Happy Thursday to you,
First I want to thank everyone who sent over kind words about my new kettlebell workout wizard app which I launched last week.
If you missed it you can download the app below:
Download the free iPhone app here (Android version coming next month)
It means a lot to receive support on projects like these, they are very time consuming and often costly but receiving your feedback always makes them worthwhile.
If you could leave a review on the app store that would mean the world to me and ultimately help more people enjoy this free app.
OK, let’s get into the good stuff…
The Plank Row
The plank row is a powerful full body exercise that conditions the core, back, shoulders and glutes.
What you may not know is that the core muscles work very hard all day preventing movement rather than producing it.
The spine is very vulnerable and without the core muscles any movements by the arms or legs would cause the spine to be shaken all over the place.
The late strength coach Charles Poliquin used to say:
“You can’t fire a cannon from a canoe“
In other words building a strong foundation with solid core muscles provides a great platform for your limbs to operate from.
A strong core foundation will reduce back injuries and generate a more powerful force production when lifting.
Now lets take a look at the Plank Row below:
There is a lot going on here with just this one exercise.
- The supporting shoulder is working hard to stabilise the upper body
- The glutes and core are active preventing the hips from dropping
- The weight generates huge rotational forces that the core must normalise
- The back is working hard to row the kettlebell upwards
This is a very challenging exercise and one that should be approached with caution.
Before you even attempt this exercise you should be able to hold the one arm plank position at least for 30 seconds with a beautiful straight back.
Exercises like these are the one’s that I really like to use.
Compare the plank row to a regular isolation exercise like the biceps curl and you see just how much more activation you can get from one movement.
My new muscle building program that is being launched in a few weeks uses the plank row and others just like it to get more done but in less time.
Learn more: Master the renegade row and 5 variations
Here’s a variation of the Plank Row in action in my 12 Week Men’s Program:
- Reverse Lunge – 10 each side
- Renegade Row (or plank row) – 8 each side
- Overhead Press – 8 each side
The above density workout lasts for 12 minutes and activates practically every muscle in your body.
Repeat the above 3 exercises one after the other as a continuous circuit taking as little rest as possible.
The reverse lunge develops single leg strength and balance especially working the buttocks and legs hard.
The renegade or plank row strengthens the core, back, shoulder and glute muscles.
Finally the overhead press is the big ‘prime mover’ shoulder and lat muscle builder.
The Concept 2 Rower
The only piece of cardio equipment I own is a concept 2 rower which I use in my home gym.
Rowing is excellent for adding further pulling movements into your schedule. Pulling exercises are often neglected and since we spend most of our days slumped forwards at a desk, in a chair or on the sofa, extra pulling is a great addition for improving posture.
I use the rower on days when I am not kettlebell training mostly to either perform intervals or recovery rows for my legs.
Here’s one of my favourite rowing interval workouts:
- 3 minutes steady warm up – around 22 SPM
- 1 minute hard – 26 – 30 SPM
- Rest until heart rate drops to 110 BPM
- Repeat for 5 – 10 sets
I use my heart rate as a guide for when to start rowing again, 110 BPM is approx 60% of my max. I know my max heart rate when rowing because I’ve reached it on my rower but you need to do this gradually.
I set the damper to usually 5 and sometimes 6 but not usually more.
Each minute I tend to increase my strokes per minute (SPM) as I warm up and get into the workout.
If I feel strong I’ll do more sets, tired less, it’s as simple as that.
That’s all for today my friend,
Take care of yourself and each other,
P.S. Use ATHOME to get a special discount off all my workout programs