This is a good sledge hammer workout. I am going to start trying it... I might need to get a tire eventually too!
PaleoMum, I'm working on a sledgehammer guide, but here are a few easy hammer exercises. Remember to go gently at first, probably not more than ten or fifteen minutes on your first try. We don't use these muscles very much in everyday life so it's easy to overdo it!
1. Torso twists: Hold the hammer pointing straight in front of you, with your arms at full extension. Gently swing the hammer all the way to the left, then all the way to the right, twisting your torso as you go. This is a nice stretch for your core and back, and strengthens your grip. (Actually, all of these strengthen your grip.)
2. Toilet plungers: Hold the hammer vertically in front of you, head down. Plunge that toilet with the widest arm motions you can manage. This strengthens your back and shoulders. A similar move is the butter churn, best performed in a very low stance.
3. Row the boat: Hold the sledgehammer like an oar, head down, to one side of your body. One hand grips near the head and the other hand cups the end of the stem. With wide, flowing motions, imagine you're paddling down the Zambezi river. My wife likes to do these sitting on an exercise ball.
4. Back scratchers: With arms overhead, hold the hammer vertically behind your back, head down. This is kind of like toilet plungers behind your body. Work the hammer up and down for a great tricep and frontal core exercise.
5. Invent your own! Play around and see if there are any motions that feel good. There are so many exercises to discover, from the obvious (rail-spike driving) to the impressive (bullroarer) to the martial (sprint forward and thrust the spear). I'm constantly finding new moves, and it's so much fun I don't have time for any traditional weight training beyond bodyweight exercises and lifting the odd chunk of concrete.
Hope you enjoy the underappreciated art of shovelglove! It's about $20 for the hammer, but it's great value for what you get.
Doing these three programs gives me a great workout and it's tailored to each individual's level based on an initial fitness test.(all free, don't sign up for anything, privacy of your own home convenience)
~ I don't talk to people with closed minds; they tend to harbor brain fungus. ~
i'm a fan of climbing trees.....
If you are serious about getting strong, barbell training is the most efficient way go about it. Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe is the best book for novice strength trainees. A lot of savvy people new to strength training realize barbells are the best tool for achieving strength but start off on the stronglifts program. SL is not a terrible program but Starting Strength is simply better. When it comes to strength training barbells are the best tool for the job.
This simply isn't true. There are many equally effective paths to strength. Ask any good experienced trainer and they will tell you it's not the tool but the program and how you apply it. It's all about progressive resistance and pushing yourself. The tools you decide to use are the least important component of your program. Probably the most important aspect of any program is compliance. Find one you enjoy doing. It's so much easier if you look forward to your workouts.
Last edited by bruce.b; 04-04-2010 at 05:34 AM.
I know that many others have responded already with some very good suggestions. I would add these other sources...
1. "Muscle Logic" by Charles Staley (for a good intro to weight training that builds muscular endurance)
2. "Weight Training for Dummies" (don't laugh...it is a good intro to weight training if you are unfamiliar with it)
3. "Combat Conditoning" by Matt Fury (for body weight exercises)
4. "The Naked Warrior" by Pavel (for body weight exercises)
5. "Starting Strenght" by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore (for weight training exercises; simple system but effective. Also, get the latest 2009 edition)
Last edited by Phil-SC; 04-04-2010 at 01:45 PM. Reason: spelling