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Cardio machines that do double duty

Reverse Crunch with Push-up

Start in push-up position facing away from the rower, with hands under shoulders, balls of feet on top of the saddle, legs extended, core engaged. Pull knees in toward your chest, sliding saddle forward. Extend legs behind you, pushing saddle back until body is parallel to floor, and perform a push-up, lowering chest to floor and pressing back up. Bring knees back into chest; repeat. Do 12 to 15 reps.

Make it easier: Skip the push-up (slowly slide knees in and out).

Make it harder: Lift one leg off seat, alternating sides with each push-up.

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Lat Straight-Arm Plank

Stand facing the rower, about two feet away, with feet more than shoulder-width apart. Hinge forward from hips, keeping back flat, and place forearms on the saddle (body forms an inverted V) with hands clasped together. Use your core to drive elbows and saddle forward, until arms are extended overhead and body is parallel to floor. Keeping abs engaged, use your lats to roll back to start. Do 12 to 15 reps.

Make it easier: Hold modified plank for up to 1 minute.

Make it harder: Lift one leg as you roll out, alternating sides with each rep.

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Reverse Lunge with Rotation

Stand to left side of rower with right knee bent, ball of right foot on top of saddle and hands in front of chest, elbows bent out to sides. Slide right leg behind you, as you bend left knee (keeping it behind toes) and rotate torso to left. Reverse motion back to start. Do 12 to 15 reps; switch sides and repeat.

Make it easier: Do a lunge without the rotation.

Make it harder: Lift hands overhead.

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Plank with Push-offs

On a Woodway treadmill, get into DYNAMIC MODE. Push the ON button and before doing anything hold down the + and the – speed buttons simultaneously until the treadmill flashes and beeps (you will feel the belt disengage). You are then ready to start. With your feet on the floor behind the treadmill, get into a plank with your elbows on treadmill, or get into a straight-arm plank with hands on treadmill (this will be a slight incline plank). Then get up onto your hands if not already (into a push-up position with feet still on floor) and begin pushing the treadmill forward, like a bear crawl. Be sure to keep the length of push very small and compact. This is a very advanced exercise and requires good shoulder strength and stability. An easier way to do this is to drop to your knees, put one hand on side of treadmill and simply push the treadmill forward 5 times with one hand, then switch and push off with other hand 5 times. First-timers should try it this way. You can alternate between a short set of push-off crawls and stationary incline plank.

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Mountain Climbers

Set the treadmill to Dynamic Mode. This is the reverse position from the plank set above: Your feet are set about in the middle of the treadmill with your hands on the floor in a push-up position. Make sure your arms are straight down underneath your shoulders. Gripping the belt with your toes, begin mountain climbing, pushing the treadmill away from you.

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Self-Propelled Sprints

Get into Dynamic Mode again. Add a little incline of 3-8%, grip the handles in the middle of the treadmill and begin running while pushing/holding onto the treadmill with the hands. Be sure to keep your shoulders up and your body closer to front of treadmill (instead of extending your arms and compromising your back). I recommend a person does only 30 seconds or less of sprinting, then walk it out, then repeat as desired. They are very difficult and simulate pushing a sled, as you must push you own body weight! An important thing to remember is that the more incline you keep, the easier you actually make it (gravity helps you move the treadmill). The most difficult way to do this is on a 0% incline.

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