My exercise routine


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As people who read my blog know, I am a Walter Camp Fanboi. Ever since I learned of the daily workout created by the”Father of American Football”, it has changed my life for the better in terms of fitness and health. That being said, though, I don’t think the workout itself is perfect. Some of the moves are dangerous, such as Camp’s version of the deep squat. The workout itself also neglects certain areas of the body, especially the abs.

I changed and added some more moves to the workout. Originally Camp designed two different routines with 12 moves each, which is why it is known as his Daily Dozen. If you combine both routines, there will be a total of 15 moves. In my routine, I added 3 more to make it 18.

Nevertheless my routine, just like Camp’s, takes no more than 15 minutes a day and still packs a punch. What I like about this routine is that it really can be done anywhere. Do you live in an apartment and don’t want to disturb your neighbors? No problem! There is no jumping or running involved, so you can workout in silence. Want to go outside to workout but hate the idea of going on the ground to do push-ups or sit-ups? No worries! This routine is standing only.

I have to admit that, due to my current schedule and living situation, I do this routine only once a day. This means I am not going to lose weight nor will I have a more athletic body anytime soon. However, I am still getting a lot of benefits from this routine just from doing one set alone:

  • I limber up my body which makes moving a lot easier.
  • I get a decent rush of endorphins because of the vigorous movements.
  • I also get a lot more energized.
  • My blood gets more oxygenated through the breathing.
  • Waste elimination is more efficient.
  • My baseline fitness is higher since I do a minimum amount of stretching, cardio, strength training, and balance. Of course, I burn more calories throughout the day.
  • Last , but not least, I am craving more exercise and I feel weird on the days that I skip. This means I am building a workout habit.

This is why I want to share this routine with you so that you also can gain the benefits I have gained.

There are ways that you can use this routine for weight-loss, but I want to show you the routine first for you to try out. On my next post, I will write a short article on suggestions on how to lose the fat. That being said, I think it is better that you do this routine once a day so that you also will crave more exercise.

The picture I put above is meant for you to download for your reference, however I still want to explain how to do each move properly. I know I am not a good artist, but I hope the picture is understandable enough. I will also post video links just in case my instructions are not clear enough for most of the exercises.

(Sorry if it looks a little ugly. I am no graphic designer by any means)

Before you start:

There are a couple of points I need to go over before you start learning the workout.

Pay attention to the breathing

In any exercise breathing is essential to maximize efficiency. So pay attention on when to inhale and when to exhale. However, there are a few exercises in which you can breath normally without thinking of when to breathe in or out.

Work within your limits

You made not be able to touch your toes or bend your torso in a certain direction. That’s fine. Just keep moving your body anyways, without getting your threshold of pain, and you will do fine. You will find that your body will naturally improve over time.

This also means take it slow if you need to do so. This workout is meant to be done daily, but if you would rather workout 3-6 times a week with a day or two for recovery then do so! You want to make sure your body is in tip-top condition and you don’t want to destroy it through both lack of and too much exercise.

Move as fast as comfortable

The main object of this workout is to energize, and not exhaust, you. The idea is to move fast enough to burn some calories and wake yourself up, but not so fast that you get exhausted or tired . . . unless you workout before you sleep.

Last, but not least, all the exercises will have the same repetitions. If you feel like you are out of shape, start with 6 reps. If you think you can handle more of a challenge, then start with 10.

The Workout Routine:

  1. The Step Jack

    This is basically a low-impact version of a jumping jack. If you cannot do a proper jumping jack, this is a good replacement. First stand with you arms on your side and feet together. Inhale. Exhale as you step out to one side as you swing your arms over your head. Inhale as you get back into the starting position. Exhale as you step to the other side. That is one count. You can see a proper step jack on this video.

  2. Stand like a soldier

    With your hands by your side and feet together. Keep your spine straight and stand as stiff as possible. Tense your entire body and hold for 10 seconds. Breathe normally.

  3. Hands behind head

    Stand with your feet together and your hands behind your head. Try to touch your elbows together. Tense your body for 10 seconds. Breathe normally.

  4. Hands on hips

    Stand with your feet together and your hands on your hips. Again try to touch your elbows together. Tense your body for 10 seconds. Breathe normally.

  5. Arm circles

    This is a simple one. Stand with your feet together and arms out to the sides. You have your palms face up, down, or facing to the sides. Circle your arms forward and then circle them back for the same number of reps. Breathe normally. Walter Camp called this “The Grate” and it is the first move on this video. 

