By Nick Lynch
My friends, if you wish to obtain quality of movement and therefore increase strength you need more energy. Energy is a lot like Free Will. Dan John, in his book Never Let Go, tells us Free Will is like shaving gel. If you use it all up shaving one side of your face, you have to suffer on the other. So use it wisely. The same is true with energy.
With M3 strength training, meditation allows you the opportunity to preserve your energy until you need it. Today we’re talking about lunges and all their movement mastery. We’re also sprinkling on some meditative techniques to integrate into your program. I would like to share 3 lunge topics and 3 programs with you. This is a gift from me to you and yours. I hope it brings you good health and massive strength gains.
I have three lunge topics to share with you today:
The Overhead (OH) Lunge Technique
The One Breath Turkish Get Up (TGU)
The M3 Lunge Press
Please allow yourself the opportunity to try these programs and exercises. I think as a result you’ll find a deeper level of inner peace and outer strength gains. You’ll smile as your numbers in the gym, in your sport, at your place of work and in your home will all improve.
The OH Lunge
Clean up a kettlebell, press it OH and step your opposite KB side leg back into an OH lunge position
Tuck your pelvis directly underneath you, not forward into sway back position, just to neutral
Inhale deep into your belly so it sticks out. This puts pressure on your pelvis making you WANT to descend
Hold your breath and lower down to the ground slowly
At the bottom of the lunge, pause and imagine you’re dragging your back knee forward and your front planted heel back creating tension in all of the muscles in your legs
Stand up fast, exhale hard at the top and repeat
Please hold your breath the whole way down. Your knee should not go past your shins. Basically, keep everything vertical.
The One Breath Turkish Get Up
Begin as you would with a get-up at the bottom
Exhale all the air out of your lungs until your abs begin to slightly burn
Take the biggest inhale you can and hold your breath
Come up to standing position of the TGU and repeat step 2
Repeat step 3
Repeat step 2
Select a step or two down from your ‘go to’ TGU bell.
The M3 Lunge Press
Same first 3 steps as the OH lunge
Count to 10 on the descent
As you very slowly descend, press a kettlebell OH at the same pace until your knee has touched the ground and the kettlebell arm is locked out OH
Count to 10 as you stand up
As you very slowly stand up, pull the kettlebell down at the same pace until your both of your knees have locked out in standing position and the kettlebell has softly landed in the rack position
Take a deep breath and switch sides
Select a step or two down from your ‘go to’ press bell. When in doubt, go light and do it right. You can always add more weight later.
I really enjoyed an article my friend Dan John wrote a while back about the benefits of classical music during workouts. Another type of music you might enjoy for a higher level of focus is Tibetan gongs. Or perhaps nothing at all but the wonderful sound of your breath matching your movement. Once you’ve determined what you’re going to be listening to, please try one of the following programs out and see how you feel. I recommend turning off your phone and eliminating as many distractions as you can. If you have any distractions that are out of your control, try to think of the distraction as a mindfulness reminder. When the distraction comes into view or within your sound or smell space, it’s reminding you to focus on your breath and focus on your technique.
Program 1 - The One Breath TGU Meditation
Select the heaviest bell you can safely perform a one breath TGU with
Perform a one breath TGU on one side
Upon completion, lie on your back and take 3 deep breaths. During breathing you should have two thoughts, one on the inhale and one on the exhale. Inhale, "I know I’m breathing in". Exhale, "I know I’m breathing out"
Perform a one breath TGU on the other side
Repeat this program for 15 minutes
Heavy swings pair well with this program. Heavy swings in particular promote breathing matched with movement. Here is a good swing program you can use to meditate and simultaneously build strength.
Program 2 - Swing Meditation
Select the heaviest possible bell you can safely swing 15 times
Swing the bell 15 times and put the bell down
Straighten up, open your palms and take 5 deep breaths
Repeat this process 5-10 sets
Dan teaches the hoop breath by having his students hold the down position of a
for 30 seconds. I love this exercise very much and use it frequently with my students as well. I like to superset it with the Swing Meditation.
Program 3 - Goblet/Swing Meditation
Select the heaviest possible bell you can safely squat
Squat down and hold at the bottom for 30 seconds
Ensure you don’t lean on your thighs with your elbows or hands
Keep your posture upright
Loudest and most powerful hoop possible to stand up
Park the bell
Perform 1 round of program 2
Fast and loose for 20-30 seconds. Standing breathing meditation for 1 minute "I know I’m breathing in" Exhale, "I know I’m breathing out"
Repeat for 5rounds