Upper-body strength has never been my strong suit, so I get excited about doing exercises that really feel like they’re challenging my arms, shoulders, and back, especially when it’s kind of unexpected. The braveheart, a move from Beachbody’s new Morning Meltdown 100 program, definitely fell in that category. When trainer Jericho McMatthews demoed the move on screen, I wasn’t sure what it would do, if anything. Then I tried it, and realized, oh, wait: that’s hard.
Your lats, shoulders, and triceps all get major work from this dumbbell exercise, but I also felt a major burn all through my core, which was fighting to stabilize during the rotation. Once you get the hang of the move with both feet on the floor, there are two options to kick up the intensity even more: by lifting your back leg out behind you, then by adding a pulse on your supporting leg. My standing glute lit up immediately.
Jericho’s advice for this move is to go very slowly to start. If you can, do it in front of a full-length mirror to make sure you stay properly aligned. “If you’re struggling with balance, make sure to keep your core tight and focus your eyeline on a fixed spot about four to six feet in front of you,” she added. “You can always lower the rear floating leg to catch your balance, and drop to lighter weights if needed!” (Here’s a guide on how to choose the right weight.)
Keep reading for instructions on how to do this challenging, effective move.