Put Your Body into Beast Mode with the Bear-Gorilla Flow

<span class="caption">Activate Beast Mode with the Bear-Gorilla Flow</span><span class="photo-credit">Philip Friedman</span>
Activate Beast Mode with the Bear-Gorilla FlowPhilip Friedman

Remote working might have a positive impact on your commuting costs, but it’s decidedly less beneficial for your spine. Spending hours hunched over your laptop only to throw yourself into ambitious workouts at the end of the day is a sure path to back pain.

Strengthening your back and core can help to protect your shoulders and spine –but if you’re serious about easing aches and reducing your risk of mishap, you also need that muscle to be mobile.

‘Your torso is always changing positions, twisting and turning and shifting,’ says trainer and MHUS fitness director Ebenezer Samuel. ‘You need to train your back and ab muscles to be ready for all that movement.’

That’s where the bear-gorilla flow can help. Most row exercises force your torso to maintain a static position as you do rep after rep. This flow begins with a bear-plank position, but after you’ve done a row rep on each side, you’ll jump forwards to finish in a gorilla stance. That teaches your spine to be ready for anything, and it rockets up your heart rate. It might even coax your abs out of hibernation.

Bear Down

Start in bear-plank position, back flat, knees off the floor. Your hands should be below your shoulders, gripping kettlebells, look at the floor. Squeeze your abs and shoulder blades.

<span class="photo-credit">Philip Friedman</span>
Philip Friedman

Row, Row, Row!

Drive your left hand into the kettlebell hard, then row the right bell towards your ribcage.Pause and squeeze your abs and shoulder blades, working to keep your hips and shoulders square to the floor. Lower it, then repeat on the other side.

<span class="photo-credit">Philip Friedman</span>
Philip Friedman

Get Gorilla

Jump forwards so that both feet are planted just outside the kettlebells. Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings, pulling your bum down. Make sure your shoulders are higher than your bum; you’re now in a gorilla stance.

<span class="photo-credit">Philip Friedman</span>
Philip Friedman

Double Up

Squeeze your shoulder blades and row both bells towards your ribcage. Return the bells to the floor. Jump back to a bear plank and begin another rep. Perform reps for 40secs, then rest 40 secs. Do 3 or 4 sets.

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