People often ask me, "What do you do during your recovery between complex sets?" My standard answer is to not say a word and to simply get down on all fours on the floor. The point is usually pretty clear when I do this. The main reason complexes are so effective is that they are THAT hard. If you are not pushing the envelope just to the brink of complete failure with each set, you are not going to get all that you can get out of these highly effective, challenging exercises.
Starter barbell complex
Set a barbell high on your shoulders with your feet slightly wider than your shoulder width. Keeping your torso as erect as possible, descend as far as you can while keeping your heels flat on the floor.
2. BEHIND-THE-NECK PUSH PRESS
With the bar high on your shoulders, dip into approximately a quarter squat and drive upward. Using the momentum from your legs, drive the weight overhead. Your arms and legs should straighten out at exactly the same time. Be sure to bend your knees as the load comes down to make
1. FRONT SQUAT
Place flat-ended dumbbells on your shoulders by setting the flat ends onto your shoulders so that your thumbs are down and palms are facing in. Your elbows should be held high and facing forward, not out to the sides. Keeping your torso as erect as possible, descend as far as you can while keeping your heels flat on the floor.
Note: If your dumbbells do not have a flat end, you can rest the edge of the dumbbells on the front of your shoulders so that your elbows are not as high.
2. PUSH PRESS
With the dumbbells in the front squat position, dip into approximately a quarter squat and drive upward. Usingthe momentum from your legs, drive the weight overhead. Your arms and legs should straighten out at exactly the same time. Be sure to bend your knees as you lower back to the starting position.
Starter kettlebell complex (continued)
1. TWO-HANDED SWING
Holding the kettlebell with both hands and in a squat-type base, bend your knees and move your shoulders forward so that your forearms are in contact with your inner thighs. Drive the weight upward and out using the extension of your hips to move the load. Lower the kettlebell back to the starting position.
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The use of dumbbells gives you a much more comprehensive strengthening effect because the workout engages your stabilizer muscles, in addition to the muscle you may be pin-pointing. Without all of the belts and artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers.