You can thank Alexander Charles, the mastermind behind Equinox's Resist class, for this uniquely challenging move.

By Mary Anderson
August 09, 2019

Increasing tensions is a good thing in reps. As a fitness pro at Equinox, Alexander Charles (creator of the Resist strength class at Equinox gyms in New York City) is a master at programming for any workout tool, but he’s partial to resistance bands.

“The beauty of bands is that as the movement ascends, the tension grows,” says Charles. “You control how far you take it. While the resistance of a dumbbell stays the same, bands provide variable resistance—great for growing strength.” (Here's more on the beauty of resistance bands and how to use them.)

That’s why he loaded this static lunge press-lift combo with a band: As you lower into a lunge, with the band under your front foot, you’re either curling or overhead-pressing one end of the band and pulling the other out to shoulder height. “You’re using so many muscles at once—your shoulders, obliques, and legs—as you work your balance,” he says. “Core engagement is crucial throughout this move, plus your biceps remain under tension from curl to finish.” (Also try these moves that test your balance.)

You can typically curl more weight with biceps than you can lift with the medial deltoid in your shoulder, but the band allows for both to be challenged. “You can shorten the band on the biceps curl side, giving your shoulder side raise extra slack to work with,” he says. “Remember, you set the tension."

Ready to give it a try? You'll need a resistance band—either the tubed kind with handles on the ends or a long, therapy-style band that you can wrap around your hands. Heads up: “This move is challenging, so feel free to alternate your press with your raise to get the hang of it first,” says Charles. Now get to work.

Static Lunge Press/Lift Combo

A. Start by looping a resistance band under the arch of the right foot, holding a handle in each hand. Step the left foot back into a lunge stance, keeping feet hip-width apart for balance.

B. Curl the right hand up to the right shoulder, palm facing shoulder, with the left arm straight by left side, palm facing in.

C. Lower into a lunge until both knees form 90-degree angles, while simultaneously pressing the right hand up overhead and extending the left arm straight out to the side until it reaches shoulder height.

D. Slowly rise up out of the lunge, lowering right hand back to shoulder and lowering left arm down to side.

Try 10 reps. Repeat on the opposite side. Perform 2-3 sets. 

Scale down: Instead of pressing your arm overhead, just perform a biceps curl with that arm, curling up while you lower into the lunge, and slowly releasing as you stand.

Scale up: Instead of pressing your arm overhead, hold it in the top position, bicep by ear, while you rep.

Shape Magazine, September 2019 issue