One thing lacking in many people’s programs is groundwork: exercises done on all fours, or at least closer to the ground than standing or sitting on benches.
One of the best is the bear-stance sliding row:
- Move the kettlebell diagonally by bringing it up and back from the working arm to between the legs. Keep a neutral spine. Use the other arm to firmly press into the floor directly under your shoulder.
- As you progress, start extending your knees and try adding more of a rock to the exercise. This will add a metabolic component and a serious quad burn. Then work your way up to a adding weighted vest.
It’s one of those exercises that looks easy on paper but smokes your body. Do this in a circuit or as a standalone finisher for 8-12 reps per arm.
- Shoulder Strength: Holding your bodyweight up is much harder than it looks, especially if you’re carrying over 200 pounds.
- Stability: You’re supporting your whole body. There’s a lot of synergist muscles forced to help out.
- Core Strength: Some of the best anterior core work is done on the ground.
- Metabolic Demands: Training on all fours requires your heart and lungs to work even harder.
- Isometric Work: You’re isometrically working a lot of muscles when holding your body just above the ground. This can increase time under tension and provide more strength and help recruit more muscle fibers.