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.
This lunge and power row combination is as much about balance and coordination training as it is about building strength. To maintain a lunge while doing a powerful dumbbell row, you must maintain your balance by engaging your core and legs. This means you not only train your legs and lats, you also make your entire body a stronger and more cohesively functioning machine. Try to put as much power as you can behind the row, and stay low through your legs.
Stand upright with a dumbbell held in your right hand at your side and your feet about hip-width apart (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, lunge forward with your left foot, dropping down through your back knee and thigh, and being careful not to let your front knee come ahead of your toe. Your left foot should be pointing out in front of you, with your left knee bent and your left foot firmly on the ground; you right heel may come up off the mat slightly, depending on how deep you have lunged (see Photo 2).
- Holding at the bottom of your lunge, incline your chest forward at a 45-degree angle, engaging your center and keeping your shoulder blades together and back flat. Perform a powerful upright row, bending your right elbow as you pull it quickly straight up and back toward the ceiling, until it is at least level with your back. Contract across your right shoulder blade as you lift, and keep your right arm fairly close to your bodyit should travel in a straight rather than arcing line (see Photos 3 and 4).
- Bring your arm back down out of the row, straighten your upper body back to vertical, and then push off with your left foot to return to the starting position. Repeat for a set of 12 lunges and rows with the right arm, and then switch to the other side for 12 more, lunging with the right foot and rowing with the left arm.