core workout

One of the great things about functional training is you don’t have to follow typical gym rules. You aren’t training to have the biggest biceps or bootylicious glutes. You are training to become a functional and fit person, that means you can move with coordination, lift things in random situations without fear of throwing out your back, and generally live a more pain free life. All while maintaining a lower body fat and having strong muscles. Doing a total body/core workout can have amazing benefits!

These workouts are more fun, don’t require a lot of equipment, and keep you from being bored. These types of workouts are perfect for any introverted Geek/Gamer who wants to get in better shape, but who doesn’t want to deal with the alpha-ness of typical gyms. As a gamer myself, I want to be like the characters I play – able to do pretty much anything physically, but that’s so hard with time constraints, and of course, dedicated game time.

Here is a beginner core/total body workout using only a weight plate, in this case a 25 pound weight plate. You can use any weight, and you can get a weight plate fairly cheap used (craigslist, offer up, Facebook). You can do this workout mostly in your living room (carpet works fine with metal plates), in your back yard, or at a park (long grass might be hard with some of these, but turf works great).

Lower Body/Core Workout

3 sets of 12-15 reps of each exercise

  • Walking Lunge with Slide – This exercise works your whole leg, but especially activates those hip flexors and strengthens them. Stay low and drag that weight plate towards you, ending with your feet together in a squatted position.
  • Walking side Squat with Pull in – This exercise works the inner thighs, which become especially tight and weak when doing a lot of sitting. Keep your feet pointed forward, and try not to lean either direction when pulling the weight plate in.
  • Good Morning – This hinge exercise helps you maintain good posture, strengthens your lower back, and stretches those tight hamstrings. Keep your spine straight/neutral and push your hips back during the downward movement. Keep knees slightly bent, and weight plate slightly in front of your chest.

Total Body/Core Workout

  • 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Squat to overhead press – This exercise works legs and shoulders specifically. Make sure you drop as low as you can in your squat, keeping your weight on your heels. Have the weight plate held in front of your chest, then as you stand up, push the plate all the way overhead, straightening arms all the way.
  • Arch/Rainbow chops – An exercise that works arms, and deep abdominal muscles and obliques, the ones that really support your spine. Keep arms as straight as you can while you arch the weight up and over your head, and bring it down to your knee. Pivot (Pivot PIVOR in Ross’s voice) your lower body so your knee doesn’t get all crazy twisted. We want to avoid injuries!
  • Bear Crawl with a plate push – A total body exercise! Keep knees bent and back straight, and get yourself in a high crawl with one hand on the weight plate. Crawl forward and push the weight with one hand. You can do this timed, about 30 seconds with each arm, or do repetitions, about 15 on each arm.
  • Bear crawl with plate pull – (not pictured) This is basically the same exercise as above but in reverse. Pull the weight towards you and crawl backwards.
  • Pendlay Row – This in another hinging exercise, but now adding in a plate row to active more of your upper back and arms. This is also a great stretch. Do the bottom part of the Good Morning, but instead of standing all the way back up, only go up about halfway, then bring the weight plate to your chest.

Core Workout

 3 sets of 15 – All these exercises are done in a high plank/push-up position. Starting and finishing each movement with a plank, core tight, back flat. If you can, do these by a mirror and check your form!

  • Tuck – Bend your knees, pulling them towards your chest. Walk hands forward and repeat.
  • Pike – A bit more advanced than the tuck. Keep knees straight and push your hips to the ceiling(sky), dragging that weight plate in. You don’t have to be terribly flexible to do these, as just a little lift will do!
  • Plank – This is a traveling plank. Goal is to keep your body as straight as possible!
  • Push/Pull – If you don’t have a lot of room, you can combine any of the above movements into a stationary exercise! This works more upper body as well, because when you push that weight plate back out, your shoulders and chest really have to stabilize.

