Joined: 01 Apr 2008 Posts: 4 Location: Okinawa, Japan
Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:21 am Post subject: Sweep the Floor (by sweetzen)
This movement is strictly for your lower back and the muscles on the side of your torso. I use it to give my arms a rest in between some of the other exercises. Here it is:
Sweep the Floor
You are going to be swinging the shovelglove in a wide arc, so give yourself room. Stand with your feet more than shoulder width apart, knees bent slightly. You will be bending over somewhat, just like you were sweeping the floor with a broom. Grip the shovelglove with both palms facing in, and your hands far apart (one hand towards the head, the other towards the base of the handle). The farther apart, the better.
With the head of the shovelglove about 4 inches off the floor, swing it up above knee level, bringing the base of the handle up to your shoulder on the opposite side. At the top of the motion, the handle will be parallel to your "pushing" arm. Your torso will twist, and you should feel tension in your side and lower back muscles. Bring the head down and to the other side in a controlled motion, raising it above knee level. There is not as much twist on this motion, because your arm is not moving across your body.
Switch sides, and repeat.
Two things to keep in mind, for this exercise: (one) Plant your feet. You want the twist to come from your torso, not your legs. Your feet should not move at all; and (two) Watch your speed. You don't want to do this one too quickly, because you could pull a muscle in your back. Pay attention to the amount of tension in your back and sides, and vary your motion accordingly.
I enjoy the workout this gives my sides and lower back, as it has much more "twist" than any of the canonical exercises. I'd like feedback, and any refinements you have to offer. Thanks. _________________ "My life is an illuminating, unfolding narrative... written on a daily basis by the words I am forced to eat." --S.A.
My wife however can -- she said "duh, it's because you're not a woman!"
I love this move. I think I'm going to do this one regularly.
Having the feet slightly wider than shoulder width makes a big difference in the tension in the core as well, much better that way.
Possible variant: Mow the Lawn!
Stand upright and bring it laterally out to shoulder height, then swing down and arc back up to the opposite side. Watch the knees!
... pause ...
We just did the workout and added this move, and I again tried the Mow the Lawn movement as well. It's a lot more dynamic but it takes about twice as much room. Have to be careful not to smash the entertainment center... _________________ "It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop." -- Confucius, an early Everyday Systems pioneer
Joined: 12 Apr 2005 Posts: 5785 Location: Cambridge, MA
Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:59 pm Post subject:
This is a great move. Clear description, clear manual labor "precedent," and clearly physiologically beneficial, with a slightly difference muscular emphasis than the other moves. It's also a great reminder that actually sweeping floors is a great exercise that most of us opt out of most of the time in favor of vacuuming.
I actually have done this on and off over the years. I'm not sure why I haven't made it a regular. I think maybe simply because I'm doing too many regulars already and I'm just running out of time. But maybe I'll take one of my regulars off the rotation for a bit and try this one for a bit, if only for research -- it does have a very canonical ring to it.
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