Categories
Strength Workouts

At Home Back Workout: 16 Moves You Can Do From Anywhere

One of the best things about back workouts is that there are an immense amount of options you can do with nothing but a pull-up bar. So although this guide won’t be like some of my past entries, which require no equipment, this series requires a door jam and a good pull-up bar to get you started. Rows, lat pull-downs and other exercises are also great for getting that coveted V-shaped back, but pull-ups still reign supreme when it comes to overall back strength. For the purpose of this guide, we’ll focus just on pull-up variations, as they’re far and away the most accessible back exercise to tap into from the comfort of your home.

How to do these moves in a workout:

Unlike some other exercises, set length is a bit flexible when it comes to creating your pull-up regimen. Because there’s such a steep learning curve, you’ll have to get started and see what feels like a reasonable amount to aim for per set. If you’re just starting out, I would recommend sticking to a set amount of pull-ups instead of “x” sets for “x” reps. Just focus on a number (15 reps) and do that in small sets until completion. Slowly overtime play with the variations and amount of reps. You can also do a pyramid structure: start with a set of 5, then do a set of 4, then do a set of 3, then 2, then 1. That gets you to 15! 

And if you’re still having trouble doing single reps (pull-ups are hard!), then consider some of the assisted options on the list. You can also do almost any of these variations as holds rather than reps of pull-ups. To do so, jump up into the peak of the pull-up position (in whichever grip you want to work on) and hang as long as you can, keeping your core engaged. This is the best way to start building up the lat strength necessary to start churning out big sets of pull-ups down the line. You’ll be knocking out sets of 8 in no time.

For the first few assisted options, you’ll need an elastic band in addition to your pull-up bar. They’re cheap and can be found at any sporting goods store or online, so it’s definitely a good investment if you’re just starting out.

At Home Back Workouts, in Order from Least to Most Difficult:
1. Assisted Pull-Ups
FaZe Jasper

Normal grip pull-ups are harder than chin-ups, but the bands can make a huge difference when you’re starting out. For a traditional grip pull-up, you have your palms facing away from you and you place your hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Engage your lats (the muscles or “wings” under your armpits) and pull your upper chest towards the bar. It only counts when your chin comes over the bar! The more you do traditional pull-ups, every other exercise on this list will get easier.

2. Assisted Chin-Ups
FaZe Jasper
Band not pictured

“Chin-ups” traditonally refer to the pull-up position where your palms are facing towards you, which activates your biceps more than the traditional pull-up position—your palms facing away. 

To perform this exercise, take an elastic band around the bar and get your feet in the band (the strength of the band can vary, so you can work up from easy to hard before doing a pull-up without assistance). Depending on the height of the bar, either jump up or use a step stool to get up and grip the bar with your palms facing towards you. Start in a full hanging position, and then pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Because you’re incorporating bicep strength, chin-ups are a bit easier for beginners who may still be developing their back strength. 

3. Assisted Close-Grip Pull-Ups
FaZe Jasper

As the name implies, here you will have your hands a little closer to each other, adding difficulty to the exercise. All previous rules apply. Try not to use any momentum; you can spread your legs into a V-shape to discourage “kipping”, which is when you swing your body weight up. It’s best to avoid “kipping”, because you can injure yourself if you’re not careful. The close grip will activate your lower lats, traps and will even activate your pecs a bit.

4. Pull-Up Hold
FaZe Jasper
Begin with this grip, but hold at the top

Holds are another great options for beginners who are building up to full on pull-ups. To do a hold, either perform one rep of a pull-up (as pictured) and then tighten your core once your chin is above the bar and hold as long as you can OR jump up into the peak of the repetition and hold.

5. Neutral Grip Pull-Up Hold
FaZe Jasper
Use this grip, but hold at the top of the repetition

Neutral grip holds are the same as the above, but you’ll want to have your palms facing towards each other. Hold for as long as you can, making sure to keep your core engaged—these are good for core strength as well!

6. Chin-Up Hold
FaZe Jasper

This is a really great option for beginners. You can rely on your biceps and shoulders in addition to your back strength and hold for as long as you can. This is the exercise a lot of people use when first getting into pull-ups.

7. Assisted Wide Grip Pull-Ups
FaZe Jasper

As the name suggests, these are the same as the previous pull-up variations, but you’ll want to use a wide grip with your hands much wider than shoulder width. These are more difficult than the previous entries, as they require you to rely almost entirely on lat strength, as opposed to utilizing your biceps and shoulders. These are also a great option for a hold!

8. Chin-Ups
FaZe Jasper

Now we get into the non-assisted variations. To perform a traditional chin-up, hop up onto the bar with your palms facing towards you, pull until your chin surpasses the bar (hence, “chin-ups”) and then slowly return to a dead hang. Make sure to keep your biceps and back engaged as you lower yourself back towards the ground. 

