Children have always loved swinging on the monkey bars. This movement is called brachiating - think of swinging through the trees. Most people have forgotten about swinging from their hands and using their upper body and shoulders to build incredible strength. Our modern lifestyle has removed the need to climb and carry heavy loads. Now our bodies are paying the price. We have increased osteoporosis, osteopenia, and sarcopenia, as well as shoulder and back problems which can be attributed to weakness in the muscles and joints, and inability to balance. We need to get back to our roots and how we were designed to move to develop our upper body; this includes our children, too! The configuration of the human shoulder was created for hanging and swinging in trees, as our hunter and gathering ancestors used their climbing abilities to collect honey and fruit, to escape from predators, or look for wild game. Science indicates that swinging, hanging, and climbing are important for proper development of the shoulder, as well as strengthening our back muscles which may alleviate many issues people have in these areas of the body. We should make it part of our daily movement regime.
Our children learn by example. I can't stress the importance of this enough! Role model caring about your health and wellness. Make on-going movement throughout each day an important part of your life. We find being outside and using nature for our workouts just makes staying fit so much more enjoyable. It doesn't even seem like exercise...just having fun, enjoying nature, the outdoors, and being together! Your entire family may find this to be a wonderful way to implement more quality time together, too! You'll all get a superior workout climbing and swinging from branches.
Tree Hanging Leg Raises:
Want to turn your abs into steel and improve your shoulder and back strength? Hanging Leg Raises done from a tree is one of our favorite workouts! Start out slowly. Begin to hang and brachiate a few times a week, working towards a daily session of about 6 to 10 minutes. You can install a pull-up bar in your home to make life a bit easier. Or, go to the local playground and use the monkey bars! Your children will love this, too! I like to hang from a branch and slowly raise straight legs up to touch the branch between my hands. Then slowly bring my legs back to make a 90 degree/right angle and hold my legs in this position while continuing to engage my abdominal muscles. Then bring my legs back down where I'm hanging and allowing my shoulders and back muscles to gain great strength and mobility. Eventually, work towards one arm hangs. Remember, take it slow and don't be discouraged. Be sure to check with your physician before attempting any new exercise program.
Time to start hangin' around! You'll find muscles you never knew existed and enjoy the great benefits from building up your entire upper body. Let us know how you're doing! Thank you for stopping by our website!
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