If you want to take your all-round fitness to new heights then you’re going to need a ladder. A workout ladder, to be precise, where you do descending and ascending reps. In this workout you’ll do an inverted ladder, which means you do descending reps of one move followed by ascending reps of another.
“Inverted ladders will test you mentally as well as physically,” says Olli Foxley of W10 Performance gym. “One exercise is getting easier as the other is getting harder.”
How to do it
Do ten reps of exercise 1A then one rep of exercise 1B followed by a 10-metre bear crawl. Then do nine reps of 1A and two reps of 1B, and continue in that pattern until you get to one rep of 1A and ten reps of 1B, completing the bear crawl between ladder “rungs”.
1A Inverted row on rings
Hold the rings in each hand and position your body in a straight line at a 30-45° angle to the floor with your heels on the floor and your arms straight. Keeping your elbows tucked in to your sides, pull your body up so your hands just about touch your chest. Squeeze your back muscles together at the top of the move, then lower under control to the start.
“The inverted row helps strengthen the upper back and counteract the pushing in the thruster, which comes next,” says Foxley.
1B One-arm dumbbell thruster
Hold a dumbbell at shoulder height then squat down, keeping your knees in line with your toes and your chest up. From there, straighten up and, as you do so, press the dumbbell directly overhead. Pause, lower the weight back to the start and go straight into the next rep. Do the same number of reps each arm each set.
“The single-arm variation of the dumbbell thruster allows for more thoracic (upper back) rotation in an overhead position, making it more shoulder-friendly for people who struggle with shoulder mobility,” says Foxley.
1C Bear crawl
Get on all fours then crawl forwards, moving one hand and the opposite foot simultaneously to cover the distance.
“The bear crawl adds a core, shoulder stability and hip stability component to the session and will also keep the heart rate elevated,” says Foxley.