Tout dans la vie est une question d'équilibre d'où la nécessité de garder un esprit sain dans un corps sain.


Everything in life is a matter of balance therefore one needs to keep a healthy mind in a healthy body.


E. do REGO

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cleanse the liver to improve health

by Derrell Jones 

(NaturalNews) Cleansing is important. It is so important that there are several organs that are responsible for keeping the body cleansed. Chief among these organs is the liver. Responsible for the regulation of our metabolism and purifying our blood, the liver plays a key role in our overall health. It is for this reason that we must strive to keep our livers in proper working order. Some of the ways to accomplish this is through drinking plenty of fresh, clean water, abstaining or moderating alcohol consumption, abstain from consuming products that slow liver function (e.g. artificial sweeteners) and cleansing the liver at least twice a year.

How to cleanse

Master herbalist and acupuncturist Dr. Christopher Hobbs provides additional insight into the liver cleansing process. Dr. Hobbs states that flushing the liver allows for the elimination of waste while stimulating the production of bile. Cleansing also has a cooling effect on the liver which increases high functioning and necessary repairs. Follow these instructions from Dr. Hobbs for a homemade cleanse:


• Lemons or limes
• Garlic
• Ginger
• Olive oil


Squeeze one cup of fresh citrus juice (lemon and/or lime; grapefruit juice can be blended to help with taste). Mix the juice of one or two cloves of garlic and raw ginger juice into the citrus juice. Add one tablespoon of high quality, organic olive oil. A small amount of spring water can be added but the more sour the mix, the more helpful it will be for your liver. Do this for 10 days followed by three days off and then another 10 days for two cycles (will total 20 days of cleansing total). This cleanse should be completed twice a year once in the spring and once in the fall.

Consuming three to eight ounces of the juice for each serving should prove very beneficial. In addition, drink a cup of a cleansing tea such as Polari tea or any other high quality organic liver detoxification tea one hour after consuming the juice. No food should be consumed in the hour between consuming the juice and drinking the tea.

Whether you make your own liver detoxifying juices or follow a different preparation, make sure it is of the highest quality possible to assist in proper assimilation of the nutrients so you can achieve the desired results. If you have any questions about quality preparations or if you are currently experiencing chronic liver dysfunction please consult with a trusted professional healthcare provider with knowledge of holistic practices and be sure to ask all the questions you desire.

Reduce your cancer risk - especially colorectal - by eating more ginger


by PF Louis 

(NaturalNews) Ginger is one of Ayurveda's favorite medicinal and tonic herbs, and it has emerged also as a culinary favorite lately. There has been considerable clinical testing by modern Western medicine that shows ginger's anti-inflammatory effects.

Now, there's been a small trial that points to ginger's capacity for inhibiting and preventing cancer. The trial was performed on 20 subjects who were considered high risk for colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum. It is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer, and it is the second most lethal. The cancer industry asserts that early detection leads to possibly thwarting the death sentence.

They insist on screening often from age 50. Screening may include removed polyp biopsies or colonoscopies and CT Scans. Then comes the cut (surgery) and poison (chemotherapy). Chris Wark of Memphis, Tennessee was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer at the young age of 26.

He underwent surgery, but refused chemotherapy. A book literally laid on his doorstep led him into a strict raw vegan and juicing diet with supplements and herbs, which was modified a few months later by a local naturopath.

He's in his mid-30s now, married with two kids, and still cancer free. He loves to post alternative cancer cure stories on his website - Chris beat cancer. (

That ginger cancer prevention trial

The pilot trial was conducted at Atlanta, Georgia's Emory University. It was published in the National Institute of Health's (NIH)PubMed as "Effects of Ginger Supplementation on Cell Cycle Biomarkers in the Normal-Appearing Colonic Mucosa: Results from a Pilot, Randomized, Controlled Trial."

The usual division of placebo and test subjects divided the group of 20 individuals considered high risk for colorectal cancer into two groups of 10 each. This double blind study approach is a rather cruel hoax for the placebo subjects while using non-toxic medicines.

But they insist on this protocol and others that torture animals so they can accept it as evidence based research.

