The neglected exercises that are fantastic for muscle recruitment, stability, and power.
If you missed my last post where I went over two unusual exercises that I think you should start doing, you might want to click through and give it a read because today, we’re covering the last three.
This unusual exercise is a variation of the bent over row, and requires you to bend your body at an incredibly steep angle—hence the super original name. You just place your palm on the ground and arrange yourself in a “pike” position. From there, perform a dumbbell row.
Here’s a video of the Deep Bend Row:
Obviously, it looks a bit silly; and perhaps even more obviously, the set up and positioning don’t allow for use of particularly heavy weight. However, there are a few benefits to consider.
First, your “non-working” arm is supporting a good part of your body weight, so you’re building some shoulder stability. Second, holding the pike position is a nice way to get some extra flexibility work—and let’s face it: You’re not stretching regularly and you know it.
Finally, we come to the main benefit, which is the difference in the line of pull. I don’t like to fall back on bodybuilding clichés like “hit the muscle from all angles” but in this case, I like the variation because it works your back completely differently from anything else I’ve found. This is a great exercise for high reps and light weights; focus on scapular stability and a good range of motion.
Next up on our list of unusual exercises is the 1-Arm Inverted Row. Now, some exercises look easy but are actually hard. Some are pretty hard while looking easy.
And then you have a few that are as hard as they look.
I love this exercise because it looks so bad-ass. It looks as hard as it is, which means not many people even attempt it. But if you give it a shot, I swear you’ll keep it in your workout programs for a long time to come.
The 1-Arm row obviously helps you develop tremendous pulling strength in the upper back muscles, but it also forces you to stabilize, so it engages your core very heavily. In addition, like all single-limb exercises, the 1-Arm Inverted Row forces the recruitment of a superior number of high-threshold motor unit (HTMUs), which means this unusual exercise is fantastic for building both strength and muscle.
Finally, it’s a cool way to help you start developing the strength and coordination necessary to perform a 1-arm pull-up, which may be the most bad-ass exercise of all time.
Super Charging Tip: Can’t do a 1-Arm Inverted Row yet? No problem. Start with a side-to-side inverted row, which will help you develop the strength, as well as efficiency in the movement pattern.
The benefits to this one are seemingly endless. You get the benefit from a unilateral exercise. You get the benefit of overhead exercise. You get the core activation inherent in the movement. And you get to look awesome doing it.
This is a hard one, so work up to it by practicing unloaded (just holding your hands straight over your head). As for loading, you can do it with a barbell or dumbbell, but I much prefer using a medicine ball or a plate, as shown in the video.
It feels as cool as it looks.
Okay, so that concludes the list! I want you to try ALL of these exercises today, and then report back with your thoughts. At least 50 COMMENTS and I’ll put up a brand new post tomorrow!
By the way, if you want a whole mess of OTHER unusual exercises, you should definitely check out my Omega Body Blueprint program. It’ll help you optimize your hormones, slash your body fat, and enjoy all the benefits of advanced bodyweight training, like improved neurological efficiency, stability, and muscle recruitment (Yes, it has amazing carryover to your weightlifting as well). Take a look at this killer program today!