Learning The Ropes

This month’s routine is a simple exercise that works your grip, forearms, biceps, and latissimus dorsi (lats). These are all muscle groups you use when maneuvering your bike at slow speeds or when moving it around in the garage. To do this exercise you’ll need a 20′ length of 11/2 rope and two weights. Those weights can be a couple of kettle bells, cinder blocks, weight plates, or anything else you can get your hands on that’ll create a good amount of drag at the end of the rope.

The first step is to have weights attached to the end of a rope and lying side by side as far away from you as possible. Now face the weights with a rope in each hand and your arms by your sides. Start by extending one arm and grabbing the rope farther away from your body. Then pull that rope toward you as far as you can. Now do the same with your other arm. Keep alternating arms until the weights are in front of you. Then carry the rope to where the weights were originally and do the movement again. Start off by doing five or six rounds of this simple and effective exercise, working your way up to 10 rounds.

A good variation of this movement is to attach one end of the rope to a weight, so you can pull the weight toward you using a hand-over-hand movement. Another is to anchor the middle point of the rope to something solid and stand with both rope ends in your hands, as far as you can from this point. You can do rope waves by moving one arm up and down and then the other for 30 seconds. After resting for 30 seconds, do another round for a total of five or six rounds. You could also do the rounds sitting in a chair. Every time you switch it up, you are hitting these muscle groups in a different way and continuing to make them grow and adapt. Stay strong!

Do you have a recurring muscle cramp or ache, one that’s preventing you from fully enjoying the ride? Send info about the problem to Fit To Ride, c/o American Iron Magazine, 1010 Summer Street, Stamford, CT 06905, or e-mail it to ChrisM@AmericanIronMag.com. Unfortunately, we can’t respond directly to the submitter. Select questions will be answered only through this monthly

column. Also, before trying any of the advice given here, be sure to check with your personal physician. AIM

FIT TO RIDE By Phil Halliwell

Editor’s note: Phil Halliwell is an ISSA-certified personal trainer and has been a nationally ranked powerlifter since 1989, holding AWPC Master World Powerlifting champion and record-holder titles, all as a drug-free athlete. He’s also the guy who got me back into shape after a few mishaps that required surgery. If you want to know more about Phil, call 203/243-1673 or visit Phil Halliwell on Facebook.