The 10 lucky subjects were given two grams of ginger a day for 28 days. State of the art diagnostic testing was utilized to observe various markers on all 20 subjects detrimental to cancer forming. They examined biopsies of rectal mucosa and epithelium (thin tissue layer) crypts (tiny pockets) from both groups.

After the 28 days, biopsy markers for those who were taking two grams of ginger daily were markedly better than the placebo group.

The researchers concluded: "... ginger may reduce proliferation in the normal-appearing colorectal epithelium and increase apoptosis [cancer cell death] and differentiation relative to proliferation ... [to] support a larger study to further investigate these results."

In other words, you can use ginger to help keep cancer away, especially colorectal cancer.

Suggestions for consuming ginger

You can purchase ginger capsules, or use ginger powder to make your own and/or sprinkle onto foods. Two grams doesn't amount to much, especially if you use it for teas, beverages, or with food.

You can purchase ginger root from most health food stores. Ginger root is not among the top "dirty dozen" of most pesticide sprayed foods. So don't worry if organic ginger root is not within your budget.

Peel the skin off ginger roots just before using them. If you juice with a masticating juicer, you can drop a couple inches of the root into your juicer along with other veggies and apples. It spices things up and supplies a large dose of cancer preventing ginger.

For ginger tea, it's best to use the traditional method of covering the bottom of a pan with thin slices of peeled ginger root, bringing it to a boil then letting it simmer for a half-hour. Whatever you don't drink can be stored in the fridge for a few days.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

How to get fit in just 90 minutes per week

by David Gutierrez, staff writer 

(NaturalNews) A workout technique known as interval training can help you get in shape in a fraction of the weekly time investment required by more conventional workout techniques, according to a study conducted by researchers from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), the University of Birmingham and published in the Journal of Physiology.

According to World Health Organization recommendations, all people should engage in between three and five hours of endurance training every single week in order to be fit and healthy and to reduce their risk of chronic diseases and early death. Yet, it can be a major challenge for many city dwellers to make that much time for exercise. Indeed, the majority of U.S. adults do not meet exercise recommendations, and lack of time is considered the main cause.

The study compared two separate forms of workout known as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIT). HIT consists of alternating between a vigorous activity (such as running or cycling) and a less vigorous activity (such as walking) - which activities are used and for how long varies depending upon the needs of the individual. HIT programs are popular because they provide comprehensive fitness workouts in a short period of time. For example, a typical HIT workout might consist of 90 seconds cycling on an exercise bike as fast as possible, followed by 60 seconds of slow cycling, repeated five times for a total of a 15-minute workout.

Fitness in just 90 minutes per week

In the current study, researchers evaluated several health markers of people who had taken part in HIT or Sprint Interval Training (SIT) workouts.

"SIT involves four to six repeated 30-second 'all out' sprints on special laboratory bikes interspersed with 4.5 minutes of very low intensity cycling," researcher Sam Shepherd said.

"Due to the very high workload of the sprints, this method is more suitable for young and healthy individuals. However, anyone of any age or level of fitness can follow one of the alternative HIT programs."

The researchers found that just three half-hour SIT sessions per week improved insulin sensitivity (a marker of health and fitness) as effectively as five one-hour traditional endurance sessions. SIT was also effective at improving delivery of glucose and insulin to skeletal muscle and burning of fat stored in skeletal muscle.

"Additionally, we found a reduced stiffness of large arteries which is important in reducing the risk of vascular disease." researcher Matthew Cocks said.

The findings suggest that HIT and SIT should be effective at reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and many other conditions associated with aging.

Shepherd further noted that according to the preliminary results of an ongoing pilot study at the University of Birmingham, people between the ages of 25 and 60 rank HIT (performed on exercise bikes) as more enjoyable than traditional endurance training. The study participants also appear to experience greater improvements in mood from HIT than from endurance training.

"This could imply that HIT is more suitable to achieve sustainable changes in exercise behavior," Shepherd said.


A Power Clean Primer For Beginners

A Power Clean Primer For BeginnersThis article is an encapsulation of a teaching progression that I developed over the course of 3 years while teaching the "Olympic lifts" to over 65 Crossfit facilities in the US and Canada.
It's designed for people who are new to the Olympic lifts, and/or for those who do have some experience but still find themselves struggling.
With that out of the way, the goal of the following sequence of drills is rapid competence. Not mastery, not perfection, but competence.
How rapid? One session. Honestly, I'm not very patient, and I assume you aren't either. So my goal here is to get you up and running, doing decent power cleans in the very first session, so that you have a chance to taste the fun and unique satisfaction of this lift.
And trust me, it really is fun. Once you get that initial taste, my bet is that you'll then do the hard work it takes to go from competence to mastery, which, admittedly, takes a lot longer.
Since my approach is all about expedience, please excuse my choice to omit specific recommendations about breathing, grip, stance, and the "double knee bend" (whatever that is). You can worry about those details later, and/or we can hash them out in the LiveSpill.
Remember, we're after rapid competence here – like speed-reading, my job here is to help you get the gist of the story very quickly. After that, should you so choose, you can go back with an eye for more detail.

Let's Get Started

The following series of 8 drills is designed to be learned in the order presented. But before we get to the first drill, a quick word about the weights you should be using for each drill.
I obviously can't recommend specific weights, since all of you will have different strength levels. The key for each drill is that you want to select a weight heavy enough to get the proprioceptive feedback you need to facilitate learning, but not so heavy that you're forced to do "whatever it takes" to complete the drill. If you're not sure, err on the side of going too light, at least at the beginning.
Most people can successfully work their way through all 8 drills in a single session, while others may require a few sessions to digest the skills. Further, the earlier drills can usually be ditched very quickly – within a few weeks in most cases.
Wherever you happen to fall on the skill continuum, what's most important is that you learn these drills in the order they appear below, and don't be afraid to drop back a level or two if necessary.

The 8 Progressions

Drill #1: Learning The Shelf Position

The "shelf" refers to the position the bar ends up in on your shoulders at the completion of a power clean. If you're not familiar and comfortable with this position, your pull will be inhibited. So in this series of progressions, we start at "Point A" and only later will we tackle "Point B." I want you to be very comfortable with the destination before you go any further.
As you watch this video of me, you might notice some asymmetry – I have restricted flexion in my left elbow, which puts my elbows in different positions on the catch. That's okay. The main thing is that you have a pain-free, comfortable, stable position for the bar on your deltoids –  your collarbones.
Typically, most lifters will need to catch the bar with high elbows to achieve this position. Go ahead and test it for yourself: first shelve the bar with high elbows, noticing where the bar sits. Then, slowly lower your elbows – at some point, you'll feel the bar contact your collarbones, and at the same time, you'll notice (especially if you're using significant weight) the bar starting to slip off of its perch. When this happens, obviously your elbows are too low.
Be forewarned that many people will experience a significant stretch on their wrists as they practice the shelf position. Usually this fades over time, but sometimes it never does. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, taping your wrists and/or modifying the width of your grip can help a lot. Another very helpful trick is to protract your shoulders (push your elbows forward) as you receive the bar. Doing so creates a "shelf" for the bar to rest on.
Finally, keep in mind, during an actual clean, the bar only needs to be there for a moment. After that, you can drop it.
One last point on this drill: at this stage anyway, don't be concerned about having a full handgrip around the bar as it lands on your shoulders, In truth, you're better off allowing your hands to open up at this point (like mine are in the video). In the power clean, the hands become dormant once the pull has been completed (more on this later).
Okay, on to the next drill...

