Every year in the fall (for the last four years), we go to a beautiful place in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts where we spend a week with a group of our artist friends painting, laughing, eating s'mores, stuff like that. Aside from the s'mores (which are terrible for you on the physical plane, but the absolute peak of health food on the fun plane), we keep it pretty healthy. It's good to get away from your usual fitness routine here and there and give your body a break. Too much of the same exercise for too long without a change tends to create tendon soreness that just sort of lingers on and on. So here are some exercises if you ever find yourself with only an old New England barn and a bunch of friends as your equipment.
Pull Ups are a good exercise to start with. They mostly work your upper back, biceps, and rear deltoids. Keeping these muscle groups strong and toned is important in holding up good posture as well as creating an athletic V-shape to the upper body. Any exercise that requires you to pull weights (rows, bicep curls, etc.) fits into this category.
Demonstrating Pull Ups, left to right: Anthony Palumbo, Justin Gerard, Marc Scheff, David Palumbo, and Winona Nelson. Standing by are Dave Seeley, Dena Obeza, and Arkady Roytman.
Next is Push Ups. Push Ups are the perfect "opposite" exercise for Pull Ups. They work chest, tricep, and front deltoid muscles. Any exercise that requires you to push against weight (bench press, shoulder press, etc.) fits into this category.
Boris is demonstrating Push Ups for us here. He didn't have any s'mores while he was at the barn, preferring to save himself for his favorite snack, Suzy's Flatbreads.
Moving on to a great leg exercise, we have Jumping Lunges. Start in a lunging position and jump straight up, switching the position of your legs. At the top of the jump, tighten your knees and quadriceps. This exercise is great for overall strengthening and toning of the legs as well as working on your balance. If you do this exercise with respect for your knees and don't lunge too low, you'll strengthen your knees and keep them healthy.
Justin Gerard is demonstraging Jumping Lunges for us. He was thinking of the Silver Surfer when he was doing this.
And when it's time to wind down, pick a partner and make some swords out of tin foil. Exercise is so fun!
Anthony Palumbo and Winona Nelson are demonstrating their fencing skills here.