Tag Archives: Standing Bag Workouts

Wide vs Close Grip Pull Ups: Which is Best?

pull-up-

Pull-ups are difficult, demanding and strenuous exercises. You need to lift all your weight with the use of your back, chest and arm muscles. It might be a daunting challenge at first, but with a bit of work and perseverance, you will be able to benefit muscles that are otherwise difficult to reach.

Before you start, make sure you have warmed up properly. Strength training puts a lot of stress on your muscles, and jumping into it without the preparation of a gradual warm up could lead to injuries.

Once your arms, back and chest muscles are a bit warmer, it is time to do the pull-up challenge. As with every difficult exercise, do not overstress yourself. Begin slowly and rest if you need it.

Pull-ups are simple because all you need is a stable overhead bar and a good grip with your hands. But it is not as easy as it seems at first. If you want to get the full benefits from pull-ups, you need to pay attention to the grip. The way you place your hands greatly determines what muscles you will be using, how your body will be moving and the level of difficulty you will be facing.

There are two main types of hand grip:

Wide Grip

This is the more traditional grip method. Stand and reach up to the overhead bar with both hands placed slightly beyond the width of your shoulders by a few inches. Turn your palms around so that they are facing forward. When you pull yourself up, your shoulders will be performing a powerful adduction movement: that is, flexing towards you, and making your upper arms move towards your sides. This is really good for shoulder flexibility as well as muscle toning. And you will also be putting to work the large wing-like back muscles known as latissimus dorsi.

Close Grip

In this modality, your hands must grip the overhead bar exactly at shoulder level, with your palms facing forward the same way as in the wide grip. The close grip forces your upper arms to move behind you and your shoulders to extend. With the close grip you will also work on the latissimus dorsi, but there will be a big contribution from the large front chest muscles, the pectoralis major, and the biceps.

All three muscles will harmoniously work together and get toned in accordance.

Another version of the close grip is where your palms are facing you (otherwise known as chin-ups). The latissimus dorsi will still be doing most of the work, but this time the biceps will be more involved.

The close grip uses the mechanical benefit of two large and powerful muscles, front and back, which makes doing pull-ups a bit easier, and also for a greater number of repetitions.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to try a close grip before you move on to the wide grip.

The Benefits Of Upside Down Inversion Exercises

Upside down Exercises

Inversion exercises are done while being hung fully upside down with the support of inversion boots on a horizontal bar. Sounds tricky? It is and can be quite a challenge, but the benefits gained from doing inversion exercises might encourage you to try it yourself.

Inversion Boots

When doing inversion exercises, inversion boots – otherwise called “gravity boots” – are worn to support your body. Inversion boots are made with straps to hold on to your ankles and attach to the horizontal bar. This is the only thing that is used to support you and keeps you safe while allowing you to do the various exercises that act as therapy for your body.

Types of Exercises

Inverted Squats

Squats are done the same way as standing. The only difference is that you are fully inverted instead of standing before starting each bend. In order to complete the proper form of each squat, start at a 180 degree angle then bend your knees while raising your body toward the bar. This exercise works on your hamstring and glutes.

Inverted Sit-ups

You are better able to stretch your body through inverted sit-ups. Fully invert your body and stretch through 180 degrees, brining your chest toward your thighs. This exercise works on your lower back and abs. 

Full Inversion

Full inversion means that you hang yourself completely; toward the floor. This exercise is one that takes very little work and allows you to take the time out and meditate. It releases stress and back pain, improves circulation and gives you mental alertness. The gravity also realigns your spine.

Three Points Hang

As a beginner, you can try the three points hang. This means that three different points of your body are supported by the horizontal bar at all times; your feet and one of your hands at a time.

Therapeutic Benefits

Inversion exercise falls under the category of core training. It works your legs (hamstring and glutes), abdominals, chest and back. Apart from inversion exercises physically molding your body, they are therapeutic. Inversion exercises help to realign your spine, improve blood circulation, reduce stress, increase flexibility, improve posture and rehydrates the vertebral discs (allows for flexibility of the spine).

Precautions

Although inversion exercises help your physical and mental health, there are certain precautions that must be considered before attempting the maneuvers. If you have hernia, glaucoma, high blood pressure or heart disease, it is not advisable for you to do the exercises. Also, pregnant women and persons suffering from obesity should not participate in inversion exercises.

Benefits of the Free Standing Bag and Workouts

Punching Bag

Free Standing Bags Vs Hanging Punching Bags

Free standing punching bags, or free standing boxing bags provide very similar resistance to the traditional hanging heavy bags found at the gym. Since they are free standing, they are portable, require almost no installation, and are ideal for home gyms. They work by containing a reservoir in the base filled with water, sand or combination of. This keeps the bag sturdy and provides resistance.

The main difference and benefit of a free standing boxing bag is the portability and convenience whether its in a gym or home. Where space is an issue or you may not wish to drill a boxing bracket hanger into the wall – the free standing punching bag is a great alternative to consider.

However if you are serious hitter, whether it’s boxing or kick boxing – a traditional boxing bag with bracket installed into a solid wall or surface will be your better option. It is more likely that any hard hits and repeated tough use will ensure that the product will be more durable.

Filling up the base of a Free Standing Punching Bag

From the beginning, the main purpose for self-supporting punching bags was to fill the tank with water —which is still a widespread technique. Water is the largest advantage over other choices. It’s simple to pour and you have a source right on hand.
Another popular filler is sand. Sand flows into the reservoir without difficulty if dry, but is less likely to escape when the bag is tipped and will not cause condensation.

Warming Up

It is extremely important to warm up before actually hitting the bag. There is a higher chance of injury from hitting the bag with a cold muscle. A good warm up consists of some stretching, shadow boxing, or shadow kickboxing. When fully warmed up, then it’s time to move to the bag.

Jabs

Fast jabs are a great way to get the heart pumping. The first thing you want to do is settle into a firm stance. You never want to face the bag head-on. Always put one foot in front of the other to promote balance. Once your position is firm, hit the bag straight out with the first two knuckles of your left hand. Do not lock your elbow; just let the punch flow from your core. The cross follows the jab with the right hand. The cross is a more powerful punch because it comes from the back of the body. Lift your heel on the cross to add more power. Alternate the jab and the cross in rapid succession for as long as you can, usually between thirty seconds to three minutes. Rest for one minute and repeat the sequence five to ten times.

Kickboxing

For a full-body workout, move to kickboxing exercises. This is a combination of jabs, hooks, uppercuts and kicking the bag. To add a front kick: face the bag head-on and kick straight ahead, aiming for the “stomach” of the bag. A sidekick consists of turning to side, with a shoulder facing the bag and kicking to the side, like a leg lift, and aiming again for the “stomach” of the bag. Roundhouse kicks are very powerful and are done by again turning to the side and having a shoulder facing the bag, making sure your feet are spaced out enough to give you a solid foundation, and kick with the farthest leg from the bag, aiming for the bag’s stomach. Continue a combination of these for three to five minutes then rest for one minute and repeat.

These are just a few examples of the many beneficial workouts a free standing bag can provide. Free standing punching bags engage your entire body. They’re great for cardio, and building stamina. Added benefits of free standing boxing bags are the reduction of stress and anger from channeling your negative energy into the bag.