 

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Have you thought about starting a workout routine, or about improving your health, and there is just SO much information out there that it overwhelms you and gives you anxiety? Have you wondered which program is right for you? Should you do all cardio. should you just change your diet, should you follow an IG person you admire, should you do only strength training? The answer is Yes and No. (Right, I know, way to be fucking vague right? Hold your horses).

First step, figure out your general goals. In one sentence, what do you want to accomplish? Do you want to be healthier overall? Do you want to look better? Lose weight? Increase stamina (giggity)? Have a performance goal?  Be more flexible? Be stronger? Do you want it ALL? well don't worry folks! You CAN have it all! (picture yelling this out in a loud, bad infomercial voice).

Second, what are your current fitness levels? On a scale of WoW playing, mom's basement, couch potato (no judgement! I would if I could, trust) to Obstacle Course Racing, Parkour Guru, where do you lie? You never want to start a crazy fitness program if you have no background in fitness. That leads to injuries, overtraining, cockyness and eventual discouragement. Plus, a lot of those programs have no method of progression, so you get to one point and stay there constantly. But on the flip side you don't want to stay in your comfort zone forever either. In order to progress, you have to step outside that box and overload yourself to some degree. The best way to do this is by educating yourself on how to do that, and not relying 100% on a program to do that for you. 

I like to think of exercise, and personal improvement, like stats in a RPG game - you build characters who have attributes. The physical ones include strength, endurance, agility, stamina, etc. So a great fitness program aiming at making you perform better will touch on all of those attributes. 

I am developing a series of general steps to take to help you reach your goals, whatever they may be! First in this series is, what I think is one of the most important parts of improving health, and that is STRENGTH TRAINING.strength training

Read on for proper ways to start and progress your strength training program.....

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simple stretching exercises

Stretching is something that is sorely overlooked in our society. It is amazing how much better you can feel with simple stretching exercises! I mean, stretching can really help you out if you:

  1. Live a relatively sedentary lifestyle
  2. Live a health and active lifestyle
  3. Are a hardcore athlete
  4. Have general aches and pains
  5. Feel tight or sore during certain movements
  6. Are alive in any way

I am pretty sure that, unless you are already a Yoga instructor or guru, or do Pilates on the reg, that you can definitely benefit from simple stretching exercises. Even a little bit of daily stretching can help alleviate general achy-ness, help with back or knee problems, help increase flexibility, and decrease joint pains. With as little as 5 minutes a day! Well, maybe a couple times a day, but lets not get carried away. I am not asking you to morph into a human pretzel, or discover your inner cheese (or is it Chi? I'd rather discover my cheese, yum). Also, to take your health a bit further, check out Health Tips for Lazy People here!

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Are you a fit nerd? Do you aspire to become a fit nerd? Or is there someone in your life you want to be a fit nerd, and get Geeking Strong with? Look no further! Our Fit Nerd Gifts guide has a few items that might help friends looking to become a healthier version of themselves.

From cooking gear, to apps, to apparel, here are some things we here at NerdCore Performance adore. They help motivate us to make a few better choices (even though, it sometimes sucks). Buy some for yourself, a friend/companion/familiar/partner in crime, and make them suffer with you! (I shouldn't say that, I should be more motivating and positive, but being sarcastic is just more much more FUN!). 

Let's disclaimer that we are not associated/affiliated with any of the following companies. We just like their shit. We keep trying to be affiliated with Amazon, but they keep denying us. That's ok, they are still cheap and awesome. 

The pictures next to the description are clickable! They will take you to the appropriate webpage. 

Read on for gift ideas.....

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Spread the Love!

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Sometimes, you just don't want to go to the gym. Whether you want to avoid people in general (don't we all?), or are not feeling like putting yourself on display (zoo much?), or you don't want to get dressed in "socially appropriate gym-wear" (work t naked! We don't judge!), then here are some necessary at-home equipment for you do design awesome workouts and routines, in the comfort of your own home! And no, we are not made of money (that would be really weird, especially when you go to the bathroom, the paper and dripping....I digress) so I try to stay as cheap as possible, and so should you! Health does not have to be expensive.

Read on for great ideas!

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