This leads me to what I want to discuss with you today, one of my all-time favorite full body routines that combines the lightning pace and heart thumping action of cardiovascular exercise with hard hitting plyometric and functional strength, along with some stability and balance.
The Savvy Pirate
Alright everyone, let me introduce you to my routine I call The Savvy Pirate.
The Ergometer (Rowing Machine)
The first portion of this routine involves using an Ergometer (or Rowing Machine.)
Using an interval style training mode, begin at an easy pace to warm up the muscles and get some blood pumping through your body.
After 2 minutes, crank up your intensity (without sacrificing the rowing form: Core tight, back straight, drive through the legs and finish the motion with a mighty row) starting with 30 seconds and gradually building up to an entire minute, followed by reeling back your intensity.
Follow this format for 5 minutes, increasing your time spent up to 20 minutes.
The Heavy Bag
Next up, it’s time to throw some punches and kicks. Unfortunately, you may not have access to a heavy bag. Fortunately, everything can be done via shadow boxing. But, let’s work under the assumption for this article that you do in fact have access to a heavy bag (I would advise having some kind of covering for your hands with wrist support; be it knuckle wraps, boxing gloves, or striking gloves.)
This exercise will be done in rounds.
Start off with 4 rounds, 2 rounds of punches and 2 rounds of kicks.
Each round will last for 1 minute.
During your punching round, it will be divided into two 30 second rounds. Keep one foot forward, this will be your jabbing side as the amount of power you can generate is diminished by the off-centered stance. Your side with the foot back, will be your power side, or “Cross.”
Start simple, 2 jabs and 1 cross. Concentrate on alternating between head level blows, and torso level blows. Once you feel confident enough with your strikes, you can transition your punching rounds into free style, alternating as you please between punches.
Your kicking rounds will also be broken into two separate sections of 30 seconds, left and right side.
Again, stand off-center; your kicking leg will be your back leg. Turn into your kick, torqueing your body. Bring your knee up high and turn your hips over so you can strike the bag with the lower part of your shin. Point your toes and avoid contact with the ankle, top of the foot, and toes.
Once 4 rounds come easier to you, start adding in 1 extra round of punches and kicks.
No bag? No problem! Follow the same routine but shadow box it out.
Stability and Balance
The next part of this routine will work your balance and stability. If you are a beginner to balance, follow a simple regimen of side leg lifts and reverse leg lifts, maintaining a straight position and keeping your core tight perform up to 20 repetitions going both ways.
If your skill level allows you, instead, perform squats on the flat side of a BOSU ball and practice balancing on one foot on the BOSU. Work up to these by first learning to balance on the BOSU.
Advancing beyond that, while balancing 1 foot on the BOSU, perform side leg lifts and reverse leg lifts.
So there you have it, one of my very own killer routines. I had the fortunate opportunity to resurrect this one and used it myself. It delivers the full body blasting that I remember so fondly.
Why the Savvy Pirate you might wonder?
Well, every sailor worth their salt can row a boat, knows how to fight, and can balance on sea legs like they were born with them. Oh, also, it never hurts to be savvy.