Last updated on March 26th, 2020 at 12:26 pm
How could we have a Star Wars themed week and not have a Yoda workout?
The answer is: we couldn’t.
I was a little hesitant to begin doing Star Wars’ character workouts considering they’re in a bit of a different playing field than what we’re used to, but I think we can try.
Although, in the wise words of Yoda:
Do or do not. There is no try.
So I guess we’re actually going to just do it.
That might be in the wise words of either Nike or Shia LaBeouf this time…
Weight: 28 lbs.
Real Name: Yoda
Remember when I said Ahsoka Tano seemed extremely tall?
Now you know why.
Vegeta were tied Wolverine for the shortest spot among comic characters we’ve seen at 5’3, prior to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles coming in at 5’2, (and Gimli even shorter) – but Damian Wayne (Robin) is only 5’4. Goku isn’t that tall either, though, standing only 5’7, with Miles Moralesonly an inch above him.
We’ve had Superman and Eddie Brock’s Venom at 6’3, and Captain America, Scorpion and Batman at 6’2, and Carnage at 6’1. Thor and Cyborg are towering over them at 6’6, Thanos and King right there with them at 6’7, Bane at 6’8, and Deathstroke right below at 6’5, and Black Manta at 6’4.
But, don’t worry if you’re not the same height or weight range.
We write these routines to be utilized by anyone and everyone.
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Yoda Diet and Nutrition
**Keep in mind: this section will be nearly identical for each hero, unless I mentioned differently (for example someone like Hellboy may get something specifically different)**
Every hero needs to still have a good diet.
Unfortunately we can train like them, but I don’t think any of us are suddenly getting their powers, or the ability to magically stop caring about nutrition.
You can’t out train your diet, so I want to still give some pillars for nutrition.
You can start by checking out The Nutrition Pillars on the site, but I’ll break down some more information for you guys as well.
Guys like Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart incorporate 80/20 dieting with big weekly cheat meals, Hugh Jackman, Tom Hopper, Benedict Cumberbatch and Terry Crews utilize intermittent fasting (something I use daily as well), Ariana Grande, Mustafa Shakir and Madelaine Petsch are vegans, Brandon Routh and Frank Grillo opt for paleo, and tons of others utilize their own variations as well.
It’s all about sustainability.
AND, there are a thousand different ways to reach your goals, so finding the most sustainable way is what’s important.
Which is why our Academy utilizes multiple different Nutrition Classes (Greek Gods, Vikings, Spartans, Hunter Gatherers, Monks, Samurais, Minimalists, SuperHumans) to allow people to choose what is right for YOU!
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Yoda Workout Routine Research
We’ve made it to “the fun part”.
And, if you don’t know by now, I say that every single time we get to the workout routine research section for character workouts.
This is where I get to break down the “how” and “why” of the workout we’re going to build based on the characters, in this case Yoda’s, powers and/or abilities.
It’s going to be, as I mentioned earlier, a little different than what we’re used to working with; but let’s have some fun with it.
Star Wars’ site tells us this about who Yoda is:
Yoda was a legendary Jedi Master and stronger than most in his connection with the Force. Small in size but wise and powerful, he trained Jedi for over 800 years, playing integral roles in the Clone Wars, the instruction of Luke Skywalker, and unlocking the path to immortality.
Unfortunately I’ll never be the level of trainer that Yoda is, but we’re going to have to train like the master.
Jedi’s have three aspects of Force Power that include Control, Sense, and Alter; and each one of these comes with a list of powers to match.
These Force Powers are going to be the things we can’t actually train to replicate, so instead we’ll be focusing in on other aspects.
For Yoda we need to really master the art of being a Jedi, as he is THE Jedi Master.
Three pillars that we need to work on are: The Force, Knowledge, and Self-discipline.
A lot of the work that you will need to put in towards these pillars will come outside of your actual workout routine.
On top of that we will definitely be incorporating things like meditation and yoga to really find yourself within.
But, we can’t forget about the obvious.
We will also need to train to fight with our lightsabers and also to be able to do the legendary handstand push-ups that Luke does while Yoda sits on top of him!
Expect to utilize a lot of body-weight training and train for endurance as well.
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The Yoda Workout
7 days per week
As a Jedi you will constantly be working on your own personal pillars and strengthening not only your body, but also your knowledge, focus, discipline and connection to the force. For that reason I will be giving you multiple workouts to use throughout the course of a day, and then I will give you a sample schedule of how you could format your actual week’s worth of training.
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The Yoda Workout: Sample Weekly Schedule
Feel free to change this schedule as needed.
Monday: Full Training Day (All Pillars)
Tuesday: Pillar Three and Pillar Four
Wednesday: Full Training Day
Thursday: Pillar Three and Pillar Four
Friday: Full Training Day
Saturday: Off Day Devoted to Knowledge
Sunday: Full Training Day
The Yoda Workout: Daily Training Plan
For this we’re going to have our own set of pillars to hit, and I will also be giving you an actual set of instruction and time frame to complete certain things.
