As much as you might want to, it’s sometimes difficult to tear yourself away from your laptop or smartphone – that’s just modern working life. But it doesn’t mean you have to accept the resulting aches and a doughy middle as an inevitability.
Trainer Eric Leija’s row-to-press flow is the cure for common office ailments: a move that will help rebuild the strength that sedentary jobs so often steal. Sitting for eight hours a day weakens your core muscles and turns your stabilisers to mush, placing more strain on your rotator cuffs and spine. Leija’s movement addresses both, challenging you to complete the row – an effective back-builder – while using your abs to maintain stability. “The stronger your back, the better you can stabilise your shoulders,” says Leija, who works out of the Onnit Academy in Texas.
You can do the row-to-press with a heavy kettlebell, performing 10-15 reps per arm, or with a lighter dumbbell, with a rep count of 20-25. Either way, prepare for your heart rate to skyrocket. Ready, set, flow.
1 ADOPT THE POSITION
Place the kettlebell between your feet, then take a step back with your right leg – keep it straight, but bend your left knee. Lean over your left leg and grab the kettlebell with your right hand.
2 LOCK AND ROW
Lift the kettlebell and row it towards your right hip. Don’t twist your torso – maintain tight abs and work to keep your shoulders square to the ground. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top.
3 GET RACKED
Lower the weight. When it hits the floor, lift it explosively to your shoulder, dropping your right leg into a kneel. Stabilise the unilateral movement by setting your core and tensing your glutes.
4 PRESS AHEAD
Press the kettlebell overhead. Engaging your trunk to keep steady will fire up your metabolism. Pause, lower the weight to your shoulder, then to the ground. Now flow through the rest of your set.