T Nation

Upper Body Based Conditioning


#1

Guys, I pulled my hamstring 2 days ago and I'm looking for some ideas of what I can use as upper body only/mostly conditioning in the mean time to improve my conditioning (and keep fat loss going) while I let the hammy heal. Can anyone point me to some decent suggestions? Virtually everything I've found so far has a significant lower body component. I was thinking about finally investing in a thick rope and try battle ropes, but I'm at a loss beyond that.

As far as the hamstring is concerned, the pull is in my lower hamstring and I feel it mostly while trying to do knee flexion type movements, but I can still do some leg movements that emphasize hip extension. I obviously haven't tried to do anything heavy yet, but I think I could do some light movements as part of a circuit/interval. Anyways, I would appreciate any help you guys can offer.


#2

I did that a couple of years ago man. It sucks. I was able to do some tabata style Military Presses. Ropes are a good idea. A buddy of mine in a wheelchair used to use a hand-pedal. Rowing if you have access to a machine sounds possible for you if you limit leg movement. I think I did a few "push-pull" combos with really low weights. Complexes will work, especially if you can do Stiff-legged deads and/or GMs. Can you do bearcrawls? I couldn't, but it sounds like your pull is lower than mine was. Swimming if possible man, swimming is awesome. ummm...I'm pretty tired, so I'll stop rambling. Maybe I that was a little helpful


#3

Swimming and push up/inverted row circuits.


#4

Haven't tried to do stiff-legged deads but I get the feeling it would difficult. Kb/db swings are out as well. Most movements that begin to stretch the muscle are the ones that cause pain. Bear crawls would probably be a great idea. Thanks cuz I had completely forgotten about those. Swimming is a good idea as well but I just need to find a pool close enough. I do appreciate the ramble. Thank you.


#5

Ring strength sequences would be another excellent option if you have access to rings and the requisite strength to do at least very basic elements.


#6

The only bad thing with inverted rows is that they aggravate the pull when I prop my legs up. Swimming is probably a really good idea (the simplest ideas :)). I just need to find a pool close enough to work or home. Thank you.


#7

I do have access to rings but the strength to do basic elements...well...that depends what you would call the basic elements. I doubt my strength levels would meet the level you mean because I cannot do any of the holds like the back lever or iron cross. The best I can manage is basic bodyweight movements like dips(probably 12 is my max) or very limited rom on things like a maltese or back lever. Could you give me an example of the kind of things you meant?


#8

swim a few miles a day, (if you can) with a pull bouy between your legs.. all upper body..


#9

Tabata pushups.


#10

Iron cross is definitely not "basic" level.

Something like:
-muscle-up (jumping or kipping if need be)
-L-sit (tucked if need be)
-press to shoulder stand (again tucked if need be)
-lower back down to support
-lower back down to dead hang
-pull to inverted hang
-inverted pull-up
-skin the cat
-pull back to dead hang


#11

Swimming seems to be the popular choice (for a good reason). I just need to see if there are any pools I can use for the time being. None of my local friends or family members have pools nor does my current gym so it might not be something I can use.


#12

Good to know that the iron cross isn't basic because I'm not even close to it.

I can perform most of those circuit movements and the whole thing looks killer, and something I'm interested to try. Thank you.


#13

It is an approach to up reps with a good amount of work. Readers digest version, find a 12 rep max as a starting point. Aim for a percentage goal increase, perhaps like 25%... Whatever that weight is, do 12 sets of 2 with that weight. Start at the top of every minute. When 12 sets of two is done, go to 8 sets of 3. When successful, 6 sets of 4. When successful, 5 sets of 5. When successful, retest. One upper body pull, one upper body push. Initially not too demanding but 5 reps at every minute is not a lot of rest with a high load.

It is with a decent amount of weight, which would be increasing the second time through. Subsequent runs through would require a less ambitious percentage increase. Another choice is to start the program with a 6 rep max or 8 rep max, still doing 12 x 2. I am doing 6 rep max. First set with 2 reps, it felt like too much rest time. When it got to set 8 to 12, somehow the time seemed to quicken. I'm using high high incline press and neutral grip pulldown. Strict form.


#14

row machine is out, cause your gonna feel your hams for sure.

heavy bag work, speedbag work, and even shadowboxing. i usually do 3 min on 1 min rest... and take make shadow boxing more work, you can use a light weight... your shoulders will get hammered for sure.

also, skipping rope might be a good idea. a good rope skip mostly bounces on the toes, and wont engage your hams much.. try it out. ITS ALL ABOUT THE JUMP ROPE.


#15

Interesting idea. There are so many good suggestions in this thread that my hamstring will be fine before I can try them all lol. Hammy feels alot better already but I've read too many times about rushing back too early from injuries to be that dumb.


#16

Oh jeez. Where's a good facepalm pic when u need one. I cannot believe I didn't think about jumping rope. Sometimes the simplest things never cross my mind lol. Shadow boxing is a decent idea. No heavy bag around to use.


#17

fill a burlap sack with old t-shirts and beat the shit. out of it... mind your knuckles and wrists..


#18

1-leg burpees?


#19

Try the Texas pushup challenge. Tried it tonight after an upperbody session. Was much harder than expected. Up until the 7th "set" I was touching my chest to the ground and briefly releasing my hands between reps. By the last 3 sets I was only going 90 degrees. Did it in a little under 1:45. Goal is to get all sets with chest touching floor/raising hands in under 1:30. Give it a shot.


#20

Push - Pull - Abs - Repeat
Maybe 15 min. 3 X daily,, a football game on TV just WO each commercial.
Reading your post i too tought of swimming.
To loose calories a cold bath/shower, just move and or breathe deeply to tolerate the cold longer.
Sex 3 X daily is an other option...