A Step Above

There’s no doubt that fitness is an area in which multitasking increases returns—that is, when the right exercises are merged. The opposing motions in this lunge-press combo challenge coordination and balance while involving all the major muscles in the lower body, shoulders and core. Do a few practice tries on both sides without the dumbbells to understand the rhythm. To add it to a workout, start with a set of 5 lunges to one side then 5 more with the other (10 total shoulder presses), completing 3 sets with a minute rest in between. Work up to 3 sets of 10 before increasing the weight and starting back at 5.

The Setup
Stand tall, feet parallel and about hip-width apart. Sling the dumbbells—men, start with 15 pounders; women, 7½ or 10s—so they rest just above the shoulders. Keep the hands neutral, fingertips facing toward the head and elbows tucked in and pointing forward, not winging out to the sides.

The Step and Press
Lean slightly to one side so most of the body’s weight is on one foot. Step backward with the other foot in a deep lunge. While stepping, press the weights up, keeping the elbows in, until arms are straight overhead. From here, push into the front foot, stepping the rear one back in, lowering the arms and returning to the start position. Throughout the motion, lean the torso forward slightly over the front leg so it is doing the bulk of the work—the back leg operates more like a kickstand to maintain balance.

In a lunge, keep the natural hip-width between the feet—no need to teeter on a tightrope.

fitness model ryan fatscher photographed at on the go fitness, st. james. photo: kenny janosick