The Perfect Addition to Your Home Gym
New year, new you, right? Well, we’re not quite there, but two of the most challenging weeks of the year are separating you from 2018. Most people focus on their struggle with large family meals and tins full of cookies, but why bother stressing about that when you can focus on something else… something rewarding.
What’s this crazy rewarding thing we’re talking about? Well, it’s simple and it is all based on performance. Looking in the mirror feels good; we don’t disagree with you there, but nothing feels better than feeling better! Huh? When you’re physically capable of something, especially something you were never capable of doing before, you feel amazing.
Since we all have different levels of performance, we all have different aspirations. Someone who can do 20 pull-ups might want to complete their first muscle-up, while someone who struggles with their weight might just want to hold a plank for a minute. Either way, everyone starts somewhere, and everyone CAN start with body weight exercises. You might not have access to a fancy facility, and even if you do, you might not be able to afford it, but you can “drop and give me 20,” even if your knees are on the ground.
While push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups/crunches, planks and dips are all universally known body-weight exercises, there are also loads of lower body exercises such as running, jumping, squats and lunges. Furthermore, there are hundreds of variations of those exercises that require small modifications such as bringing your hands closer together or wider apart. One other key way to adjust the difficulty of a body weight exercise is change the angle of your body. For example, doing a push-up when your hands are on a bench is much easier than doing a push-up when your feet are on the bench.
There are some problems, or challenges, when it comes to making these modifications. One is that you might be concerned with the cleanliness of a park bench. Another is that you might be concerned with the stability or safety of a bench or railing. If you’re working out in the winter, a metal bar might be too cold or that park bench might be covered in snow. Also, you might not be able to find a comfortable grip, and as a result, you may feel a great amount of stress in your wrists. I know, I know… this is all a lot to take into consideration, but you can put together your own “home gym” and not have to worry about any of this.
Pull Up Mate has created a series of products that allow you to safely, and more comfortably, train some of the most important body-weight exercises anywhere. (No, seriously… anywhere. Even on top of a mountain!) Their line of products are incredibly lightweight and very portable, without sacrificing stability. They’re strong and you know as soon as you open the bag and smell that “new car smell” that the rubber on their base is going to provide some serious non-slip traction on the ground.
We’ve been testing out their new(er) low parallettes, which can be seen on the right in the picture below. They allow beginners to use a parallel grip while performing dips and push-ups in and around their home, or on top of a mountain if you’re me. A parallel grip is often seen as a safer way to engage your muscles in body-weight exercises, in terms of aligning your joints. This typically means less pain in your wrists, elbows and shoulders, and often, more engagement in your arms, chest, back and other muscles.
If you think you’re up for more of a challenge, you can use these to anchor yourself when performing handstands and handstand push-ups, or even L-sit dips. The possibilities are nearly endless, but one thing is certain; you never outgrow these. You never truly master body weight exercises since there is always room for improvement. Even if that means going from a set of 100 to 150, there’s always a world record waiting to be broken.
We’ve loved having the parallettes in our home, so we’re going to release some workouts featuring them soon. Keep an eye on the blog and our Instagram for these features, and consider checking out their website to treat yourself to the perfect holiday gift. They are based in the UK and since the products have some size to them, shipping is currently limited, but you can always throw these on a wishlist until they’re available because planning ahead is key to staying hungry and fit!