Well, we’ve all heard the expression that “all new is just well forgotten old” and this article can surely prove it. These exercises were discovered centuries or even thousands of years ago and are still highly effective. If you think about it, back in ancient times, people had no time to mess around, they needed to become faster, stronger, and fitter just to survive. That’s why they had to come up with something seriously functional, efficient, and powerful to improve their physique.
Bright Side did a little research and believes that our readers will find this very interesting and maybe even decide to practice some of these exercises and techniques. (Maybe not with the bull one). Make sure that you check out the bonuses too.
Gada Mace has been known in India for over 2,000 years and is used for warrior training. Originally made of clay, stone, or cement with a bamboo pole in the center, it looks like a massive lollipop and is unbeatable for developing a good grip, as well as upper body strength and power. This explains why it’s still used by wrestlers. If you can swing this thing around your head, throwing an opponent should be a piece of cake.
2. The half-moon push up
This exercise has a very deep past, but is still considered to be very effective for building strength and mobility. Perhaps that’s why many wrestlers and jiu-jitsu participants include it into their regular training regimen.
- Start on your feet and hands, with your knees bent into an almost sitting position
- Lowering your body, pull yourself through your hands, turning your knees to the right.
- When your chest gets in line with your shoulders, start turning your knees to the left.
- When your chest gets in line with your shoulders again, start pushing yourself back to the initial position.
The entire move should be very smooth and go in one motion creating a semi-circle across the floor.
3. The archer squat
This exercise is excellent for improving your balance and lower back flexibility.
- Start standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Raise your right foot slightly so your weight is on your heel.
- The left foot should be standing firmly.
- Start lowering yourself, bending your left knee, and keeping your right knee straight.
- You can extend your right arm to the side (this is optional).
- Once you reach the lowest point that you can get to without any discomfort in your lower back or knees, return to the starting position.
- Repeat on the other side.
4. Hindu squats
Another exercise that has been practiced for centuries is called Hindu squats.
- Start standing with your feet hip-width apart.
- Begin to squat, putting all your weight on your toes, keeping your back straight, looking forward, and ensuring that your knees slightly go over your toes.
- Lower yourself until you can touch the floor, and remember that you should be squatting, not bending forward.
- Swing your arms up and use the momentum to start extending from your knees and hips and return to the initial position.
5. Farmers walk
You’ve probably seen someone doing this exercise. It’s called the farmers walk. It may look simple, but it is actually very effective for building strength, since it activates the muscles in your entire body and also creates a mental toughness. You probably didn’t know that this exercise was the gift to us from the Vikings. They were very heavily armed, and to carry all those weapons, shields, and other metal stuff, they had to be really strong.
- Grab weights according to your personal strength.
- Walk 10 steps, look forward, keep your back straight, and engage your core.
- Walk back to the starting position.
- Repeat 3 times.
6. The “300” Workout
The 300 workout is used these days a lot, especially by actors when they need to change their look in a short time, but not everyone knows that this program has been around for centuries, in fact, it came to us from the Spartans. It’s brutal and highly effective. Practice it twice a week and you will transform your body into not just being skinnier, but being more fit and athletic too. Take a one-minute rest after each exercise.
- Pullups — 25 reps
- Barbell Deadlifts — 50 reps
- Pushups — 50 reps
- Box Jumps — 50 reps
- Floor Wipers — 50 reps
- Single-Arm Clean-and-Press with Kettlebell — 50 reps
- Pullups — 25 reps
If you count the number of reps, you will know why it’s called the 300-workout.
Bonus 1: Tip 1 from ancient Greece
Fitness in ancient Greece was an important part of their culture and basically essential for all people. In those days they already had professional trainers whose job it was to design a training routine for people of different levels and ages. The programs varied in intensity, but all of them had these must-have stages — warm-up, workout, and cool-down. Sounds so familiar, doesn’t it? Those 3 stages are crucial, no matter what you are trying to achieve — to change your body’s shape, build strength, or increase stamina.
Bonus 2: Tip 2 from ancient Greece
Ancient Greece was known for growing terrific athletes. But one guy, named Milo of Croton, had a dream to become the best of the best and he came up with a very special training program. At a very young age, he started training by carrying a newborn calf. In the beginning, it was a little calf, but as Milo was getting stronger, the calf was growing bigger.
Years later, Milo was able to carry a fully-grown bull on his shoulders. Of course, we will never know if this story is just a myth or if there is some truth to it, but it perfectly describes what we call a progressive overload these days.
What do you think about these tips and exercises? Are you ready to give it a go? Tell us about your thoughts in the comments and share this article with your friends.
Illustrated by Ekaterina Gapanovich and Marat Nugumanov for Bright Side