Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wipe That Smile Off Your Face

Contrary to the title above, this post is not about how I am mean to my clients. Instead, it's about learning a new exercise.

I've been obsessed with something called "the wiper" for awhile now, ever since I saw a photo of it in Women's Health and they actually had to print a note that the move was so difficult that they used Photoshop to fake it.

So for a long time, I just assumed that no one could do a hanging wiper.

Then, not long ago, it suddenly seemed like everyone could do it. Seriously, one week about a month ago, every day I was in the gym, I would see some dude hoist himself up onto the pull-up bars and start doing wipers.

Well, I realized that this goal actually was achievable, even for someone as bottom heavy as me.

I began to work on it as a progression. First I did leg lifts on the captain's chair at work. Starting with bent knees, I worked my way up to doing them with straight legs.

Then I started working with raising my legs while hanging on my the handy chin-up bar I mounted in the doorway to my bedroom. That kills your abs. Then I had a weird realization: For some reason, it's easier to get your legs up if you are in a half-chin-up. I don't know why , but when I contract my biceps to hold myself up, I can get my legs into just the right position for the wiper.

Currently, I can do about two "wipes" across the windshield, and my legs are not what you would call perfectly straight, but it's fun to realized that an exercise that was "impossible" is actually quite possible.


Lisa said...

The reason you can raise your legs up when you're in the half-pull-up is because of the muscles activated to keep you in that pull-up. The pull-up requires all those core stabilizers to fire. Your back muscles, abdominals, hip girdle and shoulder stabilizers are all on to execute the pull-up. Because of that activation, the quads and hip-flexor group are active, thereby making it easier to lift those legs. Perfect example of teamwork.
This is a hard exercise! Rock on, Girlfriend!

Miriam said...

Thanks, Lisa!