Posts Tagged ‘Longstrength’

Nordic Walking by definition is “Panaerobic”…some estimate that 90% of one’s musculature is involved. Whatever the amount Dr. Schwartz defined it as basically any movement activating all 4 limbs and as much muscle as possible.

It’s a nice alternate day exercise for me – I find it works well doing HeavyHands one day and this the next. HeavyHands really works the shoulders and “lifting” muscles. As the arms go overhead they really get the heart pumping. 

Nordic walking works in a slightly  different way, moves the “lifting muscles” of the arm and shoulder with light resistance and gives more work to the muscles required to “push off” as the body is propelled forward.

What Nordic walking ISN’T is a Longstrength exercise. By Schwartz’ definition they were rhythmic calesthenics that involved all limbs and can be done for time, not just “reps”.

I also don’t like the lack of hip and quad action that upright walking alone gives. That’s where a Nordic Longstrength move comes in for me. 

Basically while standing with arms front, I keep my arms ahead (usually more straight than shown) and sink back into a hip hinge. The return to standing is by a movement that resembles a kettlebell swing, i.e. a hip thrust while – to one degree or another – using the lat muscles to pull upright as well.

It’s a great posterior chain exercise and lat exercise. I got the idea from “gruntbrain” and his poles with “T” handles and from kettlebell swinging. 

Though it can be done as a braced knee bend, in my opinion the hip hinge and lat action keep it quick paced and easier on the knees. 

Currently I use it to fill in gaps on the walk when I’d otherwise be inactive for some reason or if my path on a given day might not have much up hill work.

Now that I’ve found my “groove” in the exercise (doing it as a hip hinge instead of a squat made it faster and more enjoyable), it’s time to ramp up some reps and see how they go.

What other Longstrength exercises do you see as possible using Nordic Walking Poles?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!


This is a good example of the Squat Assisted Pull Up (or Squat Pull) using playground equipment.

Though the author Ed Pierini offers some suggestions, those wishing to use them as a “panaerobic” exercise in the way suggested by Dr. Schwartz might do them for timed continuous reps (working up to 15 minutes or more) or even as ”intervals” such as 30 seconds of as many reps as possible alternated with 30 seconds active rest. That combination might be repeated 10 or more times.

Dr. Schwartz also envisioned these being done at a “Pan-X” device (patented as a “Strength-endurance exercise apparatus
US 4932653 A”) where it was possible to move from this exercise after 2 minutes to other exercises using as much overall muscle tissue as possible (not isolation exercises done in a “Circuit”).

HeavyHands DuckWalk

HeavyHands DuckWalk

What speed should you use with Panaerobics – whether HeavyHands, Longstrength, or IsoTonoMetrics? The books of Dr. Schwartz are helpful in this regard – to a point.

He describes working at various rates – all which seem rather fast paced. It could even seem like this suggested speed of motion could not be done while maintaining strict control of the handweights. Dr. Schwartz would have argued against using the weights without full control. It’s worth noting that the highest speeds were done using weights in the one to three pound range,  not the heavier weights normally shown when Dr. Schwartz posed for exercise pictures… some estimate them as about 8 pounds.

His videos – both of “HeavyHands” and “Wholebody Fitness for Seniors” may give a better feel for the range of speeds at which Panaerobics might be pursued.

In those videos as arm motions are counted, the number of repetitions is about 1 per second and, of course, a whole body motion is involved, not just arm motions.

Of course, Dr. Schwartz spoke about “slowaerobics”… movements as few as 10 per minute which could be included in a routine as part of a strength building phase within the larger workout.

Exercise fans coming to Panaerobics from a background of weight training, calisthenics, or “dynamic tension” who see the “120 reps per minute” as strange or unrealistic based on their past experience may unconsciously find themselves gravitating towards slower movements that may not be able to produce the desired cardio response.

Some general advice for people in transition may be to take the following steps to insure a genuine “panaerobic” response while protecting oneself from going too fast:

1) Never use a weight that cannot be fully controlled… when in doubt reduce the weight.

2) When in doubt think in terms of a hand weight, panaerobic bodyweight move, or ISO handclasp that can be done at the rate of 60 repetitions per minute for either an extended period of time or using intervals

3) If at all possible, workout to one of Dr. Schwartz’ exercise videos and attempt to mirror his pace and actions if it can be done comfortably.

All three suggestions can be helpful, but perhaps the last one is best. By modeling Dr. Schwartz directly, ideas about proper pace are perhaps most easily answered.  Pace learned through one form of Panaerobics will likely carry over well to other forms of exercise advocated by Dr. S.

Image Courtesy Suppeversity Blog

Suppversity is a brilliant blog to read… Here’s one of their latest articles on fatburning you should read for yourself:

HIIT or LISS – A Question of Efficacy? High Intensity Interval Training Kickstarts Fatty Acid Oxidation & Metabolism to Make Up for the Higher Energy Exp. During LISS in 24h

It’s not only worth reading, but thinking through in light of Dr. Leonard Schwartz’ philosophy of Panaerobics because – as you know – Dr. Schwartz approved of and encouraged the use of intervals and brief workouts, but NOT in the ways they are conceived in light of the modern discussions about “High Intensity Interval Training” and total exercise time.

(Just so we’re all on the same page “HIIT”, again, stands for High Intensity Interval Training. “END” stands for “endurance training” which for this study’s purposes are the same as “LISS” = “Low Intensity Steady State” exercise.)