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The ancient Greek long jump The perfect exercise for the perfect physique

Have you ever seen a statue of a classical Greek athlete? If you're wondering how they managed to get such perfect physiques without trendy gym equipment and fad diets, I might just have the answer for you.

One of the secrets to their perfectly proportioned, lean, muscular bodies might be the long jump exercise.

The ancient Greek long jump is an exercise I started using after studying the ancient Olympic Games and other athletic events. Although the exercise is virtually extinct these days, there are still clues in the form of paintings and drawings on ancient vases.

It's clear from these relics that the ancient Greek long jump was very different from the modern event. Originally, the athlete took no run up before the jump. Instead, he started from standing and then swung the arms back and down while dropping to a crouched position. He then launched forwards, swinging his arms up and forward as he jumped.

Weights called halteres were held in each hand to assist with propulsion. Unlike today's version, the ancient Greek long jump didn't consist of a single jump. The idea was to perform several jumps, such that the landing from one jump immediately became the take-off for the next.

Even though this exercise has been long forgotten, I believe it's still incredibly worthwhile. Instead of stone halteres, today one can use modern dumbbells. A few sets of six to eight jumps using heavy weights will develop explosive power and give an overall body workout.

It can also be done with lighter weights in the hands to give a great cardio workout. I found that alternating between 30 seconds of Greek long jumps and 30 seconds of recovery is a demanding, but excellent, form of High Intensity Interval Training (HITT).

And of course, doing some long jumps with no weights, just with clenched fists, is a great way to get the blood flowing and warm the body up before heavier exercise.

Of course, as with any type of training, you need to be sensible here. Don't be reckless and start by using weights that are far too heavy. Start small and practice using good form before building up to more demanding workouts. Make sure you're wearing appropriate footwear and that you're not on a dangerous surface. This exercise isn't suitable for everyone, so consult your doctor if there's any doubt.

But if you do start to incorporate the Greek long jump into your training, it won't be very long before you see a jump in your physique too. In fact, you could say this exercise truly was one giant leap for mankind!

About Author Nick Hallale :

Dr. Nick Hallale, creator of The Apollo Program.The Apollo Program is a 12-week body and image transformation system for men, combining modern science with the secrets of ancient Greek athletes.&nbsp; If you want to learn how to get a body like a Greek god, visit our website: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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Article Added on Wednesday, May 20, 2009
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