9. Neutral Grip Pull-Ups
FaZe Jasper

For these pull-ups, you’ll need a bar that has neutral grip attachments—most door jam pull-up bars have this feature. Or you can go to your local playground like I did! Neutral grip pull-ups are great; they feel good and are a little easier than normal pull-ups as you have your palms facing each other. This allows you to activate your shoulders and biceps throughout the exercise. Make sure you get a full stretch on the way down before pulling your upper chest to the bar again. Full range of motion is very important when it comes to any exercise, but especially with pull-ups. It’s easy to default to half-pull-ups when in the neutral grip, so make sure to return to a full hang before you start your next rep.

10. Pull-Ups
FaZe Jasper

This is as traditional as it gets. You’ll want to use a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width with your palms facing away from you, pull up until your chin is above the bar (keeping your core engaged) and then lower yourself to a full hang. Repeat.  

11. Close Grip Pull-Ups
FaZe Jasper

These are the same as the above, but with a grip closer than shoulder-width. You’ll really activate your lower lats, traps and even your pecs. 

12. Negative Neutral Pull-Ups
FaZe Jasper

When doing negatives, you pull yourself up like a normal pull-up, but when going down, you do it very slowly. You can play with the time but try to get up to 4 seconds on the negative. I usually recommend doing this on the last rep(s), or if you’re stuck on a certain amount of reps. For example: if you’re doing 4 sets of 8 reps and you want to work towards 4×10, you can add slow negatives to give yourself some more improvement opportunity so you can work towards 10, rather than just jumping in and doing the 10 with bad form. Make sure to keep your lats, shoulders and abs engaged as you lower yourself.

13. Negative Normal Pull-Ups
FaZe Jasper

This is the same as the above, but with a normal grip. Similarly, consider adding it onto the final rep of a traditional set to add a little extra difficulty.

14. Negative Wide Grip Pull-Ups
FaZe Jasper
Band is not necessary

These are the same as above, but with a wide grip. Feel the burn!

15. Assisted One Arm Pull-Ups
FaZe Jasper
Band not pictured

I won’t lie to you, these are only for the highly advanced. This is a very hard exercise and I will not recommend doing or trying it if you’re not already repping at least 20 regular pull-ups. Once you’ve really honed your two arm pull-ups, you can start working up to the coveted one-arm pull-up by first starting with a band for some much-needed assistance.

16. One Arm Pull-Ups
FaZe Jasper

This one is tough. Once you’re really comfortable with all of the other variations on this list, you can do one arm pull-ups to really isolate the muscle groups on either side of your body. To perform, grip the bar with one hand and then grip your wrist with the other.

Categories
Strength Workouts

At Home Chest Workout: 12 Moves You Can Do From Anywhere

It’s chest day, and you know what that means. Today we’re doing push-ups. Push-ups can be tough, but they’re also fun, versatile, and a great exercise for overall chest development—with a little bit of tricep thrown in. It’s also one of the most accessible exercises available, especially during quarantine when many of us are restricted to our homes. Push-ups, and their many variations, are still the best at-home chest workout. 

There are numerous push-up variations, each of which can be adjusted based on your skill level. You can make it easier by having one or both knees on the floor while conducting your press. You can make it more difficult by slowing down the exercise on the negative (lowering) and explosively pushing up during the pressing motion.

For a solid chest workout, I suggest you pick four exercises from this list and try to complete 50 reps total. That’s a great place to start, and as you get more comfortable (and stronger!), you can add more reps or sets overtime to build up even more strength!

Baseline Rules Before Starting

As always, here are my baseline rules you should consider before diving into your home workout. Take these four pieces of advice to heart in order to make sure you’re getting the most out of your regimen.

1. Form matters more than anything else. If you’re not performing the exercise well, there’s an increased risk of injury. For example, while doing bodyweight exercises like dips, push-ups, and pike push-ups, controlling the movement is very important. It’s not a priority to go as fast as possible. Remember, quality over quantity.

2. It’s ok to be a beginner. We all have to start somewhere. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t make it to 30 seconds on certain exercises, 20 is just fine. Now you have something to work towards.

3. Exercising is a never-ending process. There is no end, which means you will have a lifetime of accomplishments ahead of you.

4. Consistency is key. As long as you keep consistent, you will see progress. Not feeling sore does NOT mean you didn’t have a good workout. Don’t let it fool you.

1. Push-Ups
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper

The traditional push-up is arguably the most recognizable strength exercise ever developed. Its ubiquity is earned, as it truly provides the best strength training possible from such an accessible exercise. 

To begin, get into a push-up position. You begin with your arms straight and shoulder-width apart, back flat, and core tightened. If it’s drastically uncomfortable to stay static in a traditional push-up position, then consider dropping onto your knees to reduce the strain a bit. You’ll be in a full position in no time. 

