What the Fartlek?

What the Fartlek?

Fartleks are a type of exercise which involves performing exercises while standing up with your legs apart. They have been used since ancient times and were popularized in the 1970’s by fitness guru Jack Lalanne. These days they’re often called “the new push-ups” or even “standing push ups”. There are many variations of fartlek, but most involve lying down on the floor with one leg raised above the other and holding a weight in each hand. You then perform various movements such as pushing against a wall, bending over and grabbing something from behind, etc.

The main reason why these exercises are so popular is because they require little or no equipment (other than some space) and allow for maximum flexibility. While there are numerous benefits to doing them, it seems like they’re not really all that useful when it comes to improving strength or muscle mass. That’s where fartlek trainers come into play!

How Does Fartlek Training Work?

The basic idea behind fartlek training is that you do a series of exercises while keeping your body aligned. By alternating between lying down and standing up, you’ll build up strength in the muscles involved in supporting your body. If you do enough of these in a short period of time, they can be extremely taxing on your muscles. This forces your muscles to adapt and get stronger.

The theory behind this is sound, but the problem is that if you’re just starting out or don’t have a great understanding of proper form, doing too many of these in a short period of time can actually be extremely bad for your back. This is why most people who try to do these exercises end up with back pain! The trick is to start out slow and work your way up.

It can take anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months before you see any serious results, but the key is consistency and listening to your body.

There are other benefits to doing fartlek training as well. For one, the nature of the exercises makes it so that you never get bored. There is literally a million different ways to do these and you can make them as easy or hard as you want.

You can also do these just about anywhere. All you need is enough space to lie down and enough room to walk around. Best of all, you don’t need a spotter, expensive equipment, or anything like that!

Fartlek Training for Beginners

Below you will find a step by step guide for performing the first 3 exercises: the crunch, the leg raise, and the push-up. Once you have these down, it’s recommended that you do a 5 minute warm up followed by 3 sets of as many different exercises as you can in a row. You should spend no more than 10 seconds in between each set.

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Before you begin, here are some tips to help you out:

Start out slowly. As with any exercise program, it’s better to start off slow and build up speed and endurance as you go along. It’s better to do fewer sets at a lower speed than it is to rush and get hurt!

Don’t push through the pain. There’s a difference between having a little soreness and pain and having serious issues. If any exercise causes you pain, stop doing it and talk to your doctor.

While these exercises are perfectly safe for most people, you may have existing injuries or medical conditions so always be safe rather than sorry!

Stretch afterwards. Since these exercises involve a lot of bending and stretching you should spend at least 5 minutes afterwards stretching out your legs and back especially.

That being said, let’s begin!

Exercise #1: The Crunch

This one is pretty simple. Lie down on the floor and grab ahold of your knees. While keeping your back pressed against the ground, use your core to curl your knees towards your chest.

Continue moving upwards until you’re sitting up straight and then go back down. That’s one full repetition.

Start out by doing 5 reps and build up to 20. If you want an extra challenge, you can hold a weight in your hands (lightly! Don’t overdo it or you’ll tire yourself out before completing the whole routine)

Exercise #2: The Leg Raise

For this one you’re going to do just one repetition of raising your legs at a time. Lie down on your back and lift your legs up off the floor until they’re straight. Hold that position for a second to get them in the right position to begin curling.

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Then, without bending your knees in the slightest, curl your legs towards your chest. Lower them down and do it again. That’s one repetition.

You should begin with just one repetition and build up to 3. If you find that your legs are too fatigued to perform any more after those sets, try doing just half of the maximum amount (so 1.5 repetitions instead of 3).

Exercise #3: The Push-Up

Last, but certainly not least, is the push-up. This will really work your chest as well as your core, assuming you do it right!

First you should find a comfortable position to do the push-ups in. There are several, but the one I find easiest is the classic style where you have your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your legs are straight out behind you.

You should begin with a few warm-up ones to get the feeling of the exercise again. When you’re ready to begin the sets, do 3 sets of as many repetitions as you can.

For an extra challenge, try touching your knees or even your head to the floor during each repetition. This may take some getting used to if you’ve never done it before, so don’t push too hard or you might pull a muscle!

Once you’ve finished this routine, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve earned it!

For even more of a challenge, try doing the routine 2 or 3 times a week and find ways to increase the intensity. You can do this by using weights (start light and work your way up), wearing a backpack filled with books to make yourself lighter when you do the lunges and leg raises, or perhaps even getting an exercise treadmill to increase the incline.

With a little dedication, you can really shape those puppies into something great!

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Good luck!

Want more Workout Routines?

Looking for more advanced routines? Want to take your strength and endurance to the next level?

Then it’s time you moved on to Level 3!

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Sources & references used in this article:


Perbedaan pengaruh circuit training dan fartlek training terhadap peningkatan VO2Max dan indeks massa tubuh by MA Almy, S Sukadiyanto – Jurnal Keolahragaan, 2014 – journal.uny.ac.id

Effectiveness of fartlek training on maximum oxygen consumption and resting pulse rate by MR Eleckuvan – International Journal of Physical Education, Fitness …, 2014 – core.ac.uk

Effect of continuous running fartlek and interval training on speed and coordination among male soccer players by MS Babu, PP Kumar – Journal of Physical Education, 2014 – jpesm.com

Effect of fartlek training for developing endurance ability among athletes by P Kumar – Int. J. Phys. Educ. Sport. Heal, 2015 – kheljournal.com

Effect of fartlek training on selected physical and physiological varialbles of inter district women athletes by A Begum, I Hussain – International journal of creative …, 2013 – pdfs.semanticscholar.org

The Combined Effect of Continuous Run, Alternate Pace Run and Fartlek Training on Selected Physiological Variable among Male Athletes by TA Prasanna, K Vaithianathan – Indian Journal of Public Health …, 2019 – indianjournals.com

High intensity interval training dan fartlek training: Pengaruhnya terhadap tingkat VO2 Max by R Festiawan, S Suharjana, G Priyambada… – Jurnal …, 2020 – journal.uny.ac.id

Pengaruh Latihan Fartlek dengan Treadmill dan Lari di Lapangan Terhadap Daya Tahan Kardiorespirasi by M Kurnia, BMW Kushartanti – Jurnal Keolahragaan, 2013 – journal.uny.ac.id