Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Pushup/Rowing Combo


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Most sports or daily activities involve the movement and coordination of your whole body, rather than, for example, your biceps alone. I think you’ll see the value of the Pushup/Rowing Combo and how your body works as a unit.

To begin, you must be in a position similar to the Plank, where your body has to be firm and tight from head to toe. You simply cannot do the P/R Combo if you let your abs and spine relax and sag.

The first part of the exercise is the standard pushup, requiring pecs, frontal deltoids and triceps to work in unison. Then, you balance on one arm, while keeping tension on your chest and shoulder muscles, as you pull one dumbbell up to one side; and then change arms and do the same on the opposite side. The rowing motion works your lats, rhomboids and biceps. It's a wonderful compound movement.

Now, before trying it, here are a few things to remember:

1. You should use hexagon dumbbells or kettlebells. Standard circular plate dumbbells will roll and are therefore dangerous.

2. Spread your feet to shoulder width or more for balance.

3. Begin with lighter weights. Get the feel of the movement before graduating to heavier weights.

4. Although you must stay tight from head to toe throughout the set — do not hold your breath. Breathe!

5. Count 1 rep after you have completed 1 pushup and 1 row on each side. Eight to 12 reps make up a good set. Of course, the heavier the dumbbells, the lower the reps.

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