become irritated and sore leading you to cheat on form and do less than you actually are able to do!
We want to do these sit-ups with proper form, feel free to mix it up, but ensure you do them all. if you start to feel it in your lower back, you need to re focus and get the lower abs working! This is your core, the center for power i your body. Spend time on this as all other parts will be made stronger! The dantien is located here. In Chinese medicine, this is the storage area for your Chi. With internal martial arts [kung fu, tai chi, xing yi], many sports, you will be told that all movement originates here first.
Sit ups will not strengthen the dantien per sey, but will begin to bring your focus to the area and perhaps begin to get you to pay attention to it. Only focused meditation and specific training build the actual dantien as it is a space in between matter and energy. For now, we focus on the matter surrounding it!
Sit ups –
Flutter kicks – hands flat, palms on the floor, just underneath your butt, legs straight, head slightly raised looking at feet. Now begin “swimming”, you can keep the kicks tight or get your feet far apart, do a bit of both until you feel like puking then move to next one.
Crunches – raise yourlegs into thenair and have them straight up and side by side. Arms bent and fingers gently touching side of head. Start crunching, do till woozy…
Side bends – lie on your side with your legs pressed tight together and slightly elevated off the ground, about six inches, feet pointing in the direction your body is facing. Hands gently touching side of your head. Start side bending towards your feet, try and do at least ten. As with every exercise, you determine what is ok and what is not. Push yourself dont hurt yourself. If you cheat, you cheat yourself, no one else.
Bicycles forward and backward – lie on your back, your knees to your chest, hands gently touching the side of your head, start “cycling” your feet, like you’re riding a bike, as you do this, touch your opposite elbow and knee together. Back and forth, back and forth, after you have done quite a few, this is an easy one, switch to “pedaling” in reverse.
Leg lifts – Either lie on your back or holding onto the chin up bar, raise your legs to a 90 degree angle and lower, repeat. Many times.
V ups – raise your legs together and the upper body, hands straight above your head, until your hands and feet meet, you should now be balancing on your booty. Chances are you will be all over the place, but thats O.K., takes time=]
The third thing we will add to your repetoire is the hand stand. If you are already advanced and can go right into it, great! If like me you need a little help, or if you want to remain in control and not be wildly kicking around, you can use the wall.
You want to stay in control as this is what will build your core strength and reduce the chance for injury. Injuries sustained with handstands can be serious as they will usually effect the rotator cuff and can lead to all sorts of troubles such as impinged nerves, frozen shoulder etc. Slowy and Steady will make you strong. Do not male workouts life or death situations, use your workouts to be strong for when life or death situations arise. Use a wall unless you are very strong already in this particular field, i.e. You could do handstand push ups no problem.
When using the wall, either face the wall, bend at waist putting finger tips very near the wall to a few hands space away from the wall. Secure your body and kick either the right or thenleft leg up immediately followed by thenother leg, control it as much as possible and you will feel your heels either crash or gently land on the wall.
Now immediately ensure your shoulders are locked in with your arms and upper back. Stomach is flexed and core muscles are activated. Head can be relaxed, look at the floor or the wall on the other side of the room.
From here, the possibilities widen. You can begin “push ups”, you can focus on keeping your legs off the wall while remaining in postion so you can eventually do it without a wall, you can have your fingers close enough to the wall that you can flatten your entire body, even the back of your head to the wall, or you could be a couple hand spaces out and slowly bring your legs towards your trunk, bending at the knees and then lengthening your legs skyward again. You can also do nothing and just focus on the feel, and you can also spread your legs as though you are doing a split.
If you arent comfortable kicking over your head, the try facing away from the wall, about an arms length, and slowly walk your self up the wall and into position. At first this will take a lot of strength and thereby reduce your upside down time, but thats O.K., its all about becoming stronger!
If you walk up the wall, you can then walk yourself to the right and left along the wall!
At all times keep your posture, your focus, your overall being tight and aware. Dont wait until the last moment to come down, come down easy…KEEP YOUR FOCUS, its very important that you are really present when doing this. All exercises will “give” you more if you are present, we know that, this is one of those exercises that can give you some fairly serious injury if you are not super focused. From neck pain, rotator cuff injury, lots of problems can arise from improper handstands. As it is a super work out and strengthening aid, it can just as easily set your program back months if you are not focused.
The last of our ninja workout is the age old PULL UPS!
Palms facing you and palms facing away. Wide grip, narrow grip. NINJA!
If you have trouble doing more than a very few, have a chair beside your bar, or whatever structure you are using to pull yourself up to and instead do resistance lowers. This is where you will use the chair to get in your position and then hold it as long as you can, struggling in a controlled way until you fully extend your arms, then get on the chair and do it again, repeat until your arms are full of jelly.
Start small and slow. Eat as healthy as you can afford, a cable TV bill should never come out of your organic veggie fund.