So far in 2020 I have turned my attention toward diet and exercise with great results. In addition to walking/hiking I have started to incorporate some unconventional fitness methods into my practice. Here's a rundown on four different unconventional training tools that will give you a workout without having to leave home or break the bank.
The kettlebell or girya
resembles a cannonball with a handle on top. Its center of gravity is offset from the cast iron handle and constantly shifting, which makes it hard to control. The kettlebell lends itself to flowing motions and building strength and power: swings, presses, squats, rows and carries. It is used for cardio, flexibility and strength. It has been said that if you own a kettlebell then you own a gym.
The steel mace or gada
is a weighted ball on a long straight handle. Let's not kid ourselves...it's a weapon! The heavy head and light handle give the mace an uneven distribution of weight, making it very unbalanced. The most common mace exercises are called the 360 and the 10 to 2, but you can get super creative with the mace. It can help with balance, coordination, posture, stability and body awareness.
Clubs aren't lifted, they are swung. Club swinging is a very natural motion where the club acts as an extension of your arm. These ancient rhythmic movements can be set to music. The shape of a club resembles a baseball bat, bowling pin, or juggling club. It can be made of wood or steel. Lighter clubs are best for flexibility and mobility. Heavy clubs are for strength and grip. Strability, flexibility, endurance, fat-burning, lean muscle and concentration are among the benefits of club swinging. It's like a blend of cardio and weight training.
Persian style push-ups are done on a traditional wooden board with two triangular supports which raise your hands off the floor. This board is called a Shena
. The push-up poses resemble yoga - downward dog, upward dog, low plank, deep knee bends. Persian push-ups are done slowly, methodically and strategically with an emphasis on rhythm and fluidity. Continuity of motion. The Shena adds a different dimension to any fitness practice; developing strength, flexibility, muscle endurance, stamina and agility.
There are more tools you can utilize - ropes, sandbags, pull-up bars, escrima sticks. I'm sticking to just the above four for now.