The Super Hero Workout – The Weightlifting Exercises (Part 3)

October 22, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

In previous posts such as balancing cardio and weight training, I talked about the importance of including cardio training into your weightlifting workouts. I also explained how you can set your own personal fitness goals and how to balance both resistance training and cardio training for overall fitness. Another thing I always ramble on about is the importance of building real functional strength, especially with the use of bodyweight exercises, and in terms of being able to run faster and improve your endurance, the formula is quite simple.

Strength = Speed

Now, when I think of super heroes who can move at lightening speed, Cheetara of the Thundercats always comes to mind.

The only thing is, Cheetara never did reach that real super hero status. So who else could take the crown as speed king of all super heroes?

The Flash

He is without a doubt the undisputed king of speed in the super hero world, and if you have been living under a rock these past few decades, then here is a recent video from the cartoon Justice League, which will show you why he has that name.

You may not be able to move as fast and sustain that level of speed in the real world, but the exercises you will see here will allow you to get close to it.

The One Legged Squat aka The Pistol Squat

This exercise happened to be a crowd favourite out of all of the bodyweight exercises that I covered in unique bodyweight exercises some weeks back. The only thing is, that it will take some time to master. Once you do master this bodyweight exercise it will build supreme strength in your legs, as well as improving your balance. Here’s how you do it,

  • Stand straight.
  • Hold one leg out in front of you.
  • Hold both arms out straight in front of you.
  • Lower your self down on one leg.
  • As you reach the ground, tense your butt and stomach muscles.
  • Hold the position briefly.
  • Rise back up and repeat.
  • (Stand in front of a wall to use for support if you need it.)

Perform three sets of 10 reps on each leg, resting three minutes between sets.

Run Up Hills – The Hill Sprint

Running up hills is something you should do as a part of a high intensity cardio workout, but if you do run up hills then you only want to do that once or twice a week, as you will definitely feel the burn after doing so. But in terms of building strength, speed and endurance to move like the flash, you will want to perform hill sprints as a part of your cardio training workout.

  • Find a hill or other surface that’s inclined by at least 15 degrees
  • You will want to feel resistance when you sprint it, but it shouldn’t feel like you are climbing The Mount Everest.
  • Sprint up the incline for 25 yards
  • Then walk back down
  • Rest for two minutes.

I did something similar to this back when I was training as an athlete. But what this exercise teaches you to do is to apply greater force to the ground with each step that you take while running as fast as you can. Again… strength = speed

The A skip

This is one of many techniques to help improve how fast you can move your feet and the effect that you will want from performing this exercise should look something like this,

Tap! Tap! Tap! Tap! Tap! Tap! Tap! Tap!

But the reason that I like this exercise is because it teaches you to drive your feet straight down and land underneath your hips ‘properly’. Here is how you do it,

  • Bring your right knee up in a skipping action, so that your left leg is hopping.
  • As soon as your right heel clears your left knee, drive the right leg down in a “piston”-like action.
  • You should then land on the ball of your foot.
  • Each hop is only a couple of inches off the ground.
  • As you drive your right leg down, your left arm should also be going down and vice versa.
  • Keep your torso tall and straight.
  • Do this for 15 yards.
  • Perform three sets at your own pace.

There are other techniques you can use to increase your running speed, strength and endurance as I’ve had first hand experience with many. But for now, give these exercises a try and be sure to include them into your weightlifting routines.

Read part 4 here:

The Super Hero Workout – The Weightlifting Exercises (Part 4)

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