I hate to exercise! Whoa … aren’t you always talking and posting about fitness and exercises to do to improve ourselves? Yes. I hate to exercise, but I love to move! I’ll be honest, I was getting really drained out from the typical exercises and losing interest quickly in the field that I was so on fire for. That is, however, until I found a way of increasing my physical fitness levels without having to go through the “traditional” bodybuilding and powerlifting exercises.
So, I started broadening my horizons and using certain pieces of equipment that can offer more fitness benefits than the ol’ barbells and dumbbells (and no, I’m not talking about the BOSU Ball!). That is where I stumbled upon the 2×4. A simple piece of wood that stands less than two inches off of the ground; I found out that a 2×4 could rock your body in so many different ways!
When you get under a bar, or do any other type of “traditional” exercise, there is always the probability of performing it poorly and the piece of equipment you are using will never correct you. A barbell and dumbbell will allow you to lift it with real bad form and posture and its only happy that you lifted it – if not, it would have to crush you!
This is why I am so excited about the 2×4: whether you are on top of it or under it, if you can’t perform the movement well with it – the 2×4 won’t let you go on! That is what we in the industry call a “self-limiting exercise.” It actually corrects your form while you are exercising – a barbell and dumbbell won’t give you that type of feedback! So if you can’t do it, you CAN’T do it; no shame. However, if you are unable to do an exercise with the 2×4, all it takes is practice and maybe a few entry-level exercises to help you along the way!
I had lots of fun not only performing the exercises you see in this video, but editing the video as a first-time editor, too! Now just to warn you, I do make these exercises appear easy (that is my job, after all!), but I recommend that any exercise you want to attempt from the video – you first need to do it well on the ground. If you think you can squat well, then get after those 2×4 squats. However, if that 2×4 is teetering heavily, you may have to go back and get your squat right. I will proclaim that if you are unable to successfully squat deep (not parallel, but deep) with this simple piece of wood on your shoulder than you have no business loading yourself under a barbell.
Something simple we can all do is be in a low kneeling position (as I am at the beginning of this video) and rise up to a tall kneeling position with both of our knees on the ground. If you are able to do this with relative ease, and a 2×4 on your shoulder, then move on up to a half-kneeling position. Once you’re there and that 2×4 isn’t saying too much in regards of moving, then stand all of the way up! Then repeat the process in reverse back down to low kneeling. You may find out that this was not as easy as you imagined it to be and took a lot for your body to stay in the correct position – this is what we call STABILITY, not necessarily balance!
To finish up this thought, if you are looking for an inexpensive, but highly effective tool to include into your fitness toolbox – go get yourself a 2×4 and have some fun! You may find out that you have to spend more time re-learning how to move your body with the assistance of this helpful coach! I hope that you attempt adding this useful piece of equipment into your workouts and if you do, please send us a comment (photos and videos would be great, too) at: