Translated: “Утренняя Гимнастика” – Владимир Высоцкий or Morning Exercise by Vladimir Vysotsky

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What’s going on Walk and Think Audience?

Today, we’ll be time traveling, back in time, way back in time, to a place that was very secretive and isolated: The Soviet Union, in the mid-1960s.

To start, a little about translation. I am a native speaker, Russian is my first language, and English, I learned out of necessity(as you do most things, great article on that here), after moving to the United States.

It was a sink or swim type scenario, where you throw someone into a pool, to teach them how to swim. This blog is living proof that it can be done.

All automated online translators suck, yes even google’s. Especially, if the language contains slang or is articulate. They jack things up like you wouldn’t believe, and I’ve had many good laughs, reading some translated text.

That is the reason the translating occupations still exists, and people get hired to do it. That’s the reason online freelance sites like o-desk are teeming with people ready to translate material for pay.

Try it for yourself, if you want to see the hilariousness of automatic translation. Now, I do think they’ve gotten infinitely better in the last few years, and will possibly replace human translation, eventually. However, it will be a while longer until that time.

For now, I’ll just do the Russian to English for you guys organically.

Back when I was in school in Russia, as here, in the United States, we had P.E. or Physical Education. Except it was called something different, it was called: “физическая культура

Which is loosely translated by google translator: “Physical Education” However, in direct translation, and the more accurate meaning is actually: “Physical Culture”

We did all the usual stuff like climb rope, do pull-ups, and run laps.

But the idea was lifestyle integration, not a graduation credit. It was respected to be fit and athletic. The video, I will be translating today, was one of many that encourages exercise breaks, and healthy routines.


So here it is:

“Утренняя Гимнастика” – Владимир Высоцкий

or, in English: Morning Exercise – by Vladimir Vysotsky

Вдох глубокий. Руки шире. Не спешите, три-четыре.

“Deep breath. Arms wider. Don’t rush, three-four”

This is of course talking about breathing exercises. You can call them whatever you want to: Pranayama, Wim Hof breathing, posture breathing, or hard-style, as taught by Pavel, it’s all the same idea, which is mindful an controlled breathing for health benefits.

Breathing is important to health, as in, if you’re not breathing – you’re dead.

However, the less extreme variation is, you are not breathing as deeply and easily as you could be, and that decreases oxygen supply to your brain, making you just a little less sharp and creative.

Also, having full lungs under pressure is much easier on your spine, than empty lungs.

This is why lifters take a huge in-breath, tense up, and complete the lift, sometimes exhaling as the pressure eases up, towards the top. It’s natural, as in, you can watch a young child do this, never having been taught, and makes you feel stronger throughout the lift.

So, it’s important, in some form to work on breathing. You can practice breathing by itself, or go out and do hiking, biking, running, lifting heavy, anything that increases the demand on the lungs, and achieve the same results.

The “three, four” in this line implies a four count, one – two, three – four, used to slow down the breathing.

“Deep breath. Arms wider. Don’t rush, three-four”


Общеукрепляющая, Утром отрезвляющая, если жив пока еще, гимнастика.

“Overall strengthening, in the morning – sobering, if you’re still alive that is, gymnastics.”

Russia is a notoriously alcohol friendly country. It’s not secret many people there are heavy drinkers, and it leads them to ruin.

This line of the song is talking about how doing calisthenics in the morning can help get you out or a slump, and get you alert and awake.

Not sure if exercising would help cure a hangover, as that is mainly dehydration, however, it works wonders for a general groggy feeling. I wrote about this in the morning routine post(link to post), and many people do yoga or calisthenics in the morning.

I’ve also read that doing exercises early in the day burns more calories, due to lack of fuel from “fasting” overnight, as you’re sleeping. Based on how differently morning and evening workouts feel, I agree.

Of course, the “If you’re still alive, that is”, is referring to being active, lest you end up walking around like a zombie, who is bogged down with a weak, overweight body(skinny-fat type), and brain fog. So, if you’re still alive, time to get the heart pumping, and the lungs breathing, and the muscles working, comrade!

“Overall strengthening, in the morning – sobering, if you’re still alive that is, gymnastics.”


Если вы в своей квартире, лягте на пол, три-четыре

“If you are in your room, lay on the floor, three-four.”

This is talking about floor space, and laying on the floor for exercises such as hollow-body rocks, leg-lifts, sit-ups, planks, etc. Watch a great body-weight video here.


Выполняйте правильно движения.

“Execute the movements correctly.”

This is talking about form. So much debate about “correct” form in exercises. There really is no such thing as correct form, as long as the weight moves from point A to point B. Or as long as the athlete traverses the terrain or distance from point A to point B.

If you can do something, without injury, it’s proper form. If you are getting injured, while doing “correct form”, clearly, it is not the correct form.

It is true that it is best to stick to the common form, most of the time. The work of Ido Portal has defied the proper alignment argument, however not everyone is at that level of mobility, and most people will be well off normal, full ROM squats.

“Execute the movements correctly”


Прочь влияния извне. Привыкайте к новизне. Вдох глубокий до изнеможения.

“Ignore outside influences, get used to newness. Deep breaths until exhaustion”

This is talking about something powerful, as that is: Peer pressure, or External motivation. When your buddies at the factory go out for smoke break, every hour, on the hour, and you are used to it as well, they will, in the best case, look at you funny when you begin exercising.

At worst, they will openly ridicule you, for being a try hard. This song says, don’t mind the outside opinions. Get used to new things. There is always new research coming out, new knowledge.

And that knowledge is: a strong, healthy body, via exercise, is king.

“Ignore outside influences, get used to newness. Deep breaths until exhaustion”


Очень вырос в целом мире гриппа вирус, три-четыре. Ширятся, растут заболевания. Если хилый – сразу в гроб. Сохранить здоровье чтоб, применяйте, люди, обтирания.

“The flu virus has grown in the world, three – four. The circle of sickness is expanding. If you’re weak – immediately into the grave. To keep healthy, use bathing/hygiene.”

This line is satirical, it’s kind of a joke, poking fun at people getting sick easily. In this sense, it implies, if you are out of shape, the flu will put you straight into the grave, haha. While not completely true, as strong athlete has a better immune system than his overweight co-worker.

Obviously, having a cold or having the flu won’t kill you outright, however it will reduce your productive and ability to train, and your ability to enjoy life.


Разговаривать не надо. Приседайте до упада. Да не будьте мрачными и хмурыми.

“No need to talk. Squats until you drop. And don’t be bleak and gloomy.”

This again, is a humorous line, about doing a ton of body-weight squats. There is a deeper insight, however, in this line, and that is the connection between exercise and mood.

This is talking about the mood-boosting effects of exercise. People who have some sort of exercise routine, and exert themselves are usually in an even mood, and less likely to be depressed.

It’s also fulfilling to complete exercise routines, adding to you feeling of self-worth as well.

“No need to talk. Squats until you drop. And don’t be bleak and gloomy.”


Если вам совсем неймется, Обтирайтась чем придется, водными займитесь процедурами.

“If you don’t like sitting around recovering, then do some water procedures.”

This is talking to cold water immersions, cold baths and showers. There is a ton out there on cold showers, long story short, they are good for you.

Besides, some places don’t have hot water. My own area did not have how water for about a week, and it was not an issue.


Если вы уже устали, сели-встали, сели-встали. Не страшны нам арктика с антарктикой!

“If you are already tired, sat down – stood up, sat down – stood up. We are not afraid of the Arctic and the Antarctic!”

This is talking about, again, doing body weight squats. A favorite of mine, for morning cardio.

Guessing this line is referring to the invigorating feeling of doing some light calisthenics, while subtly poking fun at people getting winded after only a few squats.


Главный академик иофф Доказал: коньяк и кофе вам заменят спорт и профилактика.

“Chief academic Ioff, has proven: Cognac and Coffee will be replaced for you by sport and prevention.”

Sounds kind of backwards, but such is the sentence structure in Russian, when directly translated to English.

It really means that you can replace cognac and coffee drinking with sport and taking care of your well-being.

This is talking about lifestyle habits, and habit replacement. Money Mustache wrote about this well, here. I disagree with the coffee comment, as it has been a reliable tool to boost my own productivity. I had a few cups of coffee before publishing this very article. You are mostly correct, chief academic Ioff.


These were my favorite lines out of this old soviet song, and it covers most everything there is to cover about fitness.

There is, however, a world of difference, between knowing something, and doing it. Everybody already knows everything. But there are only a few doing it.


Here are the full lyrics:

Утренняя гимнастика – Morning Gymnastics
Владимир Высоцкий – Vladimir Vysotsky

“Вдох глубокий. Руки шире. Не спешите, три-четыре.
Бодрость духа, грация и пластика. Общеукрепляющая,
Утром отрезвляющая, если жив пока еще, гимнастика.”

Take a deep breath, put your arms farther out, don’t rush, – three – four!
Cheerfulness of Spirit, grace and elasticity!
Overall strengthening, and in the morning sobering,
If you’re still alive that is- Gymnastics!

“Если вы в своей квартире, лягте на пол, три-четыре
Выполняйте правильно движения. Прочь влияния извне.
Привыкайте к новизне. Вдох глубокий до изнеможения.”

If you are in your apartment, lay down on the floor – three – four!
Perform the exercise correctly! Get away from outside influences – get used to the novelty, Take a deep breath and hold it, for as long as possible!

“Очень вырос в целом мире гриппа вирус, три-четыре.
Ширятся, растут заболевания. Если хилый – сразу в гроб.
Сохранить здоровье чтоб, применяйте, люди, обтирания.”

All over the world the cold/flu virus, has spread – three – four!
Illnesses widen, spread and grow. If you are sickly – you go right into the grave! To guard your health, maintain your hygiene!

“Разговаривать не надо. Приседайте до упада.
Да не будьте мрачными и хмурыми. Если вам совсем неймется,
Обтирайтась чем придется, водными займитесь процедурами.”

It’s not necessary to talk about it, Squat until you drop,
Now don’t be glum and gloomy! If you don’t like sitting around, take part in aquatic procedures!

“Если вы уже устали, сели-встали, сели-встали.
Не страшны нам арктика с антарктикой. Главный академик иофф
Доказал: коньяк и кофе вам заменят спорт и профилактика.”

If you are already tired, Squat – stand, squat – stand,
We’re not scared of Arctic or the Antarctic!
Chief academic Ioff, has proven: Cognac and Coffee will be replaced for you by sport and prevention!

“Не страшны дурные вести – мы в ответ бежим на месте.
В выигрыше даже начинающий. Красота: среди бегущих
Первых нет и отстающих. Бег на месте обще-примиряющий”

Bad news isn’t terrifying, in response we run in place.
Even the beginner wins. Beauty of it is, that among the runners, there is no first or last place, running in place is creates camaraderie!


Thank You for Reading,

Until Next Time, and

All the Best.

-A

P.S. The very latest Episode of the Walk and Talk Podcast is below↓↓↓

Walk and Talk Episode 08: Why I No Longer Use Facebook

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