Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Avatar Inspired Workout

I am still in awe of the visual spectacle and emotional story of Avatar.

The movie inspired me to write a workout based on the indigenous Na'vi people of the film's planet Pandora.

The idea came when Jake Sully described how his feet were getting stronger each day ... presumably from walking, running, jumping barefoot through the Pandora Forrest.

The workout is based on everyday tasks and survival movements necessary to move like an "avatar."

This workout should be done barefoot.

You may perform each exercise separately - all sets and reps and then move on to the next exercise, or you may perform all of the exercises as a circuit - one after the other. I recommend learning the exercises using the set method and then advancing to the circuit.

Pictures and video coming soon!!

Warm Up:

Honoring Eywa
Sit Cross legged with hands resting comfortably on thighs.
Move torso clockwise in a circular motion starting with small circles and increasing to large, deep circles. Do ten reps. Repeat ten reps counter clock wise.

Cardio interval 1:
Forward and backward shuffling on the forrest vines
Lay a jump rope on the floor in a straight line vertically, or follow a straight, vertical pattern on your floor or outside. Place right foot in front of left and shuffle forwards down the line, leading with right foot the whole time. Repeat for 30 seconds to 1 min. Recover and repeat with left foot leading.
Build to 3 sets if you wish.

Strength 1:
Pull the Bow
Using a resistance band take an archer's stance - right leg forward, left leg back, right arm extended long and left hand will draw the bow. Begin with resistance band slacking, both hands holding band in front of jaw. Slowly and with control, draw in your core (just like Neytiri tells Jake) and pull your left hand back. Repeat 10 to 20 reps. Repeat with left leg forward, right leg back - pulling band back with right hand. May build to 3 sets.

Cardio 2:

Side shuffle on the tree limbs
Lay your jump rope horizontally on the floor, or follow horizontal lines on your floor or on the ground. Face sideways so that your right foot leads. Shuffle sideways with knees softly bent back and forth following your straight line bringing left foot to right foot for 30 sec to one min. Turn around and lead with the left foot for 30 sec to one min. May do up to 3 sets.

Strength 2:
Flying on the Ikran squats
Stand with your feet much wider than hip width, with toes turned out slightly. Extend arms straight out in front of you as if you are going to grasp reigns to steer your Ikran bird.
Inhale and slowly lower hips to ground to "sit on Ikran bird."
Exhale and rise up.
Repeat 20 times for 3 sets.

Cardio 3:
Leaping on the vines and tree limbs
Set your jumprope vertically first. Alternate leaping forwards and backwards down the line with right foot leading and then the left foot leading for one minute.
Recover and then set your jumprope horizontal.
Leap sideways back and forth leading with the right foot for 30 seconds and then repeat with left foot leading for 30 seconds.
One set forwards/back and one set sideways each way equals one REP. May repeat for 3 reps.

Strength 3:
Hunting Crawl
Start in push up position with feet and hands wide. Simultaneously bring left hand forward and right foot up to right hand. Then bring right hand forward and left foot up to left hand. Remain as low and flat as possible, working flexibility and strength. Work up to one minute then rest and repeat two more times. Vary your speed, depth and length of each crawl for each set.
Ambitious folks may add a staggered push up after each stride.

Cool Down/Stretch:

Ikran squat
Stand with feet wider than hips with toes slightly turned out.
Lower hips toward ground with arms inside legs. Press elbows onto inside of thigh. You may do this against a wall to go deeper.
Hold for 30 sec to one minute and repeat up to three times.

Honoring Eywa:

Sit cross legged with hands resting on thighs as in warm up.
Start with big counter clockwise rotations with the torso, moving into smaller motions. Repeat large clockwise rotations, moving into stillness.
Sit quietly for 5 minutes taking time to honor the work you just did!!

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