This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
Here's an exercise that's all about position. The challenge is to maintain a vertical arm on one side as you reach straight downward with the other. Add a dumbbell and an Arnold press to the mix and it's a recipe for a serious challenge to your legs, shoulders, and core.
Hold a dumbbell in one hand. With your palm facing forward, raise your arm straight up into the air from your shoulder. Your feet should be spread out a little more than the width of your hips, and your heels should be angled so they're pointing toward the arm holding the dumbbell (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, bend at the hips and twist through your core so that your unweighted hand reaches toward the floor between your feet. Your weighted hand should remain straight in the air.
- Continue to reach downward until your unweighted hand touches the floor in front of and between your feet. As you lower down, your weighted hand will rotate and your palm will face away from your body (see Photo 2).
- Return to vertical, keeping your weighted arm straight above you, your back flat, and your center strong as you come back up (see Photo 3).
- When you have returned to the starting position, do a one-armed Arnold press: Lower the dumbbell to your chest while twisting your palm to face you (see Photo 4).
- Reverse the motion and press the dumbbell back up to a fully extended arm with palm facing front and your elbow by your ear, then move right into your next windmill (see Photo 5).
- Repeat for a full set of 10 on one side before switching to the other side for 10 more.
If you have flexibility issues in your legs, you can bend the front knee slightly as you lower your upper body toward the floor. This will reduce the strain on your legs.
About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, which was voted the best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. A competitive swimmer and triathlete in his own right, Polson has over 15 years of experience working as a coach and trainer, and was recently named by Men's Journal Magazine (December 2005) as one of the Top 100 Trainers in America.