Saturday, May 30, 2009


Have you ever paddled away from the put-in full of energy and then within a few minutes started to feel your energy suddenly dropping off? You then push yourself to keep going and after a while your energy level seems to return. I don't pretend to know the physiology of why this effect occurs, but I do know if I have done some prior training, then it's effect is lessened or even disappears. For years, I have done a series of exercises which Chris G. Hardenbrook put up on the 'Wavelength' list. Here's what Chris calls "Twenty-Ones"...

"First, a word on general form. Make all movements in the exercise slowly and evenly. Do not jerk or bounce the movements at either end. Do not stop the movement when you change movement direction. Keep good posture; knees slightly bent, back straight, face forward and , if possible, do this exercise in front of a mirror; good form is essential. Here goes:

"1) Use between 1 to 10 lbs per hand (it doesn’t matter if you use dumbbells or fishing weights as long as it’s comfortable in your grip), the weight is determined by your strength. Don’t use more than 10 lbs even if you are a big macho/macha kinda guy/gal.

"2) First movement is to raise both hands straight out in front of the body (at the same time), palms facing down, to a height parallel to the floor. Then lower them to the sides of your body. The elbows are straight, but not locked; stay loose. At your sides, the backs of your hands are facing forwards (in other words, don’t twist your arms as you lift or lower the weights). Repeat this movement slowly seven times, and remember, no pause at the top or bounce off the bottom.

"3) Without pause from the completion of your seventh repeition in front of your body, now start the second phase: face the backs of your hands out to your sides and lift the weights straight out to your sides until paraellel with the floor, then return to your sides. As you raise the weights give a little twist movement, tipping the front of the weight down, like you are pouring water from a glass. At the top (no higher than your shoulders), your thumbs face down at about 45° - 60°. Do seven repetitions in a good, steady, slow form without stopping or bouncing.

"4) The final movement is to take a wider stance, feet about shoulder width apart. Bend at the waist until your torso is nearly parallel with the floor. Bend you knees. Usually the torso ends up at about a 15° upward tilt just to keep your balance. Look up and hang the weights below your body, wrists facing out, then lift the weights out and up to ear level. Your elbows will bend in this part of the exercise, but the wrists will not twist. It is like picking up the laundry. Keep your body stationary, lift to ear level, do not let your lifts go to the rear of your ears or in front of your head. This is the hardest part of the *Twenty-Ones*; keeping good form when ‘picking up the laundry’. Of course, the whole exercise should be like one continuous motion. Do not pause between the three phases. When complete with the three phases, each with seven repetitions, rest for 15 - 20 seconds and do it again, twice more! So you will do the 21 movements three times. You will know why you are using light weights that seemed so simple the first time around. By the third set, you will feel it. Trust me!"

Photo from Imageenvision

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