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Man Makers
By Brian Ayers, CSCS

Man Makers are a great way to improve strength and cardiovascular endurance while using very little external resistance. This advanced exercise flow combines various elements of the burpy, renegade row, push up and overhead push press. You should be comfortable executing each of these exercises individually before attempting a Man Maker.

To start, select dumbbells that are at least 50% lighter than you would normally do shoulder presses with. You can increase the weight as you become more proficient at executing this exercise. Other considerations when selecting dumbbells for this exercise are that there should be enough room for your fingers when the dumbbell is against the ground, and the dumbbell should have strait edges for stability purposes. Rounded dumbbells should be used as a progression for added shoulder and core stability.

  • Begin the exercise in a standing position with dumbbells in your hands (Figure 1). Initiate the movement by squatting down and placing the dumbbells on the ground (Figure 2). The position and width of the dumbbells will determine what areas will be targeted in the press. A wider or more perpendicular positioning will result in greater chest and shoulder acti-vation in the press, while a narrower or more parallel placement of the dumbbells will result in more tricep activity.  You will then jump your feet back so that you end up in a push up position with your shoulders directly over the dumbbells and your wrists straight (Figure 3). If jumping your feet back is too difficult you can step one foot back at a time.

  • From this position you will then proceed into a push up
    with back strait and your core engaged (Figure 4).
    If you can’t  perform a full push up with good form you
    can lower to your knees first and perform a modified
    push up from that position, then lift your knees back
    off the ground before moving to the next phase.

  • After completing the push up, you will execute a
    renegade row by lifting one dumbbell off the ground
    and puling it up toward your chest while simultaneously
    balancing your body weight between your feet and
    other arm (Figure 5).  Continue by returning the first
    dumbbell to the ground and lifting the other. A
    great deal of core contraction is required to execute
    this motion properly. This can be modified to a lower
    intensity by placing your feet farther apart al-lowing
    for a more stable base. This can also be done with
    your knees down if you are unable to support  your
    weight with good form.

  • Continue by jumping or stepping your feet back to a squatting posi-tion (Figure 6). Rock your weight back onto your heels and lift the dumbbells off the ground. Bring the dumbbells up to your shoul-ders as you stand up explosively from the squat position (Figure 7). Then, using the force generated from your legs, press the dumb-bells up over your head (Figure 8).

  • Finish one repetition by returning to the start position with the dumbbells by your sides (Figure 9). Repeat for  as many repetitions as you can without losing proper form in any parts of the flow.

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