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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