Slowly lower your weight towards the floor; you want to aim to bring your elbows to a 45-degree angle, which will hit your chest best. Flaring out your elbows can be detrimental to your shoulders. You should always aim to get as low as possible (nose to the floor) and fully extend your arms on the way back up. All variations will still follow these same guidelines.

2. Close Push-Ups
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper

Luckily for us, the names of different push-up variations are pretty self-explanatory. For close push-ups, you’ll want to replicate everything from the traditional push-up but with your hands positioned closer together on the floor. This variation puts more pressure on your triceps, activating them in addition to your chest. You should have your hands just a tad closer than shoulder-width apart. How close you go is really up to you and your comfort level.

3. Wide Push-Ups
FaZe Jasper

How do you do a wide push-up? You guessed it. Get in your traditional push-up position and then scoot your hands a little farther apart than shoulder-width. Much like how the close push-ups activate your triceps, the wide grip will activate your shoulders. If you go wider than appropriate, it could put undue pressure on your shoulders. So make sure to listen to your body, and always increase exercises in small increments.

4. Decline Push-Ups
FaZe Jasper

This one is another variation for those looking to step up the difficulty level of their push-up routine. To complete this exercise, you’ll be in a traditional push-up position with your arms shoulder-width apart, but with your feet up on an elevated surface. The higher you go, the more difficult it will be.(but also will add more shoulders into the exercise) It’s especially important to maintain an engaged core during this variation; you don’t want your back to slouch. This variation will make the push-up feel heavier and can help to engage your upper pecs more than the traditional exercise.

5. Incline Push-Ups
FaZe Jasper

Unlike the decline push-ups, this variation is great for more beginner lifters who are having trouble doing traditional push-ups. You use your traditional grip, but with your hands placed on an elevated surface. The higher you go, the easier it will be. This is a great variation for beginners who are looking to work up to some of the more advanced variations on the list.

6. Pause Push-Ups
FaZe Jasper

I love this variation. This is a traditional push-up, but with one addition. When you’re at the bottom of the exercise, pause for a second or two (or three if you’re feeling extra strong) before exploding back up. You can also add this element to almost any of the variations on the list for an added challenge.

7. Negative Push-Ups
FaZe Jasper

This one is extra tough. To complete, stretch the negative (when you’re going towards the floor) out to a 5-10 second move. This one will really burn as you hold. Make sure to keep your core engaged because this exercise, like a plank, will also really help to strengthen your core.

8. Moving Push-Ups
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper

Push-ups aren’t always dynamic enough if you’re looking to incorporate a little bit of cardio. After doing your traditional push-up, move one arm to the side (to get into a wide push-up position), do a wider push-up, return to a regular position, do a push-up, alternate to the other side (bring the other hand to a wider grip) and repeat.

9. Unilateral Push-Ups
FaZe Jasper

This is a cool variation for isolating one side of the chest. To complete, get in a traditional position but with one hand on an elevated surface. This will put much more pressure/weight on the non-elevated hand, allowing you to really work each pec separately. You can use this exercise to build muscle if you’ve noticed any asymmetry, or just use it as a way to further isolate either pec.

9. Spiderman Push-Ups
FaZe Jasper

Spiderman’s in pretty good shape, so any exercise with his name in it has got to be a great option. To complete, utilize a traditional push-up position, but as you lower your body, bring your knee up to your elbow. This will add a level of difficulty to the reps and will target your obliques. 

10. Explosive Push-Ups
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper

It’s in the name. Treat this variation like a traditional push-up, but you should come up much more explosively. The goal is for your hands to lift off the floor at the peak of the repetition. If you’re feeling extra cool, you can even throw in a clap to make sure you’re off the ground. 

11. Diamond Push-Ups
FaZe Jasper

For when close push-ups just aren’t close enough, there are always diamond push-ups. Disclaimer: these are super hard and not a good option for beginners. To complete, you should have your hands close together in a diamond shape. Then complete your push-up like you would with a regular grip. This variation activates the triceps in a big way and is one of the most difficult variations on the list, so only do it if you’re feeling comfortable with many of the other options.  

12. One Arm Push-Ups
FaZe Jasper

This is also pretty self-explanatory. Like the diamond push-up, it’s one of the more difficult options on the list, so try it at your own risk. With one hand behind your back, center the other hand and do a push-up. That’s really all there is to it, but it’s difficult even for those with a seasoned chest routine. 

Categories
Strength Workouts

14 Bodyweight Core Exercises You Can Do From Home

Today we’re going to go over some core abdominal exercises you can do from home. Like the previous articles, we’re going to focus on bodyweight exercises that don’t need any equipment. Ab exercises are hard but easy to master. Like anything else in the gym, it takes practice and consistent intensity to get better at it. I recommend training abs at least 2 or 3 times a week. Depending on the intensity/adding weights to exercise, you need to give your abs time to recover before training them again, just as you would with any other muscle.

