This is one of my very favorite “secret weapon” total-torso training exercises. It covers pretty much every major part in your upper body in just one movement (or should I say TWO movements in one!).
It’s a relatively simple-looking concept on the surface…you’ll be doing a single-arm dumbell bench press while at the same time doing a single arm cable pulldown/row.
As you’re pushing the dumbell UP, you’re pulling the cable DOWN.
So you’re hitting the two biggest parts of the upper body in one shot there (including biceps on the pull and triceps on the press, along with aspects of the shoulders on both).
What you might not see at first glance is the INCREDIBLE core cross-tension you’ll get when you execute a push and a pull. You see, in order to stabilize the core while doing two opposing movements, your deep core muscles (obliques and transverus) will be pushed to the limit.
This is honestly one of THE best core exercises I’ve ever come up with, never mind all the other upper body stuff going on. It’s going to develop incredible core strength without any hint of a crunch or sit-up.
I can promise you, if you’ve never done heavy cross-core tension training before, your deep abdominal muscles will be feeling it for DAYS. So start with more moderate weights than I’m using in the demo here and work up to it.
Just fyi, this is an exercise that can also be found in my book “The Best Abdominal Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of”, if you’re interested in more like this.
Here’s how to do it…