Category: Planks

How to Train for Backpacking

June is National Get Outdoors Month. Here at MDA, we’re spending the next couple weeks teeing you up to have your best summer yet in the great outdoors with posts to inspire you to get into nature.

Today we’re talking about how to train for backpacking. Let’s start with the most obvious question: what IS backpacking? Backpacking is simply multi-day hiking where you carry all your gear on your back.

Say you’re going out for a day hike carrying water, food, and basic survival gear, but you return to your car the same day you set out. That’s not backpacking.

If you’re trekking across the country, but someone else is sherpaing your gear from one sleeping spot to the next, that’s not backpacking either.

In a nutshell, backpacking is essentially a long hike with more gear and more details to think about because you’ll be spending at least one night—but possibly many more—camping out. I think of backpacking as a kind of endurance sport. As with any endurance sport, you want to train for your event. You probably wouldn’t enter a half-marathon this coming weekend with minimal or no training. You could, but it would hurt a lot less, and your chance of success would be significantly greater, if you took the time to train. Same goes for backpacking.

The good news is, if you already have a solid fitness base, you are well on your way. Now you just need to tailor your training to get ready for your backpacking expedition.

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Common Plank Mistakes to Watch Out For

The plank feels like the simplest movement. Heck, it’s not even a movement, really: it’s holding a still position without movement. It expressly forbids movement. And yet it’s the simple exercises where things can really go wrong.

The plank is simple but not easy. When you’re in the plank position, every fiber of your being is resisting the pull of gravity. You must engage and tighten every inch of musculature in your body to resist collapse. To maintain coherence throughout the line your body forms. During a plank, you are quite literally holding the line against the most omnipresent force in the known universe.

At least in a push-up, you’re moving. You have something else to focus on. For a plank, a lot of the difficulty is mental. You’re just there in the same position, getting more and more tired with each passing moment. You have to sit with the pain.

Okay, so what’s the basic plank form?

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DIY Parallettes: Plus a Dip Bar Workout

With gyms closed for the foreseeable future, now is the perfect time to expand your home workout. This simple, relatively inexpensive DIY parallettes project sets you up for a wide variety of dip bar exercises. Learn how to make your own parallettes with instructions, a materials list and a follow-along video with Primal Health Coach Brian. This post also includes a breakdown of a dip bar workout for beginners to get you started.
What are Parallettes?
Parallettes or planche bars can support an impressive range of exercises, ranging from beginner to advanced. Sometimes these bars are referred to as pushup bars or calisthenics dip bars, however, those tend to be a bit longer and lower to the ground. Though often associated with gymnasts, parallettes can be invaluable tool for expanding anyone’s range of bodyweight exercises.

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Posterior Chain Training: Exercises for a Strong Lower Back

There is an epidemic of chronic lower back pain. It’s one of the leading causes of “Years Lived with Disability” (YLD), is responsible for over 7 million ER room visits each year, and costs us both time (hard to do much of anything when our lower back is hurting) and money (people with lower back pain end up spending thousands of dollars a year on average to treat it). I can’t think of anything that degrades overall quality of life more than persistent lower back pain.

And as is so often the case, our attempts to treat the condition often make it worse. What does the average person do when their back hurts?

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Primal At-Home Workout: Core

Gyms all across the world are closed right now. Many of us are stuck at home, unable or unwilling to even get to parks and hiking trails and beaches. We’re all homebodies now, and yet the need for physical activity hasn’t diminished. If anything, it’s more crucial than ever that we stay active and healthy, fit and strong.

Today, we’re going to start with core workouts.

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Video Roundup: The Moves, Routines and Know-How You Need For Ultimate Primal Fitness

When you ask most people what it takes to be fit, you get some pretty wild answers. Hours on the treadmill or pounding pavement every day. Hours in the weight room. Obsessing over how to turn every moment of the day into an opportunity for some kind of workout move.

I never liked what I heard, and after many decades of overtraining, I decided it was time to come up with a sane alternative—Primal Blueprint Fitness as I’ve called it over the years. It boils down to three logical steps all rooted in ancestral patterns people lived for hundreds of thousands of years:

Primal Blueprint Law #3: Move Frequently
Primal Blueprint Law #4: Lift Heavy Things
Primal Blueprint Law #5: Sprint Once in a While

All told, it’s a handful of hours a week, most of it moving frequently. In addition to those 4-5 hours a week of walking or other light movement, throw in an hour’s worth of strength training and 15 minutes of sprint time. There you go. Do that, and you’ll be in darn good shape.

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