I’m only slightly bitter that I can’t do a handstand and decided there must be others like me. While I continue to envy those who whimsically defy gravity, I choose to defy the trend.
As I previously posted, 2014 was the year of the big butts. But(t) while the rest of us were slinging around our huge booties, everyone else was doing a god damn handstand. EVERYONE.
If they weren’t hand-standing at Crossfit they were doing it at yoga. If it wasn’t there they were doing it at home, at the beach, on each other. It was an epidemic that I ravenously never caught. All I wanted was to be able to do a handstand and be like everyone else but never made it past a shaky Crow pose.
Naturally, I did what anyone else would do when they can’t do something. I called it stupid and move on.
But it turns out, handstands are pretty friggin’ good for you. According to MindBodyGreen.com they make your arms thick and juicy, they can increase your balance and can even increase your mood by catapulting all your body’s blood in a straight shot to your noggin. That’s great and all but that doesn’t make the process of doing them any easier. They also terrify me for fear of falling on my blood-filled head and shattering it. That might be over-dramatic but it’s prevented me from continuing to attempt them.
To avoid poking holes in something I can’t do, I decided to supplement my hand stand deficiency with other workouts that offer just the same if not more benefits.
Judging by this diagram, planks are the only exercise you’ll ever need to do again. Along with holding your whole body up in a neutral position, planks fire nearly every muscle group along the front of your body (quads, abs, chest, shoulders, etc.) Aside from making your front-side burn something fierce, planks also build:
- Core & Back strength
- Better and stronger posture
- Wrist strength
If you’re as horrible at a plank as you are a handstand, there are tons of challenges dedicated to building your plank strength. Most of these are over the course of a month but use them until your heart’s content.
The first time I heard the name of this workout I already hated it. You’d think they would have named it something overly pleasant sounding like Glittery Cupcake Jump. Instead, the two syllables together make for the most horrific word known to gym-goers.
But they are insanely good for you.
Despite being vomit-inducing, burpees work your entire body through a strength-building and cardio through a 5-move exercise. Not to mention, they burn approximately 10 calories per minute…if you can last. Because they rev up your metabolism, you’ll continue reaping the calorie-burning benefits for the remainder of your day. Essentially, burpees let your body go on burning autopilot for the brief torture you experienced.
Jumping Rope (my fave)
Maybe it’s because I feel like Rocky when I’m jumping rope or maybe it’s because I feel like a kid again. No matter the reason, I love jumping rope. The way I do it now is a lot different than the double dutch sing-a-longs I did as a youth but it kicks my ass. I’m not much of a “take it easy at the gym” type of gal and want to feel like I’m in purgatory while I’m there.
Jump rope is my own personal hell.
Arguably yield the same cardio and strength building benefits as a plank or burpee, jump rope takes the cake in the calorie-burning department. While I’m not certain jumping rope is even possible for a full hour, it can burn up to 800-1000 calories in that 60 minutes. I’m no mathematician but even I can determine that’s 13 per minute or around 130 in 10.
Not only do you now have 3 moves to kill you at your next work out, you can feel just as accomplished as those hand standers.