MightyBands, home gym system

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Compound Exercises

Do you participate in weight training, in addition to your wing tsun curriculum?  If so, then read on...

Weight training and Wing Tsun can work together. When I say "weight training" I don't mean that one should hit the bench press or starting pushing out some hammer curls.  Let's move away from the idea of WEIGHT training and instead, lean towards RESISTANCE training. 

I think the term, "resistance training" is more accurate to describe a training regimen that will help build muscle and overall fitness so that you can perform existing activities (eg. wing tsun) better.  WT already has resistance training built into the curriculum - obvious ones are the long pole and double knives, but chi-sao when trained with intentional force can provide a means of resistance training.

For many, resistance training can be performed in the (home) gym.   What you want to focus on is incorporating compound exercises.  Unlike isolation exercises (eg. concentration curls), compound exercises are exercises that use multiple joints and also require the use of the body's core muscles. Examples include chin-ups (works the back, biceps, shoulders and core), push-ups (core, chest, shoulders, triceps), squat and press (thighs, glutes, shoulders, back). You get the idea.  You don't need to lift heavy, just enough for your goals. 

That means, for us WT-er's, progress is gradual, giving ourselves an opportunity to adjust to the increased strength and muscle. We also work antagonistic muscles (eg. biceps - something we try keep relaxed). It enables us to maintain better structure as well.  Because you're using multiple joint exercises, you can't really go THAT heavy right away - the entire body needs to be able to handle the extra resistance, not just a particular area. For example, if you want to increase weight on a chin up, you'll need to make sure your arms, back and shoulders are all up to the challenge and ready to do so. But if you want to increase weight on a bicep curl, you just have to make sure your bicep can handle it. 

Another good example of compound exercises is kettle bell training. 

Want to switch it up a bit? incorporate resistance training into your program.

Until then.

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