Man Makers Exercise | Dumbbell Manmakers
The Man Maker Exercise or Dumbbell Manmakers are one of those full body exercises that test both your endurance and your strength. Borrowed from Crossfit athletes, this man maker movement is a great way to work your full body with very little equipment. While you can do man makers with a barbell or with no weight at all, I prefer to include two dumbbells of a modest weight.
How do you know where to start though with the weights? If you are a beginning exerciser or this is your first time doing dumbbell man makers, then I recommend you begin by choosing dumbbells that are about half the weight of what you would normally do for a challenging set of 8 in a traditional dumbbell overhead shoulder press. As you gain confidence with the man maker exercise, you can increase the weight incrementally. Another thing to consider is that round dumbbells like to roll and will force you to use more stabilizing muscles within your core as you place the dumbbells on the ground and jump back. It is good to start with hexagonal dumbbells until you feel comfortable with this challenging exercise.
Let’s go through step by step how to do this complex movement.
How to do Man Makers or a Dumbbell Manmaker
1. Begin by placing two moderate weight dumbbells on the ground in front of your feet. Squat down by lowering your hips and keeping your hands on the dumbbells. Be sure to engage your core and maintain a neutral position with your neck as you move into this tuck position. This is the position from which you will begin the man maker exercise.
2. From the starting tuck, maintain your hands grasping the dumbbells as you jump your feet back into a full plank position or the top of a push up position. You want to have your weight evenly distributed between your hands and your feet or really your toes since you will be balancing on your toes in that push up position of the man makers.
3. Keeping your elbows tucked in tightly to your body, dip down into a full pushups allowing your chest to come in line with the dumbbells in your hands. Press back to the top of the push up position. It is critical here that you keep a straight line from your head down through your heels in the push up position portion of the dumbbell man maker.
** Modification option: If the full pushup is too challenging, you can move to your knees for this portion of the exercise. **
4. While still holding a plank position with your hands grasping the dumbbells, complete a plank position row where you row one arm at a time back as you squeeze your shoulder blades together and engage your mid back muscles. Be sure to keep your elbow tucked in toward your mid-line and bring them up as high as possible as you row the dumbbell up and back.
5. Once you have completed a row on each side, jump your feet back up toward your hands back into a tuck position.
6. In a swift and continuous movement, rise up as you clean both dumbbells up to your shoulder level passing through a complete stand and dipping into a squat with your feet shoulder width apart. As you hit the bottom of the squat, press upward with force bringing your whole body to a standing position and extending your arms overhead with the dumbbells to where you are in full extension.
7. To complete the dumbbell man maker, swiftly bring the dumbbells or other weights back to shoulder level, dip through a deep squat, preforming a reverse clean exercise to bring you back to the beginning tuck position with your hands still connected to the weights.
Man Maker Exercise | Common Mistakes
This exercise requires a great deal of flexibility and fluid movement throughout. I often find that women struggle to move swiftly through each phase of the exercise since it is quite complex and go too slowly. In order to get the full cardio vascular benefits, you want to maintain a graceful movement.
A second sticking point some women struggle with is poor form because they lack core control and strength. If you find that you are arching your back excessively during the clean portion of man makers or you are allowing your hips to rise too high in the plank hold potions, it is better to modify the exercise and come to your knees for those portions.
Man Makers Exercise | Muscles Work
Type: Full Body
Primary Muscle Worked: Back, Quadraceps, Delts
Other Muscles: Biceps, Triceps