There’s lots of Summer left here in Texas and it’s a perfect time to kick back and relax under the sun.
For anyone who’s serious about getting in shape, staying in shape or taking it to the next level, 90 % of the time your thoughts are probably focused on results, staying motivated and trying new workouts. Whether you are a general fitness enthusiast, a football player, a golfer, a bootcamper or a weekend warrior – this you take your workouts seriously. Right?
If you have an athletic mindset, high expectations, and self respect then you do not want to be walking around with a soft, smooth and flabby body, and you are always looking for ways to challenge yourself in a fun, unique way.
TRY “TRIPLANAR MOVEMENT”
In the image above, you can get a good idea of what triplanar motion is all about.
This guy has no idea what direction he’s going to be pulled in next. It could be up, down, left, right, angles, twists, etc. This is what triplanar means. Do you currently train in an aggressive triplanar manner when you do:
- Barbell squats?
- Bench Press?
- Sit Ups?
- Playing Golf?
- Playing Football?
- Using Suspension Trainers?
Answer – you do not use “aggressive” triplanar movement in any of the above on a consistent or thorough enough basis.
Golf, football and suspension trainers come close – the golf swing is not performed for enough volume nor is it done on both sides of the body. Depending on what position in football you’re playing, triplanar movement is limited. A receiver going up for the football and twisting back over the defensive back comes close. But he’s not doing this motion consistently on all sides of the body or with resistance.
Suspension trainers also come close. But same thing as above – the weight (your body weight) is usually centered and you’re working one side of the body as in a twisting side plank with leg lift. The body “knows” what’s coming. With the wake boarder above, you’re hitting the abs and core in a highly effective way but there is no resistance.
BRING IN THE SLEDGEHAMMER
This is where things get interesting. I’ve been training with a sledgehammer A LOT more recently. Sure, I still do my bodybuilding workouts, Nexersys, powerlifting and a little crossfit. But since I’ve added in the sledgehammer, I find that I’m more conditioned, leaner, balanced, and stronger. Why? Because of the sledgehammer.
Let me explain.
Training with a sledgehammer is no more dangerous than kettlebells, barbells or dumbbells. I’ve been using the sledgehammer in my fitness bootcamp since 2005 and in my personal training business. I’ve been creatively experimenting with it for over a year and I’m not talking about striking a tractor tire with it. In fact, that may be one of the most dangerous exercises that can be done with a sledgehammer due to the potential of hitting your foot or having the sledgehammer bounce off of the tire and hitting you in the face.
As mentioned, the sledgehammer is a powerful fat loss weapon due in part to the unusual “triplanar offcentered mass effect” which results in the most effective ab and core workout that I’ve ever tried and… I’m done in half the time. And it’s not just for abs/core. Training your whole body with the sledgehammer is a new and fun experience.
In the image above, the woman is lifting, twisting, lunging, and maybe even statically holding the barbell.
The problem, though, that makes this exercise “easier” and less effective is that the weight is balanced or centered. Now, imagine a sledgehammer weighing 12lbs, 20lbs or 35lbs. The weight is shifted constantly through the various motions which MAKES the body have to constantly adjust, compensate and fire different muscles in order to keep the weight up.
THE UNKNOWING IS THE DIFFERENCE
Remember our wake boarder? He’s bumping up and down, pulled left and right, twisting. BUT…other than “maybe” a little body weight, there’s no resistance. Not compared to holding a 20lb sledgehammer.
Not even close.
In the image above, the guy holding the kettlebell is keeping the weight centered. Sure the kettlebell is swinging around but because of the centered weight, there’s no “unknown”. The length of the sledgehammer handle makes this exercise much harder. Let’s say the kettlebell in the image above weighs 35lbs. Now get a sledgehammer that also weighs 35lbs. Which is going to be more challenging to take through this movement pattern? If you’re experienced with kettlebells, common sense will tell you that the sledgehammer is going to be much more challenging due to the extra distance of the off centered mass of the sledgehammer.
Every single time you wrap your hands around a barbell, dumbbell or kettlebell, your goal is to stimulate as much muscle growth as you possibly can. But there are limitations. There’s no triplanar movement with an off centered mass as in training with a sledgehammer.
Some may ask, “Why do I need to add a sledgehammer to my workout routine?” My answer would be “Why not?” If you know of a better way to train that will improve coordination, flexibility, agility, hand/eye coordination, burn fat and build muscle why would you ignore it?
Especially since most of you already have a sledgehammer in your garage or tool shed. If not, you probably know you can get one at the local hardware store, Lowes or Home Depot. Next time, I’ll have a quick sledgehammer routine that you can use at home or anywhere. Rest up! It’s going to burn and keep those muscles guessing.
I can guarantee you it will work your abs and core unlike anything you’ve ever tried. I performed this workout myself last week and I’m still amazed at how sore my abs got during the following days. What does this new soreness mean to a guy who’s used to training abs regularly? It means that I haven’t been training with a tool that has an off-centered mass and that works in an almost constant triplanar motion.
More next time.
I’ll see you at the lake!
But right now I’m in the gym,