Disclaimer: doing ab exercises will not give you abs (shocker), abs are made in the kitchen! Ab workouts build the abs, diet reveals them!

Baseline Rules Before Starting

Before you begin on your new work-from-home exercise regimen, take these four pieces of advice to heart in order to make sure you’re getting the most out of your workout.

1. Form matters more than anything else. If you’re not performing the exercise well, there’s an increased risk of injury. For example, while doing bodyweight exercises like dips, push-ups, and pike push-ups, controlling the movement is very important. It’s not a priority to go as fast as possible. Remember, quality over quantity.

2. It’s ok to be a beginner. We all have to start somewhere. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t make it to 30 seconds on certain exercises, 20 is just fine. Now you have something to work towards.

3. Exercising is a never-ending process. There is no end, which means you will have a lifetime of accomplishments ahead of you.

4. Consistency is key. As long as you keep consistent, you will see progress. Not feeling sore does NOT mean you didn’t have a good workout. Don’t let it fool you.

1. Plank
3 sets, each for 60 seconds or more, depending on your level
FaZe Jasper

The plank is one of the most tried and true core exercises around. To complete this exercise, you’ll need to get on the floor. That will be the case for most of these core exercises. Get into a push-up position, but with your elbows on the ground. Make sure to keep your back straight and your core tight. It’s important to activate your abs throughout to ensure your back is not arching and to ensure that you’re getting the best activation. It would be best if you held it for as long as you can; start with 30 seconds and build up as you improve.

2. Spider Plank
3 sets, each for 30 seconds or more, depending on your level
FaZe Jasper

This is a variation on the traditional plank. Rather than the traditional push-up position, this variation requires you to pull one of your knees up close to your elbow as you hold the plank. This will also help target the obliques, so it’s a good plank to add to your core regimen. Like with the above plank, you can do this for time or reps.

3. Side Plank
3 sets, each for 30 seconds or more, depending on your level
FaZe Jasper

The side plank is a great variation of the traditional plank that’s a little more accessible than the spider variation. This version will really activate your obliques—if it’s your first time doing it, you’ll be burning tomorrow. This variation also requires a bit of balance, so you may have to work your way up to really extended holds. To complete this exercise, get in your traditional plank position, but then lean your weight onto one of your arms with your chest perpendicular to the floor. You can keep your other arm raised into the air to aid with balance. Do it as long as you can (you’ll figure out a good length you’re comfortable with), and then switch to the other side and repeat.

4. Mountain Climbers
3 sets, one minute each
FaZe Jasper

Now let’s get into some of the more dynamic exercises. You should get into a push-up position (on your hands this time, not your elbows), and then alternate pulling your knees up to your chest. Make sure you keep your hips down and your core activated throughout. You want to be pulling your legs up with your core, not just leg strength. Repeat the exercise in rhythm for a minute. Once you get better at the exercise, you can add tempo to make it harder.

5. V-Ups
FaZe Jasper

3 sets, 15-20 reps
FaZe Jasper

The V-Up is a slightly more advanced core exercise, and it really requires good form to avoid injury. To begin, lie down on your back facing the ceiling with your arms extended on the ground behind your head. Then, while keeping your core tight, raise your upper body off the ground while simultaneously lifting your straightened legs into the air. You’ll form a V-shape (hence the name), then slowly return to fully horizontal. Make sure to keep your back and legs straight throughout the exercise; it’ll be easier if you focus on activating your core throughout the entire rep. You can progress overtime by further straightening your legs.

6. Bicycle Crunches
3 sets, 20 reps each
FaZe Jasper

Bicycle crunches are a great variation of the traditional crunch, but the traditional crunch can be really strenuous on your back & neck. If your neck has ever hurt from crunches, then consider the bicycle crunch instead. For this, lie face up with your legs extended and your hands curled behind your head. Then, pull one of your knees up to your chest with the other leg extended (and held off the ground). Lift your upper body slightly off the ground, leaning towards the knee. Alternate and repeat.

7. Russian Twists
3 sets, 10 reps each side
FaZe Jasper

Another dynamic exercise, the Russian Twist is a great addition to your core regimen. To begin, get into the position that you would conclude a crunch in—knees bent with your feet off the ground (or gently on the ground if you’re having trouble with the balance) and your upper body tensed up off the ground. Maintain your V shape with your core tightened, and then use your abs to twist to the right, then the left, etc.

8. Toe Touches
3 sets, 20 reps
FaZe Jasper

Toe touches are a great crunch variation for the lower abs. To complete this exercise, lie on your back and lift your legs and upper body off of the ground, with arms and legs outstretched. Lift your upper back off the ground and pull your arms toward your toes, while lifting your legs up towards the ceiling. Your legs should be static and straight up while moving your upper body and arms towards and from the toes.