Pillar One: Mind and Focus
Duration: 5-30 minutes per session (1-2 times per day)
Notes: There are many apps that can be used to help you develop your meditation skills. It’s not something that can be rushed, and it could be as little as 30-90 second sessions when you first get started.
Pillar Two: Calisthenics and Bodyweight Strength
Activity: Bodyweight Training
Duration: 45-60 minutes per day
Notes: This training will be designed so that people can progress to a more advanced level.
Pillar Three: Lightsaber Skills
Activity: Lightsaber Training
Duration: 15-30 minutes per day
Notes: This will be done using a super-fun Star Wars lightsaber training program from Men’s Health!
Pillar Four: Bonus Mind/Body Connection
Duration: 15-60 minutes per day
Notes: This is an extra pillar that can be subbed for calisthenics and meditation if you choose to go to a class or do a YouTube video for that day.
The Yoda Workout: Calisthenics Training
- Air Squats
- Scale Up: Jump Squats
- Scale Down: Higher than Parallel
- Push Ups
- Scale Up: Handstand Push Ups
- Scale Down: Knee Ups
- Hanging Leg Raises
- Scale Up: Hanging Leg Raise w/ Knee Twist
- Scale Down: Lying Leg Raise
- Scale Up: Weighted Dips
- Scale Down: Chair Dips (Walk in or out to scale from here)
- Pull Ups
- Scale Up: Weighted Pull Ups
- Scale Down: Jumping Pull Ups or Assisted
15 minute yoga session (if no Pillar Four)
The Yoda Workout: Lightsaber/Jedi Fun Training
**This fun Star Wars style training is courtesy of Men’s Health.**
The workout consists of a warmup, three intense circuits of four exercises (completed AMRAP for time), and a cooldown. Besides a lightsaber—which you can substitute with the light training tool of your choice, like a wooden dowel or a 3′ piece of PVC pipe—the only thing you’ll need is a pair of gliding discs. (And if you don’t have those, you can substitute with rags on a hardwood floor or paper plates on a carpet.)
After performing each circuit, rest for 60 seconds by focusing on your breathing and restoring your energy. “This will help to sustain you throughout the workout,” Lamb says.
Oh, and make sure you maintain proper form. “While performing the exercises, embrace the Light Side of the Force and emphasize form, technique and execution,” Lamb says. “Resist the temptation of the Dark Side, which means to just use momentum or simply ‘go through the motions.’”
Add this workout to your routine—Lamb offers it twice a week at New York Sports Clubs—and your endurance and total-body strength will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine. Oh, and this workout is spoiler-free.
Stand relaxed, with your feet set slightly wider than your hips. Breathe only through your nose, with the tongue at the roof of your mouth. “As you inhale, imagine lifting your abdominals up,” Lamb says. “As you exhale, feel your abdominal wall compress. Your core should feel like it’s becoming energized without exerting effort.” Let your arms float upwards on the inhale, and let them fall naturally on the exhale.
Easy breathing air squats
The goal here is to sync your breath with your body’s motion, Lamb says. “Breathe OUT as you lower your body into a squat, and then breathe IN as you lift your body again.”
Skywalker Lunges (with lightsaber chops): 45 seconds per leg
Begin in a lunge while holding the lightsaber in both hands. Flex your shoulders so your upper arms are near your ears and the lightsaber is behind the head, ready to chop forward. Press into the foot of the front leg to lift yourself out of the lunge. Bring the knee of the rear leg forward (hip flexion) while pulling the lightsaber downwards so that arms are in front of the chest (shoulder extension). Exhale strongly to engage the abdominals and latissimus dorsi on the “front chop”. Do this exercise for 45 seconds on one side, then 45 on the other.
You’ll feel this exercise in your legs (quads, hamstrings, glutes), abs, shoulders, and lats.
Dive-Bomber Pushups: 60 seconds
Start in a downward dog yoga position with your hands planted on the floor, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and push your butt in the air. Keep your back straight, so you look like an inverted ‘V.’ Lower your shoulders and swoop down so your chest brushes the ground. Hold the position for 2 to 3 seconds, then press yourself up so that your back is arched and your arms straight. Now reverse the movement by lowering back down so your chest brushes the ground again, and you return to the starting position.
You’ll feel this in your “pushup muscles”: deltoids, pectorals, lats, triceps, and erector spinae.
Front Kick while holding lightsaber: 45 seconds per leg
Hold the lightsaber up at your right shoulder with both hands. Keeping your right leg slightly bent at the knee, pivot on your right foot and kick forward with your left leg. Try to fully extend your left leg, making sure to keep a “soft” knee and maintain your balance. Repeat AMRAP, making sure to maintain your form and balance, for 45 seconds. After 45 seconds, switch sides: Hold the lightsaber at your left shoulder, pivot on your left leg, and kick with your right.
