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Looking for a new way to improve your running or overall fitness but can't spend the money or time to go to the gym? Here is a routine that you can do at home recommended to me by Al Sapa, a successful high school coach in Wisconsin who uses these exercises with his athletes. Al recommends Javorek Dumbbell Complex Conditioning as a great weight-room alternative for distance runners in particular who may feel intimidated but desperately need some form of muscular conditioning.

According to Istvan Jarvorek, a Romanian born strength coach who developed Dumbbell and Barbell Complex Conditioning, "the main purposes for these exercises were to figure out an easier way to do an exercise complex which would change the monotony of a workout and at the same time have a greater influence on the neuro-muscluar and osteo-muscular system."

In a nutshell, the Jarvorek Dumbbell Complex requires non-stop lifting of very light weights , cycling through a series of exercises that recruit major muscle groups. The routines may look easy, but even 2# and 3# dumbbells will be difficult for most beginners.

Javorek stresses the following: perfect body posture, full range of motion, perfect technique of execution, and stable rhythm of execution. Al recommends starting with 2 or 3 pound dumbbells. Here are the exercises used in Dumbbell Complex I:

  • Dumbbell Upright Row X 6 reps
  • Dumbbell High Pull Snatch X 6 reps
  • Dumbbell Squat Push Press X 6 reps
  • Dumbbell Bent Over Row X 6 reps
  • Dumbbell High Pull Snatch X 6 reps

The idea is to perform these exercises in non-stop, continuous order. Start with 1 set, increasing to 2-3 sets as you get stronger. For even greater stimulation increase the number of repetitions up to 12 each set or increase the weight. Finally you can use more advanced routines developed by Jarvorek.

As with all forms of training, consistency proper technique, and progression are important keys for optimal results.

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