In days gone by, some of the best physical training methods were designed for the battle field. Over time most cultures let them disappear for other, more ‘sophisticated’ methods. However, some populations stayed with them and added to them, though the essence stayed the same. The benefits continue to speak for themselves and Iran is a prime example with tools and traditions dating back to the Persian warriors of old. Techniques and equipment designed for the battlefield are applied to elite athletes – most notably power lifters and wrestlers. The rest of the world is finally waking up and the benefits are becomming far wider as more and more sportsmen of varied disciplines can confirm.
What is so special about a simple push up board?
Push up boards seem to have their roots in ancient Media, what is now northern Iran, being documented for military purposes as far back as the 5th century BC. During the Parthian Empire (238 BC – 224 AD) the board became a mainstay of the Pahlavani (sport of heroes). During this period, certain traditions and tools of the Pahlavani made their way into the Indo-Pakistan region and merged with Hatha yoga and the local style of Indian wrestling, Malla-jddha.
In modern Iran, seven traditional Persian disciplines are practised in the Zurhaneh (house of strength). These include, meels (large clubs), sang (shield) and shena (push-up board), and usually accompanied by a rhythmic drum beat and chanting. The Zurhaneh training methods are touted as the reason why Iranians are perennial champions at international wrestling and weight-lifting events.
Push up boards are used widely throughout the world from the average fitness enthusiast to soldiers and world class competitive athletes. The board uses nearly every muscle of the body – including pecs, biceps, triceps, deltoids, abs, lats and glutes as well as strengthening the grip – giving a total body conditioning workout in a short period of time. They require a superior effort as stability in the shoulders and arms are required when using the board.
The raised structure of the board allows for different hand positions which can shift during exercise. The variation of grip they offer reduces stress in the wrist and can accommodate flexibility issues some users might have that prevent them from performing regular press-ups. Also, the raising of the trunk allows increased spine rotation during ‘corkscrew’ and other twisting push-ups. This gains extra angles contracting the obliques, abs, pecks and lats – increasing core strength and flexibility.
At BodyMindFit, we have been developing our latest boards, with secret fixings and robust construction of highest quality, in sustainably source hardwood of course. Traditional boards are are up to 700mm long, as is our premium board. However, we have regularly been asked to make longer boards for some broader shouldered chumps out there so we decided to make the 800mm a regular product too, for just 3 quid more.