The Playground Ninja

If you’ve seen my American Ninja Warrior submission video and some of my recent social media posts than you probably saw this coming…

ThePlaygroundNinja.com

theplaygroundninja on Instagram

The Playground Ninja Facebook Page

playgroundninj on Twitter

It’s been in the works for a while but I made it official a couple weeks ago. They’ll all be pretty simple but I thought it would be a fun way to document my playground ninja activity.

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

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Easy as 1, 2, 3

I’ve been playing around with a new workout idea the last week or so and it’s been successful enough that I thought I’d share it. I call it “1,2,3” and it’s a general approach that you can take to just about any exercise(s) you can think of. It can be used as part of a workout or, as I experimented with today, your whole workout. I call it 1,2,3 because it’s literally that simple. 1,2,3 refers to the number of reps you do in a minute and can be used in literally countless ways.

It’s an offshoot of the concepts of time under tension, isokinetic contraction and one minute sets. In this approach every set takes one minute and is a done with a constant speed. This is nothing new as people have been playing around with these concepts for a long time with good results. What I’ve been doing is taking the ideas and giving it a new twist.

1-2-3

1-2-3 is how many reps you do in sets 1,2, and 3.

Set 1 – 1 rep takes one minute. This means 30 seconds to go one way and 30 to return to the start. This is SUPER slow and should be a constant speed the whole time.

Set 2 – 2 reps in a minute. Each rep takes 30 seconds to complete, meaning 15 seconds up and 15 down. Still slow but not super slow.

Set 3 – 3 reps in a minute. Each rep takes 20 seconds, 10 up and 10 down.

Pretty straight forward. You can use it for one exercise or several, your choice. If you choose your exercise/weight correctly, it is VERY difficult to do. As an example, this is what I did today…

Pull, Push, Squat

*1 minute rest between sets

1 pullup

1 pushup

1 squat

2 pullups

2 pushups

2 squats

3 pullups

3 pushups

3 squats

4 pullups

4 pushups

4 squats

12 sets totaling 30 reps (10 each exercise), which took me about 25 minutes to complete and was a nice overall workout. If you haven’t tried a one minute pushup or pullup I suggest you give it a shot. The key is to go really slow. If you can do 1, then try the 2 rep set, and so forth. You might be surprised at the workout you can get in a few minutes with just a few reps. The slow speed really challenges your strength through the entire range of motion and is great for developing muscular control. There are dozens of variations off this concept I’ll share as I experiment and develop more ideas.

If you give it a shot let me know how it goes!

 

 

Back & Core 5

The latest in the Back & Core series, designed as the next progression for intermediate movers or a stand alone for more advanced movers. 

Back & Core 5

Forward/Backward Roll
Side Roll
Pistol Squat
Pistol Squat Roll Standups
Table Hip Swivel
Back Bridge
Floating Scorpion
Side Plank Reach Under
Side Plank Overhead Reach
Rolling Log
Scissors
Beast Birddog
Beast Hop Throughs
One Arm Squat Thrust
Elbow to Ankle Lunge
Wall Walk
Hanging Leg Raise
Hanging Knee Raise
Hanging Side Crunch
Hanging Twist
One Arm Hang
One Arm Hanging Leg Raise
Side Swinging
Seal Drag
Seal Slides/Backward
Bow Crunch

A Couple Full Body Gym Workouts

 As I continue to wait for the ever decreasingly likely phone call invitation to American Ninja Warrior, I keep myself busy with varied workouts. The last couple just happen to have been in the gym…

Tuesday

Foam Rolling and Stretching

Lat Pulldown
5 sets of 10-12 reps, increasing weight each set.

