Want to build a solid core with real-world strength? Give loaded carries — moving heavy objects from point A to point B — a go and, to take things up a notch, experiment with different variations available to you at your training space. Loaded crawls, for example, torch your shoulders, arms and back while building a midline of steel.
To try them on for size, tackle the dumbbell crawl ladder below, which also throws in a few classic exercises to pump up your chest and arms.
To start, pace out 10-15m of open space for your crawl. At each end, you’re going to perform a set of push-ups and dumbbell rows, beginning at 20 reps of each, after each set, bear crawl to the other side and perform another round, reducing the reps by two each time (ie 20 push-ups, 20 rows, 18 push-ups, 18 rows, 16 push-ups, 16 rows etc.) until you reach just 2 of each.
1. Dumbbell bear crawl x 10-15m
Set up on all fours, gripping your dumbbells below your shoulders. Lift one dumbbell and reach forward with that arm, advancing with your back leg on the opposite side (A). Repeat on your other side (B). Keep alternating, edging forward as quickly as possible, under control.
2. Push-up on dumbbell x 20, 18, 16, 14… 2
Remain in strong plank position, with your core tight and hands on your dumbbells (A), bend your elbows to bring your chest to the floor (B). Keep your elbows close to your body as you push back up explosively.
3. Renegade row x 20, 18, 16, 14… 2
After your final push-up, keep both hands on your dumbbells (A). Shifting your weight onto your left hand, row the right dumbbell towards your hip (B). Pause briefly, then lower the weight under control. Repeat on your left side (left+right equals one rep)
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