Marcus Filly Explains How to Use Stability to Hack Your Workouts

·2-min read

As a previous mainstay at the CrossFit Games, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Marcus Filly races through his workouts as quickly as possible—but as a proponent of functional bodybuilding, he often takes the direct opposite approach, focusing instead on slow, controlled technique in his lifts.

In a recent video on his YouTube channel, Filly explains how increasing or decreasing stability in an exercise can help you get the absolute most out of every rep. "Stability is just a variable that we use in training to make things harder or easier," he says, demonstrating a series of dumbbell row variations with differing degrees of stability to illustrate his point. "If you're having a hard time with an exercise, consider stabilising so that you can get better control and better form."

He starts out with a prone row, which is performed while lying horizontally and face down on a bench so that the entire core is supported, calling it "the most stable variation of the row we have."

From there, he progresses to the less supported single arm dumbbell row performed with one knee on the bench and one foot planted on the floor. "We're taking away one point of contact from the bench to make it slightly less stable," he says.

Once you have mastered that move and are able to execute it with controlled, stable form, Filly suggests moving onto the tripod dumbbell row, where both feet are on the floor and one hand is supported on the bench. "If you want to make it even more challenging, then we go to an unstable surface like the bent over single arm row," he says.

The final variation is an incredible advanced one: the ring plank dumbbell row. Filly supports his body with one hand on a ring, keeping his entire body stable while performing the lift with his other hand.

"It isn't always about trying to choose the hardest and most difficult exercise," he adds. "Stable can be very powerful."

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