The bent over row with leg raise is a great exercise for people who are looking for a total body workout. It not only strengthens and tones muscles in your upper body, but also helps to increase the stability in your "core" muscles. To make this exercise more difficult, try closing your eyes. You'll be amazed how this simple trick can really increase the intensity of the workout.
About the Bent Over Row with Leg Raise
The bent over row is a great exercise that targets muscles in the upper back, shoulder, glute, hamstring and lower back. Since it targets so many muscles at one time, it is great for people who are looking for "total body" exercises. This exercise not only helps to strengthen and tone the muscles described, but also results in an increase in the metabolic rate, thereby increasing calorie burn.
Positioning Your Body
To do the bent over row with leg raise, start by finding an appropriately side bench. Ideally, this bench should hit at the midpoint between your knees and hips. Place your right hand on the bench with your fingers facing forward and spread widely apart. Place your right foot on the ground, under your right hip. Carefully lift your left leg off the ground, and bend at the waist so that your left leg extends behind your body. Ideally, you should now be in a straight line from your left foot up to your head. Hold a dumbbell firmly in the left hand.
Performing the Bent Over Row with Leg Raise
Now that you are positioned properly, you can perform the bent over row with leg raise. Before starting the exercise, take a few deep breaths. As you exhale, slowly lift the left arm, bringing the elbow up and along the left ribcage. Once you can no longer lift the elbow any higher, slowly lower it back to your starting position. Perform 10 repetitions of the exercise before taking a short break. Do another 2 sets of 10 repetitions in order to achieve optimal results. Switch to the other side, and perform another 3 sets of 10 reps of the bent over row with leg raise with the dumbbell in the right hand.
Increasing the Intensity
The bent over row with leg raise is a great exercise in and of itself, but if it starts to become easy for you, it is essential that you increase the intensity. One easy way to do this is by closing your eyes when performing the exercise. This will require you to stabilize the muscles in the core even more, thereby resulting in a more difficult workout. If this is still too easy for you, you can decrease the firmness of the floor by standing on a folded towel. As with the method involving closing your eyes, standing on a towel will force you to engage the muscles in your core more fully, thereby giving you a more challenging workout.