The doorframe workout

I have lived a few years in a tent. It made me appreciate buildings all the more 🙂

The door frame is a great tool for movement, tension exploration and fun. It can be used to ease into new movement and develop power within holds.

Here are a few examples of movements to build both power and freedom of movement:

  1. Stand in the doorframe and press your arms straight outward so they press against the doorframe. Keep the pressure for a few breaths while you keep your joints from locking and as you release your back and shoulders will release tension and build power over time. Play with the angle of your shoulders so the palms, backs and sides of the hand are against the doorframe every time. It works different parts of the shoulder, chest and back.
  2. Stand a step in front of behind the door frame. Place your forearms on the sides of the doorframes and do pushups or dips as you maintain the tension. This will strengthen your arms and your entire upper back in different angles as you place your body in angles to the doorframe.
  3. Stand a step or more away from the doorframe. Place your hands to grab the insides of the frame and lean on it. Walk up and down with your hands holding onto the doorframe insides and do it facing down and up. For a greater challenge, Place a sturdy piece of furniture to give your legs a boost and perform the walk with the elevation.
  4. Stand inside the doorframe and place your back against one side. Bring your clean feet and hands against the other side and brace yourself in the air for a few breaths. Mind to spread the force over your spine and avoid arching your bones against it.
  5. Stand inside the doorframe and place one hand and one opposing side leg on the other side. Breathe and lift yourself to get all four limbs in the air and hold with non-locked joints for a few breaths. Place with hand and leg placements and see if you can climb up within the tension. Mind your head J
  6. Place yourself in the push up position with your feet within the doorframe. Press them against the doorframe in the air and balance on fists on the ground and feet against the doorframe sides. Now bend your knees and bring your behind to the doorframe line and back while in the air. Repeat it while facing upwards and enjoy the movement.

Everything is your playground with a child mindset. Just do it at the right time J

Strong hands

Here are proven methods of increasing the ability of hands and fingers. They come to make us more capable and less fragile in a world of impact and shearing.

Make yourself strong so you can do the work you want done.

  1. Hanging on rough surfaces – We all hanged on rounded bars on gym classes. Some even use gloves. Hang on tree branches and on square beams. Take it a step further and hang on different parts of the palm to learn to relax further and allow the body adept and grow stronger in all angles.
  2. Walking on your fists – Start walking on your fists on a wall. Walk sideways and up and down. Let your breath create the tempo and move from the body. Keep your wrist relaxed to move while under pressure and continue to do so on the ground. Make sure you move silently and without excess tension. Allow the fingers to move while under pressure and not fight the contact. Take it a step further and walk on the sides of the fist and on the back of the fist. Close your hand around a fragile object such as an origami bird and walk on your fists without breaking the object.
  3. Walking on your finger palms – Walk on the flats of last joint of each finger (Distals) while maintaining an arch on each finger. Maintain the least amount of tension to keep the arch and walk on the wall side to side and up and down. Mind to breathe out the excess tension instead of letting it sink in the body.
  4. Pulling rope – Tie a strong rope to a strong anchor. Sit on your behind and pull yourself up by pulling on the rope and easing yourself down under control. Stand a step away from the rope and fall forward. Grab the rope on the way down and swing with it.
  5. Hammer throw – Take a light hammer (1 kg or a bit more) throw and catch it by a predetermined part. This goes beyond throw and catch into hand eye coordination and body mind relaxation. The uneven mass creates the greater learning experience and fun here. ( do not do this on tiles….)

Notes from Class: levers holds And joint manipulation

There are countless holds levers and ways to manipulate the joints. There are however a few ways to play with the body to bring our  innate knowledge into awareness. That way we are able to create those on the move and without trying to force one way over the other.

Principles for the play:

  1. Our bodies and movement are not perfect – there are always openings and vectors unnoticed and unmanaged in any given moment. Use what is there instead of trying to force a method you envision in your mind.
  2. Keep the far away goal in mind instead of the pathway you see in your mind. Your thoughts are possibilities. Let them go if they do not serve the moment.
  3. Placing a focus on the contact dissolves the connection to self. Move yourself from the center outward and each part freely and avoid using the contact as support. Each time we push and pull, we lean and remove our freedom of movement.
  4. See yourself and see your contact as one. We have the same body with little changes here and there. We work the same way and what is comfortable or uncomfortable to you is mostly the same to others. Know yourself and you know the other.
  5. Keep in mind that we do not know everything. Is there a knife ? Are there others in the engagement ? When is it over ? Ask yourself questions and know the value beyond looking for the answer.

