Exercise of the Week: Kneeling Lift

The lift movement is simply a mirror image of the chop where you move your arms across your body from a low position to a high position. This exercise is may be more challenging because you are now moving against gravity rather than with it like the chop. Follow the same guidelines as the chop when doing this exercise.


Movement description: Use a rubber tubing for this exercise. Attach the middle of the tubing to the hook of a cable column machine. Set the height of the hook of the machine to the lowest setting. Grab each handle of the tubing with each hand, and kneeling on both knees with the left side of your body facing the hook. Curl your toes on the ground and tighten your buttocks slightly to maintain a tall posture.

Pull the tubing up and across your body toward the right side of your head without turning your torso. Hold the end point of the movement for one second and slowly reverse the movement. Perform 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps on each side of your body.

Variations: You can perform this exercise by kneeling on one knee and bring one leg in front of you like a lunge. If your left side of your body is facing toward the hook, kneel on your left knee and bring your right leg in front of you at about 90 degrees. Keep your right foot close to the center of your body. This kneeling position can better determine if one side of your core is stronger than the other side.

Once you are proficient with the kneeling positions, progress to a standing position with your legs about shoulder-width apart or a scissors stance where you place one leg in front of the other.

Tip: If one side of your body is weaker or less coordinated than the other side, perform two extra sets on the weaker side in each training session until both sides feel relatively equal.

You may also use a resistance band or just the cable machine itself for this exercise if you do not have a rubber tubing. Keep in mind that the resistance of the band or tubing changes based on the length and tension of the equipment. The cable machine, with its pulley and weight system, provide a constant resistance. Try both methods to vary your workout.

Extra challenge: Perform three sets of kneeling chops and three sets of kneeling lifts without rest between sets. To maximize your time and energy in your workout, set one side of the handle of the cable machine to the highest height and set the other of the handle to the lowest height. This way you can transition between the chop and lift exercises without readjusting the handle’s height.

You can perform these exercises daily as a warm-up or a workout by themselves. In one week, you may find that you body is stronger without doing a single crunch.

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