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The TV Workout

Now there's no Excuse

Legal Mumbo Jumbo - the routine described below is one I personally use, and is not meant to be a suggested exercise routine for the general public. Do not attempt any of the exercises below without proper instructional supervision, experience, nor without clearance from your doctor. 


People often make excuses about not being able to workout. Sometimes these are the same people who go home after work and sit in front of their TV all evening watching show after show. I'm convinced that these are often the same people who can't picture themselves working out 30-60 minutes non-stop, but if there were a way to break down a workout routine into smaller bit sized pieces, in periodic 3 minutes increments spread throughout the evening, couldn't they handle that? Would it be possible to design a workout routine that way?


Well, Bill Wallace has said in magazines and seminars that he prefers to do seated chinese splits while watching TV. He's said that doing so in front of the TV is one of the safest and easiest ways to enjoy stretching, and to make the time pass easily. He prefers the seated split, versus the traditional standing chinese split, which he says puts too much stress on the hip and knee joint, and can cause alot of joint problems later in life.


A couple of years ago I realized that if a person took his TV stretching routine one step further, they could do a basic striking workout too, and not miss their favorite TV show while doing so. 


All TV shows typically have at least (4) 3 minute commercial breaks per hour, some have more. So here's a workout routine that I've done for years during commercials 


When a show starts I sit on the floor and do the Wallace-type seated Chinese Splits. Every 30-60 seconds I press both palms on the floor close to my outer hip, so I can left my rear, then I push one heel out 1-2 inches further, increasing the width of that split. I keep doing that until the first commercial break.


1. By the time the first commercial break comes around, I'm about as loosened up as I'm going to be. So I take what for me is my hardest kick to do (the roundhouse), and I do 10 front leg roundhouses on each leg as fast as I can.


2. Next, I hold onto a chair or countertop, and I do 30-50 non-stop front leg roundhouse kicks (called a spin kick here in Texas) on each leg (avg about 2-3 per second)


It shouldn't take more than 2 minutes to go through number 1&2 without pause. Then I sit back down into the seated chinese split and get ready to watch my show.


3. At the next commercial break I do my sidekicks. I do 10 on each leg as fast as I can, then I do 30 non-stop on each leg while holding onto a chair or countertop. Then I sit back down in the seated chinese splits to watch my show, spending half the time til the next commercial break doing the seated chinese split, and the other half doing hamstring stretches.


4. On the 3rd commercial break I do 5 front leg front kicks, and 5 rear leg front kicks, on each leg. This goes very quick for me, less than 30 seconds. After this, I do 10 backfists per hand, and 10 jabs per hand, then back into the seated chinese split to watch my show. 


5. On the 4th commercial break I do 10 on each side of the ridgehand, reverse punch, hook, and uppercut.


If it's only 1 hour worth of TV, then I'm done and I've completed a simplified workout that covers the main kicks and hand techniques in most martial arts styles. If its a 2 hr TV movie, or back to back good shows, then I might add other kicks or the following.


6. 2nd Hour, 1st commercial, I do 10 upperblocks, 10 downward blocks, 10 inside blocks, and 10 outside blocks, per arm. Yes, you can get all that done in 3 minutes!


7. 2nd Hour, additional commercials, I'll work on whatever else I like.


Sometimes there are other things I add into all this, that I like to call my own little mix of secret exercises that I've found help my kicking and punching speed. So what are those exercises? Well, if you want to know that stuff, you gotta be one of my students ;-)


Whether your waiting on commercials, the microwave, something cooking on the stove, your significant other is getting ready, or you're on hold with some call center, if you've got a minute or two then there's time to do some punches and kicks.


If you've been out of the martial arts for awhile, and just can't seem to motivate yourself to get back into it, maybe a TV workout with these 3 minute bursts can get you back into the groove of things. But as mentioned earlier, don't design or attempt to begin one without either the proper supervision, experience, nor without a physician's clearance.


You can make excuses or you can train, but you can't do both. Good luck

Mann's Martial Arts - Dallas | 10675 E. Northwest Hwy., Ste. 2600, Dallas, Texas 75238 | [email protected] | 214-579-4682