Magnus Lygdback has helped stars like Ben Affleck and James McAvoy get in shape for movie roles, and most recently worked with Alexander Skarsgard to build a shredded Viking physique for the action epic The Northman. In a new video on his YouTube channel, Lygdback is joined by lifestyle influencer Alex Costa, who wants to experience Skarsgard's back and shoulder workout firsthand.
Following a 5-minute warmup on the assault bike, they start off with a farmer's walk—"a great way of activating the upper body and core"—before moving onto the banded woodchop, a sideways rotational movement which targets the obliques as well as the shoulders. "It's not about you moving the arms or shoulders, it's about you rotating with the whole movement," Lygdback explains, adding that Skarsgard did a lot of these to help with all that sword-swinging in the movie. "You can do this if you want to move like a Viking, but they're also pretty good for golf or baseball."
Following a series of standing rows and seated pulldowns, Lygdback introduces Costa to the arm lift rotation. Starting in a pushup position, lift a dumbbell from the floor with one hand, then rotate you body and raise the weight until you are holding it straight up, then lower it and perform the same move again on the opposite side. Lygdback supersets this with an overhead plate lift.
Next up is the kneeling halo. "This is great for building stability and strength in the shoulders," he says, "but also mobility, which is really important if you want to stay healthy, especially if you're a Viking, swinging a sword or an ax around." He supersets these with a lateral raise.
Finally, Lygdback coaches Costa through a rolling knee tuck finisher: sarting in a hollow hold position, roll sideways so that you're at a 45-degree angle, and then lift your knees up one at a time.
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