I'm Darryl Edwards (aka The Fitness Explorer), founder of Primal Play, this website is no longer being updated - please check out www.primalplay.com for current details on my work, passion and lifestyle approach.

What is Primal Play? 

Eat for Health, Move for Life!

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Reading List
  • Animal Moves: How to move like an animal to get you leaner, fitter, stronger and healthier for life
    Animal Moves: How to move like an animal to get you leaner, fitter, stronger and healthier for life
    by Darryl Edwards

    Animal Moves

    • improve strength, speed and stamina
    • increase mobility, flexibility and stability
    • look, feel and perform better

    Find out more and details on how to purchase at www.animalmovesbook.com

  • Paleo from A to Z: A reference guide to better health through nutrition and lifestyle. How to eat, live and thrive as nature intended!
    Paleo from A to Z: A reference guide to better health through nutrition and lifestyle. How to eat, live and thrive as nature intended!
    by Darryl Edwards

    "If you are looking for a simple way to better understand Paleo concepts, Darryl's Paleo from A to Z guide is the go-to resource.
    -Mark Sisson, best-selling author of The Primal Blueprint and publisher of Mark's Daily Apple

  • Paleo Fitness - A Primal Training and Nutrition Program to Get Lean, Strong and Healthy
    Paleo Fitness - A Primal Training and Nutrition Program to Get Lean, Strong and Healthy
    by Darryl Edwards, Brett Stewart, Jason Warner

    "This book is a useful reference to enable individuals just starting out on the Paleo path as well as those who want to explore more challenging, playful and interesting ways to move."

    -Robb Wolf, New York Times best-selling author of The Paleo Solution

     

  • 7 Day Introduction to Paleo Fitness: Get Fitter, Get Stronger, Get Healthier in Seven Days. Move as Nature Intended.
    7 Day Introduction to Paleo Fitness: Get Fitter, Get Stronger, Get Healthier in Seven Days. Move as Nature Intended.
    by Darryl Edwards
  • The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
    The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
    by Robb Wolf
  • Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
    Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
    by Robert M. Sapolsky
  • Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health & Boundless Energy (Primal Blueprint Series)
    Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health & Boundless Energy (Primal Blueprint Series)
    by Mark Sisson
  • Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
    Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
    by Rick Smith, Bruce Lourie, Sarah Dopp
  • Wahls Protocol, The : A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles
    Wahls Protocol, The : A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles
    by Terry Wahls, Eve Adamson
  • Protein Power
    Protein Power
    by Michael R. Eades, Mary Dan Eades, Mary Deans
  • Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    by Christopher McDougall
  • In Defence of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating: An Eater's Manifesto
    In Defence of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating: An Eater's Manifesto
    by Michael Pollan
  • Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
    Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
    by Michael Pollan
  • The Paleo Diet for Athletes
    The Paleo Diet for Athletes
    by L. Cordain
  • Vegetarian Myth, The
    Vegetarian Myth, The
    by Lierre Keith
  • The Second Brain
    The Second Brain
    by Michael D. Gershon
  • The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat
    The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat
    by Loren Cordain
  • Eat Drink Paleo
    Eat Drink Paleo
    by Irena Macri
  • Cholesterol Clarity: What the HDL is Wrong with My Numbers?
    Cholesterol Clarity: What the HDL is Wrong with My Numbers?
    by Jimmy Moore, Eric C. Westman

Entries in Balance (3)

Monday
Jun062011

Video: Park Bench Play

Just having fun freestyling on a park bench with Ben during Saturday's primal group class.

Monday
Oct182010

Video: Park Bench as a Balance Beam

Video: Balance Work (Practice)

Balance - the ability to control the body's stability whilst moving (or stationary) regardless of its base of support.  One of the 20 Components of Fitness.

The video below is of me attempting to use a park bench as a balance beam. 

 

 

 

How to improve your balance:

There is no need to use a BOSU, swiss ball, balance board or a park bench for that matter.  There are much simpler methods.

For example try brushing your teeth whilst standing on one leg (do this barefoot).

Aim to stand on one leg for the duration of brushing e.g. 2 minutes in the morning on the left leg, and then the other leg at night.  You may only manage a few seconds to begin with, but this will increase over time as your skills improve.  

The intention is not to hold on to anything or to put the other foot down to gain support.

Vary the amount of knee bend each time, this will not only strengthen the muscles that support the knee but also help prevent injury and knee pain.  This may be uncomfortable to begin with but is necessary to promote stability in the joints.

Also spend time balancing on the heel, balls of feet, inside and outside of foot.  This will help to sensitise the foot whilst improving ankle mobility and strength.

To control and minimise re-balancing use the hip/core as the primary area of control (rather than the arms) to maintain balance.  

The hips, knees and ankles should work together in an integrated fashion.
Monday
Jun072010

Stability - a load of Balls???

I'm not a big fan of Swiss/BOSU balls.  Although I do feel these can offer a 'challenge' in testing one's balance ability.

There is no doubt they are a common sight in gyms, and the argument often used to justify their proliferation is an increase in core engagement because of the additional inherent stabilisation required by the body.

A recent study by Brandon Uribe and his team casts doubts on their effectiveness. The investigation tested muscle activation performing presses (bench/shoulder) on a fixed bench versus a stability ball. They tested the muscles involved in this activity (including the abs) and they concluded using an unstable surface made no difference during muscle recruitment.  

Makes you wonder why you would bother using a nonstable surface - if there is no gain?  I can think of a good reason to be as 'stable' as possible though (apart from safety).  Using a stable support is more likely to increase total muscle activation due to the greater loads possible during lifting i.e. you can go heavier with a solid platform!

To test balance simply perform an exercise or activity you normally perform bilaterally (i.e. on two legs) and do the same on one leg - such as a squat.  Or even perform an exercise with your eyes closed such as a deadlift.  You will most likely find the above a significant challenge to the stabiliser muscles, without the use of a 'ball' of any kind.