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.
Get a great back workout by balancing on a stability ball as you perform rows with a cable machine. The stability ball makes you concentrate on maintaining your center to stay upright; the rows isolate and work your back muscles.
Attach a double handle to a cable machine at the waist-high setting. Sit on a stability ball facing the machine and take one handle in each hand, with your palms facing each other. Your feet will be flat on the floor and your arms extended straight in front of you (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, pull both handles simultaneously toward your chest by bending your elbows and keeping your hands together. Keep your elbows low as you pull, so that your hands come straight back. As your hands come toward you, pull them toward the right side of your abs, until your hands touch just below your right ribs (see Photos 2 and 3).
- Bring your arms back to the starting position by straightening them in front of you, and repeat the row, this time pulling your hands toward the left side of your abs (see Photo 4).
- Continue to row to alternate sides until you have done 12 rows on each side, or 24 total.
You can also do this exercise with a double-arm cable system. Simply attach a handle to each cable and sit between the arms of the machine on a stability ball. Pull straight back with alternating arms in a rowing motion for 12 rows on each arm. For this variation, you do not need to take your hands to the side; pull them in a straight line toward your chest.
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.