Monday, June 13, 2011

BodyAttack 101 05: Upper Body Conditioning

Ahh... first cardio block finished!!! Time for some active recovery for the heart (although most of the time you don't really feel like it's a recovery). One thing that's really pushed/emphasized about BodyAttack is that it's an overall body workout including strength training (this track clearly fits into that dimension under 3D). For our first round we hit the upper body, including arms, chest, (and more recently) the core. The past few releases Lisa has really bumped of the level of challenge by including core work. Now stabilizing and bracing the core are essential to pushing yourself through this track.

All that said, what it basically boils down to is pushups... a lot of pushups. Now it's no secret to anyone who knows me that my upper body strength is my current weakness (along with flexibility that effects my kicks in track 8...) so this track... not such a favorite of mine. I often feel weak and inept. I have come a LONG way since I first started... I can now do every chest pushup in a track on the high knee option, and am doing about 1 full round of tricep pushups on the high knee option as of this posting. I'm fairly certain I could start doing some of the chest on my toes. The problem is that I sweat buckets all over the floor, and my hands start slipping. I have injured my shoulder in the past, and can't afford to re-injure it. So I'm trying to figure out some sort of solution against that. But I'm determined to progress, so it's definitely a goal I'm actively working on.

Bare all of this in mind as you read my top 10. They may not all be the hardest, they may not be the most popular... but it all comes down to song for me. What song is going to push me to actually try harder... to actually push myself and not just quit when I hate the vast majority of the track and would rather die. A lot of people have this same feeling with the cardio blocks... for me it's the pushups. So, here are my top 10: Love me or hate me, but yeah!

Edit 6-13-11 This post has been near completion for two months. The last 4 tracks were added today, but the descriptions are all similar. I do apologize for that, but when almost every track is all push-ups, and the only way I get through them is to pick the cheeky songs... not much else to say!

  1. 64 - Hot N Cold - Ahh the one that started it all... (64 was the first new release I launched as a participant). For one thing, I just really love this song outside of the BodyAttack world, so it only stands to reason that it's a good choice for me. I really like walking planks, so the crab crawl is a good move for me. The track alternates between crab crawls and tricep pushups, and then a round of chest pushups at the end. Lisa also presents this one (and might I say... she looks phenomenal) and she gives really great cues for pushing yourself to the end. It's my favorite song out of the pushup tracks.

  2. 57 - Beware Of The Dog - He's comin to getcha!!!! This one features an alternating hand walk and both types pushups. No surprises... just a fantastic beat, very gritty sound, and catchy lyrics.

  3. 65 - I Don't Care - Basically the exact same as Beware Of The Dog in both music (they sound very similar) and moves... This hand walk is a walking plank where only your hands move. 4 steps backwards, 4 steps forwards. The rest of us can find happiness in misery here... :)

  4. 69 - Sexy Chick - Enter the core punishment. Each round starts with tricep pushups, then the new move which is a plank-twist (while in a plank, you rotate your body to one side or the other, alternating) and then chest pushups. 3 rounds. Done. Fun top 40 song, especially when there's lots of ladies in the room, and I like the twist on typical chorey (no pun intended).

  5. 67 - Boom Boom Pow - A whole lot of pushups with a single step version of the crab crawl put the boom boom pow into the chest. I trained on this release, and I really like this track.

  6. 60 - Kiss Your Mama - Na na na na na na na... A one-hand tap, lots of rhythm changes to work the muscle at different angles, and plenty of bottom halves. The song is cheeky, and everyone seems to enjoy it in the audience. Yay!

  7. 72 - Drummer Boy - It's hard, but the song has attitude... do you see a recurring theme for push-up tracks? This is the only way I get through them! One hand-foot stomps, then 12 singles... 3-4 times doing both chest and triceps. It's long, it's hard, and it's fun!

  8. 58 - Walk This Way - Who doesn't love Aersomith? This one is always a crowd favorite. Somehow I find myself wishing that the remix had male singers instead of female, but it's still fun. One hand taps to the corner, lots of chest pushups with alternating taps. This is one I get lots of requests for, which I always appreciate.

  9. 59 - Dirty - Oddly, it's not the participants that particularly love this one, it's all my fellow instructors. The lyrics are fun but a bit risque, so we only teach this one to certain classes. A teeth-clenching beat that helps you force your way through some serious work.

  10. 56 - Lolita - I put this one in here just because I had several participants who read this blog who specifically said it must be here. The main thing about it is the corkscrew move which is different from most of these tracks. The bad side of this? The corkscrew is HARD!!! Any of these tracks that require both lots of upper body strength PLUS core... a great workout, but a really hard time for Chad!!!

And there you have it! First half of the class? CHECK!!! Give yourself a big pat on the back... most beginners walk out during track 3. Next up? Running!

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