Thursday 17 April 2014

Russian conditioning

When I trained in a Russian martial art they were very big on breathing and developing breathing through exercises and a lot of the exercises we did were done very slowly, including long holds.

Here was the skeleton the conditioning I did when doing the Russian style:

Russian 4 core exercises (push up, squat, sit up, leg raise)

Push up variations and lengths/intensities/amounts – shoulder, triangle, wide, tricep, hi-lo, bear, dog wide, dog shoulder., POW stick insertion
Leg raises – writing the numbers , slow counts.
Sit ups – slow counts., insert a stick POW style
Squats – slow and fast, POW stick insertion
Core exercises - 25 pushups, 20, situps, 20 leg raises and 25 squats while rotating the breathing patterns mainly keeping it simple either exhaling on the way down and inhaling on the way up or vice versa, i these 2 breathing patterns to be both simple and powerful.
Things to try
- Try a 10 minute push up hold and see how far you get.
- Try holding any of the core exercise positions at the ending/ starting or halfway positions
- Try holding the squat position up against a wall
- Try holding a one armed push up or one legged squat
- Pyramids - You can use this protocol for the core exercises - starting from 1, you do 1 pushup then you change the breathing pattern and do 2 all the way up to 8, 10 or 12 and then you come back down. All the while you stay in pushup position do not drop to your knees.

example - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

- Core exercise flow - This teaches you to have adaptability and relaxation throughout all ranges and levels (low, mid, high).
Firstly you do 5 pushups, then you have to get into the situp position somehow, with a roll or a turn, twist or movement. You then do 5 situps and now you have to do a movement that puts you in the leg raise position, now do 5 legs raises, and then finally make your way into a squat position and do 5 squats. Repeat as desired. In this exercise really try and use your imagination and creativity to find new and interesting movements.

- 4 hold - Hold each one of the core exercises for 5 mins.

- Slow progression - do a slow pushup lasting one minute then do a 1 minute situp, leg raise and squat, then do a 30 second pushup, situp, leg raise and squat and then finally go onto a 15 second P-U, S-U, L-R and SQUAT
Walking and running

Walking and breathing - starting off with my arms held in the air, with 2 steps inhaling and then 2 steps exhaling, then skipped along to 5 , 7, 9, 12, 15, 17, 19 , up to 20 steps then i held my arms in front of me and then went back down to 18, 16, 14 etc.

Rolling progression for softness - here is a rolling progression with sticks and other variations:

- rolling over and on a stick on the floor from kneeling
- same with eyes closed
- from standing
- added more stick 8 + and rolled from kneeling
- with eyes closed
- faster
- from standing
- from standing eyes closed
Rolling is a fundamental skill. Its uses are infinite and it is a highly practical, usable skill. There are many dimensions to a good roll,
which include:

- Proper balance of tension and relaxation
- Awareness throughout the entire movement
- Correct breathing and form

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