“Stay in your lane” is common idiom at work and on the track. And for former NFL star DeMarcus Ware it’s the guiding principle behind his go-to activation exercise: the Ware Square.
The Ware Square combines a high plank hold, pushups, and a kettlebell drag drill. The kettlebell drag is essentially a cross between the plank pull-through and plank toe touch, which challenge your core, chest, and shoulders. The best part of the exercise: you don’t need a kettlebell to do it. You can use dumbbells, too—or if you’re working out at home, anything at all that you have on hand that you can drag across the floor.
The goal, says Ware, is to “drag the weight in multiple directions […] not always in a logical [order].”
Just as he does in the video demoing the movement, you’ll pull the weight up, down, left, right… all while staying in your square (or lane).
Here’s how to do it. Start in a high plank position, with your abs tight and glutes squeezed. Place the weight next to your hand. Crank out a pushup.
Next, lift the hand closest to the weight, grab the handle (or however it’s easiest to hold), and pull the weight toward one of your feet. Do your best to hold your posture, keeping your knees locked out and your glutes squeezed.
Release the handle, replant your hand so your wrist is stacked underneath your shoulder. Crank out another pushup. Next, with the opposite hand reach back and tug the bell back towards your hands. Continue alternating between pushups and drags for one minute.
Anyone who’s done a simple high plank with proper positioning knows how taxing the pose can be. When you add a strength move in, as is the case of the Ware Square, your body has to work extra hard to stay stable—so the key during the drag is to keep your core engaged throughout.
That said, it’s important to note that you might be limited in your movements by hamstring mobility. Bend your knees as needed, and don’t worry too much about bringing the weight all the way down to your toes.
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