For many people who think about fitness, the first things that come to mind are barbells and dumbbells. Closely behind that are machines both for weight training and cardio. Let me be clear before I proceed. Weight training and cardio in a gym have a long history of helping people improve so this isn’t a criticism of either. My point is you should open your mind to more possibilities.
By Roger Lockridge
There are many other forms of training that can serve you so well and help you improve your overall fitness in different ways. If you’ve never tried any workouts with any of these tools, make it a priority to research these and incorporate them into your personal plan immediately.
A slam ball, or medicine ball, is a great way to train the entire body to improve explosiveness, agility, speed, and it’s incredible for relieving stress. What other object can you use that encourages you to slam it on the floor or solid wall as hard as you can? That alone should entice you to try it out. Using a slam ball can challenge your legs, core, shoulders, and arms while increasing your heart rate and force you to breathe a little harder. Slam balls vary in weight so you can start with a lighter one until you improve and feel you’re ready to progress. There are other ways you can train with a slam ball that doesn’t require you to slam it. You can use one for goblet squats, overhead press, or situps.
Kettlebells have taken off in popularity over the last decade or so but they have actually been around for centuries. Russian farmers used them for equipment to help weigh crops and would occasionally show off their strength by lifting them in challenging ways. The rest is history. Whereas the dumbbell’s weight surrounds the lifter’s hands while they are being lifted, the kettlebell’s mass (bell) is below the handle. You can grab the handle by the top or by the horns (sides). There are kettlebell specific exercises you can do but you can also substitute them for traditional dumbbells on various exercises.
The sled is a piece of equipment that will push you to your limits in a hurry. You load up the sled with enough weight that will challenge you to pull, grab the ropes, and pull it a certain distance. It provides resistance so your legs, core, and arms will have to work hard. Pulling it without stopping will push your respiratory and cardiovascular systems too. So you’ll have resistance training and endurance training in one. There are some that you can both push and pull and if you’re able to use one of these, the results will be even greater.
Even though the goal is to improve our bodies, how many of us actually use bodyweight exercises on a regular basis? I don’t just mean for warming up either. It shouldn’t matter whether you’re training for physique development or functional fitness. Bodyweight training can do both. Bodyweight exercises can help you improve how you control your body, improve overall function and health, and cardiovascular fitness.
This workout can help you incorporate all four of these forms of training into your plan. Perform this workout three times a week after your normal training and you’ll see the results for yourself. Then find more ways and different exercises for you to try and the challenge will be enough to push you forward.
4 Rounds for Time
15 Ball Slams
15 Kettlebell Overhead Swings
Pull Sled for 30 yards and back (60 yards total)