9. Heel Touches
3 sets, 10 each side
FaZe Jasper

Heel touches are a great exercise for activating your obliques. To perform this exercise, lie down with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Your arms should be at your side. With your shoulders lifted slightly off the ground, use your abs to rotate your right hand down towards your right foot and then back up. Alternate to your left hand and repeat.

10. Laying Leg Raise
3 sets, 15 reps
FaZe Jasper

This is another great exercise for your lower abs and for stretching your hip flexors. It’s also pretty simple, so this is a great one to incorporate into your routine if you’re just beginning to work your core. To complete, lie on your back with your legs extended and hands at your side (or you can put your hands underneath your lower back). Slowly lift your legs up towards the ceiling, maintaining a straight leg throughout with your thighs tight together. Go until you can’t go any higher (without bending your legs) and then slowly return. How high you can go will be determined by your hip flexibility, so the more you do this exercise, the easier it will become. Try to keep the tension in the abs by making sure to never touch the ground with your feet!

11. Static Leg Holds
3 sets to failure
FaZe Jasper

This is a static variation of the above leg raises. Follow the above instructions, but rather than repeating the motion, you should keep your legs in their lifted position with your core engaged. Hold for as long as you can and then repeat.

12. Laying Windshield Wipers
3 sets, 10 reps each side
FaZe Jasper

Windshield wipers are a little more complicated than the leg raises, but are foundationally pretty similar. To begin, lie on your back with your arms laid out diagonally towards your hips (for support). Lift your legs into the air; depending on your flexibility level, you can do it with either straight legs or bent at the knee. Engaging your abs, rotate your hips to one side, bringing your legs over. Alternate to the other side and repeat. Your feet should not touch the ground.

13. Side Plank Crunch
3 sets, 10 reps on each side
FaZe Jasper

If the side plank is just too easy, then you can make it more dynamic by doing a side plank crunch. To begin, get in your side plank position (explained above) with your right hand behind your head and the elbow bent. Then pull your right knee up towards your right elbow until they connect and return to the initial position. Make sure you’re engaging your core throughout the motion. Do a full set on one side, then switch to the other side, then rest.

14. Flutter Kicks
3 sets, 30 secs or more, depending on your level
FaZe Jasper

For this exercise, begin by laying down on your back with your legs extended up to a 45 degree angle off the ground. You should also lift your head, neck and shoulders slightly off the ground. With your core engaged, lower one of your legs below the other. Make sure to keep your toes pointed and legs totally straight. Then, begin to bring the lowered leg back up to its starting position while simultaneously lowering the other leg. Then just continue to repeat this alternation. Your toes never touch the ground. Try to increase the tempo to the exercise to make it harder and more dynamic!

Categories
Sneakers Style

The 10 Best Crossfit Shoes to Work Out In

Crossfit can be a crazy way to workout. From climbing ropes to HIIT, that amount of activity requires a versatile sneaker, ready for any situation.

Luckily, in the competition for best cross-training sneaker, is just about every major brand has a great pair, and the fight is a close one. Between superior rope guards, light, breathable mesh, and maximum stability, the specs are serious. So whether you’re picking back up a new habit or finally getting around to that New Year’s resolution, look at your sneaker purchase like you look at working out – go above and beyond expectations.

1. Nike Metcon 6
Nike

The Metcon 6 is Nike’s most recent iteration of the cross-training silhouette which features a mesh-covered upper for maximum breathability. The sneaker is known for being super light, comfortable, and perhaps most noticeably, safe from ropes with a reinforced rope guard on the side known to be a must-have for rope climbing workouts.

Buy Now, $130
https://www.nike.com/t/metcon-6-mens-training-shoe-MdLCnw
2. Reebok Nano X
Reebok

The Reebok Nano X is hailed as one of the best sneakers for cross-training and even featured Reebok CrossFit branding when it originally released. The shoe is a bit bulkier than most CrossFit silhouettes but is recognized for its tall ankle collar which gives it unbeatable comfort and security for training.

Buy Now, $130
https://www.reebok.com/us/reebok-nano-x-shoes/EH3094.html
3. Under Armour Tribase Reign 2
Under Armour

UA’s Tribase Reign 2 is affectionately referred to as the “Metcon Killer” in the CrossFit community as the sneaker competes with the Swoosh silhouette in most ways. It’s hailed for its flexibility, comfort, shape, and protection for rope climbing.

