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By Marc Lebert


In University my workout partner and I would finish "back day" with towels rows. This is where you and a partner hold the opposite ends of towel and row against each other until both of you are completely exhausted! We would do high reps to failure and I remember not being able to put change in the vending machine for a Gatorade! Lol


I subsequently used the towel idea in my bootcamps and martial arts classes as a training tool but I wanted to build on that exercise by adding unilateral rows (not just manual resistance from a partner) so I added a metal ring that the strap went through so that I had a portable pulley system out in the field (genius lol)!!!


My favorite Lebert Buddy System™ exercise is the uni-lateral rowing because it is so effective and so much musculature involved; your feet have to be screwed into the ground, legs ready, your core is stabilizing and it just burns the heck out the rear delts, rhomboids, lats and biceps. My second favorite (actually I hate it so I know I have to work on it) is standing abdominal rotations. Ten repetitions on each side (with the right partner) and I promise you will love to hate it as well!


Perform each exercise for 30 seconds to 1 minute with perfect form.


NOTE: As the set continues you can "dial" down the tension – the Buddy System tension is VARIABLE (impossible to tell by looking at it… but again it's genius)!


Standing Alternating Rows


Feet wide apart, knees semi-squat bend with big long rowing motions. Changes in tempo, line of pull and range of motion can be incorporated. Add squats for increased intensity and balance. Change foot position to a side angle to hit the obliques more. You partner is squatting the entire time! Deep if possible.




Standing Bi-lateral Rows


Standing in same position as above with head and chest up bring both handles back at the same time (retract and lower shoulders to finish motion). Make sure to work in both the Concentric and Eccentric phase. Keep the rowing motion smooth but don't let your partner have it too easy. Partner is performing single arm rows from a static lunge for resistance - right leg in front left arm rows (and vice versa).


Alternating Swimming


Standing feet hip width apart. Tip from the hip with spine neutral with shoulders down and kept slightly back. Maintain stable shoulder girdle and posture, keep arms straight and perform an alternating "swimming" motion as if pressing water down and passed your surf board. This exercise affects the latissimus, rear deltoid and triceps. Partner is doing reverse lunges the entire time.




Bi-lateral Swimming


Same as above however both arms now move together. Put a lot of effort into maintaining a neutral spine. When the arms press down and back emphasize shoulder depression and scapular retraction. Partner is performing one arm rows from a static lunge position (left leg in front, right arm rows).


Uni-lateral Bicep Curls


Keeping arms out in front as if elbows were on a table top, do not let them fall as arms alternately move. Try to maintain stable shoulder girdle and base of support. From a low lunge, kneeling or plank position the partner is holding the floating handle with one hand. Switch hands half way through set.






UNIQUE TO THE BUDDY SYSTEM™. Standing sideways from your buddy (and facing the same direction) with a distance between you equal to the folded length of the Buddy System. Arms out in front at chest height and wrists crossed. Open arms symmetrically so it appears you performing a "chest fly" (horizontal abduction). When ABDUCTING the arms, one arm will be performing CONCENTRIC rear deltoid extension and the other working the pectorals ECCENTRICALLY. Upon ADDUCTION the rear deltoid now works ECCENTRICALLY and the pectorals work CONCENTRICALLY. Repeat the abduction/adduction (open and close) motion over and over  
Partner is standing sideways to your buddy and facing the same direction. Hold a Static Torso. Act as the anchor with both hands on the floating handle and arms outstretched in front your sternum. DO NOT let the movements of your ‘buddy' pull you off center.


Standing Torso Rotations


Both partners are sideways to each other and facing same direction with a distance between you equal to the folded length of the Buddy System. Solid base of support and soft knees. Both buddies rotate (no leaning) to the right and then left providing cooperative resistance in both directions. Keep it smooth and challenging. Both buddies should always be pulling away from each other yet smoothly moving all the way to the right and then left.


Uni-lateral Shoulder Climb


Facing away from your partner, feet beside each other but wide apart. Press up one arm at a time on a 45-degree angle. (if inside aim for where the wall meets the ceiling). Maintain a neutral spine and strong abdominal flexion so you do not lean backwards. With each press up try to take steps forward (resisted walking) as if you were fighting your way up a hill. Partner; give enough resistance to allow the movement to be challenging and be aware you do not resist so much that your buddy end up leaning backwards.


Resisted Running


Facing away from your partner, have the middle strap around your hips. Bend forward from the ankles and placing just a bit of weight forward for your partner to hold. Start with running on the spot with high knees and light resistance. Hold the outside handles and give enough resistance to allow your partner to move forward slowly.


ENJOY this full body Buddy System Blast… you may want to bring that towel after all!



Check out this great video to pump you up!!