Circuit 4 sets
Hanging Iverted Shrugs 10-15 reps
DB Lateral Raise 5 reps
DB Full Raise 10 reps
Bicep Curl (BB or DB) 10-12 reps
Behind Neck Deep Press 8-10 reps
Walking Hop Lunge 24 total steps

~20 Minutes of misc work with no real order or structure, including:

Hamstring Drops
Hanging
Cable Reverse Flys
Deep Pushups
Body Row
DB Pullover
Hinge Row

…and a few other things I can’t remember at the moment. 🙂

Thursday 

Warm up:
Jump Rope
Kneeling Fire Hydrant
Tipping Bird
Ostrich Twist
Skin the Cat
Shoulder Dislocates
Xiaopeng Forwards

Power Clean 
5 reps, 2 warm up sets and 4 work sets

2 sets:

Hamstring Drop
GHD Sit-up

Circuit, 2 rounds:
Standing Triple Jump
Pushup Bouncing
One Arm Hanging
Handstand

Misc sets of:
Dips
Body Rows
Planks

Some videos of above exercises…




Warm It Up

Warming up is such a tremendously valuable practice that, particularly as you get older and/or increase the demand on the body, can be an irreplaceable part of your exercise program. Over the years I’ve tried a hundred different things and have found some things work, others don’t and still others kinda work but depend on how I’m feeling that day.

For a warmup, my priority is usually a quick activation of the nervous system and mild muscular stimulation and circulatory pump. Nothing tiring, just something that gets my blood pumping, body loose and mind connected. There’s probably dozens of “best” warmup sequences out there but this Warmup and the couple I’ll share down the road are what work for me.

Warm It Up 1 – Outdoors

*Done outside, bare feet and shirt off but could be done anywhere. This is about 35 different moves – I spend anywhere from 10-30 seconds on each one and keep moving for most of the whole 10 minutes it takes me. Could be done in any order this just my basic preference.

Do it once to warm up well. Twice to really warm up. Three, four or five times and you’ve just worked out.

Heel and Toe Raises
Pronate and Supinate Feet
Wiggle Toes
Toe Curl
External and Internal Hip Rotation
Lizard Crawl
Back Breast Stroke
Back Roll
Back Roll Two Sided Toe Touch/V Sit
Back Roll Standup
Back Roll Candlestick Jump
Back Roll Jumping Jack
One Leg Toe Touch and Reach
One Leg Toe Touch and Reach Eyes Closed
Xiaopeng Double Forwards
Upper Body Twists
Bouncing and Shaking
Jumping Jacks
Mountain Climbers
Deep Mountain Climbers
Groiners
Super Speed Arm Raises
Super Speed Flys
Super Speed Rows
Double Arm Circles (forward and back)
Double Arm Raises (quick)
Tuck Jumps
Pop Pushups/Toe Pops
Cossack Squats
Drop Pushups to Backward Jump
Bow/Downward Dog Combo
Bow/Prone Crunch Combo
Skipping
Bear Crawl

Back & Core 4

Continuing the Back & Core protocols, here’s the Back & Core 4 video, followed by the exercises listed in order shown. These build on Back & Core 1, 2  and 3 but can also be a stand alone guide. Once again, they can be done in the presented order or as a random selection and can be done as a circuit or traditional sets. These were designed as a fourth set of 25ish effective exercises/activities to keep healthy posture and a solid foundation.

Back & Core 4

Cat-Dog
Sitting Reach Back
Seated L
Pigeon Stretch
The Perfect Stretch (lunge, elbow to instep, rotation, hamstring, quad/hip stretch and reach)
Lizard Crawl
Tipped Turtle
Back Inchworm
Wobbly Sitting Baby
Circle Scissors
Scapular Pushups (Quadruped and pushup position)
Forward Step Overs
Backward Step Overs
Foot Swivel
Prone Lying Glute Heel Raise
Seated Chest Pushout
Chest Pushout to Table
Table One Leg Extension
Fire Hydrant
Kneeling Forward Rock
Kneeling Hip Rotations
Hamstring Step Sequence
Arm Twisting (feet stable and feet rotating)
Knee Circles
Shoulder Circles
Lizard Stretch
Prone Chest & Hip Hollows