Buy Now, $120
https://www.underarmour.com/en-us/p/training/mens-ua-tribase-reign-2-training-shoes/3022613.html
4. Reebok Speed TR Flexweave
Reebok

Reebok’s Flexweave technology is a little dated in terms of the company’s innovative specs but still stands as one of the better cross-training options out there. The sneaker is hailed for its combination of being a light and flexible sneaker with tremendous grip and durability.

buy now, $56
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K991LCL?tag=runrepcom-g5-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1
5. New Balance Minimus Prevail
New Balance

New Balance has a stronger reputation with running and other sports but there’s no doubt about how slept on their training product line is. The low key design takes on a minimal silhouette with highlights like a perforated upper and Vibram midsole, all serious draws for those in need of a serious training silhouette.

buy now, $120
https://www.newbalance.com/pd/minimus-prevail/MXMPV1-32907.html#dwvar_MXMPV1-32907_style=MXMPRN1&dwvar_MXMPV1-32907_width=D&pid=MXMPV1-32907&quantity=1
6. Vibram V-Train 2.0
Vibram

The Vibram V-Train 2.0 is the “other” type of footwear option for those looking for a more natural feel to their workout. The hyper-minimalistic style trades out the bulky shape of most sneakers with a sleek, form-fitting rubberized shape. The “sneaker” comes dressed down with a forefoot strap for a locked-in feel.

buy now, $78
https://us.vibram.com/shop/shop-all-footwear/mens-fivefingers/training-fitness/v-train-2.0-mens-M77.html
7. ASICS Gel-Unifire TR 3
ASICS

The Asics Gel-Unifire TR 3 ranks among some of the most reliable silhouettes for cross-training, mainly due to Asics’ Gel technology. Laid in the midsole, it’s the true glue that makes most of their sneakers durable and comfortable for almost any activity. Overall, the flexible sole design and breathable mesh upper separates it from other cross-training sneakers.

buy now, $57
https://www.amazon.com/ASICS-Mens-Gel-Unifire-TR-Cross-Trainer/dp/B01G218NAE
8. Adidas FitBoost PrimeBlue
Adidas

Adidas has been banking hard on their Boost technology and for good reason, it’s maybe the most comfortable material of at least the last five years. Here, in the FitBoost PrimeBlue, the brand’s material finds a home in a sneaker made for the gym, not the pavement. The sneaker features highlights like a responsive midsole made to be more firm for side-to-side movement and stability.

buy now, $120
https://www.adidas.com/us/fitboost-primeblue-trainer-shoes/EF9348.html
9. Mizuno TC-01
Mizuno

For the most part, Mizuno is a rather slept-on Japanese sneaker brand that truly doesn’t get enough attention. With a wide variety of sneakers for multiple activities they have something strong in store for those looking for a serious training sneaker; the TC-01. It’s mostly made from a mesh upper but hides some tech under the hood – COB technology, a patent-pending design featuring sensor pod clusters that enable enhanced feedback from the feet to aid in balance.

buy now, $145
https://www.mizunousa.com/product/training-tc-01-mens/520005
10. Nike Legend Essential 2
Nike

The Swoosh has plenty of gym-ready options perfect for a multitude of workouts but the Legend Essential 2 is one of those sneakers that brings a touch of style to an overall versatile and ready-for-action sneaker. It includes a flat and stable sole for optimal training movement and a reliable outsole grip.

buy now, $60
https://www.nike.com/t/legend-essential-2-premium-mens-training-shoe-7GckWM/CZ0793-403
Categories
Sports Strength

6 Great Upper Body Workouts You Can Do Without Equipment – copy

Now that working from home has no longer become an option—but a lifestyle for most—people are turning to the internet for their work out solutions. Traditionally a gamer at heart, I also value the underlying principles of health and fitness and wanted to share my knowledge with the gaming community. 

So, while you continue to commute from your bed to your dining room table, maybe you can add a little more movement into your day with this killer Upper Body Bodyweight workout.

Baseline Rules Before Starting

Before you begin on your new work-from-home exercise regimen, take these four pieces of advice to heart, in order to make sure you’re getting the most out of your workout.

1. Form matters more than anything else. If you’re not performing the exercise well, there’s an increased risk of injury. For example, while doing bodyweight exercises like dips, push-ups, and pike push-ups, controlling the movement is very important. It’s not a priority to go as fast as possible. Remember, quality over quantity.

2. It’s ok to be a beginner. We all have to start somewhere. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t make it to 30 seconds on certain exercises, 20 is just fine. Now you have something to work towards.

3. Exercising is a never-ending process. There is no end, which means you will have a lifetime of accomplishments ahead of you.

4. Consistency is key. As long as you keep consistent, you will see progress. Not feeling sore does NOT mean you didn’t have a good workout. Don’t let it fool you.