Drill #2: Clean Pull From Above The Knees

(By the way, even if you had trouble with the shelf, you can still move on to this next drill, since learning it doesn't depend on your ability to properly rack the bar on your shoulders.)
This drill is perhaps the most pivotal of the bunch. If you can shelve the bar properly, and if you can do this drill, you're capable of doing a great clean. It's as simple as that. Watch this video first – I'll meet you on the backside:
As you just saw, this drill very much resembles what some people call a "Romanian Deadlift," or a stiff-leg deadlift. Keeping the bar against your thighs at all times, simply sit back, allowing the bar to slide down your legs, and then, once the bar approaches your kneecaps, reverse the motion, acceleratively "jump-shrugging" the bar.
There are three main points I need to make about this drill.
First, as you sit back, get your shoulders out  the bar as it approaches your knees,  directly over top of it. In other words, the main body action as you lower the bar to your knees is hip flexion, not knee flexion (although it's natural and appropriate for the knees to "unlock.")
Second, it's not really a shrug. Yes, the shoulders elevate, but it's a passive elevation, not active – they elevate because your straight arms are being pushed up by the bar's upward momentum, which causes the shoulders to rise.
Third, the bar must become weightless for a split second at the top of your pull. This is one of the most significant differences between cleans and any other lift you've probably done before.
In fact, you'll notice that in the video, I have metal 5-pound plates on the bar. The only reason they're there is to provide me with auditory feedback – if you've done the pull properly, you'll hear that distinctive "ka-chink" sound on each rep. If you don't hear it, keep practicing until you do.
Before we go on to the next drill, watch this quick demonstration that I learned from coach Mike Burgener. It's something that all beginners to the clean should be shown before they start practicing the lift. The first "rep" simulates the energetics of a deadlift, and the second "rep" simulates what happens during a clean (i.e., the bar becomes weightless).

Drill #3: Clean Pull / Power Clean Complex From Above The Knees

Once you've got a consistent, relaxed clean pull going for you, the next step is to integrate it with an actual power clean. Do two clean pulls from above the knee, and on each rep, notice how the bar "wants" to travel up to your shoulders, but for now at least, you're not letting it.
On the third rep, do exactly the same thing, but this time simply allow the bar to coast up to your shoulders, and then shelve the bar once it's arrived.
The idea here is that you use the two clean pulls as a rehearsal to "groove" your power clean technique. You should understand that the pull is the active phase of the clean, and everything after the pull is the passive phase.
Here's me performing a clean with no arm contribution after the pull just to get the point across:

Drill #4: Clean Lift-Off From Floor

At this point it's time to graduate to starting your drills from the floor, which is more difficult than the above the knees position because you've got to navigate around your knees with the bar.
The first step is to learn how to start the pull in a hip-dominant manner, which is demonstrated in the video below. While this movement will look similar to a partial deadlift, the thing to notice is that the angle of my back (relative to the floor) stays constant as the bar moves from the starting position to knee height.
Most novices, however, do something different: they raise the shoulders faster than the hips, which leaves the knees flexed, which in turn reduces the power you'd otherwise have in your posterior chain.
Here's a drill to help you understand and master the idea of a hip dominant pull. Using an easy weight, do 6 reps, where the odd-numbered reps are "incorrect" (knee dominant) and the even-numbered reps are "correct" (hip dominant). Here's what that looks like:
There are three main ways to tell if you're doing this drill correctly. First, on the "correct" reps, you'll feel a lot of tension accumulate in your hamstrings. Second, you'll arrive at a position where your shoulders are , not over top of the barbell as it reaches the bottom of your kneecaps. And finally, as the barbell reaches knee level, it'll want to drift forward, away from your legs, requiring you to pull it back to yourself.
On the "incorrect" reps, you won't feel much hamstring tension, and as the bar reaches your knees, your shoulders will be directly on top of the bar, not in front of it. Once this drill feels comfortable, move on to Drill #5.

Drill #5: Clean Lift-Off/Clean Pull Complex From Floor

Just like we did earlier, we're now going to use the clean pull to groove your technique for the clean. The only difference is that now we're starting from the floor as opposed to above the knees.
The only "new" technical element to absorb here is tempo – most novices will tend to quickly rip the bar right from the floor, which hurts your efficiency in a number of ways. The better approach is to pull the bar slowly until it reaches your kneecaps, and  increase the speed.
Think of it like a golf swing – club speed is important, but only at the point where it contacts the ball. Good golfers use the entire swing path to accumulate speed, and good lifters do the same thing with the bar.
Think of the tempo of a simple baseball throw: it starts slow, almost lazily slow, but then accelerates and finally snaps at the end. That's a good representation of proper bar speed on the power clean.
If this drill is coming along well, it's time to move on to the next step. If not, go back a step and brush up your technique before moving on.