  6. Arms over head lateral bend

    Stand with your feet together and arms at your sides. Inhale. Exhale as you raise your arm to the side and over your head, while bending to the opposite side. Inhale as you return to center. Then exhale and do the same to the other side. Each side is one count. Walter Camp called it “The Crawl” and it is the first move on this video

  7. Circles over the head

    With your feet together, put your hands above the head. You can put them in a prayer like position, clasp your fingers together like a fist, or interlace your fingers with the palm facing up. Then make circles over your head clockwise and the same number counterclockwise. Breathe normally. Camp called it “The Wave” and it is the first exercise on this video

  8. The Good Morning Move

    Stand with your feet together and put your hands behind your head. Tilt your head back and keep it that way for the entire duration of the exercise. Inhale and exhale as you bend forward. Inhale as you go up and exhale as you bend backwards. That is one count. Camp called this “The Grasp” and it is the third exercise on the video. 

  9. Standing Crunch

    With your feet together (notice a theme?) raise your arms above your head. Inhale. Exhale as you lower your arms to your sides and lift your knee up. Inhale as you return your arms back up and exhale as you lower your arms and lift the other knee. This video also added a slight bend in the upper back, which is a pretty good addition.

  10. Arm and ankle raise

    With your feet together, raise your arms to the sides. I usually have my palms face up. Inhale as you raise your ankles and your arms 45 degrees ups. Exhale as you lower your ankles and arms back into original position. Walter Camp calls this “The Grate” and it is the second exercise in this video. 

  11. Alternate Toe Touch and Lunge

    Now for a little change! This time stand with your feet double shoulder-width apart. Inhale. Exhale as you twist your body and have your hand touch the opposite feet. For example, have your right hand touch your left foot. Keep your back straight and make sure your head also twists with your torso. Also, as you touch your opposite foot, lunge towards that foot by straightening the other leg. For example, when your right hand is touching your left foot, straighten your right leg and bend your left. Inhale as you return back up and then do the opposite to make it one count. Walter Camp called it “The Weave” and is the second exercise in this video. The man does the move differently than I do, so give his version a try as well to see if you prefer his way over mine.

  12. “The Curl”

    I am using Walter Camp’s term for this as I don’t have a better one. This is the most “difficult” exercise on this list only because there are a lot of steps to this. Once you do the moves a few times, it will become a lot easier. Here’s how I do this move. Stand with your feet together and arms out to the sides with your palms facing up. Inhale as you squeeze your biceps. Keep squeezing your biceps until you touch your shoulders. Then, look up as you raise your ankles. Lower your ankles and shoot your arms out like spears as you exhale. Inhale as you move your arms back to the sides (palms facing down) and then up over your head. Then exhale as you swiftly bend forward, look up, and swing your arms to the back with your hands bent at your wrist in an “L” fashion. Take your time learning this one. The exercise is the second one in this video. It is slightly different from mine, but it will give you a better idea on how to do it.

  13. The Squat

    This is simple enough. Have your feet shoulder-width apart. Inhale. Exhale as you bend your knees with your arms out. Keep your back straight. Make sure your knees do not go over your toes and stick your butt out. Watch this video for a demonstration.

  14. “The Wing”

    The Wing is similar to exercise 12, the Curl. All you have to do is stand with your feet together and with your hands at your sides, palms down. Inhale and raise your arms in the air. Exhale as you bend forward and bending your wrists in an “L” fashion. The exercise is the third one demonstrated in this video.

  15. Head Rolls

    Stand with feet together and roll your head to one side a number of times then do the same to the other side. Breathe normally and it is best done slowly. Here is a good video to learn the proper technique.

  16. Shoulder Rolls

    Stand with your feet together. Move your shoulders up, forward, down and back for a certain number of times. Then up, back, down, and forward for the same number. Breathe normally. Here is a good video demonstration.

  17. Knee Circles

    With your feet together, keep your back straight and bend at the hips and knees. Put your hand on your knees and then rotate them a certain number of times one way and a certain number the other way. Breathe normally. You can see how it is done in this video.

  18. X-Down

    There is no actual video of this exercise, and this is an interpretation of the move Camp called “The Wing”. Either way, this is how I do the exercise. Stand with your feet together. Put your arms in front of your abdomen and form an “X” with the wrists in the middle. Inhale as you raise the X above your head. Exhale as you quickly separate the arms and put them back to your sides. I like to do the half the repetitions with the right wrist over the left wrist and then the other half with the left wrists over the right one.

That’s my daily calisthenics workout. I hope you try it out and see if you like it. Make sure you listen to your body and be gentle on yourself. Like I said, this workout alone won’t help you lose weight or gain muscles. However, on my next post I am going to give some ideas on how to do so using this calisthenics routine.

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