1. Push-ups
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper
  • Hold a plank position with your arms straight.
  • Don’t flare out your elbows. Your hands should be shoulder-width or slightly wider.
  • Your elbows should flare 30-40 degrees from your body. Any wider might put unnecessary strain on your shoulders.
  • If you can’t perform a push-up, try starting with your knees on the ground and work your way up from there!
  • For more advanced people, try push-ups while your feet are elevated. This will increase difficulty.
2. Mountain Climbers
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper
  • Begin in the same starting position as the push-up, hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Bring your knee towards your chest, bring it back to the starting position, and switch between knees. Try to perform this exercise with a good tempo but start slow and work your way up to a faster pace.
  • Always complete clean reps. If the form starts lacking, slow it down.
3. Chair Dips (bed/chair/anything)
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper
  • Find an elevated, flat surface that doesn’t slide away from you (like a chair or bed frame)
  • Keep your elbows locked to the side and slowly make your way down.
  • When your elbows hit a 90-degree angle, you can start making your way back up. Any further might put unnecessary strain on your shoulders.
  • For beginners, have your feet on the floor, for more advanced, put your feet on an elevated surface to maximize the bodyweight used.
4. Laying Leg Raises
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper
  • Lay on your back (you can put your hands under your glutes for support).
  • Keep your legs as straight as you possibly can and lift your legs up until your body hits a 90-degree angle.
  • For beginners, start with bent knees and slowly work towards straightening your legs more overtime.
5. Pike Push-ups
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper
  • A shoulder variant of the regular push-up
  • It’s a bit of a weird position, but you want to try to get your body weight to sit on top of your shoulders as much as possible for the most resistance on the shoulders.
  • For beginners, you can make it easier by adding elevation to your arms.
6. Russian Twists
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper
  • You can add resistance to this exercise by holding something in your hands, but you can easily do it without. I find holding on to something, even if it’s close to weightless, help me balance better (but that might just be me)
  • For beginners, being more upright will make it easier. Leaning back further will be more difficult.
  • You can perform this exercise with your feet planted on the ground, against a wall, or freely in the air, the last option is the hardest so use this as a progression.

For these exercises, focus on 30 seconds – 45 seconds, 3-6 rounds depending on the level of fitness, 60-90 seconds rest between rounds (max. 35 minutes)

Categories
Sports Strength

How to Do an Upper Body Workout At Home: 6 Easy Moves

Now that working from home has no longer become an option—but a lifestyle for most—people are turning to the internet for their work out solutions. Traditionally a gamer at heart, I also value the underlying principles of health and fitness and wanted to share my knowledge with the gaming community. 

So, while you continue to commute from your bed to your dining room table, maybe you can add a little more movement into your day with this killer Upper Body Bodyweight workout.

Baseline Rules Before Starting

Before you begin on your new work-from-home exercise regimen, take these four pieces of advice to heart, in order to make sure you’re getting the most out of your workout.

1. Form matters more than anything else. If you’re not performing the exercise well, there’s an increased risk of injury. For example, while doing bodyweight exercises like dips, push-ups, and pike push-ups, controlling the movement is very important. It’s not a priority to go as fast as possible. Remember, quality over quantity.

2. It’s ok to be a beginner. We all have to start somewhere. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t make it to 30 seconds on certain exercises, 20 is just fine. Now you have something to work towards.

3. Exercising is a never-ending process. There is no end, which means you will have a lifetime of accomplishments ahead of you.

4. Consistency is key. As long as you keep consistent, you will see progress. Not feeling sore does NOT mean you didn’t have a good workout. Don’t let it fool you.

1. Push-ups
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper
  • Hold a plank position with your arms straight.
  • Don’t flare out your elbows. Your hands should be shoulder-width or slightly wider.
  • Your elbows should flare 30-40 degrees from your body. Any wider might put unnecessary strain on your shoulders.
  • If you can’t perform a push-up, try starting with your knees on the ground and work your way up from there!
  • For more advanced people, try push-ups while your feet are elevated. This will increase difficulty.
2. Mountain Climbers
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper
  • Begin in the same starting position as the push-up, hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Bring your knee towards your chest, bring it back to the starting position, and switch between knees. Try to perform this exercise with a good tempo but start slow and work your way up to a faster pace.
  • Always complete clean reps. If the form starts lacking, slow it down.
3. Chair Dips (bed/chair/anything)
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper
  • Find an elevated, flat surface that doesn’t slide away from you (like a chair or bed frame)
  • Keep your elbows locked to the side and slowly make your way down.
  • When your elbows hit a 90-degree angle, you can start making your way back up. Any further might put unnecessary strain on your shoulders.
  • For beginners, have your feet on the floor, for more advanced, put your feet on an elevated surface to maximize the bodyweight used.
4. Laying Leg Raises
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper
  • Lay on your back (you can put your hands under your glutes for support).
  • Keep your legs as straight as you possibly can and lift your legs up until your body hits a 90-degree angle.
  • For beginners, start with bent knees and slowly work towards straightening your legs more overtime.
5. Pike Push-ups
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper
  • A shoulder variant of the regular push-up
  • It’s a bit of a weird position, but you want to try to get your body weight to sit on top of your shoulders as much as possible for the most resistance on the shoulders.
  • For beginners, you can make it easier by adding elevation to your arms.
6. Russian Twists
FaZe Jasper
FaZe Jasper
  • You can add resistance to this exercise by holding something in your hands, but you can easily do it without. I find holding on to something, even if it’s close to weightless, help me balance better (but that might just be me)
  • For beginners, being more upright will make it easier. Leaning back further will be more difficult.
  • You can perform this exercise with your feet planted on the ground, against a wall, or freely in the air, the last option is the hardest so use this as a progression.