You should feel the burn in your abs, hip flexors, and your quads.
Jedi Jacks: 90 seconds
Squat while holding the lightsaber in both hands (one hand stacked above other). Jump up in the air and ADDuct at the hips. The legs come together while in the air. Land toe-ball-heel into the squat and repeat for 45 seconds. The next 45 seconds are a plank jack (hands on floor directly beneath shoulders).
You should feel the burn in your legs—glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves—as well as your transverse abdominis and shoulder stabilizers.
Chewbacca Chop: 45 seconds to each side
This is a standard wood chop, except named after everyone’s favorite Wookiee. Start with your feet in a wide stance, holding the lightsaber in both hands over your right shoulder. Rotate your torso from your pelvis while rotating the ball of your right foot and “chop” the lightsaber dowards toward your left foot. Exhale during the chop and inhale as you bring the saber back up.
Targeted muscles: Quadriceps, adductors, abductors, gluteals, abdominals (particularly the obliques).
Starfighter Pushups: 60 Seconds
Grab your gliding disks. Start in the plank position with a disc under each foot. Bend your right knee, flexing at the hip, and bring your leg underneath you across your body. Extend your knee, so that ultimately your right leg is fully extended near your left hand. Bring your leg back to starting position. Do a pushup. Repeat on the other side.
You’ll feel this exercise in your shoulder stabilizers, abdominals, and hip flexors.
Front Snap Kicks: 45 seconds per leg
Holding the lightsaber up in front of you, perform front kicks, aiming to fully extend your leg. After 45 seconds, switch to your other leg.
This exercise will challenge your quads, glutes, calves, and abs (specifically your rectus abdominis).
Lightsaber Burpees: 90 seconds
Set your lightsaber on the ground, pointing forward. Stand on one side of it. Jump lightly to the other side of the lightsaber, then do a burpee. After you push yourself up, jump lightly back to the other side of the lightsaber, then do another burpee.
This exercise will leave no muscle group unscathed.
General’s Curtsy: 90 seconds
Hold the lightsaber in both hands. Put one glide disc under each foot. Hold the lightsaber over your right shoulder, and chop diagonally downwards to your left leg. As you’re chopping, cross your right leg behind your left leg into a lunge. Bring the saber back up, and then alternate to the right. Continue alternating to sides. Make sure you move with control, and don’t move too fast.
This exercise hits your quads, adductors, abductors, glutes, hamstrings, calves, transverse abdominis, and obliques.
The Fall: 60 seconds
Start with a “crab” or “table” position, so your shoulders are externally rotated and your fingertips point to the back. Keep your feet flat, chest lifted, and knees bent. Push your hips up high and reach one arm over in an arch above and behind your head. Bring your arm back to starting position, and then repeat on the other side.
Muscles targeted: The entire back, plus hamstrings.
Roundhouse Flutter Kick: 45 seconds per leg
Bring your lightsaber up to your right shoulder. Pivot on your right hip [AGAIN, IS HIP WHAT YOU MEAN HERE?], keeping your right leg bent slightly at the knee. Kick your left leg from the knee, keeping your upper left leg still, and just kick the lower half of your leg. Switch to the other leg after 45 seconds.
Besides testing your balance, this will target your hip abductors, quads, hamstrings, abs (specifically the obliques and transverse abdominus), and calves (both the gastrocnemius and soleus).
Rey’s Speeder Jumps: 90 seconds
Run in place with your arms held naturally. Every few seconds (vary the intervals depending on how winded you are), jump and bring your hands to your knees, then go back into running in place.
This demanding exercise will challenge your lower body and your cardio ability.
Cooldown: Focused breathing (a.k.a. the “Yoda Flow”)
“During the Yoda Flow, you want to feel as though you’re breathing through your whole body—not JUST the lungs,” Lamb says. “The goal is to sync your movement with your breath.”
1. Start with your feet apart. Think of anchoring your feet into ground. Let your muscles settle and relax as much as possible. Breathe in, fill up your arms on the sides, and lift your arms in front of your torso, making sure to keep your joints soft. Then exhale and lower your arms back to your sides. Repeat the breathing with arm movement for approximately 1-2 minutes.
2. With soft knees, step to the right (exhale), lift your left knee (inhale), and lift your arms with soft elbows and hands, “as if you’re blocking your face in a battle,” Lamb says. Continue with the alternating side step and lift. Exhale on each side step. Inhale with every knee lift. “This move makes me think of Karate Kid, where Daniel balances on one leg,” Lamb says.
3. Begin with your feet apart as in the first part of the cooldown. As you breathe in—raising your arms from the sides of your body and palms facing upwards—keep going until your palms meet above head. Keep your palms connected, and rotate the wrists and fingertips away from your body until they point downwards as you bend your knees into an “ass-to-grass” squat so your fingertips touch the ground. Ideally, your feet should stay flat to the ground. Breathe in as you raise your arms, and then exhale as you lower into the deep squat.
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