7/27/2010

Do you love Star Wars? It's Jedi Junkies week and you'll get your Star Wars fix right here. Come come back every day for posts that will make you laugh, think and enjoy the movie you love.
Part 3 of  7

Are you looking to get fit and wield a lightsaber at the same time? Then, check out the "Jedi Workout."

It's been featured on the Today Show and G4. It was started in New York by a Star Wars fan with the nickname "Master Flynn", 38. The workout started in 2005 after he staged a fight with lightsabers at a Halloween parade in New York's Greenwich Village. It started there and spread like wildfire.

Size Matters Not
Flynn says that about one-third of the participants in New York groups are women. "I've seen people lose anywhere from 30 to 50 pounds," he says.

Joe Shumaker, 23, lost 60 pounds since he joined "New York Jedi." "I feel a tremendous difference - I'm physically stronger, I can run without getting winded," he said. "I started going to the class for fun and for a great atmosphere, I definitely didn't expect this kind of weight loss."

"I was never into 'Star Wars,' but I grew to appreciate through what I was doing in the class," she said. "I'm more confident now, and I feel like I stand taller and straighter," she said. "I have more definition in my arms and legs, and the fact that I look good makes me feel good."

You can learn more about it after the jump.


The Force is With You
So, how can you get involved? You can log onto the Saberwars Forum to find a training class near you. If you don't have one near you, and most cities don't, you can still workout using the Jedi Workout from AskMen.

Cardio
  • Force jumps (Thigh and legs) - Force jumps are performed in a similar manner to the Earthly version of squat jumps. What you'll want to do is crouch down as low down to the ground as possible, placing your hands between your legs in front of you and then blast off into the air as high as you can. Upon landing, immediately move back into the crouch position -- make sure you absorb the impact with your ankles and knees, and land as gently and quietly as possible -- and perform the bound again. Try and work your way up to doing 15 of these
  • Hyperspace holds (Abdominal and back) - This exercise is executed in a similar manner to the cable pulley exercises performed on Earth. You want to attach a handle to a low cable rope to begin. Then, keeping your knees slightly bent so you are firmly planted on the floor, raise the arm that's holding the handle straight out in front of you. When it reaches about 90 degrees, lower your arm back again to complete one rep. After doing about 10 reps, start raising the arm to the side of your body, complete 10 reps this way and then finally repeat the process only raising to the back. Once that arm is finished then you move on and do the same movement with the other arm.
  • Lightsaber pulls (Triceps) - Tridactyl hops take the idea from the mundane burst run only it applies the same force to jumping up and down in small hops instead of running. The movement is comparable to skipping rope and will really get your heart rate up. Try and focus on keeping your arms locked in place by your sides while turning the rope -- don't flail your arms around and make sure you keep your shoulders down, don't let them creep up  by your ears. Hop over the rope each time it crosses under you, practice speeding up the rotation as you get better.
  • Tridactyl hops (Speed and dexterity) - Tridactyl hops take the idea from the mundane burst run only it applies the same force to jumping up and down in small hops instead of running. The movement is comparable to skipping rope and will really get your heart rate up. Try and focus on keeping your arms locked in place by your sides while turning the rope -- don't flail your arms around and make sure you keep your shoulders down, don't let them creep up  by your ears. Hop over the rope each time it crosses under you, practice speeding up the rotation as you get better.
  • Space slug boosts (Lower back) - Try and do these as you would the common human exercise known as the deadlift. As this is a core lift you want to use as heavy a weight as possible to really challenge your body and work within the rep range of five to eight reps.

    Start by placing the barbell directly in front of you with your feet about shoulder width apart. From there, bend over with the knees slightly bent and place hands on the bar using an overhand grip. Next, when you're ready, lift the body up so you are in a standing position holding the barbell in front of you as steadily as possible.
  • Rancor stops (Chest and triceps) - This exercise greatly resembles a clap push-up. Begin in a regular push-up position, with your legs directly behind you and your body held as straight as possible off the ground. Once you've lowered yourself to the ground, you then want to use all your force and push yourself upwards and off the ground as high as possible so you can clap your hands underneath your body before landing once again on the palms of your hands. Once you've landed, move back down into the push-up position and repeat the process.
The following moves are done with a lightsaber, but you can use a broomstick or a dowel rod.
 
Basic hits 
  • Rebound - Swords cross flat blade against flat blade and bounce back.
  • Follow-through - At a 45 degree angle, the blade skid off each other and return.
  • Lock -  Cross swords together and push against each other before bouncing back.
Advanced Moves
You'll have to watch the videos for these. Master Flynn has a series of moves he calls the 8s, 6s and 5s.
    What are you waiting for? You're never too old to be begin the training. If you want to learn more about the amazing man who created this exercise and the choreography group "New York Jedi" watch Jedi Junkies for an exclusive interview with "Master Flynn" himself.

    If you love Star Wars, then you'll love the fan documentary Jedi Junkies. It's filled with stories about extreme fans of Star Wars that will make you laugh, think and fall in love with the movie all over again. Buy or rent it from Amazon today! Plus, come back on Monday (August 2, 2010) for a major contest where you can win one of two copies of the film!

    Would you be more motivated to exercise if you were using a lightsaber?

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