For these exercises, focus on 30 seconds – 45 seconds, 3-6 rounds depending on the level of fitness, 60-90 seconds rest between rounds (max. 35 minutes)

Categories
Sports Strength

How Jason Khalipa Built CrossFit Into a Business Goliath

Founded back in 2000 by Greg Glassman, CrossFit has become one of the most impactful fitness brands in the world. Utilizing a strength and conditioning approach to working out, CrossFit heavily emphasizes the idea that the brand is a lifestyle and community intensive experience. The success of CrossFit led to the brand being valued at $4 billion in 2015 by Forbes. There are over 15,000 CrossFit affiliates as of 2018.

Though CrossFit has a stranglehold on the fitness business, it’s also created many interesting fitness personalities. Jason Khalipa is one of the success stories from the CrossFit world. The 2008 winner of the CrossFit Games, Khalipa has built a fitness empire. Before he had won the CrossFit Games, Khalipa had started his own gym in the same year. From a young age, Khalipa knew that he wanted to own a gym.

“When I was 16, I started working at the health club,” Khalipa said by phone. “Then when I graduated from high school, I started working full time at the traditional health club. I was doing sales and marketing and things of that nature, and that’s when I knew that I wanted to open up a gym for sure.”

Instead of opening a regular gym, Khalipa decided to start a CrossFit-themed gym. 

“When I founded CrossFit, its idea of kind of a more community-based, having a coach boutique-style, it aligned really well,” Khalipa recalls. 

Though his reputation as a CrossFit champion helped Khalipa, he still had to build his gym from the ground up. This involved building the right relationships in the CrossFit space and curating the right programs that attract customers. After developing his first gym into a success, Khalipa expanded. Now, NCFIT has gyms in five locations. 

Khalipa has always had his hands in various projects. At a young age, he started investing.

“The first major investment I made was, I was 17 or 18 actually,” Khalipa said. “I invested in a company called Batter Blaster and at the time I think some friends recommended it.” The investment initially seemed to be a success. Batter Blasters took off early, earning $15 million in revenue in 2008. Though there was hope for growth, Batter Blasters faltered and went out of business in 2012.

After Batter Blaster and a land investment that went awry in Idaho, Khalipa learned that he needed to readjust his investment strategy. The financial losses inspired gains in knowledge. He realized one common factor in his failed investments. “I have a whole slew of [investments],” says Khalipa. “But the ones that didn’t work out, generally I didn’t align with the product or I didn’t align with the individual head of it.”

Now, Khalipa’s investments generally center on products that he uses himself. He cites RockTape as an important brand that he invested in that took off. A kinesiology tape company, RockTape was eventually sold in 2018 to Implus.

In CrossFit, there are multiple avenues to invest because of the culture and lifestyle aspect of the brand. Shoes and apparel are the first product-based brands that come up. Nutrition has become an important space for companies to attack in CrossFit as well.

Khalipa has built a strong portfolio with numerous ventures into other platforms. He wrote a book, As Many Reps as Possible, in 2017 and hosts his own podcast, AMRAP Mentality, where he offers advice to other gym owners. Khalipa also shoots video constantly. His YouTube channel has nearly 52,000 subscribers.

Khalipa also is an adviser for numerous companies. He advises the clothing brand Mizzen+Main and the skincare company Huron. Started by Matt Mullenax, Huron offers quality products in the bathroom (face and body wash) at a reasonable price. Mullenax was a member of Khalipa’s gym and the two met through the gym. “It was pretty organic,” said Mullenax. “When I was in [California] for business school, I joined a local CrossFit gym that happened to be under the NCFIT umbrella. I met him kind of early on in my membership there, and we quickly hit it off.”

Huron fits with Khalipa’s mantra of working with brands that have a product and company leadership that aligns with his vision. “I’ve been that guy who just used a bar of soap for years as my shampoo,” says Khalipa. “My face wash, my body wash, my everything wash for years.” 

The partnership is an example of the power of the CrossFit community and culture. “[The community is] just very close-knit,” said Mullenax. “Oftentimes, people will tell you what new CrossFit shoes are out there, what new apparel brands are out there or you talk about what you do for work outside of the gym.” There’s potential for opportunities to arise from the relationships that develop naturally and organically in the CrossFit community.

CrossFit is in an interesting spot right now. Can the brand sustain itself after consistent growth over the past decade? Khalipa believes the gym model is what makes it all work.

“We’ll see what happens in the Crossfit mark,” said Khalipa. “We’ll see what happens with brands aligning themselves across. I don’t know at this point. But I do know is functional training gyms, strength and conditioning is going to be around forever, and it’s alive and well and good.”