Games to bring the natural awareness to the surface:

  1. Hold each others wrist and transition continuously from the ground to standing and back. Change who leads the movement and after a while have one move to get up as the other moves to go down.  This game with changing holding locations on the body or with the use of rope or stick will teach a lot of fluidity in getting somewhere without fighting over position.
  2. Hold a hand or fist on your partner and have them tense a part of their bodies away from the contact. Push or pull and have them relax that pat and keep moving. Place with your hand placement and body part tensed to bring to the forefront the awareness to tension release freedom and continuous motion. You must play your own game within the whole.
  3. Hold your partners wrist and start turning your own body. let your movement transfer to your partner without relying on twisting the contact point to allow whole movement to manifest. Repeat the game for the ankle and move up the limbs with care to keep learning and avoid trying to succeed.
  4. Hold your partners wrist and move your body up and down and turning to use it as the second point of contact to change the angles and press/twist of the joints. Make sure you are seeing the complete person and move with them instead of trying to control them. Go up and down all limbs with this game and see how you fare both on the ground and off.
  5. Have your partner hold you tight. Breathe and release the natural resistance to the hold and move your entire frame to use the others hold on you to play on your terms.

Avoid fast movement when not needed. Learning is about understanding and knowing, not about posturing as something we are not. Let the speed come to you.

Three methods of hand/wrist work

In this piece we will explore three methods of hand work for a more capable and healthy hand and wrist.

Wall work

  1. Stand a step away from a wall and place the flats of your fingers on the wall. Press your body gradually to the wall with increasing activation in the hand and wrist to maintain the shape and gradually release the tension. Work this in different angles and distances from the wall.
  2. Stand a step or two away from the wall and place your hands on it. Lean slightly on the wall and with combined body and wrist work, rotate your hands around the forearms.  Vary the work in the same manner.
  3. Stand an arm length away from the wall and place both hands on it. Walk side to side with a slight lean forward and then the same while facing away from the wall with arms both over and under head. Progress to walking down and up the wall in the same way with varying in the regular method.
  4. Stand or sit a step away from the wall and place your hand on it. Lean on it and under this pressure, close and open your hand in various angles. Make sure your eyes and breath are free to move and continue to function.
  5. Stand a step away from the wall and place the back of your palms on the wall. Walk on the wall on the back of your palms and then on your fists and lastly using your fingers acting as spiders. Remember to breathe and keep your spine free to shape itself to the needs of the movement.

Rope work

  1. Take a long towel and place a  light soft wight in the middle ( a sack with some sand or a water sack). Fold the towel over the wight and secure it with strand. Now hold the ends in one or two hands and start rotating it around you in the air. You will learn to vary the resistance by angle and speed and learn to coordinate better while creating healthy tissue.
  2. Hang a rope from a sturdy tree or beam and stand while holding onto the rope at various heights. gradually move the wight to the rope by using your arms and body and return to the ground in the same graduation.
  3. Hang a rope from a sturdy tree or beam (a rope can be made of 550 cord and a towel with a bit of thought) sit under it and with some help from your lower body, climb up and down the rope in sync with your breath.
  4. Stand by your hanging rope and climb up and down the rope once facing the ground and once facing away from the ground. Remember to release tension from your back and hips by letting them move freely.
  5. stand a step away from the rope and fall forward. Catch the rope on the way down and swing your way back into a standing position. Breathe continuously.

Stick work

  1. Take a stick ( a shovel handle works well) and hold it in the middle. Rotate it in your hand so both ends swing in circles and hold it in various angles to the body and at various heights. The more you are acquainted with working dynamic angles, the better your inner map of self will be.
  2. hold a stick in one hand at its end with your hand relaxed at your side and slowly move it up and down. Breathe continuously and slowly draw circles in the air and work to use the least amount of tension and your best form to move the changing resistance. Your can load the end of the stick with a hammer head or heavy rope. Stay light and work on control before tension.
  3. Hold the stick at both ends. Tense arm against arm in different directions and twists through the stick and make sure you are tension only the parts you want to use. Move the stick overhead and place it on the flat of your back and vary the drill further by placing your hands on various locations on  the stick.
  4. lie on the ground and hold the stick at one end and further on the length. Place the free end on the ground and drag your body in various directions while maintaining a relaxed face and body.
  5. Take a heavy object suck as a rucksack or rock and hold the stick with both hands. Breathe and work to move the heavy object around using just the free tip of the stick and with the least amount of tension in your body. You can also do this with a partner laying down and relaxing and learn further about tension and appearance.

