Killer Core Exercise: 1 Arm 1 Leg Bodysaw

Posted on by Ben Bruno

First things first. If you have not checked out Sunday’s Good Reads post, be sure to do that. There’s a lot of great stuff there and it will take some time to make it through all of it.

Moving on. Last week (in this post) I showed you a cool bodyweight exercise to train anti-rotation and anti- lateral flexion. For today’s post, I’d like to share a killer core exercise with you that works both anti-extension and anti-rotation (you know how I like to kill multiple birds with one stone). It’s the 1 arm 1 leg bodysaw, and it looks like this.

I got this one from John Gaglione. I really like bodysaws, and this is a good advanced progression for those. Bodysaws train the core much the same way as rollouts, but they do not involve the shoulders quite as much. This can be seen as a positive or a negative, depending on your point of view. If you have shoulder problems or poor shoulder mobility, you may find bodysaws to be more comfortable. Likewise, if you are doing your core work at the end of a hard upper body workout and your shoulders are already smoked, bodysaws may be better than rollouts because you are not limited by shoulder fatigue like you sometimes can be with rollouts.

The 1 arm 1 leg variation is very advanced. Here is the progression I would follow to work up to it.

1. Regular bodsaw. These can be done using Valslides, a slideboard, a TRX, a towel on a wooden floor…really anything that allows you to slide back and forth. Be sure not to let your lower back sag and go into hyperextension.

2. Weighted. Add weight underneath your feet to provide more friction, thereby making it more difficult.

3. 1 Leg. Same thing as the regular bodysaw, but pick up one foot. When you do, make sure not to tilt your torso, as it will want to twist toward the side with the raised leg.

Once you have become comfortable with this one, you can try the 1 arm 1 leg version. When you get to that point, be sure to stay VERY tight and create tension throughout your entire body. If you lose that tension, it will be virtually impossible to do this one without flailing around. Pay particular attention to your abs, glutes, and lats. You may want to take some time to do 1 arm 1 leg planks beforehand to get acquainted with the feeling before adding the dynamic component.

Also keep in mind that all of the above bodysaw variations are advanced exercises. Be sure to get proficient with planks and stability ball rollouts before trying any of them. Once you try them though, I think you will really like them. Give this a shot and let me know what you think.

I hope everyone is having a good start to the week. I’m working on putting together an awesome compilation of training videos from this past week, so if you have any links you’d like me to look at, be sure to send those to me asap because the post will be going up tomorrow.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Ben,

    I like the variations that you have for the Bodysaw….. – Nick

  • Valerie Waters

    You are a machine! Val

  • John

    Thanks for the shout out Ben! Nice post. Impressive strength and form as always!

  • Ben Bruno

    Nick- Thanks!

    Val- Thanks! In the video I'm using these cool things called Valslides to help my feet glide. Have you heard of em?

    John- No problem man. Good idea.