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My Spring Equinox Fitness Challenge

Early morning workouts are easy to skip — press the snooze button and sleep on. However, when your trainer is expecting you at the gym at 6:30 a.m., your buzzing alarm gets you out of bed pronto. Hannah, my trainer at Equinox Fitness, was ready for me, clipboard in hand with a plan, when our 60-minute session began this morning.


We usually do weights for 30 minutes and finish the hour sessions in the pool — today was no exception. We did spend some quality time at the ever-versatile cable pulley machine, which glides a bit like a Pilates reformer. One of my goals is to improve my freestyle stroke, so Hannah set up the cable pulley machine to work on my pull. It was super helpful to break down the arm pattern out of the water. When I jumped in the pool my stroke felt smoother and more efficient.

To learn more about the strength-training exercise that targets the chest and triceps, read more.

  • The pulley should be set about two inches above your belly button with a handle attached. Start with 10.5 pounds.
  • Step out far enough so you feel resistance in the cable. With your feet hip-distance apart, bend at the waist and knees, so your back is not quite parallel to the ground.
  • Hold the handle with your right hand, your left arm hanging by your side. Start with your right arm straight out in front of you, even with your head. Bend your elbow out to the side as you pull your hand toward your head.
  • When your can see your thumb, flip your hand back and straighten your arm with your thumb grazing your leg as you do so, keeping your arm aligned with your body.
  • Bring your arm back to the front of your body and repeat. Twelve reps makes a set. Do three sets on each arm.

Even if you're not into swimming, this is a great, dynamic upper body workout.

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