The tennis ball gym

A tennis ball is small and light and easy to carry around even through the crazy show airports are today 🙂

Here are ten simple drills to do with one or more tennis balls you can do in a hotel room or almost anywhere and keep your nervous systema and body honed.

  1. Take one tennis ball and place it between the wall and your body. Slide and move the ball around without touching it with your limbs and use all parts of your body and your neck and head and keep your body loose and active.
  2. Take two tennis balls and place them between the wall and your arms. Slide and move the balls in independent routes and move on all facets of the arms. Relax your eyes and trust all your senses.
  3. Take one tennis ball and place it between the wall and your leg. Slide and move the ball around by moving the hips and both legs and keep your posture relaxed and comfortable.
  4. Lie on the ground and roll the ball away from you. Roll your body to intercept the ball and repeat. Make sure you continue to breathe and let your eyes move freely instead of fixating on the ball.
  5. Lie on the ground and place the ball between you and the ground. Move the ball with your body movements and keep your breath continuous and your eyes relaxed.
  6. Bounce one ball off the ground first with your palm and then with the back hand. Progress the the facets of the fist and move on to your forearm and further on. The limits are in your imagination.
  7. Hold one tennis ball in your hand and throw it up and catch it. Repeat this with just one eye open and then with both eyes closed. You will learn to receive without bracing and that is a great lesson.
  8. Stand three steps from the wall and start bouncing the ball off the wall. Step so you always intercept the ball with your body not in the way and keep breathing calmly. Progress to being two steps away from the wall and see if you can manage over time to be one step away from the wall. Footwork is key.
  9. Stand with your back to the wall and bounce the ball behind you. Intercept the ball and repeat. Learn to understand angles and how they work both coming and going.
  10. Place the ball on various places in the body (for example the crook of your elbow) and start walking and sitting down and getting up. Move the ball over your body and keep yourself learning.

Cost: time and one tennis ball.

Return: health, fun and much more.

Riding the blade

Practice is very formal when danger is close and thus much is gone in the haze of getting good at a drill instead of learning about yourself and learning to accept what is.

Have a partner hold a covered knife and have him move in a continuous oval cutting motion that includes the space you are taking.

Start by keeping your hands to yourself and moving your body out of the way and toward his back. Keep both legs under you at all times.

Continue by letting your arms move from the movement of your body and staying close to the partner knife hand or hands.

Now add a traveling hand with the always moving knife hand. Be as light as a butterfly after a fast and never try to control the situation.

Your breath moves you, Your eyes control your boundries, Your movement shows all including you what you are afraid to accept. Let go of controlling the situation and ride the wave.

Hanging on

Here is a simple plan for your hand strength and overall shoulder and body health.

Find a pull up bar, a branch or a rope to hang from.

Maintain continuous breath and keep your shoulders in their sockets or release the hold.

1 Start with a daily hanging on for ten breaths.

Add one breath a day according to your feeling until you reach sixty.

2 Change the way you are hanging on (both hands in the same direction, both hands in the opposite direction, hands facing each other)

Add this hold to the daily work and grow until you can reach one hundred and twenty breaths combined.

3 Hang on one hand with the other hand lightly over the holding hand and stay for five breaths.

Slowly grow the number of breaths to sixty (thirty breaths for each hand) as you remove the same number of breaths from the two hand hold.

4 Hang on one hand with the other hand holding onto the wrist of the holding hand and stay for ten breaths.

Slowly grow the number of breaths to sixty in each hand.

5 Hang on the bar with one hand and switch hands with each second breath while using the legs for propoltion toward the bar.

Repeat ten times and grow to twenty times over time. Maintain the rest of the time (to complete to one hundred and twenty breaths) holding onto the bar with each hand

6 Hold onto the bar and switch hands as you also switch directions.

Repeat ten times and grow to twenty in time.

7 Hold onto the bar and use your legs to switch hands with a release of the bar in midair.

Repeat as you feel and complete the rest of the breath count with regular twist switches.