This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body, which was voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
This exercise trains you from your center out to your legs, biceps, and shoulders. By "loading" at your shoulder level during this advanced move, you develop strength in your core while building muscle in your limbs.
Stand upright, with feet about hip distance apart and knees soft (slightly bent). Your shoulders should be retracted and your abdominals engaged. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at chest level, with your palms facing you and your elbows in front of your body. You should start with lighter-weight dumbbells until you build up your strength over time (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, bend at the hips and lower your upper body directly forward, keeping the dumbbells in the same position. Focus on using your hamstrings and glutes to lower your upper body—your abs and lower back should be engaged to stabilize your movement. You should end up with your upper body parallel to the floor. Your neck should be in a straight line through your spine, and your back should be flat. Important: You must keep your hips back and lower back flat to avoid back injury. (see Photo 2).
- Return to your starting position by raising your upper body. From that position, perform an Arnold shoulder press: Raise both hands above the shoulders, turning your palms to face front at the top of your lift. As you raise your arms, do not let the dumbbells go wide— the weights should stay directly above your shoulders (see Photo 3).