Drill #6: Clean Lift-Off/Clean Pull / Power Clean Complex From Floor

This is a 3-rep drill, where each rep is a rehearsal for the next. Everything else should be self-explanatory at this point, but stay on top of the tempo issue – all 3 reps are slow from the floor to the knee. You're not strong down there anyway, so wait until you reach the "power position" before you pull the trigger!
Everything feeling good? If so, time for the next step. If not, well I guess you know the story by now.

Drill #7: Clean Pull / Power Clean Complex From Floor

All we're doing here is removing the first set of training wheels – the lift-off. If doing so doesn't seem to hurt anything, move on to the eighth and final step. If not, back down a level for now.

Drill #8: Power Clean From Floor

Congratulations! You've arrived at the final step – a power clean from the floor. I have no new technical concerns to alert you to here, since we're not really doing anything new at this point. The real trick at this stage is to spend the majority of your practice time on the level or levels that are appropriate for your current level of skill.
For most people this means clean pulls, either from above the knee (if you think you're really struggling) or from the floor (if you feel pretty good but just want to clean things up a bit).

Problem Solving

Now that we've gone through all 8 steps, let's address a handful of common issues/problems and how to solve them.

The Scoop: Complete vs. Incomplete Hip Extension

You might've noticed in the last video that my thighs make significant contact with the bar. In fact, all competent weightlifters demonstrate this maneuver. Less skilled lifters, by comparison, do not.
Most coaches think it best to not teach this maneuver, as it should simply be the byproduct of good technique (i.e., complete hip extension). I'm on the fence on that issue, but I want you to do a little test to help convince yourself of how important complete hip extension is, and then I'll share a few tips to help you fully extend your hips on the power clean.
Here's the test: Perform a vertical jump (it doesn't have to be maximum effort) without fully extending your hips. (Don't do this while anyone is watching because you're going to look completely incompetent.)
Feels like shit doesn't it? I'm betting you found it difficult to pull off at all –  how important full hip extension is on a vertical jump.
It's just as important on the power clean – not fully extending your hips hurts your clean just as much as it hurt your jump.
Now, a few tips if you're struggling with this.
First, go sloooow until the bar passes your knees. If you go too fast here, it'll be difficult to time the proper extension because by the time you push your hips forward, the bar will already be too high.
Second, get those shoulders out in front of the bar as it reaches your knees – you can't extend your hips unless you first flex them right?
Finally, it's okay if the bar isn't touching your shins (although it should still be very close to them), but by the time the bar passes your kneecaps, keep it pinned to your thighs as you pull. This helps you feel where the bar is, which in turns helps you figure out your timing for the scoop.
Here's a video I did on this maneuver a few years ago:

The Finish: The Clean Pull From Supports

Many novice lifters have trouble understanding how to "finish the pull." The drill below works absolute miracles right from the first rep. I'm really not sure why, but I think it helps the lifter feel safe enough to fully commit, since he won't be racking the bar on the shoulders, nor does he need to worry about getting it back down to the floor.
You'd think you could just do clean pulls from above the knees, but it doesn't work nearly as well.
Incidentally, in no time at all you can go really heavy with this – I routinely used to do 405 for triples when I was competing in Master's weightlifting.

The Catch: Learning How To Avoid Grinding And Crashing

Lots of new lifters struggle when it comes to racking the bar on their shoulders during power cleans. Often, they don't trust their precision and fear slamming the bar into their throat, chin, or face. The result is that they use excessive hand contribution to "guide" the bar to its proper finish position. Only problem is, you can't do this with real weight, and it also punishes your wrists and elbows.
Other lifters simply fail to properly estimate the amount of pull they need to get the bar to their shoulders – they'll get the bar almost high enough, and then painfully grind it the rest of the way. Ouch. Don't do this either.
Here's me grinding 225 – you'll notice that I didn't pull the bar high enough to catch it with high elbows (I rotated the elbows up afterward, but by then, its too late):
The remaining issue is when lifters overestimate the amount of pull they need. The bar sails up past the face, and then crashes down onto the shoulders. That's an owie, too – power cleans should never hurt, no matter how heavy they are.
It's just a matter of putting your time in to correct these problems, should you experience them. Keep practicing.

Practice vs. Training: Appropriate Load Selection

One frustrating reality for power clean novices is the necessity to keep loads manageable until technique becomes stable. During this time of course, cleans can't be used to develop strength or power because the loads will be, by necessity, too light.
When this is the case, simply use clean pulls (from above the knees or the floor, or even better, from the rack, depending on your skill level) for power development – they're 95% as good as cleans for this purpose.
Another strategy is to use the various drills as part of your dynamic warm-up routine. Why use non-skill movements for this purpose when using these drills kills two birds with one stone?

I Want Your Feedback!

I hope you found this article useful, and I'd love to hear from you in the LiveSpill area below.

8 Blast Strap Exercises for Serious Upper Body Muscle

8 Blast Strap Exercises for Serious Upper Body Muscle

Every year, shortly after Thanksgiving, my Mom starts asking me what I want for Christmas. When I was younger I'd rattle off a list a mile long, but as I've grown older, I've gotten progressively quieter because I'm not much of a "stuff" guy.
So that leaves her to guess, which means I usually get a new pair of winter boots that I end up returning, or 12 pairs of socks. Sound familiar?
One Christmas, though, about six years ago, she asked me what I wanted just as I was perusing the Elitefts Christmas sale. As I scanned the various goodies, a pair of blast straps caught my eye. Mind you, this was before suspension training was all the rage and well before you could sign up for full-body "TRX classes" in commercial gyms.
At the time I didn't know much about suspension training and thought it looked pretty lame, but I figured it'd at least be a good way to supercharge push-ups, so I asked for them.
Had it been my own money I definitely would've passed but hey, kick-ass push-ups beats getting another ugly sweater.
It proved to be a good investment because I still have those blast straps today and have since expanded my suspension training arsenal well beyond just push-ups. I don't see them as a "be all end all" by any means, but I definitely like them a lot for certain exercises, particularly for the upper body.
Just to be clear, when I say blast straps, I'm referring to all suspension training systems: blast straps, rings, TRX, jungle gym, etc.
With that in mind, here are my favorite blast strap exercises to build the upper body.

1. Chest


I'll start with push-ups because it's the first exercise I ever used the blast straps for and they've been a staple exercise in my program ever since.
It was really a love-at-first-try type of thing. I always love a good challenge, and the blast straps definitely provide that. The first few times I tried them I was shaking and could only muster a few reps, but after a little bit of practice, my stability improved rapidly to where I could start to crank them out more easily. Once I got better at them, it quickly became one of my favorite upper body exercises, and still is today.
The one problem I've continually had, though, with both push-ups and dips on the blast straps is that when the blast straps are set up at just outside shoulder width (i.e., the way most people do them), they tend to chafe my triceps. Wearing long sleeves helps, but who wants to wear long sleeves when it's hot in the gym?
As I got stronger and started to load the exercises more, the chafing got worse, to the point that after every time I did the exercise I'd have people asking me, "What happened to your arms?" because there were massive red marks, similar to a rug burn.
A little chafing certainly isn't enough to stop doing a good exercise though, just like you wouldn't stop deadlifting because it can bruise your shins or stop front squatting because it can hurt to hold the bar – at least I hope you wouldn't.
I guess when you're in love, you're willing to put up with a little pain and bullshit.
The chafing started to bug me though, so as a way to eliminate it, I started hanging the blast straps wider. I do all my blast strap work in a power rack, so rather than hang them straight down from the pull-up bar on the front just outside the shoulders, I hung them from the sides of the rack.
What a difference that small tweak makes! Not only did that eliminate the chafing, it also enhanced the exercise significantly from a chest-building perspective because it forces you to actively squeeze your pecs like crazy throughout the set to keep your hands in tight to your body.
The key is not to allow the wider ring position to alter your arm position, so you still want to keep your elbows tucked in close to your body.
Keep in mind though that the wider the blast straps are, the harder the exercise becomes, so start at shoulder width and move out gradually over time as you feel more comfortable.
You may want to elevate your feet slightly as well to account for the straps being raised off the floor. Other than that, perform them just as you would a normal push-up.
I alternate between doing them weighted in the beginning of a workout and unweighted at the end for a massive pump that also doubles as a good core exercise, killing two birds with one stone.

Wide Flyes

If you've got push-ups down and are one of the masochistic types looking for a way to punish your pecs even more, flyes might be something to consider. They're not for everyone – especially people with shoulder issues – but if your shoulders can handle them, you'd be hard pressed to find an exercise that fries the pecs like ring flyes do.
Just like with push-ups, you can make them harder by setting the blast straps wider.
Be warned though, regular ring flyes with the blast straps at shoulder-width are tough enough as it is, but setting the blast straps wider makes them downright brutal. As a point of reference, several months ago I could do regular flyes with my feet elevated and a 50-pound weighted vest for sets of 8-10, but couldn't even do one full rep with the blast straps wider unless I did them from my knees – and even that was a struggle.
With practice I can now do 6-8 unweighted wide flyes with my feet on the floor when I'm fresh, but if it's at the end of the workout, I can't even do one. So if I do them at the end, I'll do them on my knees, which is still an awesome finisher.

Wide Dips

Like blast strap flyes, dips are one of those "off-limits" exercises for people with shoulder issues, but if you can handle regular dips okay, using the blast straps makes them that much better. And in fact, a lot people that have problems with parallel bar dips find they can do them on the blast straps pain-free.
However, prepare to be humbled the first time you try them because it's a whole different ballgame than regular dips. When I first tried them I could do regular dips with four plates for reps so I'd figured it'd be a breeze.
I made a complete fool of myself and couldn't even do one rep. After about an hour of practice I could knock out a whooping 3 reps while shaking so badly it probably looked like I was being electrocuted. And that's with no weight. Talk about embarrassing.
Looking back, though, I don't feel too badly because every one of my buddies that tries to work in when I'm doing them now goes through the same humiliating experience, so I think it's just part of the process.
Swallow your pride and stick with it because after a few times of getting acclimated to the blast straps, it gets much easier and your performance will shoot right back up. At this point, my weighted blast strap dips are almost as strong as my bar dips, and when I rep out I'm within 4-5 reps. Not only that, but they just feel much better on the blast straps, meaning they feel safer and seem to work the chest more.
Just as with blast strap push-ups, start with the blast straps set just outside shoulder-width so your triceps can press against them for support. As you improve, try moving the blast straps wider to increase the difficulty (and chest stimulation) and eliminate chafing of the upper arms.
To keep constant tension on the chest, stop an inch or two short of locking your arms out at the top. This may seem like it's cheating, but with the blast straps set wide it actually makes it quite a bit harder.

2. Back

Wide Grip Chins

I've allows loved the way wide grip chin-ups (or pull-ups) feel in my lats, but when I do them on the bar they usually really piss off my shoulders and wrists. I know many people have had a similar experience, and I've also heard complaints that using a wide grip really bugs some peoples' elbows.
So usually I just avoid them and use a shoulder-width grip – that is, until I started using the blast straps.
Using the blast straps allows for a more natural rotation of the arms, so it feels much cleaner. I just wish I'd started doing these sooner.
Here's what they look like:
Beyond being more joint-friendly, setting the blast straps up wider than your wingspan makes it a lot harder – the blast straps will want to go out so you have to squeeze hard to counteract that force and keep them on the right path, which makes for a huge contraction in the lats.
The set-up is really easy. If you have blast straps, just set them up on either side of a power rack. If you have a TRX, just throw it over the top of the rack.
You'll probably need to bend your legs, but that's no big deal.
Keep in mind that they're a lot harder than regular chins – especially if you're strict on the form – so don't expect to hit your usual numbers, but expect your lats to be fried more than normal.
You've been warned.

Inverted Rows

I may've bought the blast straps primarily for push-ups, but I've gotten the most use out of them for inverted rows, which has become my favorite rowing exercise – meaning I like them more than barbell rows, dumbbell rows, t-bar rows, cable rows, etc.
I like them so much because it's an awesome way to overload the upper back without stressing the lower back. This is obviously appealing for people like me with lower back issues, but it's also valuable even for healthy folks because it allows you to keep your lower back fresh for your heavy lower body exercises like deadlifts and squats.
Even a healthy lower back can only handle so much abuse, so why not save it for the exercises that are inherently lower back intensive rather than use it up on upper body exercises? Especially since you can overload the upper back just as much in an inverted row as you can in a free weight row.
If you think that last sentence is malarkey, you probably haven't done inverted rows the way I do them. I've done more than my fair of heavy-ass free weight rows (and still do) and I'll say unequivocally that inverted rows can be made every bit as hard as anything else I've ever tried.
My favorite variations include:
1.5 reps:
Wide inverted rows:
Decline rows:
Row/reverse fly combo:
One-arm inverted rows:
I have video demonstrations of all these variations on my You Tube page.
So as you can see, there are tons of effective ways to do this exercise. I usually do some variation of inverted rows twice a week, which alone has made buying the blast straps worth it.

3. Shoulders

3-Way Shoulder Finisher

All the chest and back exercises I've shared also work the shoulders quite a bit so you really don't needanything else – but if you want something to work them more directly, here's a quick three exercise finisher that I like to use at the end of upper body workouts when I'm looking to fry my shoulders, particularly the posterior delts.
The three exercises are reverse flyes, external rotations, and face pulls, done in that order. They're ordered from hardest to easiest and are done in succession as a mechanical drop-set, so don't rest in between exercises.
Here's what it looks like in action. I usually do 6-10 reps of each exercise, but I'll just show three reps of each for the sake of brevity:
While this is a high rep finisher, it's still important to keep good form and do each rep deliberately as opposed to just pumping them out. Trust me, you'll still get a huge pump.
1-2 sets (meaning 1-2 drop-sets) is all you'll need.

4. Arms

Bodyweight Curls

I don't do curls often (as evidenced by my puny arms), but when I do, these are on my short list of go-to's.
Set-up just as you would for an inverted row with a pronated or neutral grip and your feet on the floor, but rather than row to your sides, curl your hands to your forehead while supinating your wrists. Be sure to keep your body straight by squeezing your glutes and bracing your abs.
I could pull something out of my you-know-what and say I like them because they also double as a good core exercise to give you more bang for your buck and make them more "functional," whatever that means.
But that's not why I like them. I don't do curls to be "functional" in the athletic sense – I do curls to get bigger biceps. And if bigger biceps is the goal, it doesn't get more functional than curls.
Barbell curls tend to piss off my wrists and forearms, but using the blast straps allows for a more natural range of motion, much like dumbbells, which is not only more joint-friendly but also lends itself to a hell of a contraction.
Most importantly though, it's an excuse to do curls in the squat rack.

Bodyweight Triceps Extensions

Bodyweight triceps extensions are a great exercise no matter how you do them, however, doing them on the blast straps is better than using a bar in a power rack or Smith machine because it increases the range of motion. It does so by allowing you to extend your arms further out in front of your body (since you don't have to worry about your head hitting the bar), thereby increasing the stretch on the long head of the triceps.
The blast straps also allow you to rotate your hands naturally through the rep, taking stress off the elbows and makes for a stronger contraction in the triceps.
The lower you are to the floor, the harder it is. Start as low as you can go for 6-8 reps and then walk your feet up gradually and keep knocking the reps out for a brutal extended set, similar to the idea of a drop-set but not exactly (you're actually going upwards).
Keep your body as straight as possible and it doubles as a core exercise, or you can pike your butt up a bit towards the end of the set to get a few more reps in to really smoke the triceps.

Closing Thoughts

8 Blast Strap Exercises for Serious Upper Body Muscle

This is by no means an exhaustive list of everything you can use the blast straps for, but it's certainly enough to get you started and give you a great upper body workout.
I wouldn't recommend using blast straps-only for upper body, but I think you could probably build a great physique doing so if you were so inclined and got really good at using them, as evidenced by gymnasts with their rings.
To me though, they're just a tool in the toolbox that I sprinkle in here and there with my other strength training.
But when you consider they cost my mom around 50-60 bucks six years ago, I'd say they've been well worth the small investment. Thanks Mom!