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HIIT Bodyweight Workouts and Counter Movement

Written by Chris Corrales

February 16, 2019

If your health and time are important to you I hope you’re implementing some sort of HIIT training. That’s short for work hard and get hella tired fast, then enjoy the rest of your day.

If you haven’t heard of HIIT, click here.

I’m a martial artist. For us, every exchange is high intensity interval training. We’ve been feeling the benefits of the HIIT style of exercise forever along with developing the many skills that come along with the turf.

Martial arts are awesome because of the natural embedded skills and talents that are transferable way beyond the martial circle. They’re the original mind/body training.

One new trend that was born more from Brazilian Jiu-jitsu than any other martial art in the modern day is solo movement. It’s about muscle and joint mobility, strength, awareness, timing and rhythm. The movements will often mimic animals. Here are some of my favs:

  • On my trip to Rio de Janiero in 1996 I studied under Alvaro Romano. He’s world famous for training many jiu-jitsu world champions. His advanced classes were filled with pro surfers, bodyboarders, volleyball players, soccer players, etc. With Romano’s Ginastica Natural my jiu-jitsu excelled, because my body awareness, and movement ability sky rocketed.
  • Ido Portal is doing some really good work. He exploded onto the scene as Connor McGregor’s movement coach.
  • Recently I’ve been watching Cameron Shane and really, really like his stuff. He calls his style of “Mixed Movement Arts” Budokan and he trains some of the best martial artists in the world, one being Rafael Lovato Jr.
  • Check out too.

Like I said, I did Ginastica Natural over 20 years ago for only about 2 months, ever since it’s been at the top of my list but the back of my mind. In 1996 when I returned from Brazil I was depressed because America, let alone San Diego (which is now the Mecca of Jiu-jitsu had only 2 schools) only had a handful of schools. We definitely didn’t have this unique and important movement. The cool thing about Romano’s classes was that it wasn’t centered around martial arts, martial artists were not his primary students, they came from all walks of life. The 3D variations made body interested people better at what they did, even if it was just life.

It’s the body, it’s movement, it’s health, it’s human performance, life quality, self-development, connection. The diversity of people who’d come into Romano’s classes was inspiring. Brazilians “got it.” It’s our turn.

With my background in bodywork I see movement as a high form of self-care that compliments fluid movement and stretching for recovery. It’s helped me out of symptoms like pain and numbness so I’m a huge proponent.

What I want to add from an integrative bodywork perspective is a greater focus on the therapeutic value of movement. It’s really a form of self-massage, to me much more effective than the popular but less effective Foam Roller.

In Structural Integration one of the main concepts is to get “length” in the front of the body. I’d add to that, not only the importance of length but also its opposite, contraction. I’m a big believer in developing a full range of movement. That if we want to live feeling our best we should be able to preform our best and to do that we should cultivate greater connection to the end ranges of motion, and everything in between.

I call this Counter Movement.

For instance, “bad posture or proximating the fetal position comes pretty natural for all of us, but it’s opposite (spinal extentsion as in a back bend) is something most of us can’t do and only a few of us are able to. Currently, I can’t. Because of this lack we’re missing out on a whole lot of goodness, not only physical but chemical, mental, and emotional as well.

One of my goals for this year is to land a backflip straight away. To me the backflip is so important that I’m working on creating a movement system based on it.

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On my journey there, I’m adding small but consistent bodyweight movements to my day. This is my everyday HIIT. Hey, even though I’m 42 I’m focused on being better than I was in 20 years, actually in 40 years.

I encourage everyone to do some type of bodyweight exercise and counter movements from your daily norm, they’re simple, they can be done anywhere.

Have some physical goals and on the way there get really tired in a small window of time.

Thanks for reading, I hope it’s helpful, and feel free to keep up with me on Facebook and Instagram I post videos of